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DATE=1/25/99 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT NUMBER=2-244633 TITLE=IRAQ/ARAB DIPLOMACY (L-ONLY) BYLINE=RICHARD ENGEL DATELINE=CAIRO CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: IN THE MIDDLE EAST, ARAB GOVERNMENTS HAVE REACTED ANGRILY TO IRAQ'S WALKOUT SUNDAY BY ARAB FOREIGN MINISTERS MEETING IN EGYPT. RICHARD ENGEL REPORTS FROM CAIRO THAT OBSERVERS SAY IRAQ MAY HAVE MISCALCULATED ITS LEVEL OF SUPPORT AMONG ARABS, AND HAS FURTHER ISOLATED ITSELF FROM ARAB GOVERNMENTS. TEXT: NEWSPAPERS IN THE MIDDLE EAST MONDAY SAY THAT IRAQ WASTED AN OPPORTUNITY TO OBTAIN SUPPORT FROM ARAB NATIONS. THEY ADD THAT IRAQ'S WALKOUT OF AN ARAB LEAGUE MEETING WILL ONLY WORSEN ITS RELATIONS WITH ARAB GOVERNMENTS. QATAR'S PENINSULA NEWSPAPER SAYS BAGHDAD HAS NOT ONLY FORFEITED AN OPPORTUNITY TO WIN VALUABLE SUPPORT FOR THE LIFTING OF SANCTIONS, BUT ALSO SQUANDERED AN OPPORTUNITY TO ATTEND A PROPOSED UPCOMING ARAB SUMMIT. SAUDI ARABIA'S OKAZ NEWSPAPER SAYS IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO DEAL WITH IRAQI LEADERS AND CALLS FOR THEIR REMOVAL. ON SUNDAY, IRAQI FOREIGN MINISTER MOHAMMED SAEED AL SAHAF STORMED OUT OF AN ARAB LEAGUE MEETING AFTER THE FOREIGN MINISTERS REFUSED TO CONDEMN LAST MONTH'S U-S AND BRITISH MILITARY ASSAULT AGAINST IRAQ. //OPT// THE IRAQI MINISTER CALLED THE OTHER MINISTERS AND THEIR GOVERNMENTS "TRAITORS" AND |U-S LACKEYS." //END OPT// THE DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF THE AL AHRAM CENTER FOR STRATEGIC STUDIES, MOHAMMED SAYID SAID, (EDS, PRON: "SAY-ID SAA-ID"), SAYS IRAQ GROSSLY MISREADS THE LEVEL OF SUPPORT IT RECEIVES FROM THE ARAB PEOPLE. ///SAYID ACT/// THEY THINK THEY HAVE THE ARAB MASSES IN THEIR HANDS. THEY THINK THEY CAN MOVE THE ARAB MASSES AS THEY WISH. THEY FEEL THEY HAVE ACHIEVED SUCCESSES IN THE INTERNATIONAL ARENA MUCH BEYOND THE FACTS ON THE GROUND. ///END ACT/// AMERICAN UNIVERSITY IN CAIRO PROFESSOR EARL SULLIVAN SAYS THE IRAQI LEADERSHIP ALSO MISUNDERSTANDS ARAB DIPLOMACY BECAUSE IT HAS BECOME ISOLATED. HE SAYS IRAQ CANNOT FULLY MEND FENCES WITH ARAB GOVERNMENTS UNTIL IT APOLOGIZES FOR THE GULF WAR. ///SULLIVAN ACT/// KUWAIT WANTS A PUBLIC APOLOGY AND A PLEDGE THEY WILL NEVER AGAIN CLAIM KUWAIT AS THE 19TH PROVINCE. ///END ACT/// OBSERVERS SAY, HOWEVER, THAT BY WALKING OUT OF AN ARAB LEAGUE MEETING AND INSULTING OTHER ARAB GOVERNMENTS, IRAQ DOES NOT APPEAR TO BE INTERESTED IN COURTING ITS ARAB NEIGHBORS -- AT LEAST FOR NOW. (SIGNED) NEB/RHE/SB/PCF 25-Jan-99 9:43 AM EST (1443 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .