Arab leaders gather to unify ranks in face of conflict, wars

DHAHRAN, Saudi Arabia (AP) — An annual gathering of Arab leaders has opened in the eastern Saudi city of Dhahran as tensions with Iran and wars in Syria and Yemen threaten stability across the region.

Saudi King Salman told leaders from across the 22-member Arab League that Iran was to blame for instability and meddling in the region. He said Yemeni rebel Houthis, backed by Iran, had fired 116 missiles at the kingdom since Saudi Arabia went to war in Yemen three years ago to try and roll back Houthi gains there.

Saudi tensions with neighboring Qatar were also on display at the summit. Qatar's emir did not attend the summit, instead dispatching Qatar's Arab League representative to the meeting.

Meanwhile, in their opening statements Sunday, Arab leaders vowed unity and unwavering support for Palestinians.