2007 Arab League summit

2007 Arab League summit

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The 2007 Arab League Summit, also called the Riyadh Summit, refers to a convention of leaders from 21 members of the Arab League
Arab League
The Arab League , officially called the League of Arab States , is a regional organisation of Arab states in North and Northeast Africa, and Southwest Asia . It was formed in Cairo on 22 March 1945 with six members: Egypt, Iraq, Transjordan , Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Syria. Yemen joined as a...

 who gathered in Riyadh
Riyadh
Riyadh is the capital and largest city of Saudi Arabia. It is also the capital of Riyadh Province, and belongs to the historical regions of Najd and Al-Yamama. It is situated in the center of the Arabian Peninsula on a large plateau, and is home to 5,254,560 people, and the urban center of a...

 for the 19th Arab summit in March 2007. The summit convened on the 28 March 2007 and was preceded by a set of preparatory meetings starting on 24 March 2007. United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

 Secretary General Ban Ki-moon
Ban Ki-moon
Ban Ki-moon is the eighth and current Secretary-General of the United Nations, after succeeding Kofi Annan in 2007. Before going on to be Secretary-General, Ban was a career diplomat in South Korea's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and in the United Nations. He entered diplomatic service the year he...

 and the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

's foreign policy chief Javier Solana
Javier Solana
Francisco Javier Solana de Madariaga, KOGF is a Spanish physicist and Socialist politician. After serving in the Spanish government under Felipe González and Secretary General of NATO , he was appointed the European Union's High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy, Secretary...

 also attended the summit. The main goal of the conference was to re-launch the Arab Peace Initiative
Arab Peace Initiative
The Beirut Summit was a meeting of the Arab League in Beirut, Lebanon in March 2002 to discuss the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The meeting became especially noteworthy for the adoption, by the Arab states attending, of a proposal offering a comprehensive peace between the Arab countries and...

.

Setting


The original venue of the 19th Arab summit was to be Sharm El-Sheikh
Sharm el-Sheikh
Sharm el-Sheikh is a city situated on the southern tip of the Sinai Peninsula, in South Sinai Governorate, Egypt, on the coastal strip along the Red Sea. Its population is approximately 35,000...

, Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

; however, in mid-January 2007, Amr Moussa
Amr Moussa
Amr Mohammed Moussa is an Egyptian politician and diplomat who was the Secretary-General of the Arab League, a 22-member forum representing Arab states, from 1 June 2001 until 1 June 2011. He is a candidate in the 2011 Egyptian presidential election....

, Secretary-General of the Arab League, announced that the summit would convene in Riyadh
Riyadh
Riyadh is the capital and largest city of Saudi Arabia. It is also the capital of Riyadh Province, and belongs to the historical regions of Najd and Al-Yamama. It is situated in the center of the Arabian Peninsula on a large plateau, and is home to 5,254,560 people, and the urban center of a...

. This, according to scholars, seemed an “indication that Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia , commonly known in British English as Saudi Arabia and in Arabic as as-Sa‘ūdiyyah , is the largest state in Western Asia by land area, constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and the second-largest in the Arab World...

 was keen to promote the cause of Arab unity.” Ambassador Mohamed Qattan, Saudi permanent representative to the Arab League, said, “The ongoing developments in the Arab region and the critical situation that the Arab peoples are passing through has prompted the Saudi monarch to call for the convocation of the summit in Riyadh rather than Sharm El-Sheikh.” Egyptian leaders did not publicly questioning the matter.

The venue, date and agenda of the annual Arab summit have always been an issue of contention, speculation and controversy. When Arab leaders met in Cairo
Cairo
Cairo , is the capital of Egypt and the largest city in the Arab world and Africa, and the 16th largest metropolitan area in the world. Nicknamed "The City of a Thousand Minarets" for its preponderance of Islamic architecture, Cairo has long been a centre of the region's political and cultural life...

 in October 2000 to adopt a resolution proposing the annual convocation of the Arab summit, they decided that the chairmanship of the summit would be rotated among the 22 member states of the League, and that the summit should convene at the headquarters of the Arab League unless the chair wished to host it. In March 2001, Jordan
Jordan
Jordan , officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan , Al-Mamlaka al-Urduniyya al-Hashemiyya) is a kingdom on the East Bank of the River Jordan. The country borders Saudi Arabia to the east and south-east, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north and the West Bank and Israel to the west, sharing...

 chaired and hosted the Arab summit. This, however, was the first and last time in which the convocation of the Arab summit was a smooth operation.

