Saudi Arabia says Arab summit wants international probe into use of chemical weapons in Syria

Saudi’s Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir speaks during a news conference after the 29th Arab Summit in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. (Reuters)
Updated 16 April 2018
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Saudi Arabia says Arab summit wants international probe into use of chemical weapons in Syria

DHAHRAN: Arab League leaders on Sunday condemned the “criminal” use of chemical weapons in Syria and called for an international investigation, the Saudi foreign minister said.
Adel Al-Jubeir was speaking at a news conference after the end of an Arab League summit in Saudi Arabia, which had not mentioned Syria in a statement read out at the close.
Saudi Arabia and its allies have expressed support for the missile launch by the United States, Britain and France on Saturday against three alleged chemical weapons facilities in Syria, while Arab states like Iraq and Lebanon have condemned them.
The Syrian government denies using or possessing chemical weapons and said the strikes were an act of aggression.
Meanwhile, at a preliminary meeting in Riyadh on Thursday, Arab ministers focused heavily on blocking the embassy move, unanimously condemning US President DonaldTrump’s decision and moving to block Israel’s bid to secure at seat at the UN Security Council this June.
Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir however insisted Riyadh would maintain “strong, strategic” ties with Washington.
“There is no contradiction with having very strong strategic ties with the US while telling your friends where their policy should change,” Jubeir said.
“That’s what friends are for.”
“The fact that we have very strong ties with the US over history, and the Trump administration in particular, is a positive factor, not a negative factor in trying to help guide them toward a positive engagement in the Middle East,” Al-Jubeir told reporters after the summit.


Princess Reema meets US treasury chief Steven Mnuchin

Updated 27 min 57 sec ago
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Princess Reema meets US treasury chief Steven Mnuchin

DUBAI: Newly appointed Saudi Ambassador to the United States Princess Reema bint Bandar met with US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to discuss opportunities to further strengthen the countries’ partnership.

The Saudi Arabian embassy in the US, in a tweet, said the two senior officials explored “ways to strengthen Saudi Arabia’s close partnership with the United States on countering the financing of terrorism, as well as US support for the Kingdom’s economic reforms.”

 

 

Princess Reema, who assumed her new office on July 4, earlier met with US President Donald Trump to present her credentials as the Kingdom’s top diplomat in Washington.

Princess Reema became the Kingdom’s first female ambassador after being nominated to the post on February 23 – to replace Prince Khaled bin Salman who was appointed deputy defense minister – and took her oath before King Salman in Riyadh in April.