Do at least a few of the Arab leaders have the guts and the ability to take this step? Past history indicates no...but hope springs eternal!
Arab nations plan antiwar vote at U.N.
Annan meets with Arab ambassadors
From Ronni Berke and Vivienne Foley
UNITED NATIONS (CNN) --Arab nations plan to go to the U.N. General Assembly to ask for a resolution condemning the U.S.-British-led coalition in Iraq and calling for troop withdrawal.
Secretary-General Kofi Annan met in New York Monday with ambassadors from Arab nations to brief them on Iraq and hear their concerns on the conflict, his spokesman said.
The Arab League failed to get a resolution passed in the Security Council last week.
While a General Assembly resolution carries no legal authority, a decision from the General Assembly represents the weight of world opinion.
Briefing covered aid plan
After the meeting, Annan said, "They are concerned about the Iraqi population and civilian casualties. They are also anxious that assistance should get to the cities and to the people as soon as possible. But of course, they are worried as to how all this is going to turn out, which nobody really knows."
Arab League U.N. Ambassador Yahya Mahmassani said Annan discussed the recently approved resolution on the oil-for-food program -- which gave the United Nations 45-day authority to take control of existing contracts to provide food and medicine in Iraq.
"The secretary-general briefed us on the last resolution adopted by the Security Council and on his intentions to implement it and provide humanitarian assistance to the Iraqi people," Mahmassani said.
"The Arab group, while welcoming the idea of providing assistance to the Iraqi people, underlined the situation is a question of occupation and invasion, and there is a government recognized by the U.N. still operating in Baghdad."
Annan is expected to meet throughout the week with representatives of the five regional groups at the United Nations to exchange views on Iraq, spokesman Fred Eckhard said.