"I call for an extraordinary Arab summit on Wednesday 3 August in Sharm al-Shaikh, which will be preceded by a meeting of Arab foreign ministers ... with a view to reviewing the situation in the Arab world," Mubarak said in a televised address on Thursday.

"I am fully confident that this coming extraordinary summit will be capable of crystallising a strong Arab position that reflects the determination of the Arab states and peoples to overcome the current challenges, and to achieve the peace and stability that all Arabs long for," he added.

Mubarak underscored the need to "formulate a common Arab vision" on the Palestinian and Iraq questions and "the many challenges that might drive the region to dangerous paths".

Palestinian Deputy Prime Minister Nabil Shaath was among the first to confirm high-level attendance at the summit, saying that Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas would be coming to the emergency event.

Important time

"I am fully confident that this coming extraordinary summit will be capable of crystallising a strong Arab position that reflects the determination of the Arab states and peoples to overcome the current challenges, and to achieve the peace and stability that all Arabs long for"

Hosni Mubarak,
Egyptian president

"This summit is very important because it comes at the very important time after the terrorist attacks in Sharm al-Shaikh and before the Israeli withdrawal," from the occupied Gaza Strip, he said.

The Arab League, which is headquartered in Cairo, later said it had already sent invitations to all its 22 members.

Arab League representatives will meet on Saturday to finalise the agenda, a source at the pan-Arab organisation said.

Arab foreign ministers are to meet in Sharm al-Sheikh a day before the summit opens.

"The ministers will, among other things, work on a final draft resolution," to be adopted by Arab heads of states at the summit, a source at the Arab League said.