Saudi Arab League Summit

President Farmajo leaves for Saudi Arabia to attend Arab League Summit

The two regional titans back opposing sides in a range of hotspots across the Middle East, including Lebanon and Syria and in Saudi Arabia's southern neighbor Yemen.

The push against Iran is being led "predominantly by Saudi Arabia and the UAE, along with other Arab countries including Egypt", Krieg said.

On the Palestinian issue, Aboul-Gheit said Arab efforts have succeeded in taking a firm stand against the December decision by the United States to acknowledge Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, describing the American decision as a "regression in our Palestinian cause".

"I name this summit in Dhahran the Jerusalem Summit so that the entire world knows Palestine and its people remain at the heart of Arab concerns", he said.

The participants also denounced targeting 119 missile attacks by Iranian-backed Houthi militias on Saudi Arabia through, Makkah and a number of other cities.

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.

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The Syrian government denies using or possessing chemical weapons and said the strikes were an act of aggression.

The last Arab summit was held in Jordan a year ago.

The Saudi monarch renewed accusations for Iran of supporting terrorism and interfering in Arab affairs. "And first of these is the Iranian interference, the aim of which is not for the well-being of the Arabs or their interests", he said.

Riyadh expressed its support for the strikes on Damascus in a statement on Saturday.

The league said it condemns the use of chemical weapons but did not lay direct blame on any one party.

Among the leaders in attendance was Sudan's Omar al-Bashir, who walked the red carpet and was greeted by King Salman.

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At the start of the meeting, Aboul-Gheit lamented a lack of consensus among Arab states on regional security.

Opening the 29th Arab League summit, the Saudi King also criticised the USA decision to transfer its embassy in Israel to Occupied Jerusalem and described "terrorism" as the biggest challenge facing Arab leaders.

Topping the agenda will be the Palestinian issue, according to Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir.

"The fact that we have very strong ties with the USA over history, and the Trump administration in particular, is a positive factor, not a negative factor in trying to help guide them towards a positive engagement in the Middle East", al-Jubeir told reporters after the talks.

The photo showed Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi, Bahraini King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa, Jordanian King Abdullah II, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Dubai Ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Head of Saudi sports Turki al-Sheikh, Saudi Royal Court Advisor Saud al-Qahtani, and Head of Egypt's General Intelligence Service Abbas Kamel.

King Salman announced a $150 million donation for the maintenance of Islamic heritage in East Jerusalem.

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Witnesses saw blasts surrounding much of the Syrian capital and a huge fire could be seen from a distance to the east. US officials said there was no indication so far that Syrian air defenses struck attacking Western aircraft or ships.

Tensions have eased slightly in recent months but Qatar still only sent its representative to the Arab League to the Dhahran summit. The four accuse Qatar of sponsoring terrorism because of its support for Islamist opposition groups in the region and its warm relations with Iran.

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