AN Arab League summit called on Sunday for an international probe into the “criminal” use of chemical weapons in Syria and condemned what it saw as Iran’s interference in the affairs of other countries.
Saudi Arabia and Iran have for decades been locked in a struggle for regional supremacy that is now being played out in proxy wars in several countries, including Yemen and Syria.
It emphasized the need for a political solution to the multi-sided Syrian war.
Saudi Arabia and its allies have expressed support for Saturday’s missile strikes by the United States, Britain and France against alleged chemical weapons facilities in Syria, while Iraq and Lebanon condemned the strikes.
Damascus denies using or possessing chemical weapons and called the strikes an act of aggression.
Military help over the past three years from Russia and Iran, which also backs Lebanon’s Hezbollah and Shi’ite Muslim militias in Iraq, has allowed Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to crush the rebel threat to topple him.
The communique called for more international sanctions on Iran and urged it to withdraw “its militias” from Syria and Yemen.
Iran, which denies the accusations, rejected the condemnation as the result of Saudi pressure.
Saudi Arabia, which takes over the rotating chair of the Arab summit from Jordan, announced that this gathering would be named the “Quds (Jerusalem) Summit”, a reference to U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision last year to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, which Arab states condemned.