Saudi Arabia’s Al-Jubeir: Iran should stop targeting Kingdom with missiles and militias

Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel Al-Jubeir gives a joint press conference with the Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade on Jan. 24, 2020 in Budapest, Hungary. (AFP)
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Updated 24 January 2020

Saudi Arabia’s Al-Jubeir: Iran should stop targeting Kingdom with missiles and militias

  • Al-Jubeir: The Iranian regime has hijacked the country
  • He added that Saudi Arabia is committed to a two-state solution to the Israeli–Palestinian conflict

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia does not target Iran with missiles and through militias and therefore the Islamic Republic should stop doing the same, the Kingdom's Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel Al-Jubeir said at a press conference in Hungary on Friday.

Al-Jubeir added that the Iranian people are “historically moderate,” but that the regime had “hijacked the country.”

Speaking at a joint press conference with the Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Al-Jubeir said sanctions had been imposed on Iran “because of its behavior in the region,” not because of Saudi Arabia's wishes.

As US President Donald Trump prepares to host Israeli leaders in Washington to reveal details of his long-delayed Middle East peace plan, Al-Jubeir said the Kingdom “has no relations with Israel and is committed to a two-state solution, in accordance with UN Security Council resolutions.”

He added that Saudi Arabia does not want war in Yemen and is seeking a political solution.    

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia's Deputy Defense Minister Prince Khalid bin Salman said “Iran wants to export the revolution” and has “an expansionist ideology.”

In a televised interview with VICE Media that will air on Al Arabiya on Friday evening, Prince Khalid added: “Iran wants other states in the region not to be partners, but to be under the Iranian expansionist project. And this is a big difference; we have Vision 2030 that is moving us forward, and they have vision 1979 that is trying to move the region and Saudi Arabia backward.”

He also said Iran and its militias threaten security in the region.

Israeli leader vows to push ahead with annexing West Bank

Updated 33 min 2 sec ago

Israeli leader vows to push ahead with annexing West Bank

  • Netanyahu said Israel had a “historic opportunity” to redraw the Mideast map that could not be missed
  • The Palestinians seek the entire West Bank as the heartland of a future independent state

JERUSALEM: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday pledged to annex parts of the occupied West Bank in the coming months, vowing to move ahead with the explosive plan despite a growing chorus of condemnations by key allies.
The Palestinians, with wide international backing, seek the entire West Bank as the heartland of a future independent state. Annexing large chunks of this territory would all but destroy the faint remaining hopes of a two-state solution.
In an apparent reference to the friendly administration of President Donald Trump, Netanyahu said Israel had a “historic opportunity” to redraw the Mideast map that could not be missed. Israeli media quoted him as saying he would act in July.
“This is an opportunity that we will not let pass,” he told members of his conservative Likud party. He added that the “historic opportunity” to annex the West Bank had never before occurred since Israel’s founding in 1948.
The comments threatened to push Israel closer to a confrontation with Arab and European partners, and could deepen what is becoming a growing partisan divide over Israel in Washington.
Israel captured the West Bank in the 1967 Mideast war. It has settled nearly 500,000 Jewish settlers in the territory, but never formally claimed it as an Israeli territory due to stiff international opposition.
But the Trump administration has taken a much softer line toward Israeli settlements than its predecessors. Trump’s Mideast team is dominated by advisers with close ties to the settlements, and his Mideast plan, unveiled in January, envisions leaving some 30% of the territory under permanent Israeli control while giving the Palestinians expanded autonomy in the rest of the area. The Palestinians have rejected the plan, saying it is unfairly biased toward Israel.
With Trump’s re-election prospects uncertain this November, Israeli hard-liners have urged Netanyahu to move ahead with annexation quickly. The Israeli leader’s new coalition deal includes an official clause allowing him to present his annexation plan to the government in July.
Israeli media quoted him as telling Likud members that “we have a target date for July and we don’t intend to change it.” The quote could not immediately be confirmed.
The plan has already exposed a partisan divide in Washington. Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee in the US presidential elections, recently said that annexation would “choke off” hopes for a two-state solution. 18 Democratic senators warned in a letter this week that annexation could harm US-Israeli ties.
The EU’s foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, has said annexation would violate international law and vowed to use “all our diplomatic capacities” to stop it.
Closer to home, the Palestinians last week cut off security ties — a valuable tool in a shared struggled against Islamic militants — with Israel to protest the annexation plan.
Saudi Arabia, an influential Arab country that maintains behind-the-scenes relations with Israel, announced its “rejection of the Israeli measures and plans to annex Palestinian lands.”
The Arab League has condemned it as a “war crime,” and both Jordan and Egypt — the only two Arab countries at peace with Israel — have harshly criticized it.
Netanyahu spoke a day after beginning his trial on corruption charges.
The prime minister launched a blistering tirade against the country’s legal system when he arrived at court, accusing police, prosecutors and media of conspiring to oust him. As he spoke, hundreds of supporters cheered outside.
Speaking to Likud on Monday, Netanyahu said he was “very moved” by the support.
Critics have said his attacks on the justice system risk undermining the country’s democratic foundations.