News / Middle East

Syria Key Issue at Arab League Summit

Interim President of Egypt Adly Mansour, during the opening session of the Arab League Summit in Bayan Palace, Kuwait City, March 25, 2014.
Interim President of Egypt Adly Mansour, during the opening session of the Arab League Summit in Bayan Palace, Kuwait City, March 25, 2014.
Phillip Walter Wellman
The stalled Middle East peace process and Syria’s civil war dominated opening talks at the 25th Arab League Summit, which got under way in Kuwait on Tuesday.

The two-day summit is being held amid deepening divisions among member states, but speakers were united in condemning what they described as Israel’s aggression against Palestine and the bloodshed in Syria.

Following an opening recitation from the Quran, the emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, whose nation chaired last year’s meeting, called on Israel to withdraw completely from all Arab territories.
Syria, deaths from conflict, March 25, 2014Syria, deaths from conflict, March 25, 2014
x
Syria, deaths from conflict, March 25, 2014
Syria, deaths from conflict, March 25, 2014
The secretary-general of the Arab League, Nabil al-Arabi, later applauded U.S. efforts to forge peace in the region, but blamed Israeli settlement expansion and other policies for the stalemate.

He went on to say that Arab nations would be forced to look at what he called “non-traditional ways of solving the problem.” However, he did not elaborate.

Regarding Syria, the emir of Kuwait, Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah, said the U.N. Security Council must do more to solve the conflict, arguing that it now “threatens the security and stability of the world.”

Syria’s seat is empty at this year’s summit, although the president of the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces, Ahmad al-Jarba, was invited to address delegates.

“It’s your battle,” Jarba said of the lengthy war. "Keeping Syria’s seat empty in your midst sends a clear message to [Syria's President Bashar al-] Assad that he can kill and that the seat will wait for him to resolve his war."

The opposition leader also said Syrian embassies in Arab capitals should be given to the National Coalition.

Syria’s opposition attended the previous Arab League Summit in Doha, but officials say the grouping must complete certain legal requirements before participating again.

Promoting Arab solidarity and combating terrorism were other topics heavily spoken of on Tuesday.

Although alluded to several times, the recent rift between Qatar and three of its neighbors — Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain — was not publicly addressed.

The three nations withdrew their ambassadors from Doha this month after accusing the Qataris of jeopardizing regional security by backing the Muslim Brotherhood.

Officials in Kuwait have suggested that talks aimed at Gulf reconciliation may be held on the sidelines of the summit, which concludes on Wednesday.
  • Freed El Mundo Middle East correspondent Javier Espinosa (right) and freelance photographer Ricardo Garcia Vilanova, the two Spanish journalists held hostage in Syria by an al Qaeda-linked militant group for 194 days were freed and handed over to the Turkish military in good health March 29. They pose after their arrival at Torrejon de Ardoz airbase near Madrid, Spain, March 30, 2014.
  • Freed El Mundo Middle East correspondent Javier Espinosa laughs as his son runs towards him after his arrival at Torrejon de Ardoz airbase near Madrid, Spain, March 30, 2014.
  • A refugee family from Kvromh village sit inside a makeshift house in the Serjilla archaeological site of Jabal al-Zawiya, Syria, March 29, 2014.
  • Free Syrian Army fighters walk with their weapons in Azaz village, north of Aleppo, March 30, 2014.
  • Syrian army soldiers loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad hold their weapons as they stand near a tank in al-Maamel area in Aleppo's countryside, March 25, 2014.
  • A convoy carries the coffin of the commander of the pro-government National Defense Forces, Hilal Assad, during his funeral in Latakia province, March 24, 2014.
  • Syrian soldiers carry the coffin of the commander of the pro-government National Defense Forces, Hilal Assad, during his funeral at a hospital in Latakia province, March 24, 2014. (SANA)
  • Smoke rises after what activists said was an airstrike by forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad in Blleramoon district at the northern entrance to the city of Aleppo, March 23, 2014.
  • A general view shows the Armenian Christian town of Kasab after rebel fighters seized it, March 24, 2014.
  • Free Syrian Army fighters prepare to fire an artillery cannon towards forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad in the eastern Damascus suburb of Ghouta, March 23, 2014.
  • Free Syrian Army fighters talk to each other within the compound of the police headquarters near the Justice Palace in the old city of Aleppo, March 23, 2014.

You May Like

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: MUSTAFA from: INDIA
March 25, 2014 10:35 PM
Arab leage cannot solve any problem, because the main problem creator in Arab Leage is SAUDI ARABIA. SA created problem in Syria,Egypt,Libya and now Pakistan. SA is the main sponsor of Taliban in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Taliban Getting weapons and finance from where,once againSA. Every body knows very well SA dirty role in Syria by sponsorship HUMAN KILLERSSSSSSSSSSSSSS. SA helped to remove elected Govt in Egypt. SA is the key player in Ghaddafi remover and then his killing. When Arab Leage have member like SA, we donot think they can move in positive direction by innch.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More