King Salman says Iran’s destabilizing acts remain “great concern” for Saudi Arabia
RIYAD: The King of Saudi Arabia on Wednesday expressed hope that Iran will abandon its policy of destabilization and aggression and cooperate to bring peace and stability to the Middle East region.
“Iran is a neighboring country of the Kingdom. We hope that he will change his negative policy and behavior in the region and move towards dialogue and cooperation, ”the king said in his annual speech to the Saudi Shura Council.
His sweeping speech, delivered virtually in light of the resurgence of the COVID-19 pandemic, also reaffirmed Saudi Arabia’s initiative to end the conflict in Yemen and support the Lebanese people in the face of the economic crisis. and security threats from Hezbollah.
Saudi Arabia and its Arab and Western allies have accused Iran of supporting militias including Lebanon’s Hezbollah, Yemen’s Houthis and Iraq’s Hashd in their proxy wars.
Iran’s nuclear weapons program has also been a source of concern, with Israel threatening to take preventive action if not stopped, a move that risks igniting a conflagration.
“We follow with great concern the policy of the Iranian regime which destabilizes security and stability in the region, in particular the establishment and support of sectarian and armed militias, the systematic deployment of its military capabilities in the countries of the region. , and its lack of cooperation with the international community regarding the nuclear program and its development of ballistic missile programs, ”said King Salman.
“We are also following the Iranian regime’s support for the Houthi terrorist militia, which prolongs the war in Yemen, worsens the humanitarian crisis there and threatens the security of the kingdom and the region,” he said.
conflict in Yemen
King Salman reaffirmed Saudi Arabia’s initiative “to end the conflict in Yemen and supports global and international efforts to achieve a political solution, in accordance with the three references: the Gulf initiative and its implementation mechanism. implemented, the results of the National Dialogue Conference and the UN Security Council Resolution No. 2216 ”.
In addition to supporting the legitimate government of Yemen to contain the threat from the Iranian-backed Houthis, Saudi Arabia has continued to provide assistance of all kinds to alleviate the human suffering of the Yemeni people. The Houthis ousted the government of then President Abed Rabbu Mansour Hadi from Yemen’s capital Sana’a in 2014, favoring the intervention of a coalition of Arab states led by Saudi Arabia.
Since then, the Houthis have mainly bombarded civilian targets on the Kingdom’s southern borders with armed missile and drone attacks.
Saudi Arabia has pushed the parties involved “to accept political solutions” to end the conflict, but UN-brokered peace negotiations have so far failed.
Regarding Lebanon, the king said Saudi Arabia continues to support its Lebanese brothers.
He urged the Lebanese leadership to “work to achieve what the brotherly Lebanese people aspire to in terms of security, stability and prosperity, in addition to ending Hezbollah’s terrorist control over the country.”
Regarding Afghanistan, he said Saudi Arabia “is following developments closely” stressing “the importance of the stability and security of Afghanistan instead of being a haven for terrorist organizations”.
“The Kingdom also calls for intensifying regional and international efforts to provide humanitarian assistance to alleviate the suffering of the brotherly Afghan people. In this regard, the Kingdom called for a special meeting of the Ministerial Council of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation in December 2021, to the brotherly people of Afghanistan, ”he said.
The King took the opportunity to congratulate Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, to whom he attributed the various visionary projects undertaken as part of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 program.
He mentioned the start of the second phase of Vision 2030, the objective of which is to create a diversified economy.
Saudi Arabia’s economy was dependent on the oil industry, which proved to be at a disadvantage as the price of oil continued to fall around the world. To achieve the goals of Vision 2030, King Salman initiated far-reaching reforms, such as the development of non-oil industries, enabling women to play a greater role in nation-building, and the development of the tourism industry and the opening up of the Kingdom to global tourists.
As the world retreats again to deal with the latest wave of COVID-19 cases, King Salman called for continued compliance with health security protocols and cited citizens and expatriates working to deal with the pandemic in the Kingdom.
He noted that in addition to taking bold steps to mitigate the effects of the pandemic, Saudi Arabia also continues to provide financial support to international health organizations and sisterly countries to fight the global scourge.
On that note, he said Saudi Arabia will continue to play a leading role in the global campaign for world peace, in humanitarian efforts and in the campaign to combat climate change.
The Kingdom’s position broadly emanates from its Arab and Islamic position, he said.