Saudi King Salman invites Egypt's Sisi to visit

Jordan's King Abdullah II speaks during the 28th Ordinary Summit of the Arab League at the Dead Sea, Jordan.

Divided Arab leaders who are attending the one day summit on Wednesday will be seeking common ground to reaffirm their commitment to a Palestinian state, a longstanding goal that US President Donald Trump last month put into doubt. Abdullah is also expected in Washington soon.

Many analysts believe Trump's election casts a long shadow over the summit's agenda, in light of his aggressive military plans in Syria and Iraq, his tougher line on Iran and his perceived bias for Israel.

In the statement, which came at the end of the heavily-guarded Arab League Summit in Jordan, the 17 leaders expressed their support of a two-state solution and urged the global community to condemn "unilateral steps" of Israel.

Customary condemnation of the external threats faced by the Arab people, including the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories, the violations against Al Aqsa Mosque and Palestinian people, and the occupation of the Golan Heights, will also be reiterated during the summit, according to the draft final statement. "Then it will win the respect of its neighbors and its people will reap the benefits of peace, as came in the Arab Peace Initiative", he said.

Diplomatic sources in Muscat and news media in Tehran highlighted days ago that Oman warned the Jordanian government against adopting an openly anti-Iranian stance by the Arab League.

Numerous 21 Arab heads of state leaders present have seen their countries riven by terrorism.

Syrian President Bashar Assad was absent - he hasn't been invited since Syria's suspension from the 22-member Arab League following his crackdown on a 2011 uprising that quickly turned into a brutal civil war.

Saudi Arabia supports the Syrian opposition, while the Gulf heavyweight's main regional rival Iran backs the Assad regime. It is built on a hill called Temple Mount, which is the most sacred place in Judaism. His initial comments, including a campaign promise to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel to contested Jerusalem and suggestions that there are alternatives to a two-state solution, caused alarm among some Arab leaders. The two sides also expressed their deep concern at the growing threat of extremism, terrorism and violence against security and peace in the region and around the world, stressing their support for global efforts to combat extremism and terrorism.

  • Salvatore Jensen