CAIRO: The Tripoli meeting of Arab Defence and Foreign Ministers, scheduled to open today [Aug 3], has been postponed, well informed sources said here. The sources said the meeting would be held when Libyan Head of State, Col El-Qaddafi returns from Baghdad.

Earlier reports said the start of the 7-nation conference was stalled while Libyan President Col Qaddafi, who flew here last night on a surprise visit, tried to heal the breach between Egypt and Iraq, which like Algeria has said it will boycott the talks. The two countries, which were joined in their opposition to the American peace initiative last night by South Yemen, have said they refuse to discuss a peace settlement based on the American proposal.

The Egyptian and Libyan Presidents conferred for two hours today, continuing talks they had last night after Col Qaddafi arrived in Cairo on his conciliation mission. Both were accompanied by top advisers at the discussions. Later President Nasser went to the airport to see Col Qaddafi off to Baghdad, where he is to continue his conciliation mission.

A Baghdad report said Col Qaddafi arrived from Cairo today to an airport welcome by Iraq’s President Ahmed Hassan al-Bakr.

Published in Dawn, August 4th, 2020