DHAHRAN / WAM
The Arab Summit started on Sunday its 29th ordinary session at King Abdulaziz International Cultural Center in Dhahran.
The UAE delegation to the summit is led by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai.
King Abdullah II bin Al-Hussain of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, the President of the previous Arab Summit, delivered a speech in which he expressed his thanks to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud for the warm reception and generous hospitality.
Then the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques assumed the presidency of the 29th ordinary session of the Arab Summit.
In his speech, King Salman bin Abdulaziz welcomed all attendees in their second country, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, wishing the summit every success.
“The Palestinian Cause is our first issue and will remain so until the Palestinian people obtain all their legitimate rights, particularly the establishment of an independent state with East Al-Quds as its capital,” King Salman said.
The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques reiterates condemnation and rejection of the United States Administration’s decision on Jerusalem, lauding the international consensus rejecting the US decision.
“We emphasise that East Al-Quds is an integral part of the Palestinian territory,” King Salman affirmed.
On Yemen, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques affirms commitment to Yemen’s unity, sovereignty, independence, security and territorial integrity.
“We call upon the international community to work towards preparing all means to deliver humanitarian aid for the various areas of Yemen. We hold the Iran-backed Houthi militias fully responsible for the emergence and continuation of the Yemeni crisis and the human suffering that has afflicted Yemen.”
He 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.
“Three of these missiles, by now numbering 119, targeted Makkah, Muslims holiest place, proved again to the international community the danger of Iranian behavior in the region, its violation of the principles of international law and ignorance of the values, ethics and good neighborliness. We call for a decisive UN position towards it,” he said.
King Salman underlined the support of the legitimate state institutions and the adherence to the Skhirat Agreement as the basis for resolving the Libyan crisis, preserving Libya’s unity, protecting it from foreign interference and eradicating violence and terrorism. He described terrorism as one of the most serious challenges facing the world today and condemned the terrorist acts carried by Iran.
“Terrorism has allied with extremism and sectarianism to produce internal conflicts affecting many Arab countries. In this regard, we reiterate our strong condemnation of the terrorist acts carried out by Iran in the Arab region and reject its blatant interference in the internal affairs of the Arab countries. We condemn its hostile attempts aimed at destabilising security and spreading sectarian sedition, considered a threat to Arab national security and a flagrant violation of the principles of international law.”
Arab League reaffirms UAE’s sovereignty over occupied islands
The 29th Arab Summit has reaffirmed UAE’s sovereignty over its three islands of Greater and Lesser Tunbs and Abu Musa, and reiterated its support for all peaceful means and measures taken by the UAE to restore its sovereignty over the occupied islands. This came in a resolution issued on Sunday at the end of the Summit of Al Quds which was held under the presidency of Saudi Arabia.
The resolution, titled “Iran’s Occupation of the Three Arab Islands of Greater and Lesser Tunbs and Abu Musa,” condemned Iranian government’s continued occupation of the three islands and its violation of the sovereignty of the UAE, as aggressive acts that undermine regional security and stability and threaten international peace.
The resolution denounced the Iranian government’s building of housing facilities in order to accommodate Iranians on the three occupied islands.
It also condemned Iranian military exercises in regions which include the UAE islands, their territorial waters, airspace, continental shelf and exclusive economic zone of the three islands which are an integral part of the United Arab Emirates, and demanded Iran to stop such violations and provocative acts which constitute interference in the internal affairs of a sovereign, independent state.
”These provocative acts do not help to build confidence, but instead threaten security and stability in the region and endanger the security and safety of regional and international navigation in the Arabian Gulf,” the resolution stressed.
It also hailed the initiatives of the United Arab Emirates and its efforts to find a peaceful and just settlement to the issue of the three occupied islands with the Islamic Republic of Iran.
The Summit reiterated its call on the Iranian government to end the occupation of the UAE islands, to desist from imposing a ”fait accompli” by force, to stop the establishment of any facilities on the islands with the aim of changing their demographic and population composition, and to cancel all the procedures and remove all the establishments that have been previously carried out by Iran unilaterally on the three islands, considering these measures as void and having no legal standing, and contrary to the provisions of international law and the Geneva Convention of 1949.
The Council expressed its hope that the Islamic Republic of Iran will re-consider its stance of refusing to find a peaceful solution to the issue of the three islands belonging to the United Arab Emirates, either through serious and direct negotiations or by resorting to the International Court of Justice.
It called on Iran to translate its announced desire to improve relations with the Arab countries in dialogue, and remove tension, by taking practical and concrete steps in both word and deed, to respond genuinely to the sincere calls issued by the UAE under the leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, GCC and Arab countries, international groups, friendly countries and to the UN Secretary-General of the United Nations, for a solution to the dispute over the three occupied islands by peaceful means in accordance with the norms and conventions and rules of international law through direct negotiations or by referral to the International Court of Justice in order to build confidence and enhance security and stability in the Gulf region.
The Council also stressed the commitment of Arab countries to constantly raise the issue of UAE’s three occupied islands during their contacts with Iran, based on the fact that they are occupied Arab territories and notify the UN Secretary-General and President of the UN Security Council to keep the issue on the council’s agenda until Iran ends its occupation and the UAE restores its full sovereignty.
The resolution requests the Arab League Secretary General to follow up on this issue and submit a report to the council in its coming session.
Sheikh Mohammed meets Sudanese president
DHAHRAN / WAM
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, met Sudanese President Omar Hassan Al Bashir on the sidelines of the 29th Arab Summit in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia.
The two sides discussed the Summit’s agenda.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid praised the organisational efforts of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud to host the Summit.
HH Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, Dr. Anwar bin Mohammed Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, and Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashimy, Minister of State for International Cooperation, also attended the meeting.
Mohammed meets Tunisian President
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum also met President Beji Caid Essebsi, President of Tunisia.
They discussed items on the summit’s agenda and expressed confidence that it will result in positive resolutions that would serve the interests of Arab national causes.
The meeting was attended by HH Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs; Dr. Anwar bin Mohammed Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashimy, Minister of State for International Cooperation.
The 29th Arab Summit drew to a close on Monday evening at the King Abdulaziz International Cultural Center in Dhahran.
The Summit, branded ‘Summit of Al Quds’ by King Salman bin Abdulaziz, approved the draft resolutions listed on its agenda which included 18 articles that covered a wide scope of different political, economic and social issues.
The Dhahran Declaration was issued by the summit, identifying the convening Arab leaders’ views towards the region’s issues.