Arab summit calls for probe into chemical attack in Syria
DHAHRAN – The 29th Arab League summit, dubbed “Jerusalem Summit’, ended on Sunday evening with adoption of the Dhahran Declaration, which called for fostering joint action to protect the Arab world from dangers as well as to ensure its security and stability so as to achieve a promising future.
Arab leaders called for an independent international probe into the chemical attack on innocent civilians in Syria.
The leaders and heads of delegations attending the summit stressed in the declaration the importance of promoting joint Arab action based on a clear methodology and solid foundations that protect the Arab nation from the dangers. They also underscored the need for ensuring prosperity for future generations and contributing to restoring hope to the Arab people who have suffered the scourge of the so-called Arab Spring and the subsequent events and transformations that have had a profound impact on Arab nations.
Arab leaders decided the following:
1- We reaffirm that the Palestine cause is the entire Arab nation’s main priority, stressing the Arab identity of occupied East Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Palestine.
2- We stress the importance of a comprehensive and lasting peace in the Middle East as a strategic Arab option embodied in the Arab Peace Initiative, adopted by all Arab countries at Beirut Summit in 2002, and supported by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, which is still the most comprehensive plan to address all final status issues, provides security, acceptance and peace to Israel with all Arab countries. So, we affirm our commitment to the Arab Peace Initiative.
We affirm the illegality of the American decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, as we categorically refuse to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, where East Jerusalem will remain the capital of Palestine. We warn against taking any action that would change the current legal and political status of Jerusalem.
We welcome the decision of the United Nations General Assembly on Jerusalem and thank the states that support it, while reaffirming our continued efforts to re-launch serious and effective Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations that will end the political stallmate resulting from the intransigence of Israeli positions. The conflict could be ended through a two-state solution that guarantees the establishment of an independent Palestinian state on the borders of 4 July 1967 with East Jerusalem as its capital. This is the way to achieve security and stability in the region, as per the announcement of the Palestinian President at the Security Council on February 20, 2018.
We affirm our rejection to all unilateral Israeli steps aimed at changing the facts on the ground and undermining the two-state solution. We call on the international community to implement the resolutions of international legitimacy, latest of which is Security Council resolution No. 2334 in 2016, condemning the installation of settlements and land confiscation. We also support the outcomes of the Paris Peace Conference on the Middle East, held on Jan. 15 last year, which renewed the commitment of the international community to the two-state solution as the only way to achieve lasting peace.
We demand the implementation of all the Security Council resolutions concerning Jerusalem, stressing the invalidity of all Israeli measures aimed at changing the features of East Jerusalem and the confiscation of its true Arab identity. We call on the countries of the world not to transfer their embassies to Jerusalem or to recognize it as the capital of Israel.
We affirm the need to implement the decision of the UNESCO Executive Council issued at the 200th session on 18 Oct. 2016. We call on the international community to bear its responsibilities regarding the Israeli violations and the arbitrary measures that affect Al-Aqsa Mosque and its worshipers. We consider the Jordanian authorities as the only body in charge of the administration, maintenance and access to Al-Aqsa Mosque.
3- We strongly condemn targeting the security of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia through launching 119 ballistic missiles by Iranian-backed terrorist Houthi militias toward Riyadh, Makkah and a number of the Saudi cities, affirming our support to the Kingdom in all measures taken to protect its security and capabilities. We call on the international community to tighten sanctions on Iran and its militias, prevent it from support terrorist groups, supply the terrorist Houthi militias with ballistic missiles manufactured in Iran and launched from inside the Yemeni territories toward the Saudi cities and to abide with UN Resolution No. 2216 which prevents importing arms to Houthis.
