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Arab Leaders: Arab World in Danger of Collapse

Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister and the Arab League's Secretary-General warn that the Arab world is on the verge of collapse.
By Hillel Fendel
First Publish: 1/19/2009, 11:48 AM / Last Update: 1/19/2009, 12:58 PM

Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Saud al-Feisal and Arab League Secretary-General Amr Musa warn that the Arab world is on the verge of collapse.

Speaking at a joint press conference they held in Kuwait, the two said that the Arab world faces anarchy and an inner split, which they attribute to two factors: The inter-Palestinian struggle, and the “Israeli aggression and occupation.”

Several recent incidents portray the weakness of Arab unity, correspondent Haggai Huberman reports. Last Friday, a gathering of representatives of more than a dozen Arab and Muslim nations was held in Doha. Among the participants were Damascus-based Khaled Meshaal of Hamas and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinajad – but the others were not informed of the participation of these two until after they had already arrived in Doha. Apparently, it was feared that the participation of Meshaal and Ahmedinajad might keep others away.

In addition, a high-ranking French diplomat has been quoted as saying that Syria was more interested in weakening Egypt over the past three weeks than in helping solve the crisis in Gaza. Syria and others accused Egypt of conspiring with Israel in order to attack Gazan Arabs.

The diplomat further said that the Syrian branch of Hamas is more extremist than the Gazan, and that this is related to Syria’s influence over Meshaal.

Mubarak Lashes Back
At the same time, the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs reports that Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak will take part in an economic summit in Kuwait Monday, but refuses to reconcile with those who attacked Egypt for its stance during the Gaza war. Mubarak refused to take part in the Doha conference. Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad, for his part, has postponed his arrival in Kuwait, and it is possible that he will not take part at all.

Kuwaitis Against Abbas
And more from Kuwait: 21 Kuwaiti parliamentarians called Sunday night for Palestinian Authority Fatah Chairman Mahmoud Abbas not to be invited to the summit. They said that Abbas’s term as president ended on Jan. 9, in accordance with the elections of four years ago, and that a Hamas figure must be invited in his stead.

In response, Fatah legislator Azzam Al-Ahmad said that the Kuwaitis were intervening in an “internal Palestinian issue” and were “recruited by regional powers who wish to weaken the Palestinian people and the Arab nation.”