Arab Summit Rejects War Categorically
The Associated Press
Saturday 01 March 2003
Here are the main points of the final statement from Saturday's summit of leaders of the 22-member Arab League, as read by Secretary-General Amr Moussa.
- Arab leaders registered "complete rejection to any aggression on Iraq or threatening the security of any Arab country," which they consider "a threat to Arab national security" and reiterate "the necessity of resolving the Iraqi issue through peaceful ways."
- Called for giving weapons inspectors enough time carry out their mission and called on inspectors to use objectivity in their work.
- Called on Arab countries to refrain from "participating in any military action that targets the security, safety and unity of Iraq or any other Arab country."
However, the statement did not say Arab states hosting U.S. forces should demand no attack be launched from their territory. Bahrain, Qatar and Kuwait host thousands of American forces.
- Called for countries to support Arab endeavors to avert war through Iraq's continuing implementation of U.N. Resolution 1141.
- Set up a committee, headed by Bahrain, "to carry out contacts with concerned international parties" - including Iraq, the United Nations and the permanent members of Security Council - "to explain the Arab position ... and to discuss ways to face the serious challenges Iraq faces and the possibilities and dangers threatening Arab states."
- Stressed support for the Iraqi people "who have suffered for years," saying it is time to life the sanctions.
- Stressed the responsibility of the Security Council in ensuring that Iraq and its people be spared.
- Denounced U.S. attempts to force change in the region, specifically a call for a new leader in Iraq, saying change in the Arab world "is a matter to be decided by the people of the region according to national interests, away from outside interference."
- Called for Israel to be disarmed of weapons of mass destruction, saying Iraq's disarmament is part of ridding the region of such weapons in compliance with U.N. resolutions.
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