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Saudi Arabia

Beware of ‘Iran efforts to destabilize ME’

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir (L) and his French counterpart, Jean-Marc Ayrault, field questions during a press conference after a meeting on Tuesday in Paris. (AFP / FRANCOIS GUILLOT)

PARIS: Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir on Tuesday accused the Lebanese Shiite movement Hezbollah of hampering efforts to resolve Lebanon's leadership crisis.
Hezbollah is “stalling any efforts to resolve Lebanon’s presidential vacuum,” Al-Jubeir said in a joint press conference in Paris with his French counterpart, Jean-Marc Ayrault, Al-Jubeir.
Lebanon has been without a president for more than two years.
Hezbollah's increased influence in Beirut's government has soured ties between Lebanon and Saudi Arabia. Earlier this year, Riyadh halted a $3 billion aid to the Lebanese army in response to the Beirut government's failure to condemn attacks on Saudi diplomatic missions in Iran.
Al-Jubeir also reiterated his earlier warnings against Iranian efforts to “destabilize” the Middle East.”
Addressing a joint press conference in Paris with his French counterpart Jean-Marc Ayrault, Al-Jubeir said: “The entire world knows that Iran is working to destabilize our region. Iran must respect principles of good neighborliness if it wishes to normalize ties.”
Iran and Hezbollah have openly supported the regime of Syrian dictator Bashar Assad, whose refusal to step down has led to a deadly civil war that has killed tens of thousands of people and displaced millions.
Al-Jubeir and Ayrault urged Russia to pressure the Assad regime to stop bombing rebel positions, particularly in Aleppo.
Ayrault said a cease-fire would be the only stipulation for peace in Syria, along with a political solution to the crisis.
Al-Jubeir said the kingdom’s stance on Assad — that he must relinquish power — will never change.
Ayrault hailed Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, saying the plan will ensure the future success of the Kingdom.
Al-Jubeir said the Arab Peace initiative is ongoing, hinting at continuing Israeli-Palestinian peace talks and thanked France for its support to Saudi efforts in the Middle East.  

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