Arab Summit, Sheer Disappointment [Archives:2000/43/Front Page]

October 23 2000

Arab leaders concluded Sunday their emergency Summit conference in Cairo by adopting a closing communique. The communique pledged support for the Palestinians and condemned Israels bloody crackdown on protesting Palestinians. A final resolution by the summit approved setting up 1 billion US
dollars to help Palestinians and called for the United Nations to set up an international tribunal to try Israeli war criminals and establish an international force to ensure protection of the Palestinians.
During the 2-day summits opinions differed about decisions to be taken against Israel. Such opinions can be classified as strong such as those of Yemen, Sudan and Syria and moderate such as those of countries that already have relations, contacts and cooperation with Israel like Egypt, Jordan and Morocco. Libyas representative Abdulmonam Al-Honi walked out of the summit meetings.
In his speech during the opening ceremony, President Saleh asserted his countrys commitment to support the Palestinians to defend themselves and their land. He called for establishing a fund to support them and to establish international forces to protect defenseless Palestinians against the Zionist atrocities. He also called for more Arab solidarity and joint action to lift the unjust sanctions on Iraq.
During a closed-door session participants were briefed on results of Sharm Al-Sheikh summit and listened to the final report prepared by the Arab foreign ministers.
On the other hand more than one million demonstrators took to the streets in Sanaa and gathered in a massive rally at Al-Sabaeen square on Saturday in protest against Israels crimes against the Palestinians in the occupied territories and as a message to the Arab leaders holding their summit. The demonstrations included more than 50 thousand women and many tribal leaders who flew to Sanaa with their weapons chanting anti-Israel and anti-America slogans protesting the massacre against Palestinians, calling to open doors for Jihad. Among demonstrators were also a number of ministers and political leaders.
Demonstrators marched through Sanaa streets holding banners condemning Israel and the American stance. A number of speeches were also delivered in the solidarity festival in Al-Sabaeen Square which all called for Jihad, supporting Palestinians with money and boycotting Israel.
At the end of the festival a number of letters were sent to the Arab summit, Islamic Conference and other organizations.
Similar demonstrations were organized in other Yemeni governorates like Taiz and Hodeidah, as well.