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Thursday, 19 July 2018
 

Arab Summit Underlines Palestinian Cause, Condemns Foreign Meddling

(Asharq Al-Awsat ) The 29th Arab League summit concluded on Sunday with gatherers underlining the centrality of the Palestinian cause.
Held in the Saudi city of Dhahran, the summit’s closing statement also called on regional countries to respect the sovereignty of Arab nations. To that end, they urged support for strategies that bolster Arab national security.
In a statement to reporters at the end of the annual gathering, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said that the summit condemned the use of chemical weapons in Syria and demanded an international probe in the attack.
The Arab leaders also called for reaching a political solution to the crisis.
Jubeir added that Saudi Arabia remains a “firm and constant” supporter of the Palestinian cause.
The Arab summit also condemned Iran’s meddling in regional affairs and its Houthi proxies for targeting Saudi Arabia and the Yemeni people.
Saudi Custodian of the Two Holy King Salman bin Abdulaziz concluded the summit, which saw the attendance of kings, presidents and leaders of 17 Arab countries.
The 30th Arab summit will be held in Tunisia in 2019.
Earlier, leaders speaking at the opening of the 29th summit stressed the importance of ensuring the rights of the Palestinian people and cementing the national security of the entire Arab world.
Arab League Secretary General Ahmed Abul Gheit lamented the United States’ decision to relocate its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, saying that the Arabs have managed to garner international condemnation for the move.
It is not enough however, he added, stressing that the Palestinians need more support to counter “attempts to defeat their cause and violate their rights.”
On Syria, he stated that the regime held the majority of the responsibility for the “collapse of the nation and displacement of the people.”
“I do not acquit regional and international players, each of whom are trying to achieve political and strategic goals over Syrian corpses and rubble of their dreams of a normal life,” continued Abul Gheit.
He said that the Syrian people’s dream of restoring their nation remains beyond their reach, hoping that the Arab leaders would be able to seize control of the situation and draft a joint strategy that would push forward the political solution based on the Geneva talks.
On the overall Arab scene, he said that regional meddling, spearheaded by Iran, has reached an unprecedented level.
Tehran, he said, does not harbor the Arabs any good intentions, as demonstrated by its destructive role in their countries, such as in Yemen.
He therefore called on the Arabs to take a united stand to speak out against this destructive aggression.
Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Dr. Yousef bin Ahmed Al-Othaimeen highlighted the Palestinian cause, which has been at the heart of the organization’s concerns.
He stressed the need to adhere to Arab League statements related to the cause and its commitment to the two-state solution and 2002 Arab initiative. He also voiced concern over the developments in Syria, Yemen and Libya.
European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini expressed her gratitude to Saudi Arabia for its efforts in serving Arab causes.
She emphasized the importance of developing solutions and dealing with the crises in many Arab regions so that people can live in peace and stability.
She condemned the Syrian regime for displacing its own people and attacking them with chemical weapons, saying that the “perpetrators should be held accountable.”
On Iraq, she praised the people’s determination and courage in defeating the ISIS terrorist organization.
With regard to the Palestinian cause, she announced the EU’s readiness to host the sixth meeting on Jerusalem in cooperation with the Arab League. She stressed that her organization will not stop cease its efforts to reach a two-state solution through negotiations with the United Nations, the United States and Russia, as well as all concerned parties and Arab countries.
Emir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmed al-Jaber al-Sabah warned of the dangers threatening the Arab world, saying the leaders of region must double efforts to resolve their crises.
He stressed the need for establishing mechanisms for joint Arab work that would help confront challenges and overcome current difficulties.
On Syria, he condemned the April 7 regime chemical attack against Douma, saying that it stems from the international community’s failure to resolve the country’s crisis.
On Yemen, he condemned the repeated ballistic missile attacks by the Iran-backed Houthis against Saudi Arabia.
He hailed the Saudi-led Arab coalition aimed at restoring legitimacy in Yemen, highlighting its pioneering role in tackling the difficult humanitarian situation in the country.
The Emir voiced Kuwait’s concern over Washington’s decision to relocate its embassy to Jerusalem, hoping that it would reconsider it and resume its role as a sponsor for peace.
Egyptian President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi said that the Arab summit was being held at a time of unprecedented challenges facing the region, calling for solidarity in confronting threats to the Palestinian cause and meddling in Arab internal affairs.