Al-Wahdawi [Archives:2008/1142/Press Review]

March 31 2008

Saturday, March 29
Top Stories

– Popular rally: seawater is salty, what about promises made by Mr. President ahead of 2006 election

– Yemen hands four Qaeda suspects to Saudi Arabia

– Protestors hold government accountable for poor living standards and rampant corruption

– JMP Higher Council accuses ruling party of blocking path of change

– Hood discloses private confinements and human rights abuses in Ibb

– President Saleh quits Damascus Summit due to pressure from Saudi Arabia

Political observers attributed President Ali Abdullah Saleh's absence from the Damascus-based Arab Summit to pressures from Saudi Arabia on him during his most recent visit to the bordering kingdom, the website reported. “The Yemeni government's declaration that Vice President Abdurabbo Mansour Hadi would be head of its participating team in the summit came after Saleh conducted a short visit to the Saudi capital Riyadh on Tuesday, during which he deliberated with King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz on the level of representation at the summit” it went on to say. In addition, different local and international media outlets quoted a Yemeni official as saying, Friday, that Yemen president will skip the summit and plans to dispatch Vice President Abdurabbo Mansour Hadi as the head of his country's delegation to Damascus. The official note that the Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh will not attend the summit because of “special circumstances” without mentioning details. The Yemeni decision comes following the decision of the Jordanian monarch King Abdullah, the Saudi King Abdullah Bin Abdel Aziz , Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak not to personally participate in the summit .

Damascus is blamed for blocking the presidential elections and for this reason the leaders of the Arab countries that are friendly to Lebanon are boycotting the summit and sending low level delegations. Lebanon is the only Arab country that has decided to completely boycott the summitJordanian Minister of Information and Communication Nasser Joudah declared Friday that the Kingdom's representative at the Arab League Omar Rifai will head his country's delegation to the Arab summit to be held in Damascus on 29 and March 30. Syrian president Bashar al Al Assad officially invited Jordanian King Abdullah bin Hussein to attend the Arab summit to be held in Damascus.