Tuesday, 18 February, 2003, 17:16 GMT
Kuwait protests over Iraq statement
The Arab League is divided over IraqBy Hebah Saleh BBC Cairo correspondent
Kuwait has lodged a formal protest with the Arab League in Cairo in connection with last week's Arab foreign ministers' meeting.
The emirate says the Lebanese foreign minister who chaired the session imposed the wording of the final statement without consultation or a vote, in contravention of league regulations.
The row is a foretaste of the divisions likely to arise at a proposed emergency Arab summit to discuss Iraq
The statement called on all Arab states not to provide any assistance or facilities which could be used in a US-led war against Iraq.
American forces have been massing in Kuwait in preparation for a possible invasion of Iraq.
The row is a foretaste of the divisions likely to arise at a proposed emergency Arab summit to discuss Iraq.
Kuwait is likely to be a mere staging post for any potential American invasion of Iraq.
Almost half of the troops expected to take part in the war are already in Kuwait.
Other Arab countries such as Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, are also hosting American troops and providing strategic facilities.
All however, including Kuwait, remain opposed to the war, but their opposition is unlikely to translate into defiance of the United States, their chief ally and protector.
The Lebanese move at the Cairo meeting will almost certainly have been orchestrated with Syria. It has described the Cairo session as a total success.
Syria has been trying to prod other Arab governments into taking a tougher stand against the US.
That is what it will push for at the proposed emergency Arab summit, but it is likely to run into serious opposition from America's Arab allies.
They will want to go on placing the full responsibility for averting war on Iraq's shoulders.