Arab oil windfall must benefit Lebanese – Libya

TRIPOLI- Arab leaders must divert windfall revenues from record high oil prices to help Lebanese and Palestinian people weathering Israeli attacks, the son of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi said on Thursday.

Saif al-Islam, his father’s most influential envoy abroad, said

any future Arab summit on the latest wave of Middle East violence would be a big embarrassment if it failed to shift extra oil profits to Lebanon and the Palestinian territories.

“The oil windfall is a result of the rise of oil prices stemming from the shedding of Lebanese and Palestinian blood,” he said in a statement faxed to Reuters, referring to the latest increase in world crude oil prices, which has been attributed partly to the latest Middle East conflict.

But after talks in Cairo with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, Gaddafi’s cousin, Ahmed Gaddaf el-Damm, said Libya had no specific proposal. “There is no initiative in the first place,” he told reporters who asked him about the idea.

Gaddaf el-Damm holds the title of coordinator of Libyan-Egyptian relations.

Islam, who heads the Gaddafi Foundation, said his charity would fly planes carrying humanitarian relief to Lebanon in defiance of Israel’s air, sea and road blockade of the country.

The nine-day-old war in Lebanon was triggered by Israel’s retaliation against Hizbollah’s July 12 capture of two Israeli soldiers in a cross-border operation.

Eight Arab governments have so far backed a call for an Arab summit on the violence pitting Israel against Hizbollah and the Palestinians.

That backing however remains short of the necessary two-thirds majority of the 22 Arab League members for the meeting to take place. — Reuter