- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 2, 2009


Libyan-Saudi relations hit by Gadhafi’s anger

The 21st Arab summit concluded in Qatar Monday by adopting a series of draft resolutions, a Doha Declaration and a reconciliation between Saudi Arabia and Libya after an unexpected and stormy interruption by Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi in the opening session that could have destroyed the entire summit.

Col. Gadhafi had addressed Saudi King Abdullah suddenly, accusing him of lying, and that “Britain created you and America protects you.” But then he offered reconciliation, after which the Qatari emir later brought the two men together in a meeting.


Doha Declaration rejects ICC on Sudan

Arab leaders meeting in Doha have expressed their support and full solidarity with Sudan in rejecting the International Criminal Court’s decision against Sudanese President Omar Bashir.

In the Doha Declaration, the leaders vowed to support Sudan in its confrontation against everything that targets its security, stability and territorial unity, as well as measures that threaten peace efforts in Darfur.


Assad meets Arab leaders

Syrian President Bashar Assad held a series of intensive meetings with Arab leaders, including Saudi King Abdullah, on the sidelines of the Doha summit, and discussed bilateral and inter-Arab relations.

The talks revolved around the positive atmosphere at the summit and the need to continue efforts to activate inter-Arab dialogue.


Committee to probe Arafat’s martyrdom

The head of Yasser Arafat Foundation, Nasser al-Qidwa, revealed Monday that an Arab committee has been formed to launch a new investigation into the death of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.

Qidwa, Arafat’s nephew, said the probe was needed in order to come to clear results surrounding the former Palestinian leader’s mysterious demise. He also announced the foundation’s launching of a Web site at www.yasserarafat.ps to preserve the leader’s memory.


British begin pullout from Iraq

The British forces began Tuesday to officially withdraw from Iraq, in a step that will end six years of military operations, which began with the U.S.-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein’s regime.

The British, who led the coalition troops in Basra, handed over authority to the U.S. forces, as American troops are expected to arrive in the southern region to begin a new role that entails training the new Iraqi police force.


Massacre in Baghdad hurts reconciliation

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has taken national reconciliation efforts back to square one by allowing his security forces to raid the Sahwa (Awakening) forces in Fadel in central Baghdad, where random arrests were carried out and armed battles erupted Saturday between the two sides, killing three people.

Government sources said the aim of the operation was to disarm the Awakening forces and expel them from the capital, but the move has sparked anger against the government.

• Compiled by Sana Abdallah of the Middle East Times

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