A major issue that marred the 2007 Arab League summit was the absence of Libya
Libya
Libya is an African country in the Maghreb region of North Africa bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, Egypt to the east, Sudan to the southeast, Chad and Niger to the south, and Algeria and Tunisia to the west....

. According to Libyan Foreign Minister Abdel Rahman Shalgham
Abdel Rahman Shalgham
Abdel Rahman Shalgam is a Libyan politician. He was Foreign Minister of Libya from 2000 to 2009.From 1984 to 1995, before taking the office of Foreign Minister, Abdel Rahman Shalgham was Secretary of Libya's People's Bureau to Rome, Italy.From 1998 to 2000 he was appointed Secretary of Foreign...

, Libya boycotted the summit in protest of the lack of “seriousness” of Arab countries. "All the Arabs now consider Iran to be the main enemy and have forgotten Israel," said Shalgham. While Arabs "keep pressing the Palestinians to respond to the conditions of the (Middle East) Quartet, no one presses Israel." In January 2007, Moussa traveled to Libya to discuss the matter with Libyan leader, Muammar al-Gaddafi
Muammar al-Gaddafi
Muammar Muhammad Abu Minyar Gaddafi or "September 1942" 20 October 2011), commonly known as Muammar Gaddafi or Colonel Gaddafi, was the official ruler of the Libyan Arab Republic from 1969 to 1977 and then the "Brother Leader" of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya from 1977 to 2011.He seized power in a...

. Moussa aimed to secure Libya’s participation in the Riyadh summit but ultimately failed. Libya's absence has also been attributed to a public quarrel that al-Gaddafi had with King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz of Saudi Arabia in 2003 over the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 military presence in the region.

The negotiations


The main areas of discussion in the summit:
  • The Israeli-Palestinian conflict
  • A resolution to tensions in Iraq
    Iraq
    Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....


Israeli-Palestinian conflict


The 19th annual Arab League
Arab League
The Arab League , officially called the League of Arab States , is a regional organisation of Arab states in North and Northeast Africa, and Southwest Asia . It was formed in Cairo on 22 March 1945 with six members: Egypt, Iraq, Transjordan , Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Syria. Yemen joined as a...

 summit reaffirmed the Arab Peace Initiative
Arab Peace Initiative
The Beirut Summit was a meeting of the Arab League in Beirut, Lebanon in March 2002 to discuss the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The meeting became especially noteworthy for the adoption, by the Arab states attending, of a proposal offering a comprehensive peace between the Arab countries and...

 first adopted in 2002 (also known as the Beirut Declaration). Arab leaders at the summit urged Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

 to accept this initiative. Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal said that the plan would have a strong chance of winning international support and of reviving Israeli-Arab peace talks if adopted unanimously by all Arab leaders. The plan, moreover, set up a mechanism to promote the peace plan that would pave the way for Arab countries with no ties to Israel, including Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia , commonly known in British English as Saudi Arabia and in Arabic as as-Sa‘ūdiyyah , is the largest state in Western Asia by land area, constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and the second-largest in the Arab World...

, to open channels of communications with the Jewish state—a long time goal for various presidential administrations in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. The peace initiative, as Middle Eastern scholars explain, was considered a “great leap from historical resolutions of 1964 and 1967, which had vowed to destroy Israel.” Under the plan, Arab nations would recognize Israel if Israel withdrew from land it occupied in the 1967 Arab-Israeli war. Moreover, the plan allows for the creation of a Palestinian state--with its capital in East Jerusalem
East Jerusalem
East Jerusalem or Eastern Jerusalem refer to the parts of Jerusalem captured and annexed by Jordan in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War and then captured and annexed by Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War...

