Arab leaders warned on Wednesday against outside interference in internal Arab affairs, in response to comments by several groups about protecting minorities in the Middle East that have angered some countries in the region, DPA reborted
They "totally reject attempts by some countries or sides, especially Western ones, to interfere in internal Arab affairs, under any excuse, including protecting minorities," according to a statement released on the sidelines of an economic summit held in Egypt's Sharm el-Sheikh city.
"This is a warning message from the Arab world to whoever would want to interfere in internal affairs of the member states of the Arab League," Egypt's Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit told reporters, commenting on the statement.
The statement also condemned terrorism attacks in the region, including a Baghdad church attack last October and another outside a church in Egypt's coastal city of Alexandria on New Year's Day, both of which targeted Christians.
Christians are considered the largest minority groups in both Egypt and Iraq.
Egypt has recently recalled its ambassador to the Vatican over "interfering" comments made by Pope Benedict XVI following the Alexandria bombing.
The pontiff spoke about Christians in Iraq and Egypt, and said that "the right to religious freedom is not fully respected when only freedom of worship is guaranteed, and that with restrictions."
French President Nicolas Sarkozy also said the recent violence against Christians is a "perverse plan of religious cleansing in the Middle East."