Saudi King Salman Insists 'East Jerusalem Must Be Capital of Palestinian State'

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The funding announcement came as the king reiterated criticism of President Donald Trump's decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital and shift the United States embassy from Tel Aviv to the holy city.

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.

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

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"We emphasize that East Al-Quds is an integral part of the Palestinian territory", King Salman affirmed.

"The Saudis are going to push for a much harsher stance on Iran - not necessarily on the nuclear dossier per se, but on Iranian influence in the Arab countries, particularly Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen", said Karim Bitar of the Paris-based Institute of global and Strategic Affairs.

"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.

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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 global peace conference that calls for the creation of an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital.

Minister Awad who reached Saudi Arabia on Thursday attended the preparatory meeting on Friday ahead of the Summit.

Saudi Arabia's powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the 32-year-old son of the king and heir to the region's most powerful throne, had days earlier said Israel also had a right to its own state during a tour of the United States. Salman told leaders from across the 22-member Arab League that Iran was to blame for instability and meddling in the region.

Regional powerhouses Saudi Arabia and Iran have been locked in a decades-long struggle for supremacy that is being waged in proxy wars in several countries, including Yemen and Syria. Bashir is wanted by the International Criminal Court for five counts of crimes against humanity, three counts of genocide and two counts of war crimes.

The last time the bloc made a concrete move was in 2011, when it suspended Syria's membership over the Assad regime's role in the war.

Then the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques assumed the presidency of the 29th ordinary session of the Arab Summit.

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