Published: Mon, April 16, 2018
Global | By Marsha Munoz

Saudi king slams Iran's 'interference' as Arab leaders meet

Saudi king slams Iran's 'interference' as Arab leaders meet

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir told reporters that the Arab leaders strongly condemn the use of chemical weapons and are demanding an independent worldwide probe to clarify who is responsible.

On Sunday, Jubeir commented on the statement adopted at the summit, saying that the Arab League condemned the use of chemical weapons by Syrian authorities, however the released text of the document does not include the statement.

"We renew our strong condemnation of terrorist acts carried out by Iran in the Arab region, and we reject its blatant interference in the internal affairs of Arab countries", he said, without giving specifics.

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

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.

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King Salman, who travels rarely because of his declining health, said: "We reiterate our rejection of the USA decision on Jerusalem".

A key focus of Jordan's policy is relaunching peace talks between the Palestinians and the Israelis, with emphasis on the Arab Peace Initiative based on the two-state solution and the right of the Palestinians to establish their independent state on their national soil along the borders of June 4, 1967, with East Jerusalem as its capital.

But the leaders were divided over the US-led air strikes against Syria.

The President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo will be attending 29th Arab League Summit which will kick off Sunday in Saudi Arabia.

The communique called for more worldwide sanctions on Iran and urged it to withdraw "its militias" from Syria and Yemen.

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He said that the Kingdom will donate $150 million to maintain Islamic heritage in East Jerusalem and called the meeting the "Jerusalem Summit". It further condemned the government of Iran for ignoring the sovereignty of other countries.

"The President will be addressing the the participants of the conference and during his stay (in Saudi Arabia) he will hold talks with other Arab leaders over Somalia's situation", said Ahmed. Doha denies the charges.

Sheikh Tamim returned to Doha on Saturday from a United States trip where he met Trump.

Asked why Qatar was not on the summit's agenda, the Saudi foreign minister said: "Because Qatar is not on the agenda". "It's a very, very small problem".

Tunisia will host the next Arab League summit in 2019.

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