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February 7, 2012 - Gulfnews/By Habib Toumi (source)

Bahrain to skip Arab League summit

Manama: Bahrain's foreign minister has ruled out his country's participation in the next Arab League summit set for March 29 in Baghdad.

"How can a summit be held, or how can you accept to attend a summit in a country that gives you problems day after day?" Shaikh Khalid Bin Ahmad Al Khalifa said in an interview with Russia Today. "I do not accuse the Iraqi people on this matter and our relationship with all its components is historical.

"However, when events that unfold here - and which have nothing to do with the popular demands - are used as an issue in Iraq, even in the parliament, then we are not pleased," he said.

In Saudi Arabia, the Saudi Gazette daily yesterday said in its editorial that "it is impossible to hold a summit in Baghdad". "How can we talk about an Arab summit in light of the current situation and the lack of a common agenda for formulating a unified vision? We should focus on supporting the Arab League so that it can accomplish its complex mission instead of calling for something impossible.

‘Restore stability'

"We should first work together to restore stability in the Arab world and put an end to the widespread unrest that has swept the Middle East and which, unfortunately, has been causing damage and destruction in some countries and political uncertainty in the region," the daily said.

Last month, a Kuwaiti daily reported that three Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries were spearheading a move to convince the other members to join them in the call to put off the summit by at least three months.

The report said that the GCC states cited security concerns, political crisis in Iraq and lack of an agenda to focus on the Syria crisis.

 

Other sources on GCC civil society and human rights