Arab League Summit Statement Forgone Condemning Syria for Chemical Attack

Sergio Conner
April 16, 2018

The Arab leaders participating in the summit have affirmed centrality of the Palestinian issue and importance of the status of eastern Jerusalem as the capital of the future state of Palestine.

Iran has always been a supporter of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad and backs Lebanon's Shia Hizbollah movement, whose fighters are deployed in Syria alongside regime forces.

Seven years into a war that has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives, Saudi Arabia and Iran now agree that the country's future can not be decided exclusively by the Assad regime, whose troops have regained the upper hand with massive support from Russian Federation.

During the summit, Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz criticized Tehran's influence on Arab countries, claiming that it violated the principles of worldwide law.

The summit was held in Saudi Arabia, which has expressed support for the recent missile strikes launched on Syrian weapons facilities by the US, UK and France.

The Arab League summit's final communique called for more worldwide sanctions on Iran and urged it to withdraw "its militias" from Syria and Yemen.

"We reject its blatant meddling in the internal affairs of Arab countries", declared King Salman.

His Majesty King Abdullah will head the Jordanian delegation to the 29th Arab summit, which will start in Saudi Arabia on Sunday.

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Iran also openly supports the Shia Houthi rebels in Yemen in their war against the Saudi-backed government but denies accusations of smuggling arms to the insurgents.

"We fully support military operations against military targets in Syria", the Saudi Foreign Ministry said.

The stand-off between Qatar and Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain and Egypt is also not expected to feature. Doha denies the charges and says the boycott is an attempt to impinge on its sovereignty.

They stressed importance of reaching a cohesive and everlasting peace in the Middle East in accordance with the 2002 Beirut Summit's Arab peace initiative.

Moreover, the summit affirmed the role of the General Secretariat of the Arab League as being responsible of monitoring the execution of the report's previously mentioned recommendations, in coordination with the member states.

"Tehran's principled policy has always been based on maintaining more convergence and mutual respect for the sovereignty of other countries, especially the neighbours, and the observance of good neighbourliness".

Sheikh Tamim returned to Doha on Saturday from a U.S. trip where he met Trump.

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

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