-- and the return of Palestinian refugees based on United Nations General Assembly Resolution 194. The final draft of the plan, moreover, avoided mentioning the phrase “right of return
Right of return
The term right of return refers to a principle of international law, codified in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, giving any person the right to return to, and re-enter, his or her country of origin...

”, which has been a point of contention in all previous peace talks; instead it called for a “just solution to the Palestinian refugee problem."

In 2002, Israel immediately rejected the plan. In 2007, however, Israel initially acted more receptively to the reaffirmed Arab League initiative. Nevertheless, the foreign policy spokesman for Israel’s right-wing Likud
Likud
Likud is the major center-right political party in Israel. It was founded in 1973 by Menachem Begin in an alliance with several right-wing and liberal parties. Likud's victory in the 1977 elections was a major turning point in the country's political history, marking the first time the left had...

 party, Zalman Shoval
Zalman Shoval
Zalman Shoval is an Israeli politician and diplomat.He was the Israeli ambassador to the United States in the years 1990-1993 and 1998–2000, and an active member of the Knesset in the Rafi party of Ben Gurion, the Statal List, and the Likud party.-Biography:...

, explained “Israel could never accept the parts of the plan that call for the return of refugees who had lived in the territory of pre-1967 Israel.” Furthermore, Shoval added, “If 300,000-400,000, or maybe a million, Palestinians would invade the country, that would be the end of the state of Israel as a Jewish state.”

According to the scholar, Roger Hardy, the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative was revived “because it is a starting point on the Palestinian issue that most parties can accept—although with reservations.” Moreover, some have speculated that the re-initialization of the peace plan was a move to counter Iran’s growing influence in the region. It was widely viewed by scholars around the world that it would be in Israel’s best interest to act respectfully to Saudi Arabia’s supremacy in Middle East
Middle East
The Middle East is a region that encompasses Western Asia and Northern Africa. It is often used as a synonym for Near East, in opposition to Far East...

 affairs, especially if Arab states begin to line up behind an anti-Iranian position. Through positive actions, Israel could eventually become accepted into the Arab world.

Obstacles to the Arab Peace Initiative
Arab Peace Initiative
The Beirut Summit was a meeting of the Arab League in Beirut, Lebanon in March 2002 to discuss the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The meeting became especially noteworthy for the adoption, by the Arab states attending, of a proposal offering a comprehensive peace between the Arab countries and...


Differences of principle between Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

 and Arab League
Arab League
The Arab League , officially called the League of Arab States , is a regional organisation of Arab states in North and Northeast Africa, and Southwest Asia . It was formed in Cairo on 22 March 1945 with six members: Egypt, Iraq, Transjordan , Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Syria. Yemen joined as a...

 members over some of the elements in the proposed arrangement made it difficult to translate the initiative into an actual agreement. Moreover, the absence of an authoritative Palestinian interlocutor was another impediment to achieving peace through the Arab Peace Initiative. The President of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas
Mahmoud Abbas
Mahmoud Abbas , also known by the kunya Abu Mazen , has been the Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organisation since 11 November 2004 and became President of the Palestinian National Authority on 15 January 2005 on the Fatah ticket.Elected to serve until 9 January 2009, he unilaterally...

, supported the initiative, but Hamas
Hamas
Hamas is the Palestinian Sunni Islamic or Islamist political party that governs the Gaza Strip. Hamas also has a military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades...

 leaders refrained from endorsing even the conditional readiness to recognize Israel. As part of an effort to bridge that gap and lay the foundation for a unified Palestinian delegation, pre-Summit preparations included diplomatic steps to establish a Palestinian national unity government. That government was sworn in on March 17, 2007 on the basis of the agreement reached in Mecca
Mecca
Mecca is a city in the Hijaz and the capital of Makkah province in Saudi Arabia. The city is located inland from Jeddah in a narrow valley at a height of above sea level...

 under the aegis of the so-called “Arab Quartet”—Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia , commonly known in British English as Saudi Arabia and in Arabic as as-Sa‘ūdiyyah , is the largest state in Western Asia by land area, constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and the second-largest in the Arab World...

, Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

, Jordan
Jordan
Jordan , officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan , Al-Mamlaka al-Urduniyya al-Hashemiyya) is a kingdom on the East Bank of the River Jordan. The country borders Saudi Arabia to the east and south-east, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north and the West Bank and Israel to the west, sharing...

, and the United Arab Emirates
United Arab Emirates
The United Arab Emirates, abbreviated as the UAE, or shortened to "the Emirates", is a state situated in the southeast of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia on the Persian Gulf, bordering Oman, and Saudi Arabia, and sharing sea borders with Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, and Iran.The UAE is a...

.

The national unity government’s policy guidelines include detailed political positions, including an obligation to create a Palestinian state in the territories captured by Israel in 1967 and the recognition of Arab Summit conference resolutions over the years. To that list was added Palestinian recognition of Israel, which Hamas refused to embrace. In addition, Hamas continually demands a “right of return
Right of return
The term right of return refers to a principle of international law, codified in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, giving any person the right to return to, and re-enter, his or her country of origin...

” for all Palestinians who fled or were driven out of what is now Israel during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War
1948 Arab-Israeli War
The 1948 Arab–Israeli War, known to Israelis as the War of Independence or War of Liberation The war commenced after the termination of the British Mandate for Palestine and the creation of an independent Israel at midnight on 14 May 1948 when, following a period of civil war, Arab armies invaded...

. Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal was quoted by Saudi media as urging Arab leaders ahead of the summit not to make concessions on the demand for the Palestinian refugees to return home. Hamas refuses to recognize Israel, but Palestinian officials have agreed not to go against the peace plan. Moreover, on the eve of the Riyadh summit, American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 Secretary of State
Secretary of State
Secretary of State or State Secretary is a commonly used title for a senior or mid-level post in governments around the world. The role varies between countries, and in some cases there are multiple Secretaries of State in the Government....

 Condoleezza Rice
Condoleezza Rice
Condoleezza Rice is an American political scientist and diplomat. She served as the 66th United States Secretary of State, and was the second person to hold that office in the administration of President George W. Bush...

 persuaded Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert
Ehud Olmert
Ehud Olmert is an Israeli politician and lawyer. He served as Prime Minister of Israel from 2006 to 2009, as a Cabinet Minister from 1988 to 1992 and from 2003 to 2006, and as Mayor of Jerusalem from 1993 to 2003....

 and Abbas to agree to meet on a regular basis, but Israel maintained its economic embargo on the Palestinian government and its military pressure in the territory of the Palestinian Authority. These measures were viewed as a means to either weaken Hamas or, alternatively, to encourage a change in its position vis-à-vis Israel.

The power struggle in Palestine
Palestine
Palestine is a conventional name, among others, used to describe the geographic region between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, and various adjoining lands....

 will, consequently, make it impossible to implement any security understandings reached in the past or future between Israel and Abbas. The official statement from the Israeli Foreign Ministry Spokesman said, “Israel is sincerely interested in pursuing a dialogue with those Arab states that desire peace with Israel, this in order to promote a process of normalization and cooperation. Israel hopes that the Riyadh Summit will contribute to this effort.” Furthermore, the Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

i spokesman explained, “Israel also believes that moderate Arab
Arab
Arab people, also known as Arabs , are a panethnicity primarily living in the Arab world, which is located in Western Asia and North Africa. They are identified as such on one or more of genealogical, linguistic, or cultural grounds, with tribal affiliations, and intra-tribal relationships playing...

 states can fill a positive role by encouraging regional cooperation, and supporting the Israeli-Palestinian track. A dialogue between these states and Israel can contribute to this end.” Many Israelis were disenchanted, however, especially when remembering the results of previous Arab League
Arab League
The Arab League , officially called the League of Arab States , is a regional organisation of Arab states in North and Northeast Africa, and Southwest Asia . It was formed in Cairo on 22 March 1945 with six members: Egypt, Iraq, Transjordan , Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Syria. Yemen joined as a...

