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Bahrain King bypasses Arab summit

March 26, 2004 at 8:15 AM

MANAMA, Bahrain, March 26 (UPI) -- Bahrain announced Friday King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa will be absent from the Arab summit in Tunisia on March 29-30.

An official statement said Prime Minister Sheik Khalifa bin Salman al-Khalifa will lead Bahrain's delegation to the two-day summit.

Al-Khalifa is the second Arab leader to say he would not attend the summit. Saudi de-facto ruler Crown Prince Abdullah made a similar announcement earlier, fueling reports the parley might be postponed.

But in Tunisia, Arab foreign ministers working on the summit's agenda dismissed the reports vowing to ensure the parley's success.

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