Arab League meets to discuss Iran 'violations' at Saudi Arabia's request

Arab League meets to discuss Iran 'violations' at Saudi Arabia's request

An Israeli cabinet minister said on Sunday that Israel has had covert contacts with Saudi Arabia amid common concerns over Iran, a first disclosure by a senior Israeli official of such contacts.

Qatar's foreign minister on Friday compared Saudi Arabia's political maneuvers in Lebanon to its boycott of his country, and accused Riyadh of a unsafe escalation.

In his speech at the opening session of the Extraordinary Session of the Arab League at the level of Foreign Ministers, which opened here this evening, he said: "This response reflects the consideration of our countries of the grave dangers to the security and stability of our region as an inevitable result of the blatant violations of the Iranian regime in the internal affairs of the Arab countries in an attempt to destabilize their security and stability and stir up sectarian strife to create a division between our peoples and our countries".

"The Lebanese Republic, in spite of our relations with it as a brotherly Arab nation.is under the total control of this terrorist party", Sheikh Khalid said.

In a resolution published after the one-day summit wrapped up, the Arab League said that it "does not intend to declare war against Iran for the moment" but warned that "Saudi Arabia has the right to defend its territory". Alluding to the November 4 attack targeting Riyadh, he said the attack delivered a message to Arab nations that their capitals were within the range of Iranin missiles.

"A decision was taken that Lebanon would be presented by Antoine Azzam, the permanent representative to the Arab League", a source from the ministry told Reuters.

His comments were the latest sign that behind-the-scenes links between Israel and Gulf countries may be occurring due to Iran , their shared enemy, even though they do not have formal diplomatic ties.

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"The Middle East needs, more than anything else, a coalition of moderate countries against Iran".

Yet shared anger at the 2015 Iranian nuclear accord has chipped away at their historic animosity, and the interview suggests Israel has picked a side in the swelling feud between Shiite Iran and Sunni Saudi Arabia over the former's influence in Lebanon, Yemen and Bahrain.

His son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner has reportedly formed a bond with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

A source close to Hariri said the Cairo meeting aimed to "continue the series of Arab and worldwide consultations".

For more than a decade, Lebanon's political class has been largely split between Iran-backed Hezbollah and its allies, and a Saudi-supported coalition led by Hariri.

The Saudi official accused Tehran of "meddling" in various Middle Eastern states, particularly focusing on the Houthi faction in Yemen, and Hezbollah in Lebanon.

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