Iran 'interference in Arab affairs' to dominate Dhahran summit

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Saudi Arabia's King Salman slammed Iran's "blatant interference" in regional affairs as Arab leaders met in the kingdom on Sunday for an annual summit.

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

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

The last Arab summit was held in Jordan previous year.

The statement also included the need to confront regional intervention in the domestic affairs of Arab countries, in addition to any intervention that targets their social unity and national identity.

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

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He added that Saudi Arabia renews its strong condemnation of Iranian "terrorism" in the region.

The Arab League summit's final communique called for more global sanctions on Iran and urged it to withdraw "its militias" from Syria and Yemen.

The king said he had named this year's meeting "the Jerusalem summit so that the entire world knows Palestine and its people remain at the heart of Arab concerns".

Last December, Trump reversed decades of USA policy by announcing the United States' recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and the moving of the US embassy to Jerusalem.

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

The leaders will stress that East Jerusalem is the future capital of the Palestinian state, and condemn all Israeli unilateral measures and settlement activities.

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The King welcomed the statement issued by the Security Council, which strongly condemned the launching of Iran-made ballistic missiles by the Houthi militia on Saudi cities.

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.

Not at the summit is Qatar, which has been cut off from its Gulf allies over accusations of ties to Iran and support for extremists - claims denied by Doha.

Tensions have eased slightly in recent months but Qatar still only sent its representative to the Arab League to the Dhahran summit.

President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi said, "it is not just the issue of Arabs, but an issue of rightness against force".

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

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