Arab ministers meeting on Syria postponed

CAIRO Sun Aug 12, 2012 6:18am EDT

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CAIRO (Reuters) - The Arab League said it had postponed a meeting of Arab foreign ministers scheduled for Sunday to discuss the Syria crisis and to select a replacement for Kofi Annan, the United Nations-Arab League envoy, and would set a new date.

Deputy Arab League chief Ahmed Ben Helli told Reuters the meeting was delayed because of the minor operation undergone by Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal.

The royal court said on Saturday that he had undergone a successful operation to relieve an intestinal obstruction.

Saudi Arabia and fellow Gulf Arab state Qatar have been at the forefront of efforts to isolate Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who has used tanks and troops to try to quash a rebellion. Both states are believed to be arming Syrian rebels.

Ben Helli said the Arab ministers, who had been due to meet in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, would set a new date to gather.

The Arab ministers meeting was to have been held before Muslim leaders meet in Saudi Arabia on Tuesday for an Organization of Islamic Cooperation summit.

(Reporting by Ayman Samir; Writing by Edmund Blair; Editing by Janet Lawrence)

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