Bahrain king floats Islamic summit on Gaza
Manama, January 10, 2009
The king of Bahrain has proposed a summit of Islamic countries to press for an end to Israeli attacks on Gaza after calls for a meeting of Arab leaders failed to bring them together.
"Let the feelings and words turn to actions for peace," the official Bahrain News Agency quoted King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa as saying at a cabinet meeting of the US ally.
"We have stated that we approve of holding an Arab summit since the beginning and we are still waiting for invitations to take part, but if an Arab summit proved unattainable why cannot there be an Islamic summit?"
Qatar and Syria have called for a summit of Arab states to discuss Israeli raids on Gaza shortly after Israel began its offensive in the costal enclave ruled by militant group Hamas.
But Arab governments in a meeting on December 31 decided to take their case for an end to Israel's attacks on Gaza to the United Nations Security Council and have been pressing for a binding resolution to force Israel to end its offensive.
Israel's attack on Gaza has deepened the divide in the Arab world between Islamists with popular appeal and authoritarian governments seen as siding with Israel and the United States.-Reuters