Syrian Developments Take Center Stage at Dhahran Arab Summit

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Salman told leaders from across the 22-member Arab League that Iran was to blame for instability and meddling in the region.

Sixteen Arab leaders are attending the summit, which comes one day after the U.S., France and Britain launched a joint airstrike in Syria in the wake of a suspected chemical attack by regime forces.

Reporters watch the speech of Saudi King Salman from a press room, during the opening of the Arab summit in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, Sunday, April 15, 2018.

The Saudi King also presented the kingdom's initiative and willingness to deal with the challenges that the Arab national security is facing.

Addressing the meeting, Aboul-Gheit said the decline of Arab influence on the situation in Syria had led to the "domination of foreign powers" there, paving the way for the country's eventual disintegration.

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Other countries strongly condemned the assault, with Russian President Vladimir Putin calling it an "act of aggression against a sovereign state that has been fighting against terrorism" and Iranian supreme leader slamming US President Trump, French President Macron and UK Prime Minister May as "criminals".

Saudi Arabia, which is hosting the yearly summit in the Eastern Province city of Dhahran, is likely to seek Arab support to pile the pressure on Iran, analysts say.

The Qatari delegation will be headed by Doha's permanent representative to the Arab League, Saif bin Muqaddam al-Buainain, the state news agency said without elaborating.

HM King Hamad expressed appreciation of and pride in all the armed forces participating in the "Gulf Shied-I" drills, now held in Saudi Arabia, wishing the exercise every success, and expressing hope that similar joint military drills will be held, given their great benefits for the security of Arab countries and the progress of the people.

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