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Arab leaders are gathering in Doha, the Qatari capital, for a two-day summit likely to be dominated by the international arrest warrant issued against Omar al-Bashir, the Sudanese president.

But the run-up to the summit, which opens on Monday, has been marked by stark differences among Arab leaders, particularly over how to deal with Iran.

Underlining the discord has been the decision by Hosni Mubarak, the Egyptian president, not to attend the summit. He is sending a low-level delegation instead.

Meanwhile, Morocco’s King Mohammed VI has decided to stay away from the summit and has instead sent his brother Moulay Rachid, who has no official title.

It is also not clear whether the kings of Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Bahrain will attend the conference.

Instead, the foreign ministers of those countries, in a meeting on Sunday, adopted a draft final statement that glossed over contentious issues, focusing on “general resolutions that reflect the Arab consensus”.


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