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No Success in Doha Summit; President Saleh Fails to Attend
  Written By:  Hakim almasmari ( YEMEN POST STAFF )
  Article Date:
January 19, 2009


With death toll rising to 1,200 Palestinian people killed and another 5,400 injured,  and a ceasefire announced by Israel, Arab leaders have failed to act responsibly with events and failed to hold an exceptional summit for discussing the situation in Gaza.

Major Arab countries sought to foil the exceptional summit called for the Qatari Emir Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani including Egypt and Saudi Arabia. The two countries were blamed for the non-participation of other countries like Yemen and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas Abu Mazan who openly stated that he had been pressurized by some parties not to attend the summit. 

Though he failed to attend the Arab Summit in Doha, President Ali Abdullah Saleh called for holding an Islamic summit to support and show solidarity with the Palestinian people and to stand against the Israeli arrogance and assaults targeting the residents of Gaza Strip.

Justifying the absence of Yemen from Doha, Foreign Minister Abu Bakr Al-Qirbi pointed out that Yemen is keen about the unity of Arab countries at this critical moment of the Arab world’s history.   

Different opposing political forces criticized President Saleh's stance especially when he was the first leader to call for holding an exceptional summit to discuss and review the situation in Gaza.

When the Qatari Emir called for holding a summit in Doha, Yemen was among the countries that expressed readiness to attend. However, this readiness did not last long as Yemen apologized later for being unable to attend the summit.

The Yemeni apology was a source for resentment for Yemeni people and observers noted that Yemen's stance was influenced by some regional powers and claim these powers threatened to boycott their financial support pledged for the country.

Attended by 13 leaders and representatives of Arab countries and four Islamic leaders, the Qatari Emir expressed sorrowfulness for absence of other Arab countries including Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

"I wish all our brothers were here today so that we can discuss the different issues on this table, irrespective of other viewpoints they might have," said Al-Thani adding, "We wish that Palestinian President were present so that he can discuss the sufferings of his people; however, he preferred not to attend."

Al-Qirbi participated in the joint meeting held in Kuwait in preparation for the Arab Economic Summit due to be held today.

Sources revealed that Kuwait has added solidarity with Gaza in the Arab Economic Summit's agenda. The preparatory meeting of the Arab Foreign Ministers demanded the Israeli army to evacuate from the occupied lands of Gaza and lift the eight-month siege imposed on the people of Gaza Strip which is considered by political analysts to be the largest prison in the world.

The ministers, moreover, pledged to reconstruct Gaza and granted $2 billion for that end. Likewise, $500 million was pledged for supporting the ailing economy of Palestine and National Palestinian Authority's budget.

In a press release, opposition parties represented by Joint Meeting Parties (JMP) denounced the nonparticipation of the Yemeni government in Doha’s exceptional summit. It considered the Yemeni decision to be irresponsible and hasty.

The statement also added that the decision does not represent the attitude of the Yemeni people, but rather that of the authority. It hinted that it had been better not to surrender before regional and international pressures which provide a cover for the Israeli assault.

Yemen has seen constant protests and demonstrations demanding the Arab leaders to take courageous decisions and to work for alleviating the suffering of people in Gaza. The demonstrators slammed the silence of Arab leaders and called for opening the doors for Jihad.