Arab summit opens in Saudi Arabia


Reporters watch the speech of Saudi King Salman from a press room, during the opening of the Arab summit in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, Sunday, April 15, 2018.

"The Arab League summit harshly condemns the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime against the Syrian people", the statement said as quoted by Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Jubeir during the summit in the city of Dhahran that focused on the situation in Syria after the Western strike. "All key regional issues are on the agenda, with Syria, Yemen and Palestine at the top", Ali Al-Kayed, Jordanian ambassador to Saudi Arabia, told Arab News.

On Saturday, the umbrella Arab League said the summit will not discuss Gulf crisis, which was triggered by last year's cut-off of diplomatic ties between four Arab states and Qatar amid accusations for Doha of supporting terrorism. Al-Qayid urged Arab leaders to take "stern and decisive action" to resolve the conflict once and for all. He also welcomed an agreement to establish an Arab cultural summit.

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HM the King also paid tribute to the Arab League Secretary-General, Ahmed Aboul Gheit, and the Arab League Secretariat-General's staff for their efforts to prepare for the 29th Summit.

Saudi Arabia is likely to seek Arab support to pile the pressure on Iran, an analyst told AFP.

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. The two regional titans, locked in proxy wars in Syria and in Saudi Arabia's southern neighbor Yemen, back opposing parties in Iraq and Lebanon.