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Twilight Zone at the Arab League

Michael Sharnoff

At the Arab League summit that took place in Doha, Qatar yesterday, Arab leaders warmly embraced Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, who is defying an arrest warrant from the International Criminal Court for war crimes and crimes against humanity for his role in the genocide in Darfur.

The circus atmosphere at the summit continued when Libyan strongman Moammar Gadhafi launched a tirade against Saudi Arabia, and then proclaimed to be “the dean of the Arab rulers, the king of kings of Africa and the imam (leader) of Muslims,” before storming out to visit a museum.

While this year’s summit has been marked by particularly odd events, storming out during Arab summits is not atypical. During the August 1990 Cairo summit, Iraqi Foreign Minister Mohammad Said al-Sahhaf stormed out after Iraq was condemned for occupying Kuwait. The March 2002 Beirut summit denied Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat a platform to speak, prompting the Palestinian delegation to walk out.