Islamic Conference Meeting Will Go Ahead Without Arafat
Monday, December 10 2001 @ 03:06 AM GMT
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DOHA, Qatar: Top Arab officials of nations in the Organization of the Islamic Conference are set to meet Monday in Doha, Qatar, but Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat will not attend. Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak is quoted saying Arafat is uncertain whether Israel would let him return to the Palestinian territories.

Mubarak is also quoted as saying it is almost impossible for Arafat to meet Israel's demand for seven days of total calm the Palestinian side before resuming peacemaking efforts.

Mubarak says in his view it is extremely difficult to control the situation among Palestinians as long as Israel keeps bulldozing Arab homes, assassinating targeted Palestinians, and carrying out reprisal military
actions.

Mubarak spoke as he returned from Damascus Sunday where he met with his Syrian counterpart Bashar Assad. The two leaders called on the United States to put more pressure on Israel to end its military retaliation against Palestinians. They accused Israel of being a threat to regional security.

Speaking in Doha Sunday, Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa said there will be resistance as long as Israel occupies Palestinian territory.

In other comments Sunday, the foreign minister of Kuwait, Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmed al-Sabah, urged the United States to approve the dispatch of international observers to the Palestinian territories to stop the
bloodshed.

(VOA)

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