Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal arrived in Doha yesterday to attend the 16th session of the conference of foreign ministers of the Damascus Declaration countries, which comprise the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states plus Egypt and Syria. A communique was issued at the end of the meeting.
In a press statement on his arrival, Prince Saud Al-Faisal called on Iraq to accept the Security Council resolution, stressing that if Iraq seeks the common good of the Arab world, it has to accept that resolution and avert suffering for all, including Iraqis. Commenting on the Kingdom's stance towards the on-going Iraq crisis, he said: "We are for a diplomatic solution and against creating problems. The Arab world is in no need of problems."
The conference began its deliberations yesterday evening, and continued its working sessions today under the chairmanship of Qatari foreign minister Sheikh Hamad Ibn Jassim Ibn Jaber Al-Thani. In his opening address yesterday, the Qatari foreign minister deplored the difficulties facing the Middle East peace process, blaming the Israeli government and its Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for the current impasse and praising the efforts of U.S. President Bill Clinton in bringing about the Wye Memorandum. As for the Iraqi crisis, he said this will only be resolved when Iraq complies with all UN resolutions, and appealed to the Iraqi leadership to reverse its decision in halting cooperation with UNSCOM.
Meanwhile, Prince Saud Al-Faisal met today with Egyptian foreign minister Amr Mousa, to exchange viewpoints and discuss issues on the conference's agenda.