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Arab summit causing fury in Lebanon

March 11, 2008 at 12:14 PM   |   Comments

BEIRUT, Lebanon, March 11 (UPI) -- Lebanese officials, citing a long-standing row with Syria and Lebanon's own political vacuum, might not attend the upcoming Arab League summit, ministers said.

Lebanese Communications Minister Marwan Hamada said Tuesday the decision to attend the summit "has not yet been made as long as no invitation has turned up," noting the final decision "is still under consideration," the Kuwaiti news agency reported Tuesday.

Lebanon is the only Arab country that hasn't received a formal invitation from Syrian officials.

Meanwhile, Lebanese Member of Parliament Walid Jumblatt called on a general Arab boycott of the summit in the Arab weekly, al-Anbaa.

"Participating in the summit is a reward for the crimes of the Assad regime," Jumblatt said.

Hamada also noted there is no formal way to accept an invitation as the Lebanese Cabinet is assuming presidential duties. Lebanon has been without a president since the term of Emile Lahoud expired in November.

The annual Arab League meeting is scheduled for March 29-30 in Damascus.

© 2008 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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