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Senior Lebanese Shia cleric shrugs off Arab Summit in Saudi Arabia’s Jeddah, calls it 'theatrical event'

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
This picture shows (L-R) Omani Deputy Prime Minister Sayyid Asa'ad bin Tariq Al Said, UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Egypt's President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, Bahrain's King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifah, US President Joe Biden, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman; Jordan's King Abdullah II, Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Kuwait's Crown Prince Meshal al-Ahmad al-Jaber Al Sabah, and Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi.

A prominent Lebanese Shia Muslim cleric has played down an Arab summit in Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea city of Jeddah as a “theatrical event,” saying that the participants simply used the event to take a series of photographs.

“The era of Western hegemony and dominance is coming to an end,” Grand Jaafari Mufti Sheikh Ahmad Kabalan said on Sunday, underlining that replacement of Tehran with the Tel Aviv regime will be “a strategic disaster” for all Arabs.

He added, “Arab countries should realize that a new world order is established in Beijing, Moscow and Tehran, and not in Washington and Brussels.”

Alos in his remarks, he lauded the resistance front as "the main guarantor of Lebanon", saying "its capabilities are beyond what the Israeli regime can imagine." 

Leaders of six countries of the [Persian] Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) – Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman and the United Arab Emirates – plus Jordan, Egypt, and Iraq held talks on regional security and bilateral relations with the US at Jeddah summit on Saturday.

 US President Joe Biden used the summit to lay out his strategy for the Middle East as he closed the final leg of a four-day to the region.

The 79-year-old president said the United States “will not walk away” from the Middle East and leave a vacuum to be filled by Washington’s rivals.

He also warned the leaders of the Arab states participating in the event of efforts by certain countries, including China, Russia and Iran, to undermine “the rules-based order.”

He claimed that “American leadership” will run the "new 'rules-based' world order" and will not leave any space to be filled by Washington's opponents.

Despite Biden's efforts to secure a regional security alliance including Israel, the summit communique was vague, and Saudi Arabia, Washington's most important Arab ally, dashed US hopes the summit could help lay the groundwork for such an alliance. 

The US president arrived in the Israeli-occupied territories on Wednesday, and met with the Israeli officials, including prime minister Yair Lapid. He also sat down with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Friday.

Biden, later on Friday, traveled to Saudi Arabia, his final destination, to hold talks with Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince and de facto ruler Mohammed bin Salman, and other high-ranking officials.

Biden’s first trip to the Middle East as the US president concluded with almost no tangible achievements, vividly showcasing “policy failures” of the White House in the region, according to an article titled “Biden Caters to Autocrats and Draws Battle Lines in the Middle East” and published in the American weekly magazine The New Yorker on Saturday. 

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