Riyadh hosts joint Arab-Islamic summit after disagreements over response to war on Gaza - report
Arab League countries were divided over "important clauses" that could not be adopted in its joint response to Israel's onslaught on Gaza, according to a report by The New Arab's Arabic language sister site Al-Araby Al-Jadeed.
The Saudi foreign ministry announced late on Friday that the two emergencies meetings would be held as one joint summit on Saturday in Riyadh.
“In response to the exceptional circumstances witnessed in Gaza, and after consultation with the Arab League and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, it has been decided to hold an extraordinary joint Arab-Islamic summit in Riyadh today,” the statement from the Saudi foreign ministry said.
The emergency meeting of the Arab League and the OIC in the Saudi capital came after Israel's aerial and ground offensive on the besieged Gaza Strip killed more than 11,000 people in Gaza, mostly civilians, including over 4,000 children and over 3,000 women.
The two summits were originally planned to be held separately but they were merged due a lack of consensus among Arab states on the nature of a joint response to Israel’s war Gaza during a preparatory meeting of Arab League member states held on Thursday.
The Al-Araby Al-Jadeed report said that four "influential countries" in the Arab League had prevented the adoption of proposals that carry concrete measures against Israel, while they proposed more vague non-committal clauses.
The divisive clauses are believed to have included prohibiting the use of US and other military bases in Arab countries to supply Israel with weapons and ammunition; freezing Arab diplomatic, economic, security, and military relations with Israel; and threats to leverage oil and Arab economic capabilities to apply pressure and halt the ongoing aggression.
Libya also proposed that the final statement of the conference should include a joint statement in support of the right of the Palestinian people to resist the Israeli occupation.
These measures were proposed and endorsed by 11 Arab countries of the 22-member body, including Palestine, Syria, Algeria, Tunisia, Iraq, Lebanon, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Libya and Yemen.
The four countries who voted against and those who abstained were not disclosed.