UAE's Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid arrives in Bahrain for Gaza-focused summit

The Dubai Ruler is accompanied by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice-President and Deputy Prime Minister of the UAE

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Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan arrive in Bahrain for the Arab League summit. Photo: Dubai Media Office
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan arrive in Bahrain for the Arab League summit. Photo: Dubai Media Office

Published: Thu 16 May 2024, 8:21 AM

Last updated: Thu 16 May 2024, 9:41 PM

Arab leaders are gathering Thursday in Bahrain for a summit that is expected to focus on the Israel-Hamas war, which has been raging in the Gaza Strip.

Heads of state and government began touching down on Wednesday in Manama, capital of the Gulf nation, where the flags of the Arab League's 22 members were flying.


Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, is leading the country's delegation to the summit.

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The Dubai Ruler is accompanied by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice-President and Deputy Prime Minister of the UAE.

It is the first time the bloc has come together since an extraordinary summit in Riyadh, capital of neighbouring Saudi Arabia, in November that also involved leaders from the 57-member Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, based in the Saudi city of Jeddah.

At that meeting, leaders condemned Israeli forces' "barbaric" actions in Gaza but didn't take punitive economic and political steps against the country. That could change this time around as backing builds globally for a two-state solution long advocated by Arab countries, said Kuwaiti analyst Zafer Sl Ajmi.

The Arab League summit comes on the heels of a UN vote that backed a Palestinian bid for membership, recognising it as qualified to join and recommending the UN Security Council "reconsider the matter favourably".

The vote by the 193-member General Assembly was a global survey of support for the Palestinian bid to become a full UN member — a move that would effectively recognise a Palestinian state — after the US vetoed it in the UN Security Council last month.

Beyond the Israel-Hamas war, Arab leaders are also expected to discuss conflicts in Sudan, Libya, Yemen and Syria, whose President Bashar Al Assad is due to attend after returning to the Arab fold last year.

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