Published: Mon, April 16, 2018
Sports | By Jonathan Ford

Qatari emir not attending Arab summit in Saudi Arabia

Qatari emir not attending Arab summit in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia used its perch as host of an annual gathering of Arab leaders Sunday to push for a unified stance against rival Iran and criticized the USA over Jerusalem.

The 82-year-old monarch dubbed the Arab League meeting the "Jerusalem summit" as he took aim at Washington's decision to transfer its embassy in Israel to the holy city.

The summit opened in the eastern Saudi city of Dhahran as tensions with Iran and wars in Syria and Yemen threaten stability across the region.

In this regard, we reiterate our strong condemnation of the terrorist acts carried out by Iran in the Arab region and reject its blatant interference in the internal affairs of the Arab countries.

Iran's influence is wielded through a land route of armed parties in the West Asia- the so-called "Shia Crescent" that cuts across the mainly Sunni Arab world.

Saudi Arabia has hailed Malaysia's participation in Gulf Shield 1, the biggest joint military exercise in the Arab region which went on parade yesterday.

He underlined his support for efforts aimed at reaching a political solution to the conflict in Yemen, which fell into civil war in 2014 when Houthi rebels overran much of the country, including capital Sanaa.

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

The Qatari delegation will be headed by Doha's permanent representative to the Arab League, Saif bin Muqaddam al-Buainain, the state news agency said without elaborating.

Delegates pledged in the closing statement to support the Palestinians and ensure regional security with a call for regional actors to respect Arab sovereignty and for militias to disarm.

"We reiterate our rejection of the U.S. decision on Jerusalem", the king said in a speech in Dhahran in eastern Saudi Arabia.

The heads of state of Arab League will discuss the civil wars in Syria and Yemen.

We also welcome the consensus on holding the Arab Cultural Summit, hoping that it will contribute to the advancement of the Arab-Islamic culture.

Ahead of the summit, the four boycotting nations reaffirmed that their demands on Qatar - including closing Al Jazeera television station and reducing ties with Iran - were "a necessary basis" for a resolution to the crisis.

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir had said on Thursday that Qatar's crisis will not be on the table at the Arab League summit.

Like this: