Iran wants to form another Hezbollah in Yemen, says Saudi ambassador to US

Saudi Ambassador to the US Prince Khalid bin Salman gives CNN’s Wolf Blitzer his first televised interview.
Updated 20 March 2018
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Iran wants to form another Hezbollah in Yemen, says Saudi ambassador to US

WASHINGTON: Prince Khalid bin Salman, the Saudi ambassador to the US, said on Monday that Iran wants to form another Hezbollah in Yemen through its support of Houthi militia.
He told CNN that Iran wants to destabilize Saudi Arabia, and that it poses a threat to the entire region and international security.
“Here’s what happening in Yemen: (Iran is trying to create) another Hezbollah in Yemen, which will not just threaten our security and Yemeni security, but also regional security.”
“We’ve been focusing on the weapon of mass destruction, the WMD. What we should really be focusing on is the MD, the mass destruction that Iran is committing in the region.”
He stressed to CNN that Tehran was stirring unrest, and said the so-called “nuclear deal” between Iran and Western powers needs “to be fixed.” 
In the interview, the ambassador was asked about the changes going on in Saudi Arabia and he pointed to Saudi Vision 2030, a long-term strategy toward "fascinating change and transformation."
"We want to reform our economy, we want to modernize our society, we want to empower our youth, including women," he said.
"On the women issues, currently in Saudi Arabia, we have more percentage of women in the Shoura Council, equivalent to Congress. In municipal elections, women are allowed to run and vote, and they have run, they have voted and won seats. Women are allowed to drive, and the biggest stock market in the Middle East and Africa, the Saudi stock market, is headed by women," he said.
The ambassador was speaking as Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman begins a multi-city trip to the US, where he is due to meet President Donald Trump on Tuesday.
Crown Prince Mohammed is also due to meet with Vice President Mike Pence, administration officials and religious leaders in the US.
He will meet financiers and think tank chiefs in New York, entertainment executives and technology entrepreneurs in San Francisco and Los Angeles, and key figures of the energy industry in Houston.


Saudi Arabia’s King Salman says Kingdom is committed to serving Muslims

Updated 13 min ago
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Saudi Arabia’s King Salman says Kingdom is committed to serving Muslims

  • Prince Khaled Al-Faisal gave a speech during the opening on the World Conference on Islamic Unity
  • Prince Khaled welcomed the participants at the conference and has delivered to them the greeting of the king

MAKKAH: Rejecting all forms of hatred and extremism, Muslim scholars from 127 countries have proposed to initiate an intercultural partnership to effectively fight Islamophobia.

More than 1,299 religious scholars and intellectuals took part in a conference titled “International Conference on Islamic unity — the perils of labeling and exclusion” held in Makkah on Wednesday.

Makkah Gov. Prince Khaled Al-Faisal inaugurated the event organized by the Muslim World League (MWL). 

The participants of the conference called for a comprehensive plan to address sectarianism and extremism.

They also stressed the need for creating effective channels of communication between followers of different Islamic schools of thought to remove misunderstandings and increase cooperation.

They unanimously rejected sectarian views and extremist ideas and urged scholars and preachers to play their role in uniting Muslims.

The Makkah governor delivered a speech on behalf of King Salman underlining the need to remove misconceptions about Islam and Muslims through dialogue. He also urged Muslims to set aside their petty differences and to work together to achieve a great and prosperous future.

Saudi Arabia’s Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al-Asheikh, who is also head of the MWL Supreme Council, highlighted the teachings of Islam that categorically reject all forms of discrimination. 

The grand mufti urged the Muslims to forge unity among their ranks and do away with rivalries, petty differences and say no to divisions and factionalism. 

Sheikh Abdallah bin Bayyah, president of the Emirates Fatwa Council, stressed that unity is a great Islamic concept that includes all spheres of human existence and covers all individual, collective and international relations. Islam is a religion of unity, he added

Sheikh Bayyah said the difference of opinion should not be construed as enmity. 

He deplored the spirit of exclusion and rejecting and mistrusting others. He said a moderate approach is necessary to counter extremism and hatred. 

MWL Secretary-General Sheikh Dr. Mohammed bin Abdulkarim Al-Issa said the problems we are witnessing in today’s world emanate from a lack of open dialogue and futile rivalries between sects and denominations.

The secretary-general of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Dr. Yousef Al-Othaimeen, hailed Saudi Arabia’s successful experience against extremism, violence and terrorism. He said the steps Saudi Arabia has taken to counter this negative trend have transformed it into a reliable reference for everything related to Islam. 

He praised the efforts, bold steps and resolute policies carried out by the Kingdom to eradicate extremist ideas from society.