"Doha: Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz walked out of the opening session of the Arab Summit in Doha on Monday, following remarks made by Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. Tempers flared shortly after the summit host Shaikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani, Emir of Qatar, ended his opening address, in which he said King Abdullah will represent the Arab nation at Thursday’s G20 economic summit in London. 'He is in fact the best representative any one could have,’ said Shaikh Hamad. The Arabs should be part of the restructuring of the global financial system, he said. ‘We should not sit on the sidelines watching.’ Following the speech, the Libyan leader took over the microphone without requesting a permission to speak, a Gulf News correspondent inside the meeting hall said. 'I don’t know why we should be happy that King Abdullah is representing us at the G20. He is a British-made monarch and an American agent,' Gaddafi said, and went on despite the repeated attempts by Shaikh Hamad to stop him. Frustrated over the attempts by the Emir of Qatar to stop his from talking, Gaddafi looked at the rest of the Arab leaders and said: 'I am the King of African Kings, I am the prince of the faithful and I don’t think my international prestige would allow me to sit with people like you.' The remark and the subsequent apology by the Emir of Qatar led to an angry walkout by King Abdullah, who few years earlier had a similar spat with Gaddafi. "Bonus pics [Thanks Diana]:
The summit, however, is unlikely to escape being the scene of squabbles over managing the reconciliation process between the Darfur leaders and Al-Bashir's regime. While Qatar is determined to pursue earlier efforts to conclude a comprehensive peace deal on that front other Arab countries -- especially Egypt -- are determined to deny Doha control over the issue. As a result the summit may not issue a resolution with clear language on the Darfur-Khartoum reconciliation process. The anticipated Egyptian-Qatari confrontation in Doha next week will not be confined to the management of the Darfur peace process. The diplomatic tug-of-war between the two countries that has continued for 12 months, especially over Palestinian reconciliation, is likely to cast a shadow across the Doha summit. With President Mubarak unlikely -- so far -- to attend, sending the foreign, or at best, prime minister, Qatar may not be so keen to avoid some squabbling over the text of resolutions to be adopted by the summit on the Palestinian issue. Sources say that Qatar has already suggested to several Arab countries that there is a need to break the "Egyptian monopoly" over Palestinian reconciliation. While this Qatari effort may not succeed -- as some Qatari officials acknowledge -- it would certainly impact on already tense Egyptian-Qatari relations.Update II: AP has a write-up saying:
Hosni Mubarak's decision, which came two days before the summit starts, already throws major doubts on its chances for success as the organization's foreign ministers pleaded for unity in the face of threats against its members.