Arab League, war in Syria, Jerusalem’s fury against Tehran

Arab leaders hope to reactivate the "political process" and foster a common "strategy". King Salman against Iran: the "aggressive" attitude is a "threat" to the Arab world. Riyadh allocates 150 million dollars for the conservation of Islamic heritage in East Jerusalem; criticism of the US decision to transfer the embassy.

Dhahran (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The war in Syria, with the recent joint "punitive" raids of the United States, United States and France against Assad, and the frontal clash between Teheran and Riyadh, the two powers of the Middle East, dominated the 29th annual summit of the Arab League.

The summit was held yesterday in Dhahran, a coastal city in the eastern sector of Saudi Arabia. The participants re-launched the call for international diplomacy to "re-activate the political process", the only way to end the Syrian conflict.

In the final communiqué signed by the 17 heads of state or government of the member countries - Qatar, for months at the centre of tensions with Saudi Arabia and Emirates, was present at the ambassador level - the Arab leaders attacked the US decision to transfer the Israeli embassy in Jerusalem. Reaffirming "support for the Palestinian cause", albeit with different nuances, the leaders stressed that East Jerusalem will always be "the capital of Arab Palestine".

In the context of the summit the Saudi king Salman announced a donation of 150 million dollars for the conservation of Islamic heritage in East Jerusalem. "I want to rename this meeting in Dhahran - he said - as the Jerusalem summit, so that the whole world knows that Palestine and its people remain at the center of the concerns of Arabia".

Salman reaffirmed the "unshakable position" of Riyadh on the Palestinian question, highlighting a profound difference with the successor Mohammad bin Salman on the issue. In fact, the 32 year old number two of the kingdom has declared in the recent past that Israel has a "right" to its own state, strengthening ties with Washington and bolstering a common front against Iran.

During the Arab League meeting, participants intervened on several occasions to condemn those that define the "interference" of Tehran (a great Shiite rival of the Saudi Sunnis) in matters concerning the Arab world and the Middle East: from Iraq to Syria, passing through Yemen and Lebanon: all theaters in which the most serious crises are being consumed (in some cases real proxy wars) that upset the region. According to King Salman, Iran's "aggressive" attitude is a "threat" to the Arab world.

Speaking on the Syrian conflict, the secretary of the Arab League, the Egyptian Ahmad Abou el-Gheit launched an appeal to the countries of the Arab world, to "retake initiative in Syria". The goal is "to elaborate a strategy" that allows "to relaunch the search for a political solution".

The next summit of the Arab League - which has excluded Syria from member countries since 2011 - will be held in Tunisia in 2019.