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Viral photo shows Arab leaders enjoying simple dinner after Arab League summit

16 April 2018

The 29th Arab League summit kicks off in the Saudi city of Dhahran on Sunday amid several challenges facing the Arab world, mainly in Syria, Yemen and Palestine, in addition to Iranian and Turkish interference.

Seven years into a war that has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives, Saudi Arabia and Iran now agree that the country's future can not be decided exclusively by the Assad regime, whose troops have regained the upper hand with massive support from Russian Federation.

"East Jerusalem is an integral part of the Palestinian territories", he stressed.

The meeting opened only 24 hours after a barrage of strikes launched by the United States, Britain and France hit targets they said were linked to chemical weapons development in Syria, which was suspended from the league seven years ago.

King Salman therefore rejected and condemned the American administration's decision to relocate its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, hailing the worldwide denouncement of Washington's decision.

The heads of state of Arab League will discuss the civil wars in Syria and Yemen.

In an opening speech, Saudi Arabia's King Salman also criticized Iran's "blatant interference in other countries".

Seemingly starstruck, the US President told Saudi Arabia's next leader: "You are more than the crown prince now".

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Asharq Al-Awsat received Friday a copy of the draft closing statement and draft resolutions agreed on by Arab foreign ministers following their preparatory meetings held last Thursday in Saudi Arabia ahead of the summit.

The AL also denounced use of chemical weapons in any place, requiring an worldwide investigation in accordance with global regulations into any such case.

Instead the king focused on rivalries with longtime foe Iran - only 160 kilometers (100 miles) across the Gulf from Dhahran.

"The Palestinian cause has been and will always be our main cause until the Palestinians regain their rights", he said.

The two regional titans, locked in proxy wars in Syria and in Saudi Arabia's southern neighbour Yemen, back opposing parties in Iraq and Lebanon.

The summit also agreed on the necessity to secure the Arab World from the dangers terrorism poses and to work on combating terrorism and supporting all security, economic, social, cultural and intellectual means to preserve the Arab World's national security.

Last month the Security Council issued a statement condemning Houthi missile attacks on Saudi, but did not name Iran.

Moreover, Qassemi called on the Arab League member states to take necessary measures to build confidence and promote stability in the region.

Viral photo shows Arab leaders enjoying simple dinner after Arab League summit