 summits and the current Hamas-dominated Palestinian leadership. The hope, however, is that the political partnership with Fatah
Fatah
Fataḥ is a major Palestinian political party and the largest faction of the Palestine Liberation Organization , a multi-party confederation. In Palestinian politics it is on the left-wing of the spectrum; it is mainly nationalist, although not predominantly socialist. Its official goals are found...

 will move Hamas
Hamas
Hamas is the Palestinian Sunni Islamic or Islamist political party that governs the Gaza Strip. Hamas also has a military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades...

 closer to the center of Palestinian politics. Moreover, the revival of the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative
Arab Peace Initiative
The Beirut Summit was a meeting of the Arab League in Beirut, Lebanon in March 2002 to discuss the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The meeting became especially noteworthy for the adoption, by the Arab states attending, of a proposal offering a comprehensive peace between the Arab countries and...

 is clearly a product of inter-Arab politics that reflects hope for a peaceful conclusion to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
Israeli-Palestinian conflict
The Israeli–Palestinian conflict is the ongoing conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. The conflict is wide-ranging, and the term is also used in reference to the earlier phases of the same conflict, between Jewish and Zionist yishuv and the Arab population living in Palestine under Ottoman or...

.

Resolution to Tensions in Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....


Leaders of the Arab League
Arab League
The Arab League , officially called the League of Arab States , is a regional organisation of Arab states in North and Northeast Africa, and Southwest Asia . It was formed in Cairo on 22 March 1945 with six members: Egypt, Iraq, Transjordan , Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Syria. Yemen joined as a...

 present at the Riyadh Summit in 2007 hoped to achieve security and stability in Iraq. The Iraqi Foreign Minister, Hoshyar Zebari
Hoshyar Zebari
Hoshyar Zebari is the current Minister of Foreign Affairs of Iraq. A Kurd originally from Aqrah, a city in Iraqi Kurdistan, Zebari holds a masters degree in sociology from the University of Essex, England and studied political science in Jordan...

 revealed that draft laws in support of Iraq would arise at the Riyadh summit. Iraqi President Jalal Talabani
Jalal Talabani
Jalal Talabani is the sixth and current President of Iraq, a leading Kurdish politician. He is the first non-Arab president of Iraq, although Abdul Kareem Qasim was half Kurdish....

 expressed optimism for the possibilities of such laws. Leaders at the summit stated that “Iraq’s stability and overcoming of its present crisis required a balanced political and security solution addressing the causes of the crisis and weeding out the roots of terrorism
Terrorism
Terrorism is the systematic use of terror, especially as a means of coercion. In the international community, however, terrorism has no universally agreed, legally binding, criminal law definition...

 and sectarian sedition.” Moreover, the leaders stressed, “The Arab perception of a political and security solution for the challenges faced by Iraq is based on respect for Iraq’s unity, sovereignty, independence and Arab-Islamic identity.” Furthermore, Arab
Arab
Arab people, also known as Arabs , are a panethnicity primarily living in the Arab world, which is located in Western Asia and North Africa. They are identified as such on one or more of genealogical, linguistic, or cultural grounds, with tribal affiliations, and intra-tribal relationships playing...

 leaders at the Riyadh
Riyadh
Riyadh is the capital and largest city of Saudi Arabia. It is also the capital of Riyadh Province, and belongs to the historical regions of Najd and Al-Yamama. It is situated in the center of the Arabian Peninsula on a large plateau, and is home to 5,254,560 people, and the urban center of a...

 summit stressed that the establishment of security and stability is the sole responsibility of the Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

i national unity government, constitutional institutions, and political leaders. Also, the summit strongly condemned the acts of terror against the Iraqi people and their institutions. Moreover, leaders showed their support for the Iraqi government’s efforts to reorganize its security institutions on nationalistic and professional basis, calling for effective Arab participation in these efforts. Furthermore, leaders urged member states to write off debts owed by Iraq.

