Saudi Arabia leads diplomatic efforts to solve key Middle East issues before UN General Assembly

Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir (L) is greeted by United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres at the U.N. Headquarters in New York City, U.S., in this September 17, 2017 photo. (REUTERS)
Updated 20 September 2017

Saudi Arabia leads diplomatic efforts to solve key Middle East issues before UN General Assembly

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia and other Arab nations, have given a new dimension to their diplomacy in New York, and intensified efforts ahead of the annual UN General Assembly (UNGA) meeting to solve key regional issues that have been hampering peace and security in the Middle East.
Their diplomatic agenda also includes diverse problems faced by the Muslim world, including the systematic genocide of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Adel Al-Jubeir, who is leading the Saudi delegation to the 72nd session of the UNGA, met with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres Sunday and discussed the whole range of “regional and international issues,” said a Saudi Press Agency (SPA) report published Monday. The meeting was attended by Prince Khaled bin Salman, Saudi ambassador to the US.
The report said that Al-Jubeir also met in Washington with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. “During the meeting, they discussed the distinguished relations between the two friendly countries as well as developments in regional and international arenas,” said the report.
“These meetings are extremely important ahead of the deliberations at the UNGA,” said Ibrahim Al-Qayid, a founding member of the National Society for Human Rights.
Al-Qayid said that “the member states of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) including Arab nations, should exert more efforts to put pressure on different lobbies at the UNGA to solve the problems faced by Arab countries and the Muslim world.” There is also a need to look afresh at problems faced by Arab nations and the role of the international community on these issues including the systematic ethnic cleansing of Rohingya Muslims, he added.
He said that “the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the worsening situation in Syria and the deteriorating situation in war-torn Yemen are priorities on our agenda.”
To this end, it is important to note that the “Donor Coordination Group on Yemen” held its meeting in New York on Monday on the sidelines of the UNGA. The meeting aimed to coordinate the joint efforts of major donors supporting Yemen.
Referring to the agenda, a UNGA statement said that the session started formally on Monday. US President Donald Trump made his debut at the UN at a meeting calling for reforms at the organization as tensions continued to rise over North Korea and elsewhere in the world.
In his first visit to the UN since taking office, Trump said that the “UN has not reached its full potential because of bureaucracy and mismanagement.”
The General Assembly is one of the six main organs of the UN, the only one in which all member states have equal representation: One nation, one vote. All 193 member states are represented in this unique forum to discuss and work together on a wide array of international issues covered by the UN Charter.

Houthi attack on Saudi Aramco facilities act of terror: Japanese defense minister

Updated 16 September 2019

Houthi attack on Saudi Aramco facilities act of terror: Japanese defense minister

TOKYO: Taro Kono, the defense minister of Japan, said that threats to his country’s oil supply was the “most worrying scenario” he could imagine in international relations, in the wake of attacks on Saudi Arabian oil production facilities. 

“The most pessimistic scenario right now is that something happens in the Straits of Hormuz and the oil supply gets cut down, and that would send a shock wave through the global economy. I think the price of oil is already rising after this attack on Saudi facilities, so that’s the most worrying scenario right now,” he told a conference in Tokyo, Japan.

However, speaking on the sidelines to Arab News, he insisted that Saudi Arabia would remain a reliable partner of Japan - which imports around 40 per cent of its crude from the Kingdom - and downplayed concerns about long-term supply problems.

“Saudi has been and will be an important source of our energy supply. We have international co-ordination, and we have reserves, so we are not really worried about that,” he said. 

Kono, who was until recently Japan’s foreign minister, said that his country would be seeking to promote diplomatic solutions to the latest Middle East conflagration. "We definitely need to ease the tension between those countries. As Foreign Minister, the last thing I was doing was calling the Iranian Foreign Minister and the French Foreign Minister to ease the tension the region through diplomatic actions, and I think it's important to continue doing it.

“This Houthi attack on Saudi is a little different, because it's a terrorist attack. I think we may require some kind of military operation against those drone attacks, and that's something out of Japan's constitutional boundary. I think Japan will be focusing on diplomatic efforts in easing tension in the region.”

He raised concerns about the apparent lack of sophistication in the recent attacks. “If it is really drones, that is a lot cheaper than any form of conventional missile,” he said.