The Riyadh Arab-Islamic Summit conveyed numerous exceptional diplomatic signals and collective messages to the administration of US President Joe Biden. These messages called for an end to its support for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. They urged immediate cessation of the destructive war on the Gaza Strip, along with the abandonment of Mr Biden’s plans for "The day after."
Arab countries had opposed America's insistence on granting diplomatic immunity to Israel in the UN Security Council, which blocked the issuance of a draft UN resolution seeking a ceasefire in Gaza. They defied Washington, turning to the UN General Assembly, which successfully passed a resolution with the support of 120 countries, advocating for an "immediate, permanent, and sustainable humanitarian truce leading to a cessation of hostilities." Although this decision lacks the binding power of a Security Council resolution, it holds significant symbolic political weight, highlighting the divide between the United States and the rest of the world, as well as the growing global support for the Palestinian cause.
The Riyadh Summit took additional crucial steps during this extensive regional-international gathering, second only to the United Nations General Assembly in scale. Leaders and representatives from 57 Arab and Islamic countries participated in the summit, including member states of the G20 and major countries from various political and economic backgrounds. These nations set aside their differences and moved toward closer cooperation to establish a unified stance on the Gaza war.
Even leaders who do not typically convene together, such as Iran's Ebrahim Raisi, Türkiye's Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and Syria's Bashar al-Assad, participated in the summit. This represents a significant shift in the dynamics of reconciliation in the Middle East, supported by China, and reflects the region's countries' efforts to find common ground independently of American influence. Additionally, it underscores their shared interest in the Palestinian issue and the suffering of its people.
In essence, this message serves as an apparent response to Netanyahu's plans, Washington's stance, and Secretary of State Anthony Blinken's dissenting positions.
The Israeli Prime Minister, for his part, announced his vision for his goals in the war and beyond: “eliminating Hamas,” Israeli “security control” of the Gaza Strip after the war, and rejection of a future administrative role there for the Western-backed Palestinian Authority in Gaza.