Amr Musa, head of the Arab League (file photo) (epa)
April 12, 2006 -- Arab foreign ministers meet in Cairo on April 12 to discuss the situation in Iraq.
Iraqi interim Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Ja'fari said Iraq will boycott the meeting in response to recent comments by Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak that civil war has "almost started" in Iraq and that its Shi'ite-led government is under the influence of Iran.
The ministers aim to forge a new Arab strategy on Iraq that includes reopening Arab embassies in Iraq closed since Saddam Hussein's fall in April 2003, a key demand by Baghdad.
Egypt said the meeting will continue despite Iraq's decision not to attend. However, it is unclear how many countries will participate in the meeting.
Analysts say Arab nations appear increasingly worried about Iranian influence in Iraq and the possibility that Shi'ite power there will stir up Shi'ite minorities in their countries.