Saudi Arabia rejects Israel’s policies discriminating against Palestinians

Palestinian youths challenge Israeli soldiers during clashes in the West Bank city of Ramallah following a raid on December 10, 2018. (File/AFP)
Updated 24 January 2019

Saudi Arabia rejects Israel’s policies discriminating against Palestinians

  • Saudi UN envoy reiterates need for political solution in Syria, Yemen
  • Envoy also demands the withdrawal from Syria of all foreign forces and foreign fighters

Saudi Arabia rejected all Israeli policies, practices and plans that attempt to perpetuate racial discrimination against the Palestinian people and obliterate their national identity and to undermine their legitimate rights, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

Addressing the UN Security Council, the Kingdom’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Ambassador Abdullah bin Yahya Al-Maalami called on the international community to intervene and stop settlement projects by Israel.

“The Palestinian people continue to witness further tragedies,” he said.

 “70 years ago, Palestinians suffered the greatest human tragedy the world has ever seen. The tragedy of the displacement of the landowners, the tragedy of giving the right to those who do not have the right, and the denial of the right of its owners,” he continued.

The Israeli occupation must be committed to implement international resolutions, lift the siege on the Gaza Strip and open the crossings immediately and permanently, he said. The humanitarian and economic crisis affecting the Palestinian people.

“My country stresses the importance of a comprehensive and lasting peace in the Middle East as a strategic option to end the Arab-Israeli conflict,” he said. 

“The Syrian people, too, are still living the worst humanitarian crisis of the century,” he added. 

The former UN special envoy to Syria, Staffan de Mistura, “completed his duties without achieving the desired results... because of the intransigence of the Syrian regime and its unwillingness to reach a just political solution to end the tragedy of the Syrian people,” Al-Mouallimi said.

He congratulated Geir Pedersen on succeeding de Mistura, and stressed the support of the Saudi government for his efforts in achieving a political solution.

Al-Mouallimi said his government stresses the importance of reaching a just political solution in order to end the suffering of Syrians worldwide.

The Saudi government also demands the withdrawal from Syria of all foreign forces and foreign fighters, especially Iranian forces and their militias, he added.

Al-Mouallimi condemned any use of chemical weapons in Syria, and urged the international community to punish those responsible.

He questioned the Houthis’ sincerity in seeking a resolution of the conflict in Yemen. Al-Mouallimi urged the Security Council to continue pressuring Iran to abide by the council’s resolutions on Yemen. 

He stressed the importance of reaching a comprehensive political solution that guarantees state sovereignty throughout Yemen and a unified national army.

Saudi Arabia will continue to support the Yemeni people and their legitimate leadership, and respond to their humanitarian needs, Al-Mouallimi said.


Libyan navy says more than 300 migrants rescued

Updated 52 min 30 sec ago

Libyan navy says more than 300 migrants rescued

  • 128 Sudanese were in the boats, in addition to migrants from Chad, Egypt, Niger, Benin and Eritrea
  • It came days after Libyan navy patrols “rescued 278 migrants on board four inflatable boats

TRIPOLI: The Libyan navy said Sunday 335 migrants had been rescued and one body recovered in separate operations off the coast, as they tried to cross the Mediterranean to reach Europe.
Nine children were among 57 migrants in a wooden boat rescued Saturday about 40 nautical miles from the town of Zuwara, west of Tripoli, navy spokesman General Ayoub Kacem told AFP.
He said they were from Ethiopia and Egypt.
It came days after Libyan navy patrols on Tuesday “rescued 278 migrants on board four inflatable boats northwest and northeast of Tripoli,” Kacem added.
The operations took place off the coasts of the cities of Khoms, 120 kilometers (75 miles) east of Tripoli, and Sabratha, located 70 kilometers west of the capital.
According to the statement, 128 Sudanese were in the boats, in addition to migrants from Chad, Egypt, Niger, Benin and Eritrea, including 35 women and 11 children.
One body was also recovered by the coast guard.
Libya, which has been wracked by chaos since the 2011 uprising that killed dictator Muammar Qaddafi, has long been a major transit route for migrants, especially from sub-Saharan Africa.
In general, migrants rescued at sea are first met by humanitarian agencies that provide medical care and food.
They are then taken into the charge of the body working to combat immigration at the interior ministry of the UN-recognized Government of National Accord.
On August 9, the Libyan navy accused the authorities of failing to manage migrants rescued at sea, claiming that it could be forced to let people go free once brought back to land.
Despite the risks, migrants continue to attempt to reach Europe by sea, preferring to take their chances than stay in Libya, where they are subject to abuse, extortion and torture, according to humanitarian organizations.