Saudi Foreign Minister reasserts the Kingdom's eagerness to unify Arab stance, revamping Arab League

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Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit (L) speaks with Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir during a League meeting at its headquarters in the Egyptian capital Cairo on September 11, 2018. (AFP)
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Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit looks on during the opening of Arab foreign ministers meeting in Cairo, Egypt September 11, 2018. (Reuters)
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Pierre Krahenbuhl (C), Commissioner General for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), attends a meeting of the Arab League Foreign Ministers at the League’s headquarters in the Egyptian capital Cairo on September 11, 2018, during a special session on the sidelines discussing the financial crisis of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA)’s caused by the US scrapping its contributions. (AFP)
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This picture taken on September 11, 2018 shows a general view of the Arab League Foreign Ministers meeting in the Egyptian capital Cairo. (AFP)
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This picture taken on September 11, 2018 shows a general view of a meeting of the Arab League Foreign Ministers at its headquarters in the Egyptian capital Cairo, during a special session on the sidelines discussing the financial crisis of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA)’s caused by the US scrapping its contributions.(AFP)
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A special session on the crisis facing UNRWA. (SPA)
Updated 12 September 2018
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Saudi Foreign Minister reasserts the Kingdom's eagerness to unify Arab stance, revamping Arab League

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir emphasized in Cairo on Tuesday, during the opening of the 150th ordinary session of the Arab League (AL) Council, that the Kingdom remains keen to unify the Arab stance, promote the performance of the AL and revamp a Pan-Arab joint action system.
The Palestinian cause is the top priority and interest for Saudi Arabia, which endeavors to secure the Palestinian people their legitimate rights based on the Arab Peace Initiative: International legitimacy resolutions calling for establishing its independent state, with East Al-Quds as its capital, he pointed out, reiterating absolute rejection of anything that may compromise the historical or legal status of Al-Quds.
On Yemen, Al-Jubeir said the Kingdom is keeping to its commitment toward Yemeni unity, sovereignty, stability, security and territorial integrity, through backing the legitimate government and reiterating readiness to cooperate with the UN envoy to Yemen.
Iran-affiliated Houthis militias have never and will never positively respond to the international community’s calls to engage in the political process, he said, pointing out their absence at the latest meeting, held in Geneva.
He stressed that coalition countries will continue to cooperate with the UN and other relief agencies, to ensure humanitarian access to the civilians in Yemen and alleviate their suffering.
Al-Jubeir added that the total humanitarian support provided by the Kingdom to Yemen during the past four years amounted to more than $13 billion.
On the Syrian crisis, the foreign minister said that the Kingdom seeks to stabilize Syrian unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity, and has united the position of the Syrian opposition so it may sit at the negotiating table to reach a political solution that guarantees security and unity, through the prevention of foreign intervention or any attempts to partition the country.
Al-Jubeir said that the Kingdom supports the unity and independence of Libya and the efforts of the UN envoy to reach a political solution that will guarantee the country’s security and stability and eliminate terrorism in the country.
He pointed to the suffering caused in the world by terrorism, which the Kingdom has exerted all efforts to combat, and did not hesitate to provide all kinds of support, in cooperation with the international community, to eliminate it.
He stressed that the conduct of Iran, through its blatant interference in our affairs and its support for terrorist militias, is among the ugliest manifestations of terrorism, which requires us to unite and cooperate to confront and deter.
At the end of his speech, the foreign minister called on his counterpart, the Sudanese Foreign Minister Dr. Dirdiri Mohammed Ahmed, to take over the chairmanship of the current session.
Earlier, under the chairmanship of Al-Jubeir, Arab foreign ministers held, at the request of Jordan, a special session on the crisis facing UNRWA.
The extraordinary session included discussion of the systematic campaign against the UNRWA to reduce or cancel its role, as well as ways to support it, financially, in the light of the recent decision by the US to stop making financial contributions to the organization’s annual budget.
Arab foreign ministers stressed the need for UNRWA to continue to play its role in meeting the humanitarian needs of Palestinian refugees, warning against compromising the agency’s mandate or reducing its services, which would contribute to aggravation of the situation in the Middle East.
The ministers emphasized that the agency’s continued commitment to more than 5 million Palestinian refugees in the areas of operations, as mandated by the UN, is an international political, legal and moral responsibility.
The ministers agreed to continue discussing the issue in the light of the outcome of the international meeting called for by Jordan, in coordination with Egypt and Palestine, and in cooperation with Sweden, Germany, Japan and the EU to take the necessary steps to build on the outcome of the Extraordinary Ministerial Conference on the Support of UNRWA, held in Rome on March 15, 2018, and political moves to ensure the financial support for the agency to perform its tasks.
Ministers expressed thanks to countries that have provided financial support to the agency, which so far this year has raised about $200 million.


Saudi crown prince, Pompeo send a message to Iran: End hostility or pay the price

Updated 17 June 2019
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Saudi crown prince, Pompeo send a message to Iran: End hostility or pay the price

  • The US secretary of state said the US was discussing a possible international response
  • MBS hoped the Iranian regime “would opt to become a normal state and cease its hostile policy”

JEDDAH: The US will take all actions necessary — “diplomatic and otherwise” — to deter Iran from disrupting Gulf energy supplies, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned on Sunday.

Pompeo spoke hours after Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said the Kingdom would “not hesitate in dealing with any threat against our people, sovereignty and vital interests.”

The twin warnings to the regime in Tehran followed last week’s attacks on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman, widely assumed to have been carried out by Iran.

“We don’t want war. We’ve done what we can to deter it,” Pompeo said in a TV interview. “But the Iranians should understand very clearly that we will continue to take actions that deter Iran from engaging in this kind of behavior.

“What you should assume is we are going to guarantee freedom of navigation throughout the Strait of Hormuz. This is an international challenge, important to the entire globe. The US is going to make sure that we take all the actions necessary, diplomatic and otherwise, that achieve that outcome.”

Pompeo said the US was discussing a possible international response, and he had made a number of calls to foreign officials about the tanker attacks.

He said China, Japan, South Korea and Indonesia relied heavily on freedom of navigation through the strait. “I’m confident that when they see the risk, the risk to their own economies and their own people, and outrageous behavior of Iran, they will join us in this.”

The Saudi crown prince, in an interview with the Arabic-language newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat, said the Kingdom had “supported the re-imposition of US sanctions on Iran out of our belief that the international community needed to take a decisive stance against Iran.”

He hoped the Iranian regime “would opt to become a normal state and cease its hostile policy.”

Crown Prince Mohammed said the Kingdom’s hand was always extended for peace, but the Iranian regime had disrespected the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during his visit to Tehran by attacking the two oil tankers in the Gulf, one of which was Japanese.

“It also employed its militias to carry out a shameful attack against Abha International Airport. This is clear evidence of the Iranian regime’s policy and intentions to target the security and stability of the region.”

The crown prince said the attacks “underscore the importance of our demand before the international community to take a decisive stance against an expansionist regime that has supported terrorism and spread death and destruction over the past decades, not only in the region, but the whole world.”

Prince Mohammed’s interview was “a message to Tehran, and beyond Tehran, to the international community,” the Saudi political analyst and international relations scholar Dr. Hamdan Al-Shehri told Arab News.

“He sent out the message that we do not want a war in the region. He was offering peace, as is our nature, and that is what we are doing now. But if it is going to affect our vital interests, our vital resources and our people, we will defend ourselves and take action to handle any threat.  

“We are facing aggressive, barbaric and terrorist threats from Iran, and we must take rapid and decisive action against that. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is sending a message to the world that there must be a solution.”