Arab leaders to convene for Mauritania summit
Arab foreign ministers vowed on Saturday to ‘defeat terrorism’, as they gathered for a preparatory meeting ahead of the meeting
At least seven Arab leaders are confirmed to participate in the 27th Arab League summit being held in Nouakchott, Mauritania for the first time.
Six prime ministers and deputy prime ministers of other countries will represent the rest of Arab League members when the summit kicks off on Tuesday.
Arab foreign ministers vowed on Saturday to “defeat terrorism”, as they gathered for a preparatory meeting ahead of the meeting over a week after an ISIS-claimed truck attack in the French Riviera left 84 people dead.
In a statement, they also called for a “definitive solution” to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, as Arab League heads of state prepared to meet in the Mauritanian capital on Monday and Tuesday.
“We must defeat terrorism, it’s a priority,” Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said as the meeting began.
His Mauritanian counterpart Isselkou Ould Ahmed Izidbih called on Arab states to coordinate more closely with African nations in order to achieve this goal.
The ministers also agreed to support “all (initiatives) that can help to end the crises of the Arab world, especially the Syrian, Libyan and Yemeni conflicts”, a statement said.
And they welcomed a French and Egyptian initiative to help revive dormant Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.
Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi has canceled his visit to Mauritania to attend the Arab League summit there, sending instead his premier as the head of the delegation.
The presidential statement gave no reason for the cancellation but the Egyptian press carried unconfirmed reports there could be an attempt on Sisi's life during the gathering in the Mauritanian capital, Nouakchott.
Egypt's delegation at the summit, which starts on Monday, will be headed by Prime Minister Ismail Sherif.
Private-owned Al-Masry al-Youm daily reported that the president's office received "credible information" about the plot and based on it, the president decided not to go.
(With AFP and AP)