Tuesday, 14 August, 2018

Syria, Iran dominate Arab League summit

Syria, Iran dominate Arab League summit Syria, Iran dominate Arab League summit
Anna Jefferson | 15 April, 2018, 22:26

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.

The AL chief also slammed Iran for its support for the Shiite Houthi rebels in Yemen, saying the Arab states should unite with Saudi Arabia against Iran.

There was little mention of Syria, whose president Bashar al Assad was not invited to the summit. Al-Qayid urged Arab leaders to take "stern and decisive action" to resolve the conflict once and for all.

Sixteen Arab leaders are attending the summit, which comes one day after the U.S., France and Britain launched a joint airstrike in Syria in the wake of a suspected chemical attack by regime forces.

"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.

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The meeting was led by Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir, who received the Arab League's rotating chairmanship from his Jordanian counterpart Ayman Safadi in the presence of the secretary-general.

Sheikh Tamim returned to Doha on Saturday from a U.S. trip where he met President Donald Trump, who had publicly sided with the Saudis and Emiratis early in the crisis, but is now pushing for a resolution to restore Gulf Arab unity and maintain a united front against Iran.

Saudi Arabia and its Arab and non-Arab allies believe that Lebanon and Iraq are Iran's backyard and their sovereignty is violated by the Islamic Republic.

HM King Hamad stressed that "cooperation among brothers" is the best means to preserve Arab countries' capabilities, and ensure their security and stability in order to be able to repel repeated foreign interference in their domestic affairs.

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