Arab Summits: Historical Milestones In Support Of Just, Legitimate Palestinian Rights

(MENAFN- The Peninsula) QNA

Doha, Qatar: With the participation of HH the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, the 33rd regular session of the Arab League Council at the summit level kicks off Thursday in Kingdom of Bahrain, in light of extraordinary conditions in the Arab arena that require urgent Arab positions to be taken, to confront the various dangers and challenges that the Arab region has been subjected to, especially at the level of the Palestinian cause as it is Arabs' primary cause. These conditions also require closing ranks, unifying positions, visions, and energies, and harnessing all the capabilities of the Arab countries, to serve their just and crucial issues, as well as the ambitions and aspirations of their people for peace, security, stability, progress, and prosperity.

The participation of HH the Amir in the Arab Summit is based on the State of Qatar's belief in the Arab nation's capability to unite its energies and potentials and harness them to serve its countries, peoples, issues, rights and legitimate aspirations for peace, development and stability.

His Highness' participation also affirms that the State of Qatar stands with all its being alongside the brotherly Palestinian people in their current ordeal - especially in the besieged Gaza Strip, and supports their legitimate rights to freedom, self-determination, and the establishment of their independent state.

Since the founding of the Arab League in March 1945, 44 summits were held, including 32 regular summits - the last of which was in 2023, in Jeddah, and 12 extraordinary summits - the last of which was in 2019, in Mecca. Meanwhile, four Arab development summits (economic and social) were held, in addition to several Arab summits with regional groupings and blocs. Doha hosted three Arab summits, including an emergency summit in January 2009, a regular summit in March 2009, and another regular summit in March 2013.

The Palestinian cause has formed a pivotal point and a fixed cornerstone in the various Arab summit sessions, regular and extraordinary as well as regional ones, as the decisions of the Arab summits have always included resolutions emphasizing the centrality of the Palestinian cause, as the cause of all Arabs to restore legitimate, inalienable Palestinian rights.

The first Arab summit meeting was held at Inshas Palace in May 1946, in Egypt's Alexandria, a year after the founding of the Arab League. Only seven countries, the founding countries of the Arab League, participated in the first meeting, which was devoted to supporting the Palestinian cause. In its outcome, the Arab identity of Palestine was affirmed, and its fate was connected to the situation of all the Arab League countries, emphasizing that what befalls Palestinians befalls the peoples of the entire Arab nation. This was before the official announcement of the establishment of the so-called "State of Israel" in 1948.

In November 1956 - a decade later, the Beirut Summit was held in Lebanon, to support Egypt against the tripartite aggression. The summit called for standing by Egypt against the aggression, and affirming its sovereignty over the Suez Canal in accordance with the 1888 treaty, as well as the six principles approved by the United Nations Security Council (UNGA) on Oct. 13, 1956.

Held in 1964, the Cairo Summit witnessed a historic transformation in the process of joint Arab action, as the Arab summits gained official status and it was decided that they would be held periodically. Within its resolutions, the summit stressed the necessity of purifying the Arab atmosphere of differences, supporting and consolidating Arab solidarity, and considered the establishment of the so-called "Israel" a threat to the Arab nation, in addition to calling for the establishment of a unified command for the armies of the Arab countries.

In September 1964, the second regular Arab Summit Conference was held in Alexandria, and it called for strengthening Arab defense capabilities, welcoming the establishment of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) and its accreditation as the representative of the Palestinian people.

Following the approach taken by the Arab leaders to hold the summit on an annual basis, Morocco hosted the third regular Arab summit in September 1965, in Casablanca, during which it culminated in approving and adhering to the Arab Solidarity Pact, supporting the Palestinian cause in all international forums, supporting disarmament, preventing the spread of nuclear weapons, and resolving international disputes by peaceful means.

The fourth Arab summit, which was held in 1967, in Khartoum, Sudan, represented one of the most prominent Arab summits historically known as "The Three No's" Summit, after the June 1967 war, and the occupation of the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, the Syrian Golan, and the Egyptian Sinai Peninsula by Israeli forces.

The fifth regular Arab Summit Conference was held in December 1969, in Rabat, Morocco, during which the focus was on the crime of an extremist burning Al-Aqsa Mosque on Aug. 21, 1969.

