King Salman, Moroccan king discuss coordinating efforts to contain Iran threats

Saudi Arabia's King Salman. (SPA file photo)
Updated 04 May 2018
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King Salman, Moroccan king discuss coordinating efforts to contain Iran threats

  • Morocco on Tuesday announced that it was severing ties with Iran after finding that Tehran was arming and training Polisario separatists via Lebanon's Hezbollah militia
  • In addition to Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain have also expressed their support to Morocco

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia's King Salman and Morocco's King Mohammed VI spoke on Thursday to emphasize the need to unite their positions and coordinate efforts to counter the aggressive tendency of the Iranian regime.
King Salman called the Moroccan king and confirmed that Saudi Arabia stands with Morocco "against what could jeopardize its security, stability and territorial integrity," the Saudi Press Agency said.
"The two leaders underscored the importance of unifying their positions and coordinating the efforts to confront the aggressive tendency of the Iranian regime, its intervention as well as that of its agents in the affairs of Arab countries and its policies aiming at destabilizing the security of the Arab world," said the report.

Morocco on Tuesday said it was cutting ties with Iran over Tehran’s support for the Polisario front, which is seeking independence from Rabat.
Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita said Morocco will close its embassy in Tehran and will expel the Iranian ambassador in Rabat after finding out that the Iran-backed Lebanese militia Hezbollah have been training Polisario militants. 
Morrocco also accused the Algerian government of being complicit with Polisario militants and Hezbollah. 
Bourita had said that "a first shipment of weapons was recently" sent to the Polisario Front via an "element" at the Iranian embassy in Algiers.
Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain have expressed their support to Morocco's move to sever its ties with Iran, whom the Gulf allies have accused of causing chaos and instability in the region by arming militias such as the Houthis in Yemen and Shiite militias in Iraq.
Iranian agents have also been accused of inciting Shiites in Kuwait and Bahrain into committing acts of sedition.


UN presents new plan for Yemen pullback from Hodeidah

Updated 1 min 56 sec ago
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UN presents new plan for Yemen pullback from Hodeidah

  • The redeployment of forces was agreed in December under a ceasefire deal reached in Sweden that offered the best hope in years of moving toward an end to the war
  • The UN envoy's statement did not give a date for the start of the pullback, which would mark the first step towards de-escalation

UNITED NATIONS: The United Nations will present a new plan for the pullback of forces from Yemen's flashpoint city of Hodeidah following talks with the government and the Houthis, a UN envoy said Tuesday.
The redeployment of forces was agreed in December under a ceasefire deal reached in Sweden that offered the best hope in years of moving toward an end to the war that has pushed Yemen to the brink of famine.
"Following constructive discussions with both parties, there is significant progress towards an agreement to implement phase one of the redeployments of the Hodeida agreement," said a statement from Martin Griffiths, the UN envoy for Yemen.
"Operational details will be presented to the parties in the Redeployment Coordination Committee (RCC) for endorsement shortly," he added.
The UN envoy's statement did not give a date for the start of the pullback, which would mark the first step towards de-escalation.
Griffiths said he "looks forward to the swift endorsement of the plan."
The United Nations announced a deal on the two-stage pullback from Hodeidah city and its ports on February 17, but the redeployment failed to materialize on the ground.
UN diplomats said the Houthis were refusing to pull away from the ports as part of the first stage. 
Griffiths and head of the RCC, Danish General Michael Lollesgaard, have been holding talks with all sides to overcome the final hurdles.
The Red Sea port of Hodeidah is the entry point for the bulk of imported goods and relief aid to Yemen.
The conflict in Yemen has unleashed the world's worst humanitarian conflict.