Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Arab FMs Meet in Cairo Five Days after Israeli Gaza Op

Arab Foreign Ministers met in Cairo to discuss the situation in Gaza, five days after the deadliest Zionist offensive against Palestinians that claimed the lives of more than 390 people and injured at least 1750 others.

The "divided" Arabs, who are still undecided whether the 390 Gaza martyrs who have fallen since the beginning of the aggression "deserve" an urgent Arab summit, finally decided on Wednesday to "break" their "deadly" silence.

Thus, the Arab FMs held their "emergency" meeting and sought a common Arab position towards the Zionist massacres committed against Palestinians in the strip.

Arab League Secretary General Amr Mussa addressed the Arab FMs at the opening session, calling for the adoption of a strong Arab stance against the aggression. Mussa said Israeli raids were the result of the absence of an Arab stance and a split in Palestinian ranks.

The Arab League chief called for an immediate meeting of rival Palestinian factions. "We call on our Palestinian brothers to hold an immediate reconciliation meeting," Mussa said. "Gaza is paying the price of upheaval in Israel as a result of upcoming parliamentary elections," he stressed.

However, Mussa said that the resistance should not be responsible for "exploiting the blood of the Palestinians for political ends." He claimed that resisting occupiers is a legitimate right, but individual or mass "suicide" is unacceptable and every act should be well studied.

Mussa urged at the same time Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to ask the United Nations Security Council to stop the Israeli aggression on Gaza and said that all Arab countries were supporting him. "We should keep the UN Security Council non-aligned toward Gaza crisis," he concluded.

For his part, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal urged Palestinian factions to unify and form a national unity government. "The division among the Palestinian people will help Israel to achieve victories," he said.

Following the opening session, the foreign ministers held a closed door meeting away from the media.

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