Ahmadinejad joins Gaza emergency summit in Qatari capital

January 16, 2009 13:42

Iran's president and the top Hamas political leader were making a surprise appearance Friday at an emergency summit of Arab leaders in the Qatari capital, aiming to show their weight in diplomatic efforts surrounding the Gaza crisis. US allies Egypt and Saudi Arabia are boycotting the Doha summit, fearing that Hamas and its allies Syria and Iran will use it as a platform for a hard-line position and hurt Egypt's efforts to mediate a Hamas-Israel cease-fire. The presidents of Syria and Lebanon are also in Doha, along with Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal. Qatar's ruler Sheik Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani called the gathering in a bid to find a unified Arab position on Israel's offensive in the coastal strip, now in its 21st day.

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