Arab League concludes summit emphasising Gaza reconstruction

January 20th, 2009 - 9:14 pm ICT by IANS  

Kuwait City, Jan 20 (Xinhua) Leaders of the 22-member Arab League (AL) concluded their summit meeting here Tuesday with resolutions emphasising Gaza reconstruction and condemning the Israeli offensive.The Arab leaders agreed to rebuild Gaza through a rehabilitation and construction programme in coordination with the Palestinian National Authority (PNA), AL secretary general Amr Moussa said at the end of the two-day summit.

According to the resolutions, the leaders called for continuing humanitarian assistance to Gazans, providing financial and technical support for rebuilding the infrastructure, health services, and improving Palestinians’ living standards in the strip.

The leaders were expected to devise practical steps to stabilise the ceasefire in the Gaza Strip and devote aid to the reconstruction of the besieged coastal enclave.

However, the final resolutions stopped short of mentioning a highly-expected Arab fund worth $2 billion for the post-war reconstruction process in Gaza.

Meanwhile, Moussa said Arab foreign ministers held a closed-door meeting and studied the dangerous situation resulted from the Israeli aggression on Gaza that killed more than 1,300 Palestinians.

The diplomats condemned the Israeli attacks, demanded an immediate halt to military operations and swift withdrawal of the Israeli forces from Gaza, he added.

The two-day summit had been designed to be a chance for Arab leaders to sidestep political divisions and focus on economic matters.

Due to the Israeli military offensive on the besieged Palestinian enclave that began Dec 27, the Gaza situation had dominated the economic meeting, attended by 17 Arab heads of state and the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

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