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League of Arab States
19 May 2004
Secretary General's Statements before Heading to Tunisia (19-5-2004)
Secretary General Amre Moussa of the Arab League stressed that consultations over convening the Arab summit in Tunisia in time have been concluded. He pointed out that a number of Arab foreign ministers will arrive in Tunisia today and tomorrow, and that all arrangements concerning the convening of the summit have been finalized a matter that is no more subject to further consultations.
In press releases he made to the journalists at the Arab League's General Secretariat before heading to Tunisia today, Moussa asserted that the summit will be convened in time on May 22nd and 23rd, as confirmed by President Hosni Mubarak in his statements today.
Replying to a question over the level of representation in the summit, Moussa pointed out that any summit is subject to the absence of some presidents and leaders for certain reasons. He further said he would meet with Foreign Minister Habib Ben Yahia of Tunisia there at a later time.
Commenting on the extent of optimism over significant resolutions by the summit, Moussa pointed out the feelings of sorrow and regret undergone by the Arab world over the Israeli massacres against the Palestinians which are daily broadcasted over TV channels. "I am as deeply frustrated as much as the entire Arab world. We are all frustrated, angry and furious for what is going on over there", he added.
As regards the Arab aspirations in serious resolutions by the summit, Moussa stressed that the summit would not be "sub-ordinary".
Over the call by some for a suspension of the Arab initiative, Moussa emphasized that there shall be no suspension as the initiative represents an Arab commitment in case the same extent of commitment is displayed by Israel.
On the other hand, Moussa described the status quo in the Palestinian territories as massacres against un-armed innocent civilians, and children. He said unanimous condemnation of these massacres by the international community and the UN is awaited for being crimes that have gone off-limits. In the meantime, Moussa expressed regret over the encouragement or silence displayed by some circles over the war crimes committed in the Palestinian territories.