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Arab League chief Amr Mussa arrived in Yemen on Saturday in the first leg of a regional tour aimed at healing a rift that opened between Arab states during the 22-day war in Gaza, a spokesman said.

Mussa will try “to clear the air and to examine ways to deal with the current situation,” Arab League official Hisham Yussef told reporters.

Mussa will meet Jordanian King Abdullah on Sunday and then will travel to Qatar and Saudi Arabia, Yussef said.

The war in Gaza, which ended on January 22, exposed deep divisions between Egypt and Saudi Arabia on the one hand and Syria and Qatar on the other.

Egypt faced criticism for refusing to permanently open its Rafah border crossing with Gaza, while Syria accused it of bias towards the Palestinian Fatah movement in reconciliation talks with rival faction Hamas, Gaza’s rulers.

Cairo has lashed out at Arab countries it says have done nothing to help the Palestinian cause and offer only rhetoric. It has also criticised Iran, which backed Hamas during the war, for “interfering” in an Arab cause.

Egypt has also said it “foiled” a summit on Gaza in Qatar last month, which it boycotted.

The foreign ministers of eight Arab states, including Egypt, met in the UAE last week and said they will continue consultations on overcoming their differences in an upcoming Arab League meeting in Cairo on March 3.


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