Fewer than half the leaders of the Arab world showed up at an Arab League summit in Baghdad yesterday, a snub to the Iraqi government that reflects the sectarian division between Sunnis and Shias and the rivalry with neighbouring Iran.
As the summit opened in a former palace of Saddam Hussein, the Sunni monarchs of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, other Gulf nations and Jordan and Morocco were absent.
The only ruler from the Gulf to attend was the Emir of Kuwait, Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah.
In a sign that the security situation in the country remains fragile, a rocket exploded on the edge of the fortified Green Zone, where the summit was taking place. It was fired near the Iranian embassy despite a security clampdown, with 100,000 extra security forces deployed and a curfew on vehicles.