Menyedihkan, bahwa negeri-negeri Arab bahkan tidak bisa sepakat untuk bertemu
membicarakan pembantaian penduduk Gaza oleh serdadu Israel...
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Tuesday, January 13, 2009
20:32 Mecca time, 17:32 GMT
News Middle East
Egypt rejects Arab summit call
Moussa said Arab foreign ministers will meet in Kuwait on Friday [AFP]
Egypt has rejected a Qatari request to hold an emergency Arab League summit in
Doha on Friday to discuss the Israeli offensive in Gaza.
The Egyptian foreign ministry said on Tuesday that Cairo had told the Arab
League that the presence of Arab leaders in Kuwait on January 18 for an
economic summit "may pose an appropriate occasion for consultations among them
about the situation in Gaza".
Abdel-Alim al-Abyad, the Arab League spokesman, said Qatar made the request for
a summit on Monday and that two-thirds of the league's 22 members needed to
approve the request for the summit to take place.
Syria welcomed the idea and said it would attend. The Algerian state news
agency APS said Algeria also planned to attend.
Lebanon and Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, also confirmed their
The 18-day-old Israeli offensive has exposed deep divisions between Arab
Egypt and Saudi Arabia fear a summit would produce little in the way of results
and would make Arab leaders appear ineffective, diplomats said.
Amr Moussa, the Arab League secretary-general, said that Arab foreign ministers
would hold emergency talks in Kuwait on Friday to discuss "the continuation of
the Israeli aggression on Gaza" ahead of their scheduled gathering.
Friday's meeting will "examine the developments relating to Israel's refusal to
abide by UN Security Council Resolution 1860" calling for an immediate
ceasefire in Gaza, he told reporters.
Moussa Abu Marzouk, a senior Hamas leader, said on Tuesday there was "still a
chance" that his movement would accept an Egyptian ceasefire plan for Gaza.
Abu Marzouk says there is still a chance Hamas will accept the Egyptian plan
"There is still a chance that we will accept the Egyptian plan," provided the
"substantial reservations" of Hamas are taken into account, Abu Marzouk told Al
A Hamas delegation is currently in Cairo to resume talks on the Egyptian
Ayman Taha, a member of the Hamas delegation negotiating with Egypt's
intelligence chief in Cairo, denied information that it would reject the
Egyptian proposal in Tuesday's talks.
Salah al-Bardaweel, another Hamas delegate, said: "We are discussing the
Egyptian proposal away from the media and we will deprive the enemy of any
Mouin Rabbani, from the Institute of Palestine Studies, and contributing editor
to the Washington-based Middle East report, told Al Jazeera: "Quite a bit of
diplomacy is happening to quite little effect.
"We have the negotiations taking place in Cairo over a ceasefire resolution but
a lot of key issues remain unresolved.
"The key issues are that Hamas, from its point of view, is being asked to raise
the white flag as a condition to reach an agreement which is much more
detrimental to it than the ceasefire that it agreed to last year which wasn't
respected by Israel. So, at this point, there are key issues in the proposal
that [Hamas] cannot accept.
"Israel is insisting on conditions that not only Hamas is unwilling to accept,
but that Egypt is also unwilling to accept because it would further impinge on
Egypt's already limited sovereignty in the Sinai peninsula."
Hamas says Israel must pull back all its troops under a ceasefire and end the
blockade of the Gaza Strip that it tightened after the group seized the coastal
enclave from forces loyal to Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, in 2007.
Israel has rebuffed as "unworkable" a UN Security Council ceasefire resolution
last week and said a truce must ensure Hamas cannot re-arm through tunnels
under the Gaza-Egypt border in an area known as the Philadelphi corridor.
Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary general, was heading to the region for a week of
talks with leaders in Egypt, Israel, Jordan and Syria aimed at ending the
"My message is simple, direct, and to the point: the fighting must stop. To
both sides, I say: Just stop now," Ban told reporters before his departure.
Ehud Barak, the Israeli defence minister, said in broadcast remarks that Israel
had "respectfully" heard Ban's appeal and was monitoring Egypt's ceasefire
mediation, but it would continue to hit Hamas while diplomatic efforts were
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