Published: Sun, April 15, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Arab League summit kicks off with focus on Jerusalem conflict, Syrian crisis

Arab League summit kicks off with focus on Jerusalem conflict, Syrian crisis

During its presidency of the Arab Summit, Jordan, under the leadership of His Majesty King Abdullah II, managed to make key achievements at all levels, despite the hard situation in the region in general and the challenges facing the Arab world.

In his opening speech at the Arab League summit, Salman also criticised the controversial U.S. decision to move its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem but avoided any mention of Syria, just 24 hours after Western strikes against President Bashar al-Assad's regime.

The issue of Jerusalem and the Hashemite custodianship over Islamic and Christian sites in the holy city was at the centre of Jordan's diplomacy for the protection of the holy shrines and to stop Israeli violations and unilateral measures.

Jerusalem remains at the heart of the Middle East conflict, with Palestinians hoping that East Jerusalem - occupied by Israel since 1967 - might eventually serve as the capital of a Palestinian state.

The summit offers the Arab leaders an opportunity to discuss ongoing regional security issues, including the escalation of the Syrian conflict, the Saudi-Iran conflict, turmoil in Libya and the Israel-Palestine question.

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He said that the Palestinian commitment to the two-state solution and renunciation of violence is a clear evidence of their firm commitment to peace.

The Qatari delegation will be headed by Doha's permanent representative to the Arab League, Saif bin Muqaddam al-Buainain, the state news agency said without elaborating. He also welcomed an agreement to establish an Arab cultural summit.

The summit will also discuss regional and global issues and push forward worldwide efforts to combat terrorism.

On Wednesday, Egypt's Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry travelled to Riyadh for preparatory meetings ahead of the summit.

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