Other areas of negotiation


The member-states at the Riyadh
Riyadh
Riyadh is the capital and largest city of Saudi Arabia. It is also the capital of Riyadh Province, and belongs to the historical regions of Najd and Al-Yamama. It is situated in the center of the Arabian Peninsula on a large plateau, and is home to 5,254,560 people, and the urban center of a...

 conference asserted that Arab states should fully tackle issues of Arab
Arab
Arab people, also known as Arabs , are a panethnicity primarily living in the Arab world, which is located in Western Asia and North Africa. They are identified as such on one or more of genealogical, linguistic, or cultural grounds, with tribal affiliations, and intra-tribal relationships playing...

 national security. Furthermore, sources and forms of political, security, economic, cultural, and social threats from both inside and outside the Arab world would be taken into consideration. Moreover, the conference:
  • Decided to convene a consultative summit in the future to tackle specific issues, if necessary. Closed-door discussions would be confined to the issue of concern.
  • An open expert-level task force will be formed to determine the nature of current and future risks and challenges facing the Arab ummah
    Ummah
    Ummah is an Arabic word meaning "community" or "nation." It is commonly used to mean either the collective nation of states, or the whole Arab world...

     and forge appropriate proposals.
  • The conference confirmed complete support for the Makkah Document
    Makkah Document
    The Makkah Document, formed on 2006-10-20, calls to take practical steps to end the sectarian violence, included forming committees in various areas in Iraq and organising seminars of Sunni and Shiite religious leaders and scholars....

    , appreciating efforts exerted by other Arab countries, the Arab League
    Arab League
    The Arab League , officially called the League of Arab States , is a regional organisation of Arab states in North and Northeast Africa, and Southwest Asia . It was formed in Cairo on 22 March 1945 with six members: Egypt, Iraq, Transjordan , Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Syria. Yemen joined as a...

    , and Organisation of the Islamic Conference, which contributed to reaching the agreement, which resulted in the formation of a national unity government.
  • Arab leaders reiterated full Arab solidarity with Lebanon
    Lebanon
    Lebanon , officially the Republic of LebanonRepublic of Lebanon is the most common term used by Lebanese government agencies. The term Lebanese Republic, a literal translation of the official Arabic and French names that is not used in today's world. Arabic is the most common language spoken among...

     and their promise to provide political and economic support to the Lebanese government in such a way that maintains Lebanese national unity as well as Lebanese security, stability and sovereignty over all its territory. Moreover, Arab leaders welcomed the seven-point plan presented by the Lebanese government, calling on the UN Secretary General and Security Council to take the Lebanese proposal, included in this plan regarding Sheba'a Farms area, into consideration when the UN Secretary General presents his proposals on this subject in accordance with Security council resolution number 1701
    United Nations Security Council Resolution 1701
    United Nations Security Council Resolution 1701 is a resolution that was intended to resolve the 2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict.It was unanimously approved by the United Nations Security Council on 11 August 2006. The Lebanese cabinet, which includes two members of Hezbollah, unanimously approved the...

     and 1702
    United Nations Security Council Resolution 1702
    United Nations Security Council Resolution 1702, adopted unanimously on August 15, 2006, after recalling resolutions 1542 , 1576 , 1608 and 1658 on the situation in Haiti, the Council extended the mandate of the United Nations Stabilisation Mission in Haiti until August 15, 2006.-Observations:In...

    . Furthermore, the conference adopted a plan for supporting Lebanon during the reconstruction phase and the development of its economy presented by the economic and social council, which met in Beirut
    Beirut
    Beirut is the capital and largest city of Lebanon, with a population ranging from 1 million to more than 2 million . Located on a peninsula at the midpoint of Lebanon's Mediterranean coastline, it serves as the country's largest and main seaport, and also forms the Beirut Metropolitan...

     on 16-17/10/2006.
  • The meeting strongly condemned international terrorism
    Terrorism
    Terrorism is the systematic use of terror, especially as a means of coercion. In the international community, however, terrorism has no universally agreed, legally binding, criminal law definition...

