View Full Version : Arab League backs Iraq council

09 Sep 03,, 00:33
Arab League backs Iraq council

The Arab League will allow a delegation from Iraq's governing council to take up the country's seat at this week's meeting of the organisation.
The decision was reached after a late-night session of Arab foreign ministers in Cairo, lasting nearly six hours.

Led by Iraq's new Foreign Minister, Hoshyar Zebari, who was named by the US-appointed council, the delegation will now be able to attend the full, regular ministerial meeting of the 22-member league on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The decision is seen as crucial to winning regional acceptance for the interim government in Baghdad, correspondents say.

Iraq's seat on the pan-Arab group's council of ministers has remained empty since Saddam Hussein was ousted in April.

New cabinet

The decision was announced by Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal.

"There was an Arab consensus in this meeting to invite the Governing Council in Iraq to attend this session as a member," he said.

According to Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Maher the decision was unanimous.

Mr Zebari, who is a member of Iraq's Kurdish minority and spent most of his adult life fighting the regime of Saddam Hussein, was sworn in as foreign minister last week, along with the rest of the new Iraqi cabinet.

Arab governments have not formally recognised the governing council for fear of giving legitimacy to the American occupation of Iraq.

As much else surrounding Iraq, the issue has divided the Arab world with some countries for and others opposed to accepting anyone nominated by the council, says the BBC's Magdi Abdelhadi in Cairo.

Last month, the ministers from 11 Arab states and the Palestinian Authority refused to recognise the council as a legitimate government and ruled out sending troops to help US forces stabilise Iraq.


11 Sep 03,, 00:52
Hooray for Iraq!!! I'm glad things are starting to go their way, hope it keeps up.