Saudi Arabia to shun G8 meet

Saudi Arabia follow's Cairo's lead and opts to stay away from next month's G8 summit where the United States is to unveil its Middle East reform plan.

    Saudis are unhappy with US reforms plan for the Middle East

    Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal bin Abd al-Aziz Al Saud told Arabic daily al-Hayat on Friday his country "did not have any intention" of taking part in the meeting on 8-11 June in the United States.

    The kingdom is the second US Arab ally after Egypt to stay away from the meeting in opposition to Washington's "Great Middle East Initiative."

    Egypt had already turned down a US invitation to the summit because of the reform plan.

    Many Arabs have criticized the initiative, designed to counter militant Islam with political and social changes, for seeking to impose reform from abroad and for failing to address key regional issues such as the Arab-Israeli conflict.

    Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmad Mahir said Arab identity should not be "dissolved" into a wider region under the US plan.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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