Arab League chief kicks off tour to mend inter-Arab rifts

Other News Materials 7 February 2009 20:52 (UTC +04:00)

Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa made a brief visit to Sana'a on Saturday in the first leg of a tour aimed at healing the rifts among Arab states exposed by the Israeli offensive in the Gaza Strip, dpa reported.

Moussa held talks with Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh on "efforts to achieve inter-Arab reconciliation and solidarity," Yemen's state news agency Saba reported.

In remarks after the brief meeting, Moussa warned that "the Arab world is going through a dangerous situation and the current Arab split affects every aspect."

Arab countries were mired in deep rifts last month over how to deal with the Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip, with some nations calling for tough action but others opting for a more moderate approach.

The split was highlighted after Egypt and Saudi Arabia stayed away from an emergency summit called by Qatar. The summit did not get the quorum of two-thirds of Arab League member states required for a formal Arab summit.

"We have to contain this situation, and we will work to reach this target in the coming annual summit (in Doha)," Moussa said.

He said the gaps were "getting larger," adding that efforts were going on by Arab leaders to fill those gabs.

"We hope those efforts would achieve good results," Moussa said.

He said the division among Arab countries "leads to widening the inter-Palestinian split and could affect chances for solving the Palestinian cause."

After the several-hour visit, Moussa left Sana'a for Amman, after which he will visit Doha, Yemeni officials said.