    , noting that the Arab
    Arab
    Arab people, also known as Arabs , are a panethnicity primarily living in the Arab world, which is located in Western Asia and North Africa. They are identified as such on one or more of genealogical, linguistic, or cultural grounds, with tribal affiliations, and intra-tribal relationships playing...

     states are effectively participating in anti-terror efforts.
  • Arab leaders stressed their support for the United Arab Emirates
    United Arab Emirates
    The United Arab Emirates, abbreviated as the UAE, or shortened to "the Emirates", is a state situated in the southeast of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia on the Persian Gulf, bordering Oman, and Saudi Arabia, and sharing sea borders with Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, and Iran.The UAE is a...

    ’ full sovereignty over the three islands of Greater and Lesser Tomb and Abu Musa
    Abu Musa
    Abu Musa is a 12-km² island in the eastern Persian Gulf, part of a six-island archipelago near the entrance to the Strait of Hormuz. The island is administered by Iran as part of the Iranian province of Hormozgan, but is also claimed by the United Arab Emirates .Abu Musa's inhabitants call it...

    . Moreover, it also condemned Iran
    Iran
    Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

    ’s continued occupation of these Islands.
  • Leaders also underlined Libya
    Libya
    Libya is an African country in the Maghreb region of North Africa bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, Egypt to the east, Sudan to the southeast, Chad and Niger to the south, and Algeria and Tunisia to the west....

    's legitimate right to indemnifications for the damage resulting from sanctions
    Economic sanctions
    Economic sanctions are domestic penalties applied by one country on another for a variety of reasons. Economic sanctions include, but are not limited to, tariffs, trade barriers, import duties, and import or export quotas...

     imposed on it.
  • Leaders stressed the need for the Sudanese government and the African Union
    African Union
    The African Union is a union consisting of 54 African states. The only all-African state not in the AU is Morocco. Established on 9 July 2002, the AU was formed as a successor to the Organisation of African Unity...

     to continue their efforts to establish security and stability in Darfur
    Darfur
    Darfur is a region in western Sudan. An independent sultanate for several hundred years, it was incorporated into Sudan by Anglo-Egyptian forces in 1916. The region is divided into three federal states: West Darfur, South Darfur, and North Darfur...

    . The conference also called upon armed groups that failed to sign the Darfur peace agreement
    Darfur Peace Agreement
    There have been two Darfur Peace Agreements that have been signed between the Government of Sudan and Darfuri rebel groups which have intended to end the conflict that is taking place in the Darfur region of the Republic of Sudan.-Abuja Agreement :...

     to renounce military escalation.
  • The summit welcomed the African Union
    African Union
    The African Union is a union consisting of 54 African states. The only all-African state not in the AU is Morocco. Established on 9 July 2002, the AU was formed as a successor to the Organisation of African Unity...

    ’s decision to send African troops to bolster stability in Somalia
    Somalia
    Somalia , officially the Somali Republic and formerly known as the Somali Democratic Republic under Socialist rule, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. Since the outbreak of the Somali Civil War in 1991 there has been no central government control over most of the country's territory...

    . It also called on member states to extend various forms of support to the Somali
    Somalia
    Somalia , officially the Somali Republic and formerly known as the Somali Democratic Republic under Socialist rule, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. Since the outbreak of the Somali Civil War in 1991 there has been no central government control over most of the country's territory...

     government.
  • Leaders decided to convene an extra ordinary ministerial level meeting of the Arab League
    Arab League
    The Arab League , officially called the League of Arab States , is a regional organisation of Arab states in North and Northeast Africa, and Southwest Asia . It was formed in Cairo on 22 March 1945 with six members: Egypt, Iraq, Transjordan , Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Syria. Yemen joined as a...

     Council, preceded by a meeting of commitment of senior Arab officials to evaluate Arab efforts to rid the Middle East
    Middle East
    The Middle East is a region that encompasses Western Asia and Northern Africa. It is often used as a synonym for Near East, in opposition to Far East...

     region of nuclear
    Nuclear weapon
    A nuclear weapon is an explosive device that derives its destructive force from nuclear reactions, either fission or a combination of fission and fusion. Both reactions release vast quantities of energy from relatively small amounts of matter. The first fission bomb test released the same amount...

     and other weapons of mass destruction
    Weapons of mass destruction
    A weapon of mass destruction is a weapon that can kill and bring significant harm to a large number of humans and/or cause great damage to man-made structures , natural structures , or the biosphere in general...

