Saudi king slams Iranian meddling in Arab states

Saudi king slams Iranian meddling in Arab states

Qassemi also expressed deep regret over some parts of the final statement of the Arab League summit which was held in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia.

"We extend our support to the Palestinians' right to establish their homeland based on the 1967 lines with the capital city Jerusalem, as stated in the global resolutions and Arab peace initiative", said Al-Jubeir during his speech at foreign ministers' preparatory meeting on Friday.

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.

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.

Sixteen Arab leaders are attending the 29th 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 king said he had named this year's meeting "the Jerusalem summit so that the entire world knows Palestine and its people remain at the heart of Arab concerns".

Iranian state media quoted Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi as saying the Arab League's condemnation was the result of pressure from Saudi Arabia, Tehran's regional rival.

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"We stress our absolute condemnation of the use of chemical weapons against the sisterly Syrian people and we demand an independent global investigation to guarantee the application of worldwide law to everyone proven to use chemical weapons", said its final statement.

Saudi Arabia, which takes over the rotating chair of the Arab summit from Jordan, announced that the current gathering would be named the "Quds (Jerusalem) Summit", a reference to U.S. President Donald Trump's decision a year ago to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel which Arab states condemned. Doha denies the charges and says the boycott is an attempt to impinge on its sovereignty.

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.

Meanwhile, Iran has led proxy battles in several Arab countries, including Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Yemen.

Arab League leaders on Sunday condemned the "criminal" use of chemical weapons in Syria and called for an worldwide investigation, the Saudi foreign minister said.

The summit was the first since a major diplomatic dispute between Qatar and some its Gulf neighbours.

Tunisia will host the next Arab League summit in 2019.

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