Arab League Summit Statement Forgone Condemning Syria for Chemical Attack


Qassemi also expressed deep regret over some parts of the final statement of the Arab League summit which was held in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia.

"Saudi Arabia announces a $150-million grant to support the administration of Jerusalem's Islamic property", the monarch during his opening speech at the summit.

"It is a pity that some of the member states of the Arab League ignore the historical and geographical realities and disregard the sovereignty of their neighbours", he said, adding that they do not follow a rational policy based on good neighbourliness.

The last Arab summit was held in Jordan previous year.

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.

During the summit, Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz criticized Tehran's influence on Arab countries, claiming that it violated the principles of global law.

"We stress our absolute condemnation of the use of chemical weapons against the Syrian people and we demand an independent worldwide investigation to guarantee the application of global law against anyone proven to have used chemical weapons", said a statement distributed to journalists.

He told Arab leaders that Iran was to blame for instability and meddling in the region.

Leaders at the Arab League summit have failed to discuss the US-led strikes that came as a result of the "criminal" alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria.

Despite being a strong ally of Washington, King Salman also took the opportunity to slam US President Donald Trump for recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Saudi Arabia and Qatar, which both voiced support for the strikes, remain locked in a months-long diplomatic standoff, with Riyadh accusing Doha of supporting extremists and being too close to Iran.

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

Most of the 22 other countries are represented by heads of state or government. Doha denies the charges.

Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani headed Qatar's delegation at last year's Arab summit in Jordan.

Saudi Arabia's push for a tough stand against its arch-rival Iran is expected to dominate an Arab League summit on Sunday as regional tensions grow over the wars in Syria and Yemen.

Despite widespread Arab condemnation of the suspected chemical attack, the Dhahran summit is unlikely to call for Assad to step down.