Saudi Arabia is hosting an extraordinary joint Islamic-Arab summit in Riyadh to gather Arab and Muslim leaders. The purpose of the summit is to exert pressure on the United States and Israel to end hostilities in Gaza. The summit is expected to strongly condemn Israel’s campaign in Gaza and call for a halt to the forced displacement of Palestinians. Leaders attending the summit include Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Raisi emphasized the need for action rather than mere talk to address the conflict in Gaza.
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman condemned the military assault, targeting of civilians, and violations of international law by the Israeli occupation authorities in the Gaza Strip. The situation in the Middle East has been tense since Hamas fighters entered Israel and caused the death of 1,200 people. Israel has escalated its assault on Gaza, resulting in the deaths of 11,078 Gaza residents, with 40% of them being children. The fighting intensified near Gaza City’s overcrowded hospitals, which were reportedly hit by explosions and gunfire.
The war in Gaza has disrupted traditional Middle East alliances, with Saudi Arabia engaging more closely with Iran and putting its plans to normalize ties with Israel on hold. Raisi’s visit to Saudi Arabia marks the first visit by an Iranian head of state since the two countries ended years of hostility under a China-brokered deal in March. The joint Islamic-Arab summit will replace the scheduled separate summits of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the Arab League. The decision to hold a joint summit was made in response to the exceptional circumstances in Gaza, and after consultation with the Arab League and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.
Arab foreign ministers, who held an emergency meeting, were divided on their approach to Israel. Some countries, led by Algeria, called for cutting all diplomatic ties with Israel, while others stressed the need to maintain open channels with the Israeli government. The summit aims to unify efforts and establish a collective position on the Gaza situation.
In conclusion, Saudi Arabia is using its influence to convene a joint Islamic-Arab summit in Riyadh to address the hostilities in Gaza. The summit will condemn Israel’s campaign and call for the protection of Palestinians. It marks a significant shift in Middle East alliances and provides an opportunity for Arab and Muslim leaders to come together and take action.
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