Jordan's King Abdullah II, center, greets Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir, left, upon his arrival at Queen Alia International Airport in Amman, Jordan, Tuesday, March 28, 2017. Sudan's president, sought by the International Criminal Court on war crimes charges, has been welcomed in Jordan, despite calls by human rights groups to deny him entry. Omar al-Bashir is among 21 Arab leaders gathering for a summit. (AP Photo/Raad Adayleh)

Arab summit to endorse Palestinian positions with eye on US

March 29, 2017 - 4:14 am

DEAD SEA, Jordan (AP) — Arab leaders are gathering for an annual summit where the call for Palestinian statehood is to take center stage.

The summit on Wednesday is expected to endorse key Palestinian positions, signaling to President Donald Trump ahead of White House meetings with the leaders of Egypt and Jordan that a deal on Palestinian statehood must precede any Israeli-Arab normalization.

The Palestinian issue also serves as a showcase for Arab unity in a fractured region, where leaders often find themselves on opposite sides of long-running conflicts.

From their venue on the shores of Jordan's Dead Sea, leaders from 21 Arab countries have a view of the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

President Bashar Assad is absent. He hasn't been invited since Syria's suspension from the Arab League following the 2011 uprising.

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