Qatari Emir to skip Arab summit in Saudi Arabia

Abdel Fattah El Sisi

Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud referred to the Palestinian issue as the top agenda of the Arab meeting.

The fate of Jerusalem will also be on the agenda as the U.S. prepares to move its embassy there from Tel Aviv after declaring it Israel's capital. Their push for a tough stand against Iran is expected to dominate the Arab League Summit as regional tensions grow over the wars in Syria and Yemen.

Arab leaders opened their annual summit in the eastern Saudi city of Dhahran on Sunday.

The President briefed el-Sisi on the vision he had presented before the UN Security Council in which he stressed the need for a multi-lateral worldwide peace conference that calls for the creation of an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital. He asked: "Should the world sit and watch as an arrogant ruler (Syrian President Bashar Assad) commits genocide in his own country?"


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.

AL Secretary General Ahmed Aboul-Gheit noted that the crises gripping the Middle East will further deteriorate and weaken the entire region if not harnessed.

Other countries strongly condemned the assault, with Russian President Vladimir Putin calling it an "act of aggression against a sovereign state that has been fighting against terrorism" and Iranian supreme leader slamming US President Trump, French President Macron and UK Prime Minister May as "criminals".

The two rivals are engaged in proxy wars in Yemen and Syria but also back opposing sides in Lebanon, Iraq and Bahrain.

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