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Tuesday, 18 February, 2003, 17:16 GMT
Kuwait protests over Iraq statement

The Arab League is divided over Iraq
By 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.
Syrian move
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.

Full coverage

Key stories
US clerics oppose war
Saudi war warning
Iraq polio campaign
'New Europe' hits back

Analysis
Blair's political troubles
US and UK regroup
Blix tiptoes tightrope

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See also:

17 Feb 03 | Middle East
Arab League summit plan on hold
14 Feb 03 | Middle East
Arab world 'resigned' to war
21 Sep 01 | Country profiles
Quick guide: Arab League
04 Jan 02 | Country profiles
Timeline: Arab League
Internet links:

United Nations
Russian Government
US State Department
Iraqi Presidency

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites
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