Thursday, Mar 06, 2003
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By Atul Aneja
Consequently, the live television broadcast of the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) summit's opening speeches was put on hold as the shouting persisted and the Kuwaiti delegation walked out briefly.
``You are insolent. You are a traitor to the Islamic nation,'' Mr. Ibrahim added as Qatar's Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani intervened to stop him.
The incident is unlikely to help in persuading Mr. Hussein to step down so that Iraq can be ruled under a U.N. administration as proposed by the six Persian Gulf States ahead of the OIC emergency summit on Iraq.
As it is, the OIC special summit has received a lukewarm response from member-States as only one-fourth of the countries belonging to the 57-nation grouping have sent their delegations to Doha. Saudi Arabia and Libya had also got into a slanging match at the Arab League summit that was held in Cairo recently. After Mr. Ibrahim had ended his verbal assault, the Kuwait official said, "These are all lies. These are the words of an infidel and a charlatan.'' The Kuwaiti Information Minister told reporters subsequently said that Mr. Ibrahim's behaviour "proves that Iraq still harbours enmity toward Kuwait.''
He said Kuwait would lodge a formal protest with the OIC but was not pulling out of the daylong summit. Israel in the meantime, is stepping up its defence against a possible missile attack from Iraq by completing the deployments of the Patriot anti-missile systems in the Tel Aviv area. The Patriot missiles will form the second line of defence, as the Israel will first fire its Arrow missiles to counter any Iraqi missile attack.
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