Arab leaders meet to unify ranks with eye on Iran, Jerusalem

16 April, 2018, 10:01 | Author: Wade Massey
  • Abdel Fattah El Sisi

The summit reviewed trade and investment matters, the Arab strategy to meet water challenges, the second phase of the Arab emergency food security programme and the Arab agreement for the exchange of information on plant and heritage resources.

The Arab foreign ministers confirmed their continuous support to the legitimacy of the internationally recognized government of Yemeni President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi against the Iran-supported Houthi militias, with an aim to end the conflict in Yemen and reject any interference in the internal affairs of the country.

On Palestine, the Arab leaders will stress on the centrality of the issue and on the Arab character of occupied East Jerusalem, according to a copy of the draft communiqué obtained by The Jordan Times.

"East Jerusalem is an integral part of the Palestinian territories", he asserted.

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman has already arrived in the Eastern Province to chair the summit.

The Saudi decisions reflect the Kingdom's strong support to the Palestinian cause and hopefully would lead to the realization of the dream for an independent Palestine state within the 1967 borders and Eastern Jerusalem as the capital for the future country, said OIC chief.

The AL strongly opposes the US administration's recognition of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital and decision to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, wishing all the countries not to follow the USA measures to harm Arab states' sovereignty.

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The gathering comes as America, Britain and France yesterday launched a coordinated airstrike in Syria to punish the regime for a chemical weapons attack that killed more than 70 people.

Military help over the past three years from Russian Federation and Iran, which also backs Lebanon's Hezbollah and Shi'ite Muslim militias in Iraq, has allowed Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to crush the rebel threat to topple him.

Saudi King Salman told leaders from across the 22-member Arab League that Iran was to blame for instability and meddling in the region.

Saudi Arabia's push for a tough stand against Iran is expected to dominate the summit.

In the same way, he added, Iran expects regional countries not to make false allegations, show mutual respect, and not interfere in each other's affairs.

He emphasised that the Greater and Lesser Tunbs, and Abu Musa islands belong to Iran reiterating that the efforts of some southern neighbours to create fake names for these islands is a baseless, useless and essentially false claim.

Tensions have eased slightly in recent months but Qatar still only sent its representative to the Arab League to the Dhahran summit.

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