Makkah – Arab and Muslim leaders have started arriving in Makkah in Saudi Arabia for a series of summits convened by King Salman to discuss regional security, threat of the Iranian regime and the establish independent Palestinian state.
The summit is summoned in the wake of the attacks on four tanker ships in the Arabian Gulf by Iranian-backed Houthi militias.
The Gulf and Arab League emergency summits kicked off on Thursday in Makkah, while the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) summit will be held the following day on Friday, entitled the Makkah Summit: Hand in Hand Towards the Future (Together towards the Future).
Saudi Arabian foreign minister Ibrahim Al-Assaf spoke about on Wednesday at a preparatory conference saying: “I would like to emphasize that the Palestinian issue is a paramount issue for Saudi Arabia, in particular the Palestinian people’s full legitimate rights and the establishment of an independent state with East Jerusalem as its capital.”
He added, “Our Islamic world is facing the most serious challenges of interfering in its internal affairs.”
16:25 GMT: Bahrain’s King Hamad is now in Saudi Arabia for the summits. His kingdom will next month be hosting a workshop of Middle Eastern and other countries to discuss the international approach to a Middle East peace plan and the Palestinian issue.
15:45 GMT: We’ve also had the arrival of the Chadian president and the president of Afghanistan on Thursday who will also be attending one of the Makkah summits. The eyes of the Islamic world will certainly be on Saudi Arabia this weekend.
15:30 GMT: Another arrival, another Arab world leader – this time it is Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi who touches down in the Kingdom.
14:30 GMT: Iraqi President Barham Salih arrives in Saudi Arabia to attend the three Makkah summits.
14:05 GMT: The King of Jordan Abdullah II is met by the Governor of Makkah Prince Khalid bin Faisal as he also arrives for this week’s talks in Makkah.
12:10 GMT: Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi is received in Saudi Arabia as he touches down for the summits.
11:30 GMT: The Emir of Kuwait arrives in Saudi Arabia for the series of summits.