First Published: 2003-04-01

Mussa warns of Iraq war spilling over

'The day Baghdad falls, is the beginning of the real war... with a lot of violence,' says Arab league chief.


Middle East Online

They are going to let the genie out of the jar

ATHENS - Arab League Secretary General Amr Mussa expressed concern here Monday that the Iraq war could spill over and destabilise the entire Middle East.

"The day Baghdad falls, is the beginning of the real war... with a lot of violence and confrontation," Mussa said in an interview on Greek state television estimating that extremist groups will find fertile ground throughout the region.

"They (the United States and Britain) have miscalculated... they are going to let the genie out of the jar," he said, adding that the war against Iraq will be long.

"The perception we see on television every day with Baghdad being hit around the clock is hard for any Arab to swallow," Mussa explained after meeting Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou, whose country holds the EU presidency.

But Mussa also said the Arab League has no concrete plans to back Syria, accused by the United States of supporting terrorist groups and Saddam Hussein. Mussa said the case was already covered by the Arab league's existing anti-war resolutions.

"We are consulting. We cannot talk about a certain, concrete initiative at this moment. The position of the Arab League was very clear against war in Iraq. It will be the same in case there is any attack against any Arab country".

Mussa also aired his distrust regarding a US-backed proposal for a roadmap to resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict. "We've heard all that before," he said in the interview, adding that there will be no stability in the region without a settlement.

Papandreou said the European Union has focused efforts on humanitarian assistance for Iraq rather than finding a political solution at this moment. "We all see a real human drama unfolding in Iraq," Papandreou said.

Earlier in the day Mussa met Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis.


Pentagon skeptical about Russia's Syria pullout claims

Senior Saudi prince blasts Trump's "opportunistic" Jerusalem move

Kuwait ruler’s son named defence minister

EU accused of complicity in Libya migrant rights violations

Saudi Arabia lifts decades-long ban on cinemas

Israeli sentenced to four years for arson attack on church

Erdogan risks sabotaging fragile relations with Israel

6.2-magnitude earthquake strikes Iran

Two Gazans killed by Israeli ‘strike’, Israel denies claim

French FM accuses Iran of carving out ‘axis’ of influence

Somali journalist killed in front of children

Over 170 dead after South Sudan rival cattle herders clash

Russia begins partial withdrawal from Syria

Russia weary of returning IS jihadists before World Cup, election

EU says Syria war ‘ongoing’ despite Russia pullout

Istanbul nightclub gunman refuses to testify

Integrating Syrians in Turkey carries implications

US opinion views Muslims and Arabs more favourably but political affiliation makes a difference

Iranian conservative protesters say Trump hastening end of Israel

Jordan referred to UN for failing to arrest Sudanese president

Turkey demands life for journalists in coup bid trial

Netanyahu expects EU to follow suit on Jerusalem

Putin orders withdrawal of ‘significant’ amount of troops from Syria

Putin to meet with Sisi in Cairo

GCC at a critical juncture

Houthi rebels tighten grip on Sanaa after Saleh’s assassination

Israel’s Syrian air strikes risk renewing escalation as Iran expands presence in Golan

Qatar to acquire 24 Typhoon fighters from UK

Bahraini civil society group criticised after Israel visit

Israel PM faces renewed pressure in Europe

Palestinian stabs Israeli guard in ‘terrorist’ attack

UAE’s Sheikh Mohammed says US Jerusalem decision could help terrorists

Fateh encourages more protests, refuses to meet Pence

Chinese electric carmaker to open Morocco factory

Iraqi victory over IS remains fragile

Morocco’s renewed ties with South Africa likely to consolidate support for Western Sahara stance

Lebanese security forces fire tear gas at protestors

Syria’s justice system: ‘working without a written law'

Egypt revives controversial desert capital project

Iran sentences fugitive ex-bank chief to jail

Iraq announces 'end of the war against Daesh'

Israeli air strike kills 2 in Gaza

UK foreign minister in Iran to push for Briton's release

Turkey's Erdogan seeks to lead Muslim response on Jerusalem

Iraqi Christians celebrate in town retaken from IS