Saudi King Salman Bin Abdulaziz said yesterday that the Palestinian issue is “the number one” Arab issue and East Jerusalem is the capital of the State of Palestine.

 The Palestinian cause is our number one issue and will remain so until the Palestinian people obtain all their legitimate rights, particularly the establishment of an independent state with East Jerusalem as its capital,” King Salman said in his inauguration speech at the Arab League meeting held in Dhahran.

He also rejected the US Administration’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, lauding the international consensus against the move. “We emphasize that East Jerusalem is an integral part of the Palestinian territory,” he said.

The King went on to reiterate the importance of sovereignty, independence, security and territorial integrity for Yemen where a Saudi-led coalition is battering the Arab world’s poorest nation in an effort to rid it of the Iran-backed Houthi group.

 We also support all efforts aimed at reaching a political solution to the crisis in Yemen, in accordance with the GCC initiative and its executive mechanism, the outcomes of Yemen’s Comprehensive National Dialogue Conference and UN Security Council Resolution number 2216,” he said.

He added: “We call on the international community to work towards preparing all means to deliver humanitarian aid for the various areas of Yemen.”

The King blamed the Houthis and Iran for the misery in Yemen. “We hold the Iran-backed Houthi militias fully responsible for the emergence and continuation of the Yemeni crisis and the human suffering that has afflicted Yemen.”

He noted that the Houthis have launched 119 ballistic rockets towards the Kingdom, including three targeting Mecca.

He criticized Iran’s interference in the internal affairs of the Arab countries.

Human rights groups around the world have on numerous occasions criticized Saudi Arabia’s role in Yemen and pointed at its indiscriminate strikes in the country which have killed women and children and which have been described as “war crimes”.