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Saudi to pressure rival Iran

16 April 2018

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

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A key focus of Jordan's policy is relaunching peace talks between the Palestinians and the Israelis, with emphasis on the Arab Peace Initiative based on the two-state solution and the right of the Palestinians to establish their independent state on their national soil along the borders of June 4, 1967, with East Jerusalem as its capital.

As a chair of the 28th arab summit, His Majesty will deliver a speech at the opening of the summit, where Arab leaders will discuss wide-ranging issues of concern to the Arab world including latest political developments in the region.

Israel occupied mainly Palestinian east Jerusalem in the 1967 Six-Day War and later annexed it in a move never recognized by the worldwide community.

The summit was held some two days after United States, France and Britain, hit three sites, one in Damascus, and two in the city of Homs, in Syria which US President Donald Trump claimed were "associated with the chemical weapon capabilities" of the Syrian government.

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Minister Awad who reached Saudi Arabia on Thursday attended the preparatory meeting on Friday ahead of the Summit.

Meanwhile, Iran has led proxy battles in several Arab countries, including Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Yemen.

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

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.

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

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Saudi Arabia's push for a tough stand against its arch-rival Iran is expected to dominate an Arab League summit on Sunday as regional tensions grow over the wars in Syria and Yemen.

"We renew our strong condemnation of Iran's terrorist acts in the Arab region and reject its blatant interference in the affairs of Arab countries", the king said.

The summit also comes with Saudi Arabia and Qatar locked in a monthslong diplomatic standoff, with Riyadh accusing Doha of supporting extremists and being too close to Iran. Doha denies the charges and says the boycott is an attempt to impinge on its sovereignty.

Asked why Qatar was not on the summit's agenda, the Saudi foreign minister said: "Because Qatar is not on the agenda".

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Saudi to pressure rival Iran