Photo Credit: State Dept / public domain
Saudi Arabia's King Salman in January 2016 at Diriyah Farm in Riyadh

Leaders from European Union member nations and the Arab League gathered on Sunday for the first-ever EU-Arab League Summit in the Egyptian resort city of Sharm el-Sheikh.

At least 24 European leaders were greeted by President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, who co-chaired the summit with European Council President Donald Tusk.

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The gathering, aimed at “strengthening Arab-European ties,” according to an EU statement, is intended to provide a forum for discussion of migration, security and business deals between the two groups.

The issue of the Israeli-Palestinian Authority conflict is high on the list – but the unrest in Syria and in Yemen is not far behind, according to various news outlets.

Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit said in opening remarks at the start of the event that solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict “is the quickest way to stabilize the region. . . The Palestinian issue will not be solved by economic measures here or there.”

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman said in his own remarks that the “cause” of the Palestinian Authority is a top priority for his government.

“The Palestinian cause is the first issue for all Arab countries and we uphold the rights of the Palestinians, especially the establishment of the state, with East Jerusalem as its capital,” he said.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.