Saudi king slams Iranian meddling in Arab states

16 April, 2018, 12:02 | Author: Bert Pena
  • King Salman of Saudi Arabia aims shots at US Iran

Saudi Arabia will use the summit to seek Arab support to pile the pressure on Iran.

"We reiterate our rejection of the U.S. decision on Jerusalem", Salman said.

"During the closing session, Dr. Abdulaziz bin Saqr told the conference that a lasting, comprehensive peace continues to be "...the central cause of our nation, to reach the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital on the borders of June 4, 1967".

The Arab League chief affirmed his confidence in Arab leaders in supporting the Arab League, which he described as the "house of Arabs, which needs financial support for effective movement on different issues".

The statement also included the need to confront regional intervention in the domestic affairs of Arab countries, in addition to any intervention that targets their social unity and national identity.

The question of Jerusalem is also likely to figure prominently at the summit as the United States prepares to move its embassy there from Tel Aviv after declaring the disputed city the capital of Israel in a break with decades of worldwide diplomacy.

The Arab League - minus Syria and Qatar - said after its summit on Sunday that the "criminal" use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime had to be investigated.

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The summit was held some two days after United States, France and Britain, hit three sites, one in Damascus, and two in the city of Homs, in Syria which US President Donald Trump claimed were "associated with the chemical weapon capabilities" of the Syrian government.

"The Saudis are going to push for a much harsher stance on Iran-not necessarily on the nuclear dossier per se, but on Iranian influence in the Arab countries, particularly Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen", said Karim Bitar of the Paris-based Institute of worldwide and Strategic Affairs.

King Salman announced a $150 million donation for the maintenance of Islamic heritage in East Jerusalem.

Saudi Arabia is pushing for a tough, unified stance against Iran at the annual gathering of the 22-member Arab League.

Among the leaders in attendance was Sudan's Omar al-Bashir, who walked the red carpet and was greeted by King Salman. Qatar's emir was not in attendance, instead dispatching his country's Arab League representative to the meeting.

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".

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