Thursday, 21 June, 2018

Syria, Iran to dominate Arab League summit

Syria, Iran to dominate Arab League summit Syria, Iran to dominate Arab League summit
Melinda Barton | 16 April, 2018, 10:10

Permanent Representative of Qatar to the Arab League Ambassador Saif bin Muqaddam Al Buainain heads Qatar's delegation participating in the ordinary Arab League Summit at its 29th session, which begins on Sunday in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia.

Participants will condemn Iran's continued interference in the internal Arab affairs during the summit that is taking place in the eastern province of Dhahran of Saudi Arabia, and will urge Iran to exhibit a good neighbourly policy and refrain from using force or threatening to use force against neighbours.

The Arab League has rejected all unilateral Israeli steps undermining the two-state solution of Palestine issue, reported by Radio Pakistan.

He also announced a $150m (£105m) donation for the maintenance of Islamic heritage in East Jerusalem, including the Al Aqsa mosque, and $50m (£35m) in funding for the United Nations agency that provides aid to Palestinian refugees.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony for the embassy is scheduled for mid-May to coincide with Israel's anniversary of its proclamation of independence on May 14, 1948.

The main focus of King Salman's opening speech was Iran, which he criticised for "terrorist acts" and "blatant interference" in regional affairs, particularly the conflict in Yemen.

"We stress our absolute condemnation of the use of chemical weapons against the Syrian people and we demand an independent worldwide investigation to guarantee the application of global law against anyone proven to have used chemical weapons", said a statement distributed to journalists.

They will also condemn Iran's interference in the affairs of the Arab states as a stark violation to the worldwide law and will urge Tehran to stop all provocative acts that undermine trust-building efforts and threaten regional stability and security, especially after Iran-backed Houthis escalated firing missiles against Saudi Arabia.

In response, Saudi Arabia renamed this year's summit "Quds [Jerusalem] Summit".

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

They discussed the Syrian situation following the suspected chemical attack near the capital city of Damascus on April 7th and the US-led missile strikes against the country on Saturday.

The image has slowly gained traction online and on social media by Arab users who said the image showed solidarity among Arab leadership.

Summits of the Arab League, established in 1945, rarely result in action.

The rift between Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain will not be on the summit's agenda.

Iran is backing Houthi rebels that Riyadh opposes in Yemen and on Sunday Salman praised "the UN Security Council's statement denouncing the Iranian-made ballistic missile fire on Saudi cities".