Saudi Arabia Hosts 57-Nation Summit, Bringing Together Iran and Arab Leaders

Israel launched its offensive after surprise; cross-border attacks by Hamas left 1,200 people dead and took 230 hostages…reports Asian Lite News

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi met Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in their first public appearance together in 11 years at a summit convened by Saudi Arabia on the Israel Hamas war where Arab and Muslim leaders from 57 nations condemned what they called Israeli “war crimes” in Gaza where innocent Palestinians civilians had lost their lives.

The summit highlights the first trip by an Iranian leader to Saudi Arabia in 11 years after the two countries restored diplomatic relations in March. Raisi shook hands with Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman.

Speaking at the summit, Raisi said that all attendees had gathered there on behalf of the Islamic world to “save the Palestinians”, the media report said. 

“We have gathered here today to discuss the focus of the Islamic world, which is the Palestinian cause, where we’ve witnessed the worst crimes in history… today, is a historic day in the heroic defence and support of Al-Aqsa Mosque,” he added.

Opening the summit, the Saudi Crown Prince said the Kingdom “categorically rejects” the war to which Palestinians are being subjected. Saudi Arabia is a close ally of the US sharing interests on oil production and is instrumental in playing a great role in hostage negotiations with Egypt, US, Qatar.

“This summit is being held under exceptional and painful circumstances,” he said. 

“We categorically reject this brutal war that our brothers and sisters are being subjected to in Palestine… we renew our demand for an immediate cessation of military operations.”

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said the US “bears responsibility for the absence of a political solution” as it has the most influence on Israel.

The Saudi Prince’s extraordinary diplomatic push in organising the summit of arab nations and Muslim leaders that drew out the Iranian President for the first time out of Tehran, gathered 57 leaders, who demanded that the UN Security Council take a “decisive and binding decision” to impose a ceasefire and Israel’s expanded ground invasion was hurting innocent civilians, media reports said.

“We condemn the Israeli aggression against the Gaza Strip, the war crimes and the barbaric, brutal and inhumane massacres committed by the colonial occupation government against the Palestinian people, including in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem. We demand it be stopped immediately,” a resolution adopted at summit said.

The summit demanded the entry of humanitarian aid convoys to help relieve the stress of the people remaining in the combat zones in the Gaza enclave, CNN reporting on the summit said.  

Some 7,00,000 people have fled the war torn zone including foreign nationals and injured civilians that have crossed the border across Rafah crossing into Egypt.

Large number of civilians still remain in Gaza as the Hamas is preventing their exit to use them as human shields as IDF forces its entry into Gaza city through their expanded ground invasion, media reports said.

“Protection from cycles of violence and wars will not be achieved without ending the Israeli occupation… we hold Israel, the occupying power responsible for the continuation and aggravation of the conflict as a result of its aggression against human rights,” the resolution emphasised.

Israel launched its offensive after surprise; cross-border attacks by Hamas left 1,200 people dead and took 230 hostages.

Iran backs the Lebanese armed group Hezbollah, which has engaged the Jewish nation in daily cross-fire Israel’s northern border with Lebanon. It also backs Yemen’s Houthi rebels, who have been firing missiles towards Israel, and maintains strong ties with Hamas. 

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad also attended the summit, a further sign of Syria’s rehabilitation among Arab states, following his participation at a regional meeting in May. 

In his remarks, Assad criticized normalization agreements between Arab countries and Israel. 

“More hands extended by us equals more massacres against us,” he said.

Qatar’s head of state, Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, also criticized the international community for failing to “stop war crimes and massacres” in Gaza.

Qatar has brokered indirect negotiations between Hamas and Israel over the release of Israeli hostages held by Hamas, humanitarian aid into the besieged Gaza strip, as well as a possible ceasefire. 

Arab-Islamic summit has rejected justifying Gaza war as Israeli self-defence

Riyadh hosted leaders from Iran, Turkey, Syria, Palestine and other countries to discuss the Israel-Gaza war. 

In the opening remarks, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman called for an immediate cessation of military operations in Gaza and the release of all captives and prisoners. 

“This is a humanitarian catastrophe that has proved the failure of the international community and the UN Security Council to put an end to Israel’s gross violations of international humanitarian laws, and prove the dual standards adopted by the world,” he said.

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