We support the efforts of the Arab Coalition to support Legitimacy in Yemen in order to end the Yemeni crisis on the basis of the Gulf initiative, its executive mechanisms, the outcomes of the National Dialogue Conference and Security Council Resolution No. 2216 (2015), ensure the independence of Yemen and its unity, prevent the interference in its internal affairs and preserve its security and its neighboring countries. We also praised the reconstruction initiatives and the coalition countries stand with the brotherly Yemeni people through the Restoration of Hope Initiative and its relief, treatment and development assistance through relief and humanitarian projects provided by King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre (KSRelief).
We also welcome the resolution of Arab Coalition countries to support Legitimacy in Yemen, open Sana’a International Airport and the port of Al-Hodeidah on the Red Sea to receive relief and humanitarian materials. We also praise the assistance being provided by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to Yemen.
We praised the keenness of Arab Coalition to abide by international law and international humanitarian law in its military operations in Yemen despite all of the dangerous terrorist Houthi provocations and practices against Yemeni people and the security of the coalition countries. We reject the Iranian interference in the internal affairs of the Arab countries and condemn the aggressive attempts to destabilize the security and fuel sectarian sedition in the Arab countries, including Iran's support and arming of the terrorist militias in a number of Arab countries as it violates the principles of good neighborliness, the rules of international relations, the principles of international law and the Charter of the United Nations.
We demand that Iran withdraws its militias and armed elements from all Arab countries, particularly Syria and Yemen.
We affirm the commitment to adhere to the principles of the Charter of the United Nations and the Charter of the Arab League, and that our relations with other countries should be based on mutual respect and positive cooperation supporting security, peace, stability as well as pushing development process.
4- We emphasize the need to find a political solution to end the Syrian crisis, in order to achieve the aspirations of the Syrian people who is under the aggression, preserve the unity of Syria, protect its sovereignty and independence, and end the presence of all external forces and sectarian terrorist groups, based on Geneva 1 outputs, statements of the International Support Group for Syria and the relevant resolutions of the Security Council, in particular Resolution No. 2254 of 2015. There is no way to stop bloodshed except by reaching a peaceful settlement that achieves a real transition to a political reality shaped and agreed upon by all the components of the Syrian people through the Geneva track, which is the only framework for the peaceful solution, and we are committed to the international community to alleviate human suffering in Syria to avoid new humanitarian crises.
We have followed the actions of the Western forces in Syria. We stress the need to join efforts to reach a political solution to the Syrian crisis and we stress our absolute condemnation of the use of chemical weapons against the brotherly Syrian people. We call for an independent international investigation that includes the implementation of international law. 5- The Arab leaders reaffirm their solidarity with Lebanon and their concern for its stability and territorial integrity in the face of repeated Israeli violations of its sovereignty. The leaders also expressed their support for Lebanon in bearing the burden of the Syrian displacement crisis and commend the success of the Rome and Paris conferences, reflecting the international community's keenness on the stability and prosperity of Lebanon.
6- We reaffirm that Iraq's security, stability and territorial integrity are an important part of the Arab national security system. We stress our absolute support for Iraq in its efforts to eradicate terrorist gangs and we value the achievements of the Iraqi army in liberating other Iraqi provinces and regions.
We support the efforts aimed at restoring security to Iraq and achieving national reconciliation by activating a political process leading to justice and equality and a secure and stable Iraq. We thank the efforts of the State of Kuwait in hosting the Iraq reconstruction conference. We also thank the countries contributing to the reconstruction and wish Iraq security, prosperity and progress in the framework of its Arab incubator, which we are meeting under its umbrella.
7- We stress the importance of supporting the Libyan legitimate institutions and support the four-way dialogue hosted by the League of Arab States, with the participation of the European Union, the African Union and the United Nations, as well as supporting efforts to reach an agreement that ends the crisis through national reconciliation in accordance with the "Skhirat" agreement and preserves Libya's territorial integrity and the cohesion of its social fabric.
We affirm our stand with the State of Libya in their efforts to defeat the terrorist gangs and eradicate the danger posed by their supporters to Libya and its neighbors.