    .
  • The meetings asked the Secretary General to pursue efforts and contacts with the European Union
    European Union
    The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

     presidency and the European commission to develop collective Arab-European relations.
  • Leaders expressed keenness in enhancing relations with China
    China
    Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

    .
  • The council approved the general structure of the Executive program of the Arab customs union. Moreover, it also approved the continuous Arab agricultural development strategy.
  • Arab leaders urged Arab states to study the enactment of laws and regulations to encourage inter-Arab tourism.

Aftermath


Through the Riyadh
Riyadh
Riyadh is the capital and largest city of Saudi Arabia. It is also the capital of Riyadh Province, and belongs to the historical regions of Najd and Al-Yamama. It is situated in the center of the Arabian Peninsula on a large plateau, and is home to 5,254,560 people, and the urban center of a...

 Summit, Arab leaders “re-launched their blueprint for peace in the Middle East
Middle East
The Middle East is a region that encompasses Western Asia and Northern Africa. It is often used as a synonym for Near East, in opposition to Far East...

.” As the Riyadh Declaration shows, leaders of the Arab world hoped to “reexamine their state of affairs.” Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

, moreover, was used as a uniting factor to achieve peace:

“We are inspired by our religious and Arab values that renounce all forms of immoderation, extremism and racism; and stressing the aims of boosting the Arab identity, deepening its cultural bases, and continuing its open humanistic message, while facing the challenges and risks threatening to re-schematize the state of affairs in the region, dissolve the common Arab identity, and undermine the connections that bind us.”

Throughout its history, Professor of Middle East Studies, Roger Owen explains, “the Arab League has acted as though the Arab states should conduct their relations in terms more of notions of brotherhood than of protocol.” Moreover, the leaders at Riyadh explain, “We are all, leaders, officials and citizens; parents and children; partners in drawing our own destiny and preserving our identity, culture, values and interests. Dangerous challenges can only increase the resolve and faith of great nations. The Arab nation is capable, with God’s help, to achieve the security, dignity, and prosperity it deserves when it unifies its ranks and strengthens its joint actions.”

To date, Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

i Prime Minister Ehud Olmert
Ehud Olmert
Ehud Olmert is an Israeli politician and lawyer. He served as Prime Minister of Israel from 2006 to 2009, as a Cabinet Minister from 1988 to 1992 and from 2003 to 2006, and as Mayor of Jerusalem from 1993 to 2003....

 has “not agreed to fully-fledged negotiations over the three main final status issues - borders, the status of Jerusalem and Palestinian
Palestinian people
The Palestinian people, also referred to as Palestinians or Palestinian Arabs , are an Arabic-speaking people with origins in Palestine. Despite various wars and exoduses, roughly one third of the world's Palestinian population continues to reside in the area encompassing the West Bank, the Gaza...

 refugees - as proposed by Mr. Abbas. Israeli officials said any commitment now could raise expectations and lead to further violence if talks broke down.”

Moreover, Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia , commonly known in British English as Saudi Arabia and in Arabic as as-Sa‘ūdiyyah , is the largest state in Western Asia by land area, constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and the second-largest in the Arab World...

 still has not created diplomatic ties with Israel because of Israel’s continued negative treatment of Palestinians.

The situation in Iraq is still grim; stability still has not been achieved.

In many ways, it is too soon to tell whether the Riyadh Summit of 2007 has had long-lasting positive effects on tensions in the Middle East. Its resolutions, however, were a positive step in the right direction.

Upon completion of the summit meeting, leaders of the Arab League
Arab League
The Arab League , officially called the League of Arab States , is a regional organisation of Arab states in North and Northeast Africa, and Southwest Asia . It was formed in Cairo on 22 March 1945 with six members: Egypt, Iraq, Transjordan , Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Syria. Yemen joined as a...

 decided to reconvene for the 20th Arab League summit in Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

in March 2008.