The Arab leaders have reaffirmed their commitment against the use of banned weapons in warfare and have called for an international probe into the chemical attack carried out by the Syrian regime in the city of Douma in Eastern Ghouta.
In a media statement, the Arab League Summit stated, “We stress our absolute condemnation of the use of chemical weapons against the Syrian people and we demand an international investigation to guarantee the application of international law against anyone proven to have used chemical weapons”. The need for a political solution to the Syrian civil war was also reiterated. The Group also condemned the position of Iran in the whole Syrian puzzle.
The recent airstrikes by Western powers on the chemical facilities of Syria were also supported by the Arab nations along with Israel and Turkey who termed it as a necessary response to the brutal act of Syrian regime against its own citizens. Iraq and Lebanon have condemned the airstrikes and labelled them as an act of aggression which is against the international law.
The Syrian regime forces have been able to wrestle back huge tracks of strategic land from rebels primarily because of the military backing of Russia and Iran. The Arab communiqué has also called for increased sanctions on Iranian regime for its irresponsible behaviour as an international player and has asked it to withdraw its forces and militias from Syrian soils. There was a unanimous condemnation of Iranian meddling in the Arab affairs by ways of promoting sectarian strife or placing militias which cause unrest as in Lebanon, Iraq and Yemen. Iran has denied the allegations and has slammed the statement which it states has been made under Saudi pressure and shadow of the Summit.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has renamed the gathering as the “Quds (Jerusalem) Summit, as chair of the Summit has been passed on to Saudi Arabia after rotation from Jordan. This has been done in reference to the US recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel which had garnered collective condemnation from various Arab states. The League vowed to fight for the cause of Palestine who is pushing for East Jerusalem to be their capital. Saudi Arabia had announced a support package of $200 million for Palestine along with a $50 million pledged by UNRWA the UN Relief and Works Agency. The Summit had no presence from Qatar which confirmed the diplomatic severing of ties with Arab states with Qatar.
Tunisia will be the next host of the Arab League in 2019.
The 2018 Arab League Summit is the 29th Summit in a row. It is also known as the Dhahran Summit.