Saudi foreign policy favors peace over escalation: FM

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir gives address at the UN General Assembly. (AFP)
Updated 30 September 2018
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Saudi foreign policy favors peace over escalation: FM

  • Al-Jubeir reiterated the need to “resolve the Libyan crisis” and preserve the country’s “unity and territorial integrity”

JEDDAH: Saudi foreign policy is based on consistent principles, including peacefully resolving disputes and preventing escalation, Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir told world leaders at the UN General Assembly in New York. Countering Iran’s “subversive strategies” is an important part of solving the many conflicts plaguing the Middle East, he said.
“Our region has never been spared from the scourge of terrorist groups,” he added, outlining Tehran’s support for such groups. The Houthi militia in Yemen depends on Iran, which has provided ballistic missiles that have been fired at Saudi cities, Al-Jubeir said. Saudi Arabia will “continue to facilitate all humanitarian efforts to end the disaster plaguing the Yemeni people,” he said. “We have sought to support the Yemeni economy, including recently with the establishment of a $2 billion fund based at the Central Bank of Yemen.”
Terrorism and extremism are among the most important challenges facing the entire world, Al-Jubeir said.
“We renew our call… for intensifying international cooperation to eliminate all forms of terrorism and to drain its sources of funding, and to punish those who support it and feed its activities in any way,” he added.
The boycott of Qatar is necessary as the country supports terrorism, harbors extremists and allows hateful rhetoric through its media outlets, he said.
“Sovereignty is a red line,” he added, saying the Kingdom rejects interference in its internal affairs “from any country.”
“Saudi Arabia has taken care of the Syrian people, and fulfilled Syrians’ aspirations to live safely in their land and to reach a political solution in accordance with the principles of the Geneva Declaration,” Al-Jubeir added.
“The Kingdom has worked to unite the Syrian opposition so that it can negotiate with the regime to ensure the security and stability of Syria and its unity, and to prevent foreign interference,” he said.
Al-Jubeir reiterated the need to “resolve the Libyan crisis” and preserve the country’s “unity and territorial integrity.” He also reaffirmed the Kingdom’s support for the efforts of the UN and its envoy to Libya. “The Kingdom is one of the largest donor countries in the humanitarian and development fields,” Al-Jubeir said.
Its assistance amounts to 3.7 percent of Saudi gross domestic product (GDP), “surpassing the UN-proposed rate of 0.7 percent of GDP,” he added.
Al-Jubeir highlighted the Kingdom’s “sincere partnership with the world to have a prosperous present and a bright future, and for future generations to live in security, stability and peace.” He wished the UN “more success in achieving its lofty goals.”


Two Saudis among 31 foreigners killed in Easter Day attacks in Sri Lanka

Updated 23 April 2019
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Two Saudis among 31 foreigners killed in Easter Day attacks in Sri Lanka

  • Mohamed Jafar and Hany Osman, cabin crew with Saudi Arabian Airlines, were in transit and staying at one of the three hotels targeted
  • Saudi Ambassador Abdulnasser Al-Harthi says officials are awaiting the results of DNA tests

COLOMBO: Two Saudis were among 31 foreigners killed in a string of Easter Sunday suicide bombings in Sri Lanka, the Sri Lankan Foreign Ministry said on Monday, a day after the devastating attacks on hotels and churches killed at least 290 people and wounded nearly 500.

The extent of the carnage began to emerge as information from government officials, relatives and media reports offered the first details of those who had died. Citizens from at least eight countries, including the United States, were killed, officials said.

Among them were Saudis Mohammed Jafar and Hany Osman. They worked as cabin crew on Saudi Arabian Airlines, and were in transit and staying at one of the three hotels that were hit.

Saudi Ambassador Abdulnasser Al-Harthi said that officials are awaiting the results of DNA tests on the two Saudi victims, and only after these are received will their names be confirmed.

Cabinet spokesman Rajitha Senaratne said the Sri Lankan government believes the vast scale of the attacks, which clearly targeted the minority Christian community and outsiders, suggested the involvement of an international terrorism network.

“We don’t think a small organization can do all that,” he said. “We are now investigating international support for them and their other links — how they produced the suicide bombers and bombs like this.”

The attacks mostly took place during church services or when hotel guests were sitting down to breakfast. In addition to the two Saudis, officials said the foreign victims included one person from Bangladesh, two from China, eight from India, one from France, one from Japan, one from The Netherlands, one from Portugal, one from Spain, two from Turkey, six from the UK, two people with US and UK dual nationalities, and two with Australian and Sri Lankan dual nationalities.

Three of Danish billionaire Anders Holch Povlsen’s four children were among the foreigners who were killed, a spokesman for the family confirmed. Povlsen is the wealthiest man in Denmark, the largest landowner in Scotland and owns the largest share of British online fashion and cosmetics retailer Asos.

Two Turkish engineers working on a project in Sri Lanka also died in the attacks, the English-language Daily Sabah newspaper reported. Turkey’s foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu gave their names as Serhan Selcuk Narici and Yigit Ali Cavus.

Fourteen foreign nationals remain unaccounted for, the Sri Lankan foreign ministry said, adding that they might be among unidentified victims at the Colombo Judicial Medical Officer’s morgue.

Seventeen foreigners injured in the attacks were still being treated at the Colombo National Hospital and a private hospital in the city, while others had been discharged after treatment.