The Iraqi government has announced the disruption of work and public services in the capital Baghdad next week in preparation for the forthcoming Arab summit. Government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said that disruption will last from 25 March until 1April. The main summit will be preceded by a meeting of Arab Foreign and Finance Ministers.
The Assistant Secretary General of the Arab League, Ahmed Ben Helli, told the local media that the explosions which have rocked a number of Iraqi cities will not deter the Arab leaders in their determination to go to Baghdad next week. "The Arab League is even more determined to hold the summit in Baghdad," he said.
The Ministry of Construction and Housing said that the repair and refurbishment of the Republican Palace has been completed as part of the preparations. The palace has 450 rooms and will be the venue for the summit.