Leaders of the Arab League and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation unanimously condemned this Saturday in Riyadh the attacks of Israel in Gaza and the humanitarian crisis that has been unleashed in the Strip since last October 7. Saudi Arabia had planned two summits over the weekend, but joined the meetings to show a common position.
Both organizations seek to show a “unified collective stance that expresses the common Arab and Islamic will regarding the dangerous and unprecedented events witnessed in Gaza and the Palestinian territories,” they said in a statement. Thus, representatives from 57 countries attended the summit, in which despite strongly condemning the israeli attacks, The proposals of each country against Tel Aviv were very disparate. From cutting relations with Israel to cutting off its gas and oil supplies or preventing the United States from using operational bases in the region to support Tel Aviv. The difference in proposals to resolve the conflict was also evident among the leaders: some advocated a two-state solution with the limits established in 1967 and others for a Palestinian State from the river to the sea, by considering the entire territory of Israel as Palestinians.
The summit was also unprecedented because it was the first time in many years that these countries met, in some cases faced by regional conflicts. For example, it is the first time that Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi visits Saudi Arabia since both countries normalized relations in March with the mediation of China. It had been 11 years since an Iranian president had set foot in Riyadh. It is also the first face-to-face meeting between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Syrian counterpart Bashar Assad. For the latter, it is also the first summit he has attended since he was readmitted to the Arab League in May, after 12 years of absence during the Syrian war.
During the round of interventions, the most forceful leader was Raisi – whose country supports Hamas – who asked Islamic governments to designate Israel as a “terrorist organization” and urged them to impose economic sanctions. He proposed banning arms sales to Israel and establishing a no-fly zone on Israeli flights until the conflict is resolved. “The United States supports Israel at the UN and vetoes resolutions that prevent the killing of Palestinians. It has paved the way for Israel to kill more and bomb more,” he said during his speech. “The blind bombing of Gaza must stop. The entire Islamic world must be united. With this unity we can solve the problem,” he added.
On the other hand, Raisi welcomed Hamas’ performance in the conflict and asked to “support the resistance and kiss the hands and forehead of every member of the Palestinian resistance.” For his part, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman noted that the current situation is a “failure of the international community and the UN Security Council.” He called for an end to the “Israeli occupation and illegal settlements” and supported establishing the boundaries of a Palestinian state at the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan went a step further and tried to deal with a scenario after the cessation of the conflict. “An international peace conference should be convened to find a permanent solution to the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians,” he said. “What is needed in Gaza is not breaks of a couple of hours, if not a permanent ceasefire“he added.