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    » 02/28/2008, 00.00


    Amman could join the boycott of the summit in Damascus

    The idea emerged after a meeting of the king of Jordan with his counterpart in Saudi Arabia. The threat is aimed at pressuring Syria to clear the way for the election of the Lebanese president.

    Beirut (AsiaNews) - Jordan could joined the group of Arab countries threatening to boycott the summit of the Arab League scheduled for Damascus at the end of March, to pressure Syria to consent to the election of the Lebanese president.

    Official sources in Amman have made it known that King Abdullah II of Jordan has spoken with Saudi King Abdullah on the subject of the situation in Lebanon.  Meeting in Riyadh (in the photo), the two monarchs and declared their agreement that it is "important that the Lebanese people choose a president through consensus and that the Arab League plan to solve the Lebanese crisis was successful".

    Beyond the diplomatic language, the meeting appears linked to the Saudi initiative to pressure Damascus in view of the summit on March 20-30.  It is believed that Syria intends to use the meeting to obtain agreement from the Arab countries to put the restitution of the Golan Heights, conquered by Israel in the war of 1967, among the conditions of a peace agreement with the Jewish state.  The threat of a boycott is therefore aimed at a matter that is highly sensitive for Syria, in addition to representing a serious failure on an international level and the increased isolation of the regime of Bashar al Assad.  The Assad government is expected to tell its Lebanese allies - Hezbollah first among them - to accept without reservations the plan of the Arab League, and thus permit the election of the president.

    The Saudi threat - which in a "conciliatory" hypothesis could be made concrete in the sending of a low-level delegation - has seen the adherence of some Gulf countries, and probably of Egypt, and thus of the main representatives of the Arab League. (PD)

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    See also

    18/02/2008 LEBANON
    Arab pressure on Syria over the election of the Lebanese president
    Egypt and Saudi Arabia are threatening to boycott the Arab League summit in Damascus. Patriarch Sfeir highlights the need for the factions to overcome the distance that divides them.

    26/02/2008 LEBANON
    Moussa returns from Beirut empty-handed
    Although no one is admitting it formally, the Arab initiative has failed. The possibility of reviving it depends on political pressure from Saudi Arabia and Egypt. For the 15th time, the parliamentary session to elect the republic's president has been delayed.

    31/03/2008 SYRIA – LEBANON
    Arab League summit in Damascus delivers “lukewarm” results
    Out of the meeting comes advice on electing Lebanon’s new president and demands for an end to armed militias in Iraq. Syria calls the summit a success, but the Arab world is has divided as it has ever been. Meanwhile Tehran’s shadow looms greater than ever.

    28/01/2008 LEBANON
    National mourning in Beirut as Arab League rejects Syria’s demands
    Arab summit refuses Syrian demands for a de facto opposition veto over decisions by the future national unity government. At the end of the meeting the foreign ministers of the 22 member countries renew their call for the election of Suleiman to the Lebanese presidency.

    27/03/2006 LEBANON
    Future of Lahoud and Hezbollah: two questions standing in the way of inter-Lebanese dialogue

    Arab League summit tomorrow to discuss Syria-Lebanon relations.  Siniora, following a visit to Saudi Arabia, affirms his will to visit Damascus to tackle the questions dividing the two countries.

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