Arab League postpones Baghdad summit

The Arab summit scheduled for March in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad has been postponed until 15 May, said state owned Middle East News Agency (MENA) on Wednesday.

MENA quoted an anonymous diplomatic source as saying the decision came during a closed meeting conducted by Arab ministers on Wednesday. The source added that an official decision will be issued at the closing session of the Council of the League of Arab States. Iraqi sources said the decision to postpone the summit is due to protests taking place in Arab countries.

During the league’s summit held in Libya in March, officials decided Iraq would host the 2011 summit. However, they stipulated that Arab foreign ministers would be required to confirm the Baghdad location prior to the summit.
Iraqi officials previously announced the government's decision to allocate US$300 million for infrastructural improvements in order to provide a conference building for the summit and accommodations for participants.

The officials had also said that the choice of Baghdad as the location for the summit was evidence of stability in the country despite ongoing problems.

Some observers say the situation in Iraq will not be a top summit priority given recent developments in Tunisia, Egypt and other Arab countries.

 Translated from the Arabic Edition.


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