File photo: Arab League foreign ministers meet during an annual meeting in Cairo, Egypt, . AP
Sources confirmed to London-based Al-Araby Al-Jadeed that the merger of the two events, originally planned to be held separately on the same day, was requested by half the foreign ministers of the OIC.
Influential and weighty nations within the Arab League obstructed the adoption of serious proposals pressuring Israel to cease its aggression, the sources said, adding that these influential countries instead pushed for "vague" provisions.
This obstruction frustrated the Palestinian request that the emergency Arab summit be distinct from the OIC’s summit in order to focus attention on the Israeli aggression in Gaza and to enable the summit to deliver crucial recommendations
The Joint Arab Islamic Extraordinary Summit was announced on Friday night by the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA).
On Saturday, the SPA reported a short statement by the Saudi foreign minister saying that the merger followed consultation between Saudi Arabia, the Arab League, and the OIC.
The decision, the ministry’s statement added, underscored the need for Arab-Islamic countries to consolidate their efforts and present a unified stance on the unprecedented developments in Gaza and Palestinian territories.
Earlier this week, the Arab League’s Assistant Secretary Hossam Zaki said the regional bloc aims to demonstrate "how the Arabs will move on the international scene to stop the aggression, support Palestine and its people, condemn the Israeli occupation, and hold it accountable for its crimes," according to reporting by AFP.
However, Palestinian Islamic Jihad expressed its skepticism on Friday, saying it did not “expect anything” from the meeting.