One of America’s closest Arab allies has attacked the war in Iraq as an “illegitimate foreign occupation.” Speaking at the start of a summit of the Arab League in Riyadh, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia hit out at the Bush administration. He accused it of putting Iraq at risk of a civil war and trying to unilaterally write the future of the Middle-East.
It is set to be a very politically charged two day meeting. King Abdullah also demanded the immediate lifting of the international embargo against the Palestinian authority. And Arab leaders have voted unanimously to revive their 2002 peace offer to Israel.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon described the situation in the Middle East as “dangerous”. He said he had exhorted Israel to take a new look at the Arab peace offer which it rejected five years ago. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said this could be a last chance for peace with Israel. The Arab peace plan demands, among other things, an Israeli withdrawal from all land occupied since the 1967 war.