Morocco proposes Arab summit in bid to avert war in gulf

November 12, 1990|By New York Times News Service

AMMAN, Jordan -- King Hassan II of Morocco called yesterday for an emergency Arab summit meeting to avert a war in the Persian Gulf.

In a speech broadcast on the Moroccan radio, King Hassan, whose deployment of 1,200 troops was among the first Arab commitments to defend Saudi Arabia, warned that conflict was drawing near and that he was willing to be the host of an Arab summit within the next week "to give peace a last chance."

In its initial reaction, Iraq's official press agency criticized Morocco for failing to consult Baghdad before making its proposal. But the statement said Iraq might attend such a meeting if it was consulted about the timing, location and subjects to be discussed, and if these included discussion of the Arab-Israeli dispute.

"The proposed summit should not be part of efforts to prepare the political theater as a cover for American aggression against Iraq and the Arab nation," Baghdad declared.

There was no immediate reaction from other Arab states to the Moroccan proposal.

Iraq's President Saddam Hussein said yesterday that Baghdad was ready to enter a dialogue concerning "the requirements for security in our region" provided the Palestinian question was included. Mr. Hussein's latest repetition of the terms under which he is ready to discuss the crisis came in an interview with the Independent Television News of Britain before Hassan's call for an Arab summit.

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