Iraqi FM in Cairo to persuade Arab League not to cancel summit

Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari arrived in Cairo Thursday for talks with the Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa regarding the Arab Summit scheduled for 12 May in Baghdad.

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) has requested the summit be cancelled because of Iraq's support for pro-democracy protesters and its stance against Bahrain's crackdown on demonstrators. 

Zebari's one-day visit to Cairo aims to persuade Moussa that the summit should not be cancelled. Hosting the summit is an opportunity for Iraq to improve international and regional perceptions of its security and political stability.

Zebari said Monday that Iraq has made extensive preparations, including spending around US$450 million on infrastructure such as hotels and conference halls. 

Diplomatic sources told Al-Masry Al-Youm they anticipated escalated tension between the Iraqi government and Gulf countries if the Arab League cancels the summit.

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