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Beirut talks of Arab summit boycott

Feb. 4, 2010 at 1:20 PM

BEIRUT, Lebanon, Feb. 4 (UPI) -- Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa intervened in a dust-up between Beirut and Tripoli over a threat to boycott the March summit for the Arab League.

Nabih Berri, the Lebanese speaker of Parliament, called for a boycott of the Arab League summit in Libya because Beirut believes Tripoli played a role in the disappearance of Shiite scholar Imam Musa Sadr more than 30 years ago.

"I personally stand with the boycott, but only President Michel Suleiman can decide on Lebanon's participation in Libya's Arab League Summit," the speaker said.

Moussa is speaking with Beirut on the issue, noting a Lebanese boycott would create a similar reaction in the Shiite community, Gulf News reports.

Beirut blames Moammar Gadhafi and his strongmen for the disappearance of Sadr and two of his associates during a 1978 trip to Libya. Beirut believes Sadr was killed following a row with the Libyan leader.

Tripoli, however, contends Sadr was killed amid an internal Shiite dispute after he left Libya for Rome.

Lebanese Shiite leader Abdul Amir Qabalan has described Libya as a "tyrant state" but called on Arab leaders to pressure Gadhafi ahead of the March summit.

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Topics: Nabih Berri
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