Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister rejects Turkish military intervention in northern Syria

Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Faisal bin Farhan speaks at the fourth session of the second legislative term of the Arab Parliament in Cairo. (SPA)
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Updated 16 January 2020

Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister rejects Turkish military intervention in northern Syria

  • The foreign minister made the comments at an Arab Parliament meeting in Cairo
  • Prince Faisal also said that Saudi Arabia has donated more than $14.5 billion to assist the Yemeni people

CAIRO: The president of the Arab Parliament, Mishaal bin Fahm Al-Salami, has warned of the danger of aggressive plans by countries to revive their colonial ambitions by forming militias and proxies inside Arab societies, and of violating the sovereignty of Arab states.

It came in a speech during the fourth session of the second legislative term of the Arab Parliament, which kicked off in Cairo on Wednesday in the presence of Prince Faisal bin Farhan, Saudi minister of foreign affairs. 

Al-Salami said that rapid developments in the Arab world had reached dangerous levels, in light of conflicts and external interference in some Arab countries, and the threat this posed to security.

He said that despite the challenges facing the Arab nation, the Palestinian cause remained the first and central issue for the Arab world, stressing that the Arab Parliament continued to support the rights of the Palestinian people in the establishment of an independent state.

Al-Salami affirmed the parliament’s solidarity with the Libyan people, welcoming the announcement of the recent cease-fire, calling on all parties to abide by it to help reach a comprehensive political solution to the crisis.

He stressed the parliament’s rejection of the decision issued by the Turkish Parliament regarding sending military forces to Libya, in violation of UN Security Council resolutions prohibiting the supply of weapons to Libya, calling on the international community to take an immediate and urgent position to prevent the transfer of foreign fighters to Libya.

He also said that the Arab Parliament was following developments in Iraq with great concern, stressing that the security and stability of the country was integral to the region.

In his speech, Prince Faisal outlined efforts by the Kingdom to reach political solutions in Syria, Yemen, Libya and Sudan.

He highlighted the role of the Arab Parliament in serving Arab issues, and reiterated the Kingdom’s support for “unity, sovereignty and integrity of Arab territories.”

The minister outlined the political, economic and security challenges facing many Arab countries, and called on Arab states to take action in order to consolidate stability and development.

He affirmed that Saudi Arabia’s policy is based on the principles of peaceful coexistence and good neighborliness, respect for the sovereignty and independence of states, non-interference in their internal affairs, and solving disputes by peaceful means within international law.

These principles are capable of resolving all disputes, including the Arab-Israeli conflict, he added.

Prince Faisal said that the Palestinian cause is “our first issue and attracts the greatest attention in our foreign policies.”

The minister reaffirmed the commitment to peace as a strategic option.

“The Kingdom believes that the political solution is the only solution to the Syrian crisis,” pointing out that the Kingdom has taken, alongside the Arab states, a unified and clear Arab stance toward Turkish military interference in northern Syria.

The minister said that the Kingdom has provided more than $14.5 billion to help people in Yemen, and called on the international community to halt the Iran-backed Houthi militias’ missile and drone attacks on the civilian-populated areas, airports, facilities and installations in the Kingdom.

He said that the Kingdom will continue its efforts to reach a political solution that will end the Yemeni crisis.

With regard to the Libyan crisis, Prince Faisal affirmed that the Kingdom continues to call for the necessity of restraint and supreme interest of Libya via preserving the unity and integrity of the Libyan territories and regional sovereignty in addition to establishing a real national dialogue leading to a comprehensive peace among the Libyan parties.

“With regard to Sudan, the Kingdom stood with the brothers to achieve security and stability in Sudan and supported the efforts to bypass this difficult stage. The Kingdom supported the signing of the historic Khartoum political agreement and the formation of the transitional government,” he added.

He affirmed that the economic side has an active role in strengthening relations among the Arab countries, adding that the Kingdom looks forward to further cooperation in the economic, development and investment fields.

Saudi railway wins international award for safety measures

Updated 10 min 37 sec ago

Saudi railway wins international award for safety measures

RIYADH:  The Saudi Railways Co. (SAR) won the International Safety Award for 2020 from the British Safety Council for the second time in a row for its exemplary management of health, safety and environmental risks.

CEO of SAR Dr. Bashar bin Khalid Al-Malik said that the company puts at the forefront of its strategic plans the application of the highest safety standards in operating the rail network in the Kingdom.

He said that SAR accords top priority to the culture of safety in the management, operation and maintenance of its trains by following international laws that have proven effective in ensuring safety in the work environment.

Al-Malik said: “We are proud that SAR wins such international awards, which reflect the efforts and decisions taken to apply and develop health and safety measures.”