Arab leaders hold surprise summit
Thursday 29 December 1994
The summit, only acknowledged by Egypt after the arrival of President Hafez al-Assad, of Syria, was aimed at "resolving Arab differences and co-ordinating efforts towards solidarity", according to the Egyptian Information Minister, Safwat Sherif.
"At a summit like this I think all the issues will be discussed - the Middle East peace process, Arab relations and international issues," he said shortly before foreign ministers of the three countries were due to start preparatory talks.
President Assad and King Fahd of Saudi Arabia held separate meetings with President Mubarak when they arrived.
Egyptian officials had suggested that the Libyan leader, Muammar Gaddafi, and President Ali Abdullah Saleh, of Yemen, might also come to Egypt, but Mr Sherif said no more heads of state would be coming. He gave little indication of the specific subjects the summit would address.
Saudi, Egyptian and Syrian troops helped drive Iraqi forces out of Kuwait in 1991. In the same year the three countries signed the Damascus Declaration, a defence and economic pact with Kuwait and four other Gulf Arab states. Egypt and Syria feel the Gulf states have not lived up to the expectations created by the agreement.
Egypt has sought acknowledgement that it has a role to play in the Gulf, but when Iraqi troops gathered near the Kuwaiti border in October the Gulf Arab states turned to the United States for support. Syria has also sought more backing from the six Gulf states to secure full Israeli withdrawal from the Golan Heights.
Diplomats say Syria was upset by the decision of the six Gulf Arab states to drop a 46-year-old boycott of companies trading with the Jewish state.
Mr Mubarak told Kuwait's al-Watan newspaper that he believed President Assad and the Israeli Prime Minister, Yitzhak Rabin, were serious about the peace process.
The Egyptian leader added: "I think an agreement will be reached during 1995."
When teaching the meaning of Christmas backfires
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
New era of cheap oil 'will destroy green revolution'
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Ukip founder Alan Sked and Nigel Farage 'begged Enoch Powell to stand as a candidate'
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant
£25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established media firm based in Surrey is ...
£40000 - £470000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: Java Developer / J2EE Devel...
£70000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Head of Finance - Financial Controller - Fina...
£30000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This small technology business ...