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Kingdom denounces, rejects aggressive Iranian officials' remarks against GCC countries
Published in Alriyadh on 28 - 07 - 2015

Foreign Minister Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir here on Monday expressed the kingdom's condemnation and rejection of the aggressive statements of Iranian officials concerning Iran's interventions in the internal affairs of the countries in the region, stressing that this is unacceptable for us and for our brothers in the Gulf Cooperation Council and the Arab world countries.
He also expressed the kingdom's condemnation of the threats and statements made by Iranian officials towards our brothers in Bahrain. 'This is something we do not accept and reject, and we believe it does not represent the desire of a state seeking good neighborliness, but rather represents a country with ambitions in the region and adopts aggressive behaviors', he said.
During a press conference held at the headquarters of the ministry with the EU High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini, he stated that the Iranian nuclear file and the deal reached by the group of (five-plus-one) with Iran explained to us the mechanism concerning the accord to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, and that the mechanism of inspection included military sites and also a mechanism for reinstate sanctions on Iran in case of any violation of this deal.
He praised his meetings with EU High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, which dealt with bilateral relations between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the European Union and how to strength them in various fields, and to facilitate and increase the duration of visas for Saudis to five years, pointing out that the two sides will continue to discuss this issue.
He added that the meeting addressed a number of regional issues, particularly the Palestinian issue and how to revive the peace process on well-known foundations, especially on the basis of the Arab peace initiative and how to activate it.
Al-Jubeir mentioned the situation in Syria and the importance of finding a political solution leading to the removal of Bashar al-Assad's regime from power and maintaining the Syrian government and private institutions.
He also stressed the importance of implementing reforms in Iraq, which were adopted last summer and which called for the participation of all Iraq's communities in a unified Iraqi state.
He spoke about the situation in Yemen and the humanitarian truce requested by the Yemeni President and endorsed by the coalition countries, stressing the importance of finding a political solution that would restore the legitimate authority to take Yemen out of this tragedy and transfer it to a better future.
'We also talked about the situation in Libya and how to deal with it in a way that restores stability to them and allow Libya to work for reconstruction.'
He thanked the European envoy for foreign affairs on her visit to the kingdom, and the fruitful and constructive discussions.
For her part, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy thanked the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the warm reception, praising the good opportunity to be able to conduct these exhaustive and good discussions on various matters of interest to the European Union and the kingdom, given the strong relationship between the two sides in various fields.
The EU High Representative referred to the cooperation between the Kingdom and EU in the field of security and counter-terrorism, and the desire of the European Union to promote cultural and educational relations and enhance their cooperation in various fields, praising the efforts made by the GCC countries in strengthening relations with EU and also the ministerial meetings which were held between the Gulf states and the European Union over the past months.
The EU High Representative confirmed that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has a fundamental and important role to play to push peace process in the Middle East.
'We exchanged with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia visions and ideas and we supported the joint work to reach solutions in Syria', she said.
She explained that the discussions also included the Libyan issue as well as the deal concluded between the group of (five plus one) countries and Iran in July.
The EU High Representative expressed satisfaction with the cooperation between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and European Union and thanked the Saudi Foreign Minister for his outstanding work and for the talks conducted.
Then, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy answered reporters' questions.
On a question about Nuri al-Maliki's remarks on the kingdom, the minister emphasized that 'we have reached a conviction with respect to statements of al-Maliki over the years, and that much of what Maliki says has neither basis nor credibility.'
He said that the 'sectarian policies adopted by him during his tenure as prime minister of Iraq led to the creation of strife in Iraq and marginalization of the Sunnis, and the entry of the ISIS into Iraq. The last one to accuse the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia of supporting terrorism is al-Maliki