King Hussein of Jordan opened an Arab summit conference in Amman on Tuesday (25 November) with an appeal for Palestinian rights and Arab unity.
SV King Hussein of Jordan and President Saddam Hussein of Iraq inspecting guard of honour at Amman airport (3 shots)
SV PAN Delegates to Arab Summit seated at conference table.
SV PAN Delegates seated, with empty chairs, at conference table
SV ZOOM IN King Hussein speaking in Arabic
GV Conference in session
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Background: King Hussein of Jordan opened an Arab summit conference in Amman on Tuesday (25 November) with an appeal for Palestinian rights and Arab unity. But no Palestinian were there to hear the appeal and a quarter of the seats in the conference hall remained empty because of a boycott which has dealt the most serious blow to Arab solidarity for a decade. Moderates and radicals among the Arab nations are divided both on the settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict and the Iran-Iraq war.
SYNOPSIS: King Hussein met Iraqi President Saddam Hussein at Amman airport. The king has supported Iraq in the war with Iran since hostilities started. But not all of the Arab nations agree with the Jordanian position. Another problem which emerged before the summit began was a difference of opinion on how to deal with Israel.
With political issues so divided, economic policy discussions moved to the top of the summit agenda. The conference is considering a comprehensive economic charter aimed at achieving balanced development and national security, The overall strategy is to lure Arab oil revenues from traditional investment, financed by 10 percent of each country's gross national product. This would be followed by a further series of investment programmes to the end of the century.
But political differences within the meeting were much in evidence. A Syrian-led boycott led to dozens of empty chairs. The Palestine Liberation Organisation and four Arab countries did not attend. One aim of the summit is to draw up a new Arab strategy against Israel. But it is feared the absence of Syria and the P.L.O. might compromise this objective. King Hussein's opening speech specifically dealt with Arab unity. He warned of the internal threat from disunity saying that conflicts between Arab governments would lead to crisis. This was a reference to the Syrian-led boycott which came about because of inter-Arab disagreement over Iraq's role in the Gulf War.