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Last Updated:  Monday, 24 March, 2003, 04:23 GMT
Iraq tries to rally Arab world
By Mark Doyle
BBC correspondent in Cairo

The Iraqi Foreign Minister, Naji Sabri, is in Cairo to appeal for Arab support in resisting the American-led invasion.

Iraqi Foreign Minister, Naji Sabri
Sabri: "The enemy will be buried in the deserts of Iraq"
He is taking part in a meeting of Arab foreign ministers in the Egyptian capital during which they will try to hammer out a foreign position on Iraq.

The ministers may have trouble reaching a common position because the Arab world is split down the middle.

Although most Arab people are angry about the American-led attack, some Arab governments are opposed, openly or in private, to Saddam Hussein.

They are unlikely to support a common statement from the Arab League that condemns the Americans.

'Enemy will be beaten'

Ahead of the meeting, Mr Sabri insisted that his country would continue to resist the American and British invasion.

He said the Americans would be forced to withdraw with their tails between their legs.

"We are beating the enemy and the enemy will be beaten and will be buried in the deserts of Iraq," he said, adding that Iraq would continue to aim missiles at US military bases in Kuwait.

Mr Sabri will no doubt be repeating these strong words at the Arab League meeting.

But whether that meeting will unanimously condemn the American-led attack, as Iraq wants, and whether such diplomacy will make any difference anyway, is quite another matter.

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