RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister said on Wednesday that the ongoing escalation of violence in Gaza and East Jerusalem had to stop, expressing the Kingdom's solidarity with the Palestinian people.
Speaking to Al Arabiya TV, Prince Faisal bin Farhan said the Saudi position on Palestine was clear, namely reaching a permanent solution according to the Arab initiative and a Palestinian state based on 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as the capital.
The prince had also earlier said that Israel’s bombing of Gaza was fueling extremism and “empowering the extremists” in the Palestinian enclave, calling on “all parties” to stop the violence which erupted last week.
Heavy air strikes and roclet fire in the Israel-Gaza conflict have claimed more lives on both sides as tensions flare amid Palestinian 'day of anger' protests in Jerusalem and the West Bank.
During comments to Al Arabiya, Prince Faisal also said Saudi Arabia was committed to a political solution to crisis in Yemen, but added that progress was currently stalled due to refusals from the Iranian-backed Houthi militia to cooperate.
He said the Kingdom hoped the Houthis will advance the interests of Yemen over the interests of “regional parties,” but that the issue of Iran's ballistic missiles and interventions in the region had to be addressed.
Following comments made by Lebanon's former caretaker foreign minister Cherbel Wehbe on Monday, the prince said there were concerns about the future of Lebanon, but that the country had to find a way to save itself.
He also added that Hezbollah's influence over political decision-making in Lebanon hindered any chances of real reform in the country.
Prince Faisal also told Al Arabiya that Saudi Arabia had worked with global partners to stabilize Sudan, and the Kingdom was fully committed to the transitional process in the African country, the prosperity and stability of which is positive for the wider region.