With eye toward Trump, Arab leaders to seek consensus

President Omar al-Bashir will attend an Arab League summit in Amman this week, Sudan's foreign minister said Sunday, despite a top rights group urging Jordan to deny him entry.

He did not say whether a boycotting decision would be included or not.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas says he's waiting to hear from the US on the extent to which Israel is willing to curb settlement construction.

Arab leaders are gathering for an annual summit where the call for Palestinian statehood is to take centre stage.

Secretary General of the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Supply Yousef Shamali said in remarks that the "potentials, locations and resources of the Arab ummah prompt us to boost economic cooperation, as well as investments", Jordan's news agency Petra reported. Such recognition was first proposed by the United States after the election of Republican president Ronald Reagan.

Antonio Guterres told an Arab summit Wednesday that while fighting terrorism is essential, "any success will prove ephemeral" without a political solution to Syria's 6-year-old civil war that allows Syrians to decide their own fate.

He called on the Arab leaders to help make 2017 a year to put the Palestinian issue on a road toward ending the Israeli occupation and to win more recognition of Palestine, particularly from the governments that support the two-state solution "because their recognition would preserve and keep this option before it is too late".

He said efforts to end conflicts in Syria, Yemen and Libya must "not distract us from seeking to heal the longest open wound in the region, the plight of the Palestinian people". The Palestinians seek a capital in east Jerusalem, captured by Israel in 1967, along with the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Abbas spoke to reporters Tuesday, after meeting with President Donald Trump's envoy, Jason Greenblatt, on the sidelines of an Arab summit.

Addressing the meeting, Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Al-Safadi Jordanian Foreign Minister said the summit comes amid several crises in the Middle East.

Arab foreign ministers attend an emergency meeting on Syria at the Arab League Headquarters in Cairo.

Neighbouring Saudi Arabia is one of Jordan's main financial backers.

The two countries also agreed to establish a Saudi-Jordanian medical services company and to build and operate a 50MW solar energy plant in Eastern Jordan.

In recent weeks there were signs an embassy move is not imminent. Tehran and Riyadh back opposite sides in the wars in Syria and Yemen, and a more aggressive USA stance toward Iran would presumably help the Saudis contain their regional archrival.

  • Leroy Wright