Dhahran : Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud yesterday slammed Iran’s “blatant interference” in regional affairs as Arab leaders met in the Kingdom for an annual gathering.
Opening the 29th Arab League summit, the Saudi King also criticised the US decision to transfer its embassy in Israel to Occupied Jerusalem and described “terrorism” as the biggest challenge facing Arab leaders.
Seventeen leaders from across the Arab world - minus Syrian President Bashar Al Assad - gathered in the eastern Saudi city of Dhahran for the summit, which this year comes as world powers face off over Syria and tensions rise between Riyadh and Tehran.
“We renew our strong condemnation of Iran’s terrorist acts in the Arab region and reject its blatant interference in the affairs of Arab countries,” the King said.
Terrorism a challenge
“One of the most serious challenges facing our world today is terrorism which has allied with extremism and sectarianism to produce internal conflicts affecting many Arab countries,” the Saudi King said.
“We hold the Iran-backed Houthi militias fully responsible for the emergence and continuation of the Yemeni crisis and the human suffering that has afflicted Yemen,” the King Said.
The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques affirmed commitment to Yemen’s unity, sovereignty, independence, security and territorial integrity, condemning Iran’s terrorist activities.
“We support all efforts aimed at reaching a political solution to the crisis in Yemen, in accordance with the GCC initiative and its executive mechanism, the outcomes of Yemen’s Comprehensive National Dialogue Conference and UN Security Council Resolution No. 2216,” he said, calling upon the international community to work towards preparing all means to deliver humanitarian aid for the various areas of Yemen.
Missile attack condemned
The King welcomed the statement issued by the Security Council, which strongly condemned the launching of Iran-made ballistic missiles by the Houthi militia on Saudi cities.
Three of these missiles, by now numbered 119, targeted Makkah, Muslims holiest place, proved again to the international community the danger of Iranian behaviour in the region, its violation of the principles of international law and ignorance of the values, ethics and good neighbourliness.
The Saudi King also called for a decisive UN position towards it. And despite being an ally of the United States, the ruler also criticised US President Donald Trump controversial decision to transfer America’s embassy from Tel Aviv to Occupied Jerusalem.
“We reiterate our rejection of the US decision on Jerusalem,” Salman said adding “East Jerusalem is an integral part of the Palestinian territories.”
Arab ministers at a preliminary meeting in Riyadh on Thursday focused heavily on blocking the move, unanimously condemning Trump’s decision.
Saudi Arabia pushed for a tough, unified stance against Iran at the annual gathering of the 22-member Arab League.
Last month the Security Council issued a statement condemning Houthi missile attacks on Saudi, but did not name Iran.