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Iran ‘interference in Arab affairs’ to dominate Dhahran summit

His Majesty to inaugurate meeting, hand over presidency to Saudi Arabia

By Mohammad Ghazal - Apr 14,2018 - Last updated at Apr 15,2018

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

As a chair of the 28th arab summit, His Majesty will deliver a speech at the opening of the summit, where Arab leaders will discuss wide-ranging issues of concern to the Arab world including latest political developments in the region.

Heads of state and top officials from 21 Arab states will attend the summit excluding Syria that was suspended from the league in 2011 over Syrian regime’s crackdown on protesters after peaceful protests in the southern part of the country.

Topping the list of issues to be discussed are the Palestinian issue and financial support for Palestine, the crisis in Yemen, the Syrian conflict and Iran’s interference in the internal affairs of the Arab states, among others.

On Palestine, the Arab leaders will stress on the centrality of the issue and on the Arab character of occupied East Jerusalem, according to a copy of the draft communiqué obtained by The Jordan Times.

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.

They will urge Arab states to commit $100 million per month to support Palestine as soon as possible in light of Israeli financial and economic measures against Palestine including withholding customs revenues that should go to the Palestinian authorities.

The heads of Arab states will renew their rejection of US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and to relocate the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, slated for May. 

The leaders will stress that East Jerusalem is the future capital of the Palestinian state, and condemn all Israeli unilateral measures and settlement activities.

Discussions during the summit will shed light on the crisis in Syria following a tripartite strike by the US, France and the UK on several military and research targets in Syria.

Within the same context, Arab leaders will condemn the Turkish military operations in Syria’s Afrin and the military operations in the Ghouta area by the regime with Russian and Iranian support. They will highlight that these offensives are prone to undermine efforts to work out a political solution to the crisis.

Participants will condemn Iran’s continued interference in the internal Arab affairs during the summit that is taking place in the eastern province of Dhahran of Saudi Arabia, and will urge Iran to exhibit a good neighbourly policy and refrain from using force or threatening to use force against neighbours.

The Arab leaders are also expected to renew their support for the legitimate government of Yemen and back all measures by the internationally recognised government of Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi to restore stability in the country and end the coup by the Iran-backed Houthis.

They will also condemn Iran’s interference in the affairs of the Arab states as a stark violation to the international law and will urge Tehran to stop all provocative acts that undermine trust-building efforts and threaten regional stability and security, especially after Iran-backed Houthis escalated firing missiles against Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia’s push for a tough stand against Iran is expected to dominate the summit.

On Libya, the Arab leaders will stress their commitment to supporting the unity and sovereignty and the territorial integrity of the North African country, rejecting any interference in its affairs.

They will also reiterate support for efforts exerted by the Libyan Government of National Accord to restore security, combat terrorist groups and establish full sovereignty over the entire territories of Libya.

The Arab leaders will stress their full support to the UAE’s sovereignty over its three Iran-occupied islands: Abu Musa and the Greater and Lesser Tunbs.

They will pledge continued efforts to combat terrorism, while stressing that security and military solutions are not the only way to eradicate terrorism.

The rift between Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain will not be on the summit’s agenda.

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