Arab leaders emphasize support for legitimate rights of Palestinian people at 33rd Arab summit in Bahrain

Ahram Online , Thursday 16 May 2024

The 33rd session of the Arab League Summit of Heads of State started on Thursday in the Bahraini capital of Manama.

This handout picture from the official Bahrain News Agency (BNA) shows Bahrain s King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa (C) posing with Arab leaders in Manama on May 16, 2024 ahead of the 33rd Arab League Summit. AFP


President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi passionately denounced the international community's inaction to stop the Israeli war on Gaza, saying: "The rights of the tens of thousands of children of Palestine who were killed in Gaza will remain a sword weighing heavy on the world's conscience until justice is done."

El-Sisi said Israel has dodged all efforts to reach a ceasefire and insists on military escalation in the Gaza Strip.

He stressed that Egypt rejects the liquidation of the Palestinian cause, the forced displacement of Palestinians, and the creation of conditions on the ground that make Gaza uninhabitable.

"Those who believe military solutions can achieve security are deluded," El-Sis noted.

The Egyptian president called on the international community to recognize that justice is indivisible and that the lives of the Palestinians are as important as all other lives.

He added that the international community must intervene to halt the Israeli war on the Palestinian people immediately.


King Abdullah II of Jordan said the Arab region is living through horrific times in the form of the devastating Israeli war on Gaza.

He added that the world has to act to end a conflict and suffering that have lasted for more than seven decades.

The Jordanian king called for support to the UNRWA in providing relief to Palestinian refugees.

"We call for international efforts to prevent any delinking of Gaza from the West Bank," said the king.

UN chief

The Secretary General of the United Nations Antonio Guterres called for the establishment of a Palestinian state side by side with Israel, with Jerusalem as a shared capital.

Guterres said there is no justification for the Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip, and no justification for collective punishment of the Palestinian people, stressing that the Israeli attack on the Palestinian Rafah is unacceptable in any way.

AL chief

The head of the Arab League Ahmed Aboul-Gheit called on the international community to pressure Israel to end its war on Gaza and its occupation.

Aboul-Gheit said there could be no peace in the region so long as the Israel occupation continued.

He also called on the warring sides in Sudan to lay down arms and uphold the interests of the Sudanese people.

King Hamad initiatives

In opening remarks, Bahrain's King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa said the summit meets during painful and tragic conditions, which threaten Arab security and identity.

He stressed his country's support to the Palestinian people under the leadership of the Palestine Liberation Organization.

King Hamad said Bahrain seeks support from the summit for several initiatives to achieve peace in the region.

The king announced an initiative to convene an international conference for peace in the Middle East.

He also reiterated his country's support for recognizing the State of Palestine and its full membership in the United Nations.


Bahrain King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa. Photo: Screenshot from Al-Qahera News

In the opening session, Prince Mohammed bin Salman, crown prince and prime minister of Saudia Arabia, the host of the 32nd Arab Summit in Riyadh, handed the presidency of the summit to Bahrain.

The Saudi crown prince stressed the kingdom's support to securing recognition for the State of Palestine in the United Nations.

He stressed the kingdom's support for regional stability and maritime safety in the Red Sea.


The summit will discuss various issues related to joint Arab action in political, economic, social, cultural, and security fields.

The Arab leaders are expected to tackle the Israeli war in Gaza and the means to resolve the Palestinian cause based on the two-state solution.

They will also discuss ways to end the war in Sudan and support Somalia's quest to maintain its sovereignty.

The Arab leaders will discuss means to achieve stability in Libya and support the Lebanese state.

President Sisi in Manama

Bahrain's King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa received President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi upon his arrival in Manama to attend the summit on Wednesday evening.

In a statement, Presidential Spokesman Ahmed Fahmy said El-Sisi's participation in the summit reflects Egypt's keenness to coordinate with the Arab nations to unify positions and close ranks amid the current critical phase and challenges faced by the Arab region at various levels.

Fahmy added that the humanitarian situation in Gaza has been exacerbated by the ongoing Israeli military operation in Palestinian Rafah, which necessitates a clear rejection by the international community.

The president is expected to hold several meetings with Arab leaders to discuss enhancing cooperation and joint coordination mechanisms.


This handout picture from the official Bahrain News Agency (BNA) shows Bahrain's King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa (R) receiving Egypt President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi in Manama on May 15, 2024. AFP

Who's attending

Arab leaders and officials attending the summit include Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, crown prince and prime minister of Saudi Arabia; Ahmed Aboul-Gheit, the secretary-general of the Arab League; Sheikh Ahmad Abdullah Al-Sabah, the prime minister of Kuwait; Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, the prime minister of the United Arab Emirates and ruler of Dubai; Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, the emir of Qatar; Sayyid Asaad bin Tarik Al-Said, deputy prime minister for international relations and cooperation affairs and special representative of the Sultan of Oman Haitham bin Tarik.

They also include Hamza Abdi Barre, the prime minister of Somalia; Rashad Mohammed Al-Alimi, chairman of the Presidential Leadership Council of the Republic of Yemen; President Mohamed Al-Menfi, chairman of the Presidential Council of Libya; Bashar Al-Assad, president of Syria; Najib Mikati, the prime minister of the Lebanese Republic; Ismail Omar Guelleh, the president of Djibouti; Aziz Akhannouch, the prime minister of the Kingdom of Morocco; Abdel Latif Jamal Rachid, the president of Iraq; Mahmoud Abbas, president of the State of Palestine; King Abdulla II Ibn Al-Hussein of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan; Mohamed Ould Cheikh Al-Ghazouani, president of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania; and Azali Assoumani, president of the Union of the Comoros.

Various international dignitaries will also attend and speak at the summit, including António Guterres, secretary-general of the United Nations, and Francesca P. Albanese, the United Nations special rapporteur on the occupied Palestinian territories.

In a meeting ahead of the summit, Secretary-General of the Arab League Ahmed Aboul-Gheit highlighted the devastating effects of the Israeli war on the Palestinians in Gaza and the vital role of the UNRWA to Secretary-General of the United Nations António Guterres.

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