CAIRO: The Arab League envoy to Baghdad, the sole Arab diplomat still in the city, has resigned because of a lack of Arab vision over the conflict in Iraq, according to his resignation letter obtained by AFP Sunday.
In the handwritten letter, Mokhtar Lamani said he had decided to quit at the end of February, due to an inability to achieve anything serious or positive because of the absence of any Arab vision on how to end the conflict. Lamani, a Moroccan, was the last Arab diplomat working in Baghdad, with ambassadors from other nations performing their duties from the Jordanian capital of Amman. The move, which was announced in the letter sent to Arab League chief Amr Moussa last week, comes as blow to the Iraqi government which has long argued for increased Arab diplomatic representation. Lamani, 56, was appointed in March 2006 by Arab foreign ministers with a mission of aiding national reconciliation efforts in the country which is wracked by conflict between its different ethnic and sectarian groups. An Arab League national reconciliation conference following up on a similar meeting held in Cairo in November 2005 has been continuously delayed. Arab diplomats in Baghdad have been repeatedly targeted by insurgents, with the Egyptian ambassador-designate kidnapped and murdered in July 2005 and an Emirati diplomat kidnapped in May 2006.