Saudi FM: We have worked to strengthen relations with Iraq in many areas

Adel Al-Jubeir speaking at the Egmont Royal Institute for International Relations. (Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
Updated 24 February 2018
0

Saudi FM: We have worked to strengthen relations with Iraq in many areas

The Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir said on Friday that Saudi Arabia has worked to strengthen relations with Iraq in many areas. 
"Iraq has a very important role in the Arab world and we support reconstruction efforts there," he said in Brussels at the Egmont Royal Institute for International Relations.
Saudi Arabia recently pledged $1.5 billion of financial support for reconstruction efforts in Iraq after the war to defeat Daesh.  
Al-Jubeir also spoke about the situation in Syria, where a relentless  regime bombardment of a rebel-held territory near Damascus has killed more than 400 people this week. 
The UN Security Council will vote on Friday on a draft resolution demanding a 30-day ceasefire.
Saudi Arabia on Thursday called for a halt to the attack on Eastern Ghouta.
“We seek to restore stability to Syria and support the Geneva resolutions for a peaceful solution,” Al-Jubeir said on Friday.
Syrian President Bashar Al Assad has been backed militarily by Iran and Russia, and their support has given him the upper hand in the conflict.
Arab countries fear that Iran is using proxy militias in Syria and elsewhere in the region to expand its influence. 
The Saudi foreign minister said Iran is "the single biggest threat to the region and perhaps to the world," and that Iranian-backed militias play a negative role in the region.
Speaking about the situation in Yemen, where Iran backs rebels fighting against the government, he said: "It is complex and we did not seek war there”.
He also said the Houthis have “repeatedly undermined efforts to reach a solution in Yemen.”
Saudi Arabia leads an Arab military coalition fighting to restore the government to full control of the country.
 Al-Jubeir also said that Saudi Arabia has opened channels to deliver aid to Yemen to alleviate the humanitarian tragedy there.
The foreign minister again called on Qatar to cease its support for terrorism and its “intervention in the affairs of neighboring countries.” 
"The crisis with Qatar is very small compared to challenges in the region,” he said.


Saudi Arabia says UN Khashoggi report contains ‘baseless allegations’ and ‘contradictions’

Updated 14 min 26 sec ago
0

Saudi Arabia says UN Khashoggi report contains ‘baseless allegations’ and ‘contradictions’

  • Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel Al-Jubeir said the report contained 'nothing new.'
  • Saudi Arabia late indicted 11 people for the killing and prosecutors are seeking the death penalty against five of them

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia said Wednesday that a report by a UN expert on the murder of Jamal Khashoggi contains “baseless allegations” and “contradictions.”

Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel Al-Jubeir said the report contained “nothing new.”

He said the judicial authorities in the Kingdom are the only ones competent to investigate the case and that a number of suspects have already been arrested.

The report “contains clear contradictions and baseless allegations which challenge its credibility,” he said on Twitter.

“We strongly reject any attempt to prejudice the Kingdom’s leadership or to remove the case from the course of justice in the Kingdom or influencing it in any way.”

The report released Wednesday by UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Agnes Callamard, said the murder of Khashoggi was the responsibility of the state of Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia late last year indicted 11 people for the killing and prosecutors are seeking the death penalty against five of them.

Saudi prosecutors said Khashoggi was killed by a “rogue operation” in a botched attempt to repatriate him. 

Al-Jubeir said the trials are being attended by representatives from the embassies of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council in addition to Turkey and Saudi human rights organizations.