Iran promoting terrorism, taking over Iraq: KSA

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Updated 07 March 2015

Iran promoting terrorism, taking over Iraq: KSA

Iran’s belligerent policies, which are hampering all plans for restoring peace and security in the Middle East, came under fire during talks between US Secretary of State John Kerry and the foreign ministers of the GCC states on Thursday.
Kerry also called on Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman and discussed key regional issues, including the Iranian nuclear negotiations.
Kerry’s talks with King Salman mainly focused on bilateral and regional issues, including an emerging nuclear deal with Iran, Syria and Iran’s role in Iraq.
On the Iranian nuclear negotiations, Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal categorically stated that Kerry had given full assurances that the US would continue to monitor Iran’s “destabilizing” actions and behavior.
Referring to the Iranian nuclear negotiations, Prince Saud said that the Kingdom extended support to the negotiations between Iran and P+5 bloc of countries. “But, the Kingdom also supports a strong international inspection to ensure that Iran is not seeking to manufacture or possess nuclear weapons,” said Prince Saud, while renewing his support for peaceful use of nuclear energy by Iran or any other country of the region.
He also reminded Kerry that the GCC leaders had voiced their concerns time and again about Tehran’s covert support to the Syrian regime. He accused Iran of meddling in the affairs of the Arab world, saying that “Tehran today promotes terrorism (and) it occupies lands ... these are not the features of a country that seeks to improve its relations with its neighbors.”
Prince Saud made these remarks, while addressing a joint press conference with Kerry at the Riyadh Airbase.
Calling his talks with Kerry “fruitful, constructive and transparent,” Prince Saud said that he discussed several regional issues with the US secretary of state, including Iran, Syria, Yemen, Libya and the Middle East peace process.
Kerry, who also met the GCC foreign ministers on Thursday, briefed them about the nuclear talks with Iran and discussed ways to bring peace and stability to Yemen.
Speaking alongside Kerry at the press conference, Prince Saud gave a detailed account of the problems posed by Iran. He said that the involvement of Iran in the push being made by Iraqi forces alongside militias to retake the Iraqi city of Tikrit from the Islamic State was a prime example of what worries Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states.
Prince Saud, in clear terms, said that “Iran was taking over Iraq.”
The foreign minister also called on the US-led coalition conducting airstrikes against the IS in Syria and Iraq to fight the militants on the ground. “Saudi Arabia, which is part of the coalition, stresses the need to provide military means and support required to face this challenge on the ground,” said Prince Saud.
He reiterated the Kingdom’s support to the legitimate government of Yemen led by President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi. “The Saudi support to Hadi is in line with the support and policies expressed by the GCC, the Arab League and the UN Security Council,” he said.
The foreign minister also expressed his strong concerns over the Middle East peace process, which is not making any headway.
Prince Saud renewed the call for an independent Palestinian state. The two leaders touched on the prospects of reviving peace negotiations between Israel and Palestinians. Prince Saud, however, lamented that all efforts to revive the negotiations are failing. “It is mainly because of Israel’s policy of stubbornness and procrastination,” said the prince.
Asked about the regional turmoil for which Syrian regime is greatly responsible, Kerry said: “Military pressure may be needed to oust Syria’s President Bashar Assad ... He has lost any semblance of legitimacy, but we have no higher priority than disrupting and defeating the IS and other terror networks.”
On the question of Iranian nuclear negotiations, Kerry said Washington was not seeking a “grand bargain” with Iran that would involve wider political and security cooperation with Iran, and insisted that a nuclear deal with Iran would address security concerns of Gulf countries.
Kerry’s visit to Saudi Arabia follows three days of talks this week with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in Switzerland aimed at persuading Iran to restrain its nuclear enrichment program.
On Yemen, Kerry stated that the US supports “the peace process led by the UN” and within the framework of the GCC initiative for Yemen. The UN-mediated talks, that have failed to progress substantially of late, are aimed at breaking the political stalemate between the Houthis and the legitimate faction led by Yemeni President Hadi, he added.
Kerry also conveyed to King Salman the greetings of US President Barack Obama. On his part, the king sent his greetings to the US president. The audience was attended by Prince Saud; Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Naif and Defense Minister Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
On the American side, the talks were attended by US Ambassador to the Kingdom Joseph W. Westphal, Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Anne Patterson, Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Kurt Ted, US State Department spokeswoman Jennifer Psaki and other high-ranking American officials.


Diplomatic Quarter: Envoys extend Eid greetings to Saudis

Updated 28 May 2020

Diplomatic Quarter: Envoys extend Eid greetings to Saudis

RIYADH: Foreign ambassadors to Saudi Arabia have been passing on their Eid Al-Fitr greetings to the government and people of the Kingdom.

The US Mission in the Kingdom, tweeted: “The US Ambassador to Saudi Arabia John Abizaid on behalf of all Americans living and working in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia greeted saying, I would like to take this opportunity to wish Eid Mubarak to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and all our Saudi friends and colleagues as you celebrate this special holiday.

“May your Eid be joyous, even in this challenging time as we work together to fight (the) coronavirus (disease) COVID-19.”

In a tweet, the Australian ambassador in Riyadh, Ridwaan Jadwat, said: “Wishing everyone celebrating the end of Ramadan a joyous Eid Al-Fitr on behalf of my family and our embassy team: #EidMubarak!”

Posting a video message to the Saudi people, he added: “May I say on behalf of my family and the team here at the Australian Embassy in Riyadh, I hope that you have a safe, happy and blessed Eid Al-Fitr.”

Indian Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Dr. Ausaf Sayeed, said: “May you all be blessed with #Peace, #Joy and #Love on #EidUlFitr and always! #EidMubarak to you and your families.”

Eid Al-Fitr celebrations this year have been curtailed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The holy month of Ramadan and the festival of Eid in 2020 will be remembered as a time when traditions had to be broken to stop the spread of the deadly virus.

In a message addressing Saudis, the Pakistani community in the Kingdom, and Muslims around the world, Pakistan’s consul general in Jeddah, Khalid Majid, said: “This year, we are celebrating Eid in a very simple and somber manner. Undoubtedly, the world is passing through one of the most difficult times due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, which has badly affected our socio-economic life.”

He added that many people had already lost their lives to the disease while large numbers were still battling with it.

“Besides, the death of around 100 of our Pakistani brethren in a recent PIA (Pakistan International Airlines) plane crash at Karachi has also left us sad and gloomy. My sincere prayers are with all those who lost their lives and also with their bereaved families. At the same time, I also sincerely pray for the good health and speedy recovery of all the COVID-19 patients.

“My deep appreciation and prayers for continued success also goes to all our frontline soldiers including doctors, paramedics, law enforcement agencies and all other involved departments, who are fighting against this deadly virus, at the risk of their own lives.

“I take this opportunity to convey my deepest gratitude to King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for taking very effective measures against the COVID-19 pandemic. Provision of best health facilities and efficient other services across the Kingdom are instrumental in effectively tackling the situation. It is evident from these steps that the recovery rate in the Kingdom is one of the highest in the world,” Majid said.

“I advise all Pakistanis living in Saudi Arabia to continue abiding by all local health and safety instructions, including those relating to social distancing, so that we can all be safe and play our part in strengthening the efforts of the Saudi government in defeating this pandemic.”