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
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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.

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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.

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