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News // Politics

Saudi Arabia Calls Emergency Summit On The Gaza Strip Crisis

14 January 2009 , 13:10Ksenia Kochneva1212
Saudi King Abdullah called the summit due to escalating tensions "resulting from the Israeli aggression against the Palestinian people," SPA said.

Members of the Gulf Cooperation Council have "responded favourably" to the invitation and have confirmed "the participation of their country in the summit," the newsagency reported.

The GCC groups Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar and Oman.

The Arab League, meanwhile, suspended efforts to call a summit of its own in Doha and will instead invite Arab foreign ministers to attend a meeting in Kuwait on Friday.

The feud between Arab countries on what action to take in support of Hamas has threatened to divert attention from the plight of the Palestinians in Gaza, more than 1000 of whom have died in the powerful Israel air and ground campaign to destroy Hamas' military capability.

Saudi Arabia and Egypt have blamed the hardline Islamist movement for a split among Palestinians that contributed to the current violence.

Both countries backed the UN Security Council's call last Thursday for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza leading to a withdrawal of Israeli troops, a call that was rejected by Israel and ignored by Hamas.

Saudi Arabia has closely supported Egypt's efforts to negotiate a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, and on Tuesday the two endorsed discussions on Gaza by Arab League leaders at the group's economic summit scheduled for January 19 in Kuwait.

But Syria and Qatar have sought a harder Arab line in support of Hamas and against Israel, and are trying to shore up enough support to hold a meeting in Doha on Friday.

Besides Qatar and Syria, the UAE, Mauritania, Algeria, Syria, Morocco, Libya, Sudan, Lebanon, Yemen, Djibouti, Somalia, the Comoros, Oman and the Palestinian Authority have said they would attend, according to the Arab League.

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