Saudi rejects United States plan to transfer embassy to Jerusalem

Saudi rejects United States plan to transfer embassy to Jerusalem

Saudi Arabia's King Salman slammed Iran's "blatant interference" in regional affairs as Arab leaders met in the kingdom on Sunday for an annual summit.

"We are confident that the presidency of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia of this Arab Summit's session at this critical phase will benefit all our countries, which will make them, God willing, able to move forward to promote joint action and preserve Arab national security", the King said.

The Qatari delegation will be headed by Doha's permanent representative to the Arab League, Saif bin Muqaddam al-Buainain, the state news agency said without elaborating.

During the preparatory meeting on Thursday, Saudi Arabia said the Palestinian conflict would top the summit's agenda, though it is likely that airstrikes on Syria from the US, UK and France will now result in a shift in priorities.

He announced the dedication of $50 million to UNRWA and $150 million to the Islamic Endowment Support Program in Jerusalem, stressing that east Jerusalem should be the capital of Palestine. He asked: "Should the world sit and watch as an arrogant ruler (Syrian President Bashar Assad) commits genocide in his own country?"

HM the King also paid tribute to the Arab League Secretary-General, Ahmed Aboul Gheit, and the Arab League Secretariat-General's staff for their efforts to prepare for the 29th Summit.

"The Saudis are going to push for a much harsher stance on Iran - not necessarily on the nuclear dossier per se, but on Iranian influence in the Arab countries, particularly Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen", said Karim Bitar of the Paris-based Institute of worldwide and Strategic Affairs. The two regional titans, locked in proxy wars in Syria and in Saudi Arabia's southern neighbor Yemen, back opposing parties in Iraq and Lebanon.