Prince Moulay Rachid, the King’s younger brother, was received Sunday by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud as King Salman received Arab leaders and Heads of delegations participating in the 29th Arab Summit.
The audience took place in the presence of Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Crown Prince, Vice President of the Council of Ministers, and Minister of Defense.
The summit is taking place in a context marked by serious tensions, heightened by the targeted airstrikes launched by the United States, Great Britain and France against the regime of Bashar al-Assad, allied with Iran and Russia, in retaliation of an alleged chemical attack on a rebel enclave.
Tension is also fueled by the rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran and the lingering Gulf crisis that has been opposing Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, plus Egypt to Qatar since early June 2017.
The continuing war in Yemen, the stalemate in Libya and the very heated situation in Al Quds are also a source of concern to the Arab Leaders.
In his opening address before the Summit, King Salman avoided speaking about Syria a day after the Western strikes, but dwelt on what he described as Iran’s “blatant interference” in Arab affairs.
“We renew our firm condemnation of Iran’s terrorist acts in the Arab region and reject its blatant interference in the affairs of Arab countries,” said king Salman in his address.
Ryad and Tehran have been involved in proxy conflicts for years, from Syria, to Yemen, from Iraq to Lebanon.
Dealing with Al Quds issue, King Salman rejected Donald Trump’s decision to transfer the United States Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
“We reiterate our rejection of the US decision regarding Jerusalem,” said the king, adding that “East Jerusalem is an integral part of the Palestinian territories.”
On Yemen, King Salman said he welcomed “the UN Security Council’s statement denouncing the Iranian-made ballistic missile fire on Saudi cities.”