Saudi Arabia condemns Iran in wake of missile strikes in Syria

Saudi Arabia condemns Iran in wake of missile strikes in Syria

Saudi Arabia will use the summit to seek Arab support to pile the pressure on Iran.

Opening the 29th Arab League summit, the king criticised the U.S. decision to transfer its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem and described "terrorism" as the biggest challenge facing Arab leaders.

The US, France and the United Kingdom say that the missile strikes on Syria come in retaliation for the alleged use of chemical weapons by the regime of Bashar Al-Assad against civilians last week. A seat marked "Syrian Arab Republic" sat empty in the hall.

And, despite their condemnation of the suspected chemical attack earlier this month, the league members are unlikely to call for Assad to stand down.

"Regional interference in Arab affairs has reached an unprecedented degree".

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, the Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, arrived in Saudi Arabia on Saturday, ahead of leading the country's delegation to the 29th Arab League Summit.

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On the Palestinian issue, Aboul-Gheit said Arab efforts have succeeded in taking a firm stand against the December decision by the USA to acknowledge Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, describing the American decision as a "regression in our Palestinian cause". We categorically refuse to recognise Al-Quds as the capital of Israel, where East Al-Quds will remain the capital of Palestine. The kingdom announced another $50 million for programs run by the United Nations relief agency for Palestinians after the US slashed its aid.

Participants will condemn Iran's continued interference in the internal Arab affairs during the summit that is taking place in the eastern province of Dhahran of Saudi Arabia, and will urge Iran to exhibit a good neighbourly policy and refrain from using force or threatening to use force against neighbours.

The Arab League chief also spoke about "Iranian interventions" that have targeted Yemen, threatening Saudi Arabia's southern borders.

Saudi Arabia and Iran have long considered each other to be regional enemies, and have taken part in proxy conflicts, such as in Syria.

There was little mention of Syria, whose president Bashar al Assad was not invited to the summit.

The global fraternity was asked to toughen sanctions on Iran and its militias, prevent it from supporting terrorist groups, supplying Houthi militias with missiles manufactured in Iran and launched from Yemen toward Saudi cities and to abide by the UN Resolution No. 2216.

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