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Arab leaders call for probe into Syria chem attacks, condemn Iran

16 April 2018

THERE have been 40 summits of Arab leaders in the last 70 years.

The summit adopted two communiques on its agenda that included 18 items on different political, economic and social issues.

The summit also affirmed, according to the statement, the right of any Arab country to protect its security and stability and to get the full support by other Arab countries, under article 51 of the United Nations (UN) Charter. However, Iranian intervention in the Arab World especially in Yemen and Syria will dominate the proceedings of the summit.

Sixteen Arab leaders are attending the 29th summit, which comes one day after the U.S., France and Britain launched a joint airstrike in Syria in the wake of a suspected chemical attack by regime forces.

Donald Trump, the United States president, announced the strikes in a late night address from the White House on Friday.

The Omani delegation comprised Yousuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah, Minister Responsible for Foreign Affairs, Dr Adbullah bin Mohammed bin Said al Sa'eedi, Minister of Legal Affairs and Sheikh Mohammed bin Said bin Saif al Kalbani, Minister of Social Development and government officials.

Arab leaders - minus Syrian President Bashar al-Assad - meet in Saudi Arabia for a summit on Sunday as world powers face off over Syria and tensions rise between Riyadh and Tehran.

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.

Al-Jubeir stressed that terrorism must be dealt with firmly and the sources of its funding should be dried up.

On this note, he "strongly condemned Iran's terrorist acts in the Arab region".

Summits of the Arab League, established in 1945, rarely result in action.

He noted that the victory over Daesh (so-called Islamic State) must be consolidated by calling for the reconstruction of the affected areas.

Topping the list of issues to be discussed are the Palestinian issue and financial support for Palestine, the crisis in Yemen, the Syrian conflict and Iran's interference in the internal affairs of the Arab states, among others.

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.

Iran has repeatedly denied such accusations.

The four countries severed diplomatic and transport ties with Doha in June 2017, accusing it of supporting terrorism.

Arab leaders call for probe into Syria chem attacks, condemn Iran