- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 3, 2002

From combined dispatches
SAN'A, Yemen President Ali Abdullah Saleh has called for an emergency Arab summit to discuss Israel's "annihilation" of Palestinians, the week after a similar meeting endorsed an Arab offer of peace with Israel.
"The president asked Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa to send an immediate invitation for an urgent emergency Arab summit," the official Yemeni news agency Saba said.
Mr. Saleh suspended on Sunday "all meetings and telephone calls to protest … against the silence of some Arab leaders, whose countries have diplomatic relations with the Zionist entity," according to an official statement faxed to Reuters news agency. Egypt and Jordan are the only Arab countries that have signed peace treaties with the Jewish state.
Mr. Saleh wanted the summit to formulate "an effective and decisive Arab stance that guarantees stopping that [Israeli] aggression and saving the Palestinian people from the war of annihilation to which they are subjected," the agency added.
Arabs were outraged by Israel's recent attacks on cities in the West Bank and its siege of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's compound in Ramallah initiated just after last week's Arab summit endorsed a Saudi proposal for Middle East peace.
Mr. Saleh urged all Arab states that have diplomatic ties with the Jewish state to sever them and to stop all forms of normalization "because they are meaningless … if they cannot be deployed to save the Palestinian people and their leadership from the terrorism they are undergoing."
The statement quoted sources close the presidency as saying this position expressed Mr. Saleh's "frustration and sadness" because of lack of action by Arabs.
"Arab impotence in the face of the new Zionist aggression, maybe stemming from fear of this entity [Israel] or to avoid angering the United States and the media and political terrorism campaign that would be waged against those who do not follow its [U.S.] track," the sources said.
Yemen's foreign minister, Abubakr al-Qirbi, met European Union ambassadors on Sunday and urged intervention by their governments to end Israeli massacres of Palestinians, Saba reported.
Mr. Saleh was refusing all contact with the outside world, to protest Arab silence in the face of the Israeli military action in the West Bank, the Yemeni news agency reported Monday.
"The president has refused visitors and telephone calls since Sunday," said a Saba statement sent to Agence France-Presse.

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