Egypt snub to Syria on Arab summit

Minor cabinet minister, rather than the president, will head delegation to Damascus.

    The Arab League summit in Damascus is
    due to begin on Saturday [AFP]

    Snub
     
    The move comes after Saudi Arabia said it would only be sending its Arab League ambassador to the summit and Lebanon announced it would be boycotting the meeting altogether.
     
    Relations between Syria and the Arab allies of the US have deteriorated over a string of issues, including Syria's support for the Palestinian group Hamas and its alliance with Iran, as well as the situation in Lebanon.
     
    "This announcement by Egypt was really rather unexpected," said Amani Soliman, Al Jazeera's Middle East editor.
     
    "It seems that Saudi Arabia really set the tone."
     
    Walid al-Moallem, Syria's foreign minister stopped short of criticising Saudi Arabia and Egypt on Wednesday, but suggested the US was behind the Lebanon's boycott.
     
    Political stalemate
     
    Egypt and Saudi Arabia have both accused Damascus of preventing Lebanon from electing a new president.
     
    Lebanon's presidency has been vacant since November, when the term of Emile Lahoud, the pro-Syria president, ended.
     
    The Lebanese opposition, led by Hezbollah, which has links to Syria, has been boycotting parliament to prevent the body from choosing a successor.
     
    The US and its Arab allies, on the other hand, have heavily backed Lebanon's government, led by Fouad Siniora, the prime minister.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    What obstacles do young women in technology have to overcome to achieve their dreams? Play this retro game to find out.

    The War in October: What Happened in 1973?

    The War in October: What Happened in 1973?

    Al Jazeera examines three weeks of war from which both Arabs and Israelis claimed to emerge victorious.