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Iraq Boycotts Arab Foreign Ministers Meeting in Cairo

Iraq is boycotting today's Wednesday's Arab foreign ministers' meeting in Cairo to protest Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's remarks about Shi'ite Muslim loyalty.

Iraqi Shi'ite Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari said Tuesday staying home demonstrates the need to stand with the Iraqi people.

Mr. Mubarak - a Sunni Muslim - said last Saturday that most Shi'ites in Arab nations are more loyal to Iran than to their home countries.

He also said Iraq is in a civil war that could destabilize the entire region.

His comments angered Iraqi factional leaders who are struggling to form a new government.

Shi'ite politicians have failed to break the deadlock over their candidate for a permanent prime minister.

A new government has been delayed for months over disagreements on the candidacy of Mr. al-Jaafari. Sunni Arab and Kurdish leaders have rejected his nomination to keep his post, saying he has done little to stop sectarian violence.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.