Saudi king slams Iranian 'interference,' US Jerusalem move at Arab summit

Evarado Alatorre
Abril 16, 2018

Leaders at the Arab League summit have failed to discuss the US-led strikes that came as a result of the "criminal" alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria.

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.

They will also reiterate their commitment to peace that leads to the creation of an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital in line with the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative, which offers Israel normal ties with the Arabs in return for withdrawal from territories it occupied in 1967.

And despite being a stalwart ally of the United States, the ruler also criticized U.S. President Donald Trump's controversial decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital and shift the U.S. embassy there.

"It is a pity that some of the member states of the Arab League ignore the historical and geographical realities and disregard the sovereignty of their neighbours", he said, adding that they do not follow a rational policy based on good neighbourliness.

The AL strongly opposes the US administration's recognition of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital and decision to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, wishing all the countries not to follow the USA measures to harm Arab states' sovereignty.

On Sunday, Jubeir commented on the statement adopted at the summit, saying that the Arab League condemned the use of chemical weapons by Syrian authorities, however the released text of the document does not include the statement.

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King Salman expressed his strong condemnation to the "Iranian-allied" Houthi militants' attacks on different cities of Saudi Arabia.

"We strongly condemn the terrorist acts carried out by Iran in the region and reject its blatant interference in the internal affairs of the Arab countries", he said.

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

Arab ministers at a preliminary meeting in Riyadh on Thursday focused heavily on blocking the embassy move, unanimously condemning Trump's decision.

Seventeen leaders from across the Arab world - minus Syrian President Bashar Al Assad - gathered in the eastern Saudi city of Dhahran for the summit, which this year comes as world powers face off over Syria and tensions rise between Riyadh and Tehran.

"The Palestinian cause has been and will always be our main cause until the Palestinians regain their rights", he said.

Regional powerhouses Saudi Arabia and Iran have been locked in a decades-long struggle for supremacy that is being waged in proxy wars in several countries, including Yemen and Syria.

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