8- We commit ourselves to creating the necessary means and devoting all necessary efforts to the elimination of terrorist gangs and the defeat of terrorists in all fields of military, security and intellectual confrontation, the continuation of the fight against terrorism and the elimination of its causes and the elimination of its supporters, organizers and sponsors at home and abroad such as Iran and its arms in the Middle East and Africa, Hoping that the free world will stand up to our support and support all of us to enjoy peace, security and development. We emphasize our keenness to prevent the exploitation by terrorists of information technology and social media in recruitment, propaganda and dissemination of extremist thought and hatred that distort the image of the Islamic religion.
9- We strongly condemn the attempts to link terrorism and Islam. We call upon the international community represented by the United Nations to issue a unified definition of terrorism. Terrorism has no religion, no homeland and no identity. We call on the governments of all countries to shoulder their responsibilities to combat this dangerous scourge.
We deplore the distortion by some of the extremist groups in the world of the image of the true religion of Islam by linking it to terrorism, and warn that such attempts serve only terrorism itself. We condemn the acts of terrorism, violence and human rights violations against the Muslim minority of the Rohingya in Myanmar. We call upon the international community to assume its responsibilities and to move effectively, diplomatically, legally and humanely to stop these violations and to hold the Government of Myanmar fully responsible.
10- We affirm the sovereignty of the United Arab Emirates over its three islands (Greater Tunb, Lesser Tunb and Abu Musa) and support all measures taken to restore its sovereignty over them. We call upon Iran to respond to the UAE initiative to find a peaceful solution to the issue of the three islands through direct negotiations or recourse to the International Court of Justice. 11- We affirm our full solidarity with our brothers in the Republic of the Sudan in order to safeguard the national sovereignty of the country and to consolidate efforts to consolidate peace, security and development.
12- We affirm our support for the efforts of the Arab States bordering the Red Sea to enhance security in it and in its international waterways as a cornerstone for regional and international peace and security. 13- We affirm our continued support for the Federal Republic of Somalia to spread security and stability, combat terrorism, rebuild and strengthen national institutions and meet economic and development challenges.
14- We affirm our continued support for the initiative of the National Dialogue of the Comoros and stand alongside the Republic of the Comoros to achieve the vision of reaching the ranks of emerging countries by 2030.
15- We support the efforts of Sudan, Somalia and the Comoros to benefit from the initiative of international financial institutions on heavily indebted countries.
16-We welcome the invitation of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to establish the Arab Cultural Summit, hoping that it will contribute to the advancement of culture and enlightenment and to fuel the roots of the original Arab scientific and ethical values to catch up with the culture that the nation has been left behind by wars, strife and unrest.
17- We stress the importance of the role played by the Arab Parliament in the process of joint Arab action and support its carrying out the tasks entrusted to it to the fullest through initiatives that support the advancement of our nation in order to achieve greater prosperity and progress of the peoples of the region in line with the orientations of the League of Arab States in addition to enhancing its consultative role in order to achieve the desired future for sustainable development, creating opportunities and enshrining the values of justice, human rights, citizenship and equality to promote Arab identity and prevent disintegration or sectarian strife and unite the Arab ranks to serve the peoples of the region and achieve the aspirations of their countries.
18- We appreciate the efforts exerted by the Economic and Social Council in particular and the organizations and councils of the Arab League and its organizations in general in following up the decisions of the previous summits and implementing them with the aim of developing Arab economic cooperation, increasing trade exchange, strengthening and linking infrastructure in the fields of transport and energy, economic, regional and job opportunities for the Arab youth, and in this context we value the achievements made in the field of sustainable development, looking forward to the continued development of partnership with the private sector and create a stimulating investment environment capable of efforts to establish the Greater Arab Free Trade Zone and the Customs Union.
19 We express our sincere thanks and gratitude to the king, government and people of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for their warm hospitality and perfect preparations for the summit. We express our sincere respect and appreciation to King Salman for his wise management of the Summit and for his sincere efforts to support joint Arab action and enhance coordination and cooperation in order to serve the Arab world and address the challenges facing it.