Egypt Independent

Qadhafi: Ash cloud a ‘divine punishment’

President Hosni Mubarak has resumed meetings with Arab leaders who have continued to arrive to Egypt to congratulate him on his successful surgery in Germany last month. Yesterday Mubarak met with Libyan President Muammar Qadhafi.

The reception delegation consisted of Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif, Minister of Information Anas el-Fiqqi, and Governor of South Sinai Abdel Fadil Shousha.

Discussions between the leaders focused on bilateral relationships, the results of the Arab summit in Libya, and the situations in Palestine, Iraq, and Sudan.

Qadhafi said there was no damage caused in the Arab region by Iceland’s volcanic ash cloud. He labeled the cloud as a “divine punishment”. At the same time he expressed sorrow for Arab “scientific backwardness.”

Qadhafi had previously attacked Arabs’ failure to tap into their financial potential as well as their squandering of money in a speech before the 43rd edition of the Arab Universities Union conference, held in the city of Sirt, Libya.

Meanwhile, a quintet committee consisting of Egypt, Qatar, Libya, and Iraq, created during the last Arab summit upon the invitation of Yemeni President Ali Abdallah Saleh, held a meeting which was attended by Amr Moussa, the Arab League’s general secretary. The meeting discussed requirements for improving joint Arab action.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.