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Kuwait prepares to host its first Arab League summit - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Kuwait’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Al Khaled Al Sabah, center, participates in a press conference with Kuwait's Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs, Sheikh Mohammed Al Abdulla Al Sabah, right, and Secretary of the Arab League Nabil El-Araby, left, in Kuwait on Thursday, March 20, 2014. (AP Photo / Nasser Waggi)

Kuwait’’s Foreign Minister, Sheikh Sabah Al Khaled Al Sabah (C), participates in a press conference with Kuwait’s Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs, Sheikh Mohammed Al Abdulla Al Sabah (R), and Arab League secretary Nabil Elaraby (L), in Kuwait on Thursday, March 20, 2014. (AP Photo / Nasser Waggi)

London/Kuwait City, Asharq Al-Awsat—As the Arab Summit, to be held in Kuwait next week, draws closer, Kuwaiti Information Minister Sheikh Salman Sabah Al-Humoud Al Sabah told Asharq Al-Awsat that no single topic should dominate the summit’s agenda.

Thirteen heads of state have so far confirmed their attendance at the Arab Summit, which will take place on March 25 and 26, with Arab foreign ministers set to hold a preparatory meeting on Sunday to finalize the summit’s agenda. This is the first Arab summit to be hosted by Kuwait since it joined the Arab League on June 20, 1961, and comes during a critical time in the region’s history. The summit’s agenda is expected to include discussion of the ongoing Syrian conflict, the Palestinian–Israeli peace process, and diplomatic tensions between a number of Arab states.

In exclusive comments to Asharq Al-Awsat, Kuwaiti Minister for Cabinet Affairs Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah Al-Mubarak Al Sabah said that the summit will seek to find solutions to a number of ongoing issues.

He said: “Wisdom always prevails among Arab leaders during difficult times . . . Kuwait always plays the role of calming [tensions] and supporting cooperation and joint [Arab] interests.”

In remarks to Egyptian state news agency MENA, Arab League secretary-general Nabil Elaraby confirmed that the Palestinian cause will be one of the main issues on the summit’s agenda, in addition to the Syrian crisis.

Kuwaiti state news agency KUNA reported that “top diplomats will be discussing draft resolutions on the Palestinian cause, the Arab–Israeli conflict and activating the Arab peace initiative, since US Secretary of State John Kerry said the Israelis and Palestinians could not reach an agreement by next month.”

“They will reject recognition of Israel as a Jewish state, which, if happens, would undermine the right of the Palestinian people to return to their lands and the compensation of Palestinian refugees,” the statement added.

Hatim Betioui and Sawsan Abu Husain contributed to reporting from Kuwait City.