Published: Mon, April 16, 2018
Worldwide | By Victor Meyer

Saudi Arab League Summit

Saudi Arab League Summit

Moreover, Qassemi called on the Arab League member states to take necessary measures to build confidence and promote stability in the region.

Al-Jubeir had lambasted United States decision to move its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem town saying the move will hamper the worldwide efforts to end Arab-Israel conflict in Middle East.

Saudi Arabia's push for a tough stand against its arch-rival Iran will also dominate the summit as regional tensions grow over the wars in Syria and Yemen.

Saudi Arabia, meanwhile, announced at the meeting a $150 million donation to the religious administration that oversees Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa Mosque - one of Islam's holiest sites.

"The summit condemned Iranian interference in the internal affairs of Arab countries, either through igniting sectarian strife or planting militias in Arab countries such as Lebanon, Iraq and Yemen, and harboring al Qaeda terrorists", Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Jubeir told a news conference.

King Salman said the Palestinian issue will continue being the most important issue to the Arab World, until all Palestinians have attained their legal rights, including the establishment of a Palestinian independent state with Jerusalem as its capital. The kingdom announced another $50 million for programs run by the United Nations relief agency for Palestinians after the USA slashed its aid.

The summit begins on Sunday in the East coast city of Dammam.

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During the past months, Houthi fighters in Yemen have fired ballistic missiles across the Saudi border on several cities including Mecca, which have been intercepted by Saudi air defences.

The summit also comes with Saudi Arabia and Qatar locked in a monthslong diplomatic standoff, with Riyadh accusing Doha of supporting extremists and being too close to Iran. Qatar's emir was not in attendance, instead dispatching his country's Arab League representative to the meeting.

President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi said, "it is not just the issue of Arabs, but an issue of rightness against force".

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

There was little mention of Syria, whose president Bashar al Assad was not invited to the summit.

There are 22 members of the Arab League but Syria's membership has been suspended since 2011 because of the civil war.

The Gulf states have donated large amounts of money to help refugees from the country but have not officially offered them asylum.

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