World leaders condemn Houthi missile attack on Riyadh

World leaders condemn Houthi missile attack on Riyadh
A Patriot missile of the Saudi Air Defense Forces is shown in this file photo. A Patriot missile was used to shoot down a missile fired on Riyadh from Yemen on the night of Nov. 4, 2017. (SPA file photo)
Updated 06 November 2017

World leaders condemn Houthi missile attack on Riyadh

World leaders condemn Houthi missile attack on Riyadh

JEDDAH: World and Arab leaders have condemned the missile attack on Riyadh by Houthi rebels and pledged to stand with Saudi Arabia in confronting terrorism and defending the region’s security and stability.

The missile was fired from Yemen on Saturday night, aimed at King Khaled International Airport. Saudi defense forces intercepted it and shot it down, and there were no casualties.

US President Donald Trump and King Salman discussed the incident on Sunday, along with the continuing threat of Iranian-backed Houthi militias in Yemen. The two leaders emphasized the importance of countering extremist ideologies and championing moderation and tolerance, the White House said.

Britain’s Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said he was “shocked and horrified by the attempted missile strike on Riyadh, which was a deliberate targeting of a civilian area. The UK remains committed to supporting Saudi Arabia as it faces regional crises and security threats. We condemn in the strongest terms this attempted attack and the actions of those involved.”

King Salman received a message from Yemeni President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi, in which he expressed the Yemeni people’s strong support for the Saudi-led coalition fighting to restore his legitimate government.

Kuwait said the attack by the Houthis and forces loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh was aimed at undermining the security and stability of civilians, and was “a dangerous development.”

The Kuwaiti Foreign Ministry said: “The attack jeopardizes international efforts to reach a political solution for a bloody conflict which is posing a threat to regional and international security.”

King Abdullah of Jordan pledged his country’s solidarity with Saudi Arabia in safeguarding its security and stability, as well as facing such a cowardly hostile act.

Khan Hasham bin Saddique, Pakistan’s Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, said his government attached great importance to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Saudi Arabia and was deeply troubled by the attack.

The ambassador praised the efficient response of the Saudi defense forces, which he said had saved the lives of innocent civilians in Riyadh.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, crown prince of Abu Dhabi and deputy supreme commander of the UAE Armed Forces, said the UAE stood firmly and resolutely with Saudi Arabia in confronting all challenges to its security and stability.

The security of Saudi Arabia was an integral part of UAE security, Sheikh Mohammed said, and the hand of evil “will not undermine the resolve of our brothers in the Kingdom.” He said King Salman was able to foil all forms of aggression and conspiracy against the Kingdom and the region as a whole.

Sheikh Mohammed said the Houthi missile attack proved once again that the Saudi-led Operation Decisive Storm in Yemen was justified, and he had “absolute confidence in victory and the total elimination of any attempt to undermine our security and stability.”

Dr. Abdullatif bin Rashid Alzayani, secretary-general of the Gulf Cooperation Council, said the missile attack indicated that the rebels were confused. He regretted their continual rejection of a peaceful settlement that would save the Yemeni people from war, and urged the international community to stand resolutely against the targeting of cities.

Bahraini Speaker of the Council of Representatives, Ahmed bin Ibrahim Al-Mulla, condemned the attack and expressed the Bahraini Parliament’s support for Saudi Arabia, the coalition in Yemen and efforts to eradicate terrorism. The security of Saudi Arabia was an integral part of Bahrain’s security, he said.

The Saudi Ambassador to Bahrain, Abdullah bin Abdul Malik Al-Sheikh, said the attack would not undermine Saudi Arabia’s security, stability and unity.