Arab leaders issue renewed call for establishment of Palestinian State

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Arab leaders meeting in Tunis have issued a renewed call for the establishment of a Palestinian state and condemned a move by the United States to recognise Israeli sovereignty over the occupied Golan Heights.

Held in Tunisia’s capital, the 30th Arab League summit kicked off on Sunday against the backdrop of ongoing wars in Syria and Yemen, instability in Libya and mass anti-government protests in Algeria and Sudan, as well as a continuing boycott of Qatar by four fellow bloc members.

Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani on Sunday left a summit of Arab leaders in Tunis that had gathered the rulers of Saudi Arabia and Qatar for the first time since Riyadh and its allies imposed a boycott on Doha.

Reuters quotes Qatar’s state news agency QNA said Sheikh Tamim had departed Tunisia after attending the opening session of the Arab League summit but did not give a reason why he left the meeting.

France 24 reports that Arab heads of state, long divided by regional rivalries, are expected to unite at a summit on Sunday in the Tunisian capital to oppose a US decision recognising Israel’s annexation of Arab lands captured in 1967.

Arab leaders are already grappling with unrest in Algeria and Sudan, international pressure over the war in Yemen, regional splits over Iran’s influence in the Middle East and a bitter Gulf Arab dispute.

They face a new challenge after US President Donald Trump signed a proclamation last week recognising the Golan Heights as Israeli, less than four months after recognising Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Palestinians want East Jerusalem as the capital of a future state.

Arab officials said the summit would be dominated by the Golan Heights and Palestinian demands for an independent state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, areas also occupied by Israel in the 1967 war.

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman said on Sunday that he “absolutely rejects” any measures that impact Syrian sovereignty over the Golan Heights

Via Reuters / France 24 / Al Jazeera 

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