Arab summit opens in Khartoum, 12 states represented
Khartoum, Mar 28: An Arab summit opened in the Sudanese capital Khartoum today (Mar 28, 2006) with only about 12 heads of state present, a disappointment for the Sudanese hosts who wanted a show of solidarity against international criticism.
Other governments from the 22-member Arab League sent senior representatives such as prime ministers.
Among the most notable absentees were President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt, the most populous Arab country, and King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, the richest member.
They will talk about financial support for the Palestinian Authority after a Hamas government takes office, Arab attempts to reconcile Iraqi political factions and the conflict in the Darfur region of western Sudan, which has set the Khartoum government against the United Nations and United States.
Their foreign ministers have pledged to maintain Arab assistance to the Palestinian Authority at 55 million dollars a month, less than the Palestinians will need if the European Union and other donors cut off funds in protest at Hamas's refusal to recognise Israel.