Mubarak, Arabs calls for end of war

CAIRO, March 22 (UPI) -- Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak called Saturday for an end to U.S. military operations in Iraq and for preserving Iraq's unity and sovereignty.

Mubarak said during a cabinet meeting convened to discuss the Iraq war that "military operations should not be expanded and should be stopped as soon as possible."


"All parties should quickly move towards a peaceful settlement that would be in agreement with the U.N. Charter and principles," said Mubarak.

Mubarak partially held the Iraqi leadership responsible for the outbreak of the war and expressed readiness to cooperate with all parties to achieve a peaceful settlement that would preserve the safety of the Iraqi people, help maintain stability in the region, and respect international laws.

Meanwhile, the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council, Saturday said it was "very concerned" by the war the U.S. launched against Iraq.

The GCC said in a statement issued in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, that the council "has exerted every effort to avert arriving at this tragic situation."

The statement added that it hoped "these developments do not escalate to add to the suffering of the brotherly Iraqi people."

The oil-rich states said they were "keen on getting out of this crisis facing the region and to strengthen security and stability."


The GCC -- Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates -- said it hoped the military operations would "stop as soon as possible to prevent more losses and innocent civilian victims, and to return to peaceful efforts."

It also rejected "tampering with Iraq's territorial unity and independence," calling on "the need for the GCC countries, particularly Kuwait, to avoid (participation) in military operations."

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