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31.03.2009 Africa

Gaddafi Storms Out Of Arab League

By Daily Guide
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Muammar Gaddafi Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi has stormed out of the Arab League summit in Qatar having denounced the Saudi king for his ties with the West.

He disrupted the opening session by criticising King Abdullah, calling him a British product and an American ally.

Col Gaddafi has angered Arab leaders in the past with sharp remarks at summits.

Meanwhile, leaders have been urged to reject an international arrest warrant against Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir for war crimes in Darfur.

Arrest first "those who have committed massacres and atrocities in Palestine, Iraq and Lebanon", Syria's President Bashar al-Assad said.

The summit is also expected to discuss Iran's influence in the Middle East.

A number of countries are particularly concerned about Iran's support for Hezbollah in Lebanon and for Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

Regional grudge
Col Gaddafi's grudge against King Abdullah goes back to an Arab meeting shortly before the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, when they exchanged harsh words.

"Now after six years, it has [been] proved that you were the liar," said the Libyan leader.

He added that he now considered their "problem" over and was ready to reconcile. BBC

But when the emir of Qatar switched off his microphone, Col Gaddafi insisted that he could not be denied the right to address the summit as - he called himself - the dean of the Arab rulers, the king of kings of Africa and the imam of Muslims.

Splits among the Arab League nations have become glaring, says the BBC's Katya Adler who is in Doha, over Arab nations' differing attitudes to internal Palestinian divisions between the Fatah movement of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and the Islamist militant group Hamas.

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