Saudi king offers $1bn at Arab summit to rebuild Gaza (Lead)

January 19th, 2009 - 9:01 pm ICT by IANS  

Kuwait City, Jan 19 (Xinhua) Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdul-Aziz Monday announced $1 billion in aid for Gaza reconstruction at the ongoing Arab League summit here.The leaders of the 22-member Arab League (AL) and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon are meeting here to discuss a range of issues, including Gaza and the economic crisis.

Earlier at the summit, Kuwait offered $34 million to the UN to enable its relief work in Gaza.

The Saudi King denounced the violence in Gaza which left more than 1,400 people dead and 5,000 others injured.

“Israel must realise that choice between peace and war will not always remain open-ended, and the Arab peace initiative will not always remain on the table forever,” he said.

The summit, called by Kuwait’s Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, is expected to create a “road map” for the development of the Arab economy as well as other social and developmental issues.

Officials said the summit is first of its kind since the establishment of the bloc in 1945.

The two-day summit, which comes amid the global financial crisis, would address issues like poverty, health, education, employment and water, among others.

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