Kuwait says it will attend Arab summit in Baghdad

September 16, 2010
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Kuwait said that it would attend the next Arab League summit scheduled in Baghdad in March 2011.

“We support the Arab summit and if it is decided that it will be held in Baghdad, we will be there,” Jassem Al Mubaraki, the head of the Arab world department at the foreign ministry, said. “Kuwait will not miss an Arab summit in Iraq,” he said, quoted by Kuwaiti daily Al Qabas.

Relations between the two neighbours have not been restored to their levels of two decades ago amid divergences over reparations for damage caused by the Iraqi 1990 invasion and final border demarcations.

Kuwait’s announcement that it would attend the Arab summit came amid Arab concerns that the tense security situation in Iraq and the inability of the local political parties to form a government would dent Baghdad’s possibility to host the pan-Arab meeting.

However, Amr Moussa, the Arab League secretary general, dismissed in an interview with the London-based Asharq Al Awsat the concerns, saying there was ample time to fix the situation.

“It has been decided that Iraq will host it and there is no need to raise doubts about Iraq’s ability to do so. We have sufficient time for forming the government of Iraq and stabilizing the situation in a better direction,” he said.

Iraqi officials have said that the government would spend $300 million to upgrade Baghdad’s six largest hotels and state-owned villas for the summit. The hotels, Al Rashid Al Mansour, Palestine, Sheraton, and Baghdad, were damaged in a string of attacks since 2003.

Saber Al Aysawi, Baghdad’s mayor, said that conditions in the war-ravaged capital would be different by the time Arab leaders arrive in Baghdad.

“The municipality will open 22 streets in preparation for the Arab summit next year,” Aysawi said, quoted by Iraqi daily Azzaman.

The streets, full of concrete blocks and checkpoints, are among the most guarded in Baghdad.

The Arab summit in Baghdad would be the first major Arab event to be hosted by Iraq in more than 20 years.

         

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About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Career
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
Education
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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