TUNIS (Reuters) – Arab leaders mentioned on Sunday they might seek a U.N. Security Council resolution towards the U.S. resolution to acknowledge Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights and promised to help Palestinians of their bid for statehood.
FILE PHOTO: An Israeli soldier stands subsequent to indicators stating distances to completely different cities, on Mount Bental, an commentary level within the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights that overlooks the Syrian facet of the Quneitra crossing, Israel May 10, 2018. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun/File Photo
Arab leaders, lengthy divided by regional rivalries, additionally ended their annual summit in Tunisia calling for cooperation with non-Arab Iran primarily based on non-interference in every others’ affairs.
Arab leaders who’ve been grappling with a bitter Gulf Arab dispute, splits over Iran’s regional affect, the conflict in Yemen and unrest in Algeria and Sudan sought widespread floor after Washington acknowledged Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan.
But the abrupt departure from the summit shortly after it started by Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, who’s locked in a row with Saudi Arabia and different Arab states, advised rivalries weren’t simply buried. No motive was given for his departure.
“We, the leaders of the Arab countries gathered in Tunisia … express our rejection and condemnation of the United States decision to recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan,” Arab League Secretary General Ahmed Aboul Gheit mentioned.
He mentioned Arab international locations would current a draft resolution to the U.N. Security Council and seek a authorized opinion from the International Court of Justice on the U.S. resolution. It warned different international locations away from following Washington’s lead.
Trump signed a proclamation final week recognizing the Golan Heights as a part of Israel, which annexed the world in 1981 after capturing it from Syria in 1967.
Trump’s earlier resolution to acknowledge Jerusalem as Israel’s capital additionally drew Arab condemnation. Palestinians need East Jerusalem because the capital of a future state.
Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz advised the Arab leaders his nation “absolutely rejects” any measures affecting Syria’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights.
Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi mentioned Arab nations wanted to make sure the worldwide neighborhood understood the centrality of the Palestinian trigger to Arab nations.
In their remaining communique, Arab states renewed help for an Arab peace initiative that provides Israel peace in alternate for withdrawal from all lands occupied within the 1967 conflict and mentioned they might seek to revive peace talks with the Jewish state.
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who additionally addressed the assembly in Tunis, mentioned any resolution to the Syrian battle should assure the territorial integrity of Syria “including the occupied Golan Heights”.
The Tunis summit introduced collectively the rulers of Saudi Arabia and Qatar for the primary time on the identical gathering since 2017 when Riyadh and its allies imposed a political and financial boycott on Doha.
But Qatar’s emir left the summit corridor shortly after Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit praised the best way Saudi Arabia dealt with its rotating Arab League presidency final 12 months, stay tv footage confirmed.
Qatar’s state information company didn’t say why the Qatari emir left, however Tunisia’s state information company TAP mentioned the remainder of Qatar’s delegation stayed.
Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt accuse Qatar of supporting terrorism and say it has been cozying up to Iran, a cost Doha denies.
The row has defied mediation efforts by Kuwait and the United States, which known as on Gulf Arab states to unite in opposition to Iranian affect within the area.
The remaining communique mentioned Arab states known as for ties with Iran to “be based on good neighborliness, non-interference in internal affairs, the non-use of force or threats, and refraining from practices and actions that would undermine confidence and stability in the region.”
Arab states stay divided over different points, together with how to take care of pro-democracy protests which have erupted within the area since 2011. The presidents of Sudan and Algeria, two nations roiled by anti-government protests, didn’t attend the summit.
Syria’s seat on the summit was vacant. Damascus as been suspended from the League since 2011 over its crackdown on protesters at the beginning of its civil conflict. The League has mentioned no consensus has but been reached to permit Syria’s reinstatement.
Reporting by Ahmed Tolba, Nadine Awadallah and Aidan Lewis in Cairo, Mohamed Argoubi in Tunis and Eric Knecht in Doha; Writing by Sami Aboudi; Editing by Edmund Blair
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