World

Arab leaders call for probe into Syria chem attacks, condemn Iran

Arab leaders call for probe into Syria chem attacks, condemn Iran

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.

King Salman said the Palestinian issue will continue being the most important issue to the Arab World, until all Palestinians have attained their legal rights, including the establishment of a Palestinian independent state with Jerusalem as its capital.

"I name this summit in Dhahran the Jerusalem summit so that the entire world knows Palestine and its people remain at the heart of Arab concerns", he said, adding that "East Jerusalem is an integral part of the Palestinian territories".

King Salman also announced a $150 million donation for the maintenance of Islamic heritage in East Jerusalem.

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A ribbon-cutting ceremony for the embassy is scheduled for mid-May to coincide with Israel's anniversary of its proclamation of independence on May 14, 1948.

Syria's war, the most complex of the region's conflicts, is the main point of contention pitting Riyadh and its allies, who mainly back Sunni rebels, against regime backer Iran and its Lebanese ally Hezbollah.

Leaders of Arab nations are calling for an worldwide investigation into the suspected use of chemical weapons in Syria.

Reuters did not mention his comment on the embassy in its coverage of the king's speech.

The summit took place in Saudi Arabia on Sunday, a day after the coordinated attacks by the US, UK and France on three sites allegedly linked to the production of chemical weapons in Syria.




Qatar did not send a senior official, a sign that its 10-month-old dispute with Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt is still a long way from being resolved.

His absence is a sign that a almost year-old dispute between Gulf Arab neighbours is still a long way from being resolved.

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.

A summit of the Arab League has called for an global probe into the "criminal" use of chemical weapons in Syria and condemned what it said was Iran's interference in the affairs of Arab countries.

Speaking to the reporters in Mogadishu, the director of Villa Somalia, Abdinur Mohamed Ahmed said Somali delegates would be holding talks with other Arab leaders.

Military help over the past three years from Russian Federation and Iran, which also backs Lebanon's Hezbollah group and Shi'ite Muslim militias in Iraq, has allowed Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to crush the rebel threat to topple him.

Summits of the Arab League, established in 1945, rarely result in action.

Seven years into a war that has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives, Saudi Arabia and Iran now agree that the country's future can not be decided exclusively by the Assad regime, whose troops have regained the upper hand with massive support from Russian Federation.


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