The Palestinian cause remained the greatest concern of Arab leaders and the focus of the sixth ordinary Arab summit in Algiers, which was held in November 1973, as well as the seventh ordinary Arab summit held in October 1974, in Rabat, which adopted the PLO as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people.

In October 1976, the eighth regular Arab summit was held in Cairo, during which the Arab countries were invited, each according to their capabilities, to contribute to the reconstruction of Lebanon and to commit to supporting Arab solidarity.

During the 23rd Arab summit held in March 2012 in Baghdad, Iraq, the Arab leaders called for a dialogue between the Syrian authorities and the opposition, demanding that Damascus immediately implement the plan of the UN and Arab League Special Envoy in Syria, Kofi Annan.

In March 2013, the 24th regular session of the Arab summit was held in Doha, during which the Arab countries' leaders reaffirmed the statement within the Arab League Charter and the treaties and agreements complementary to it, proving the close connection and the many ties that bind all the Arab countries. They also stressed ensuring the consolidation of these ties, strengthening them, and directing them to what is best for all Arab countries.

The 25th Arab summit was held in March 2014, in Kuwait, and culminated in the issuance of the Kuwait Declaration, which renewed the pledge of the leaders of Arab countries to find the necessary solutions to the delicate and critical situations that the Arab world is going through with a deep vision and open insight. The leaders also expressed their absolute and categorical rejection of the recognition of Israel as a Jewish state, the continuation of settlement, and the Judaization of Al-Quds (Occupied Jerusalem), whether by violating its Islamic and Christian sanctities, or by changing its demographic and geographic status, deeming the Israeli measures null and void under international law and the resolutions of international legitimacy.

Sharm El-Sheikh Declaration, which concluded the 26th Arab summit in March 2015, stressed Arab solidarity in word and deed in dealing with the developments that the region was experiencing, and the utmost necessity of formulating joint Arab positions in the face of all challenges.

The 27th Arab summit was held in July 2016, in Mauritania. It was concluded with the issuance of the Nouakchott Declaration, which affirmed the centrality of the Palestinian cause in joint Arab action, and moving forward in supporting the steadfastness of the Palestinian people in the face of systematic Israeli aggression.

The 28th session of the Arab summit was held in March 2017, in the Dead Sea region, Jordan, and it affirmed the continuation of work to relaunch serious and effective Palestinian-Israeli peace negotiations that will end the political impasse.

The 29th Arab summit was held in April 2018, in Dhahran, KSA, and its final statement stressed the importance of strengthening joint Arab action to confront the dangers facing the Arab countries and threatening their security and stability. The Arab leaders also announced their rejection of all unilateral Israeli steps that change the facts and undermine the two-state solution, and the invalidity and illegitimacy of considering Al-Quds (Occupied Jerusalem) as the capital of Israel, demanding that the countries of the world not move their embassies to Occupied Jerusalem, or recognize it as the capital of Israel.

The 30th Arab summit was held on March 31, 2019, in Tunis, Tunisia, during which the Arab leaders stressed that what unites Arab countries and people is much greater that what divides them, thanks to the strength of ancient civilization ties, history, bonds of brotherhood, unity of culture and mutual interests.

Algeria hosted the 31st regular Arab summit in November 2022, and the Palestinian cause topped the summit's agenda, which reiterated the centrality of the Palestinian cause to the entire Arab nation, in addition to the Arabs' adherence to peace as a strategic choice, and resolving the Arab-Israeli conflict in accordance with international legitimacy resolutions and the Arab Peace Initiative of 2002 with all its elements.

In 2023, the 32rd Arab summit was held in Jeddah, KSA, during which Arab countries' leaders stressed the centrality of the Palestinian cause, expressing their strong condemnation of the practices and violations that target the Palestinians and undermine efforts to establish their independent state on the borders of June 4, 1967, with East Jerusalem as its capital. They also emphasized the importance of strengthening joint Arab action, solidarity and cooperation, protecting the sovereignty of countries and the cohesion of their institutions, and achieving further advancement of Arab action to keep pace with the challenges of the new era, in a way that serves the goals and aspirations towards a better future for the coming Arab generations.

The Arab summits, resolutions and statements continue to affirm the adherence of the Arab nation, states and peoples, to the option of peace based on international legitimacy, and that a just solution to the Palestinian cause, as the Arabs' primary cause, will remain the key to peace, security and stability in the Middle East region.


The Peninsula

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