Arab Summit in Dhahran Reiterates Rejection of US Decision on Jerusalem

Arab Summit in Dhahran Reiterates Rejection of US Decision on Jerusalem

Monday, 16 April, 2018 - 06:30
Gatherers at the 29th Arab League summit in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. (SPA)
Dhahran – Mirza al-Khuweildi, Thaer Abbas and Sawsan Abou Hussein
The 29th Arab League summit concluded on Sunday with gatherers in the Saudi city of Dhahran stressing the centrality of the Palestinian cause and rejection of the United States’ decision to relocate its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.

The “Dhahran Declaration” categorically opposed the “recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.”

The kings, presidents and leaders of the Arab world also emphasized the importance of joint Arab cooperation, “which is based on a clear methodology, that would protect the nation from looming dangers and safeguard security and stability.”

They stressed the importance of reaching comprehensive and permanent peace in the Middle East, which can be achieved through the 2002 Arab peace initiative.

On Jerusalem, they said that the holy city will remain the capital of Palestine, warning against taking measures that would change its legal and political status. Such moves would have negative repercussions on the entire Middle East.

The leaders declared that they will maintain efforts to resume Palestinian-Israeli peace negotiations, which should ultimately lead to the implementation of the two-state solution.

Commenting on the developments in Yemen, they condemned in the strongest of terms the Iran-backed Houthi militias for firing ballistic missiles towards Saudi Arabia. The militants had fired a total of 119 rockets towards several Saudi cities, including Makkah and Riyadh.

None of them reached their targets as they were intercepted by Saudi air defenses.

The Arab leaders underlined their support for Saudi Arabia and Bahrain and their various measures to safeguard their security against foreign interference.

They demanded that the international community adopt stricter sanctions against Iran and its militias and to prevent it from supporting terrorist groups and providing the Houthis with ballistic missiles.

They voiced their backing to the Saudi-led coalition aimed at restoring legitimacy in Yemen, based on the Gulf initiative, national dialogue and United Nations Security Council resolution 2216. They also expressed their support for various relief aid provided to Yemen by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Moreover, the Arab leaders rejected foreign meddling in the internal affairs of their countries, condemning hostile attempts aimed at destabilizing security and stoking sectarian strife.

Iran must withdraw its militias and armed elements from all Arab countries, especially Syria and Yemen, they demanded.

Ties with other countries must be based on mutual respect and positive cooperation as stipulated in UN and Arab League charters, they continued.

Turning to Syria, they stressed the need for a political solution that would end the crisis in a manner that would meet the aspirations of the people, preserve their country’s unity, sovereignty and independence and end the presence of all terrorist groups.

To that end, they called for the adhering to the Geneva I declaration and related Security Council resolutions, especially resolution 2254.

“There can be no way to stopping the bloodshed except by reaching a peaceful settlement that would achieve a real political transition,” the Arab leaders stated.

Furthermore, they strongly condemned the use of chemical weapons against the Syrian people, demanding that an independent international probe be launched in the case.

On April 7, the Syrian regime carried out a chemical weapons attack against the town of Douma, leaving at least 40 people dead. The incident sparked global outrage and prompted the US, France and Britain to launch air strikes against regime chemical weapons installations.

On Lebanon, the Arab leaders voiced their keenness on the country’s stability and security against repeated Israeli violations of its sovereignty. They voiced their support for its ongoing efforts to shoulder the burden of Syrian refugees and hailed the recent Rome and Paris conferences.

The international meetings reflect the international and Arab communities’ keenness on Lebanon’s stability and prosperity, they remarked.

On Iraq, they stressed its stability and territorial integrity, while voicing their backing for its efforts to combat and eliminate terrorist groups.

They praised in this regard the achievements of the Iraqi military in liberating the country from the clutches of ISIS.

The Arab leaders voiced their commitment to all efforts aimed at eliminating and defeating terrorist gangs, whether through military, security and ideological means.

They therefore vowed to continue combating terrorism and its backers, such as Iran and its proxies in the Middle East and Africa, hoping that the free world will help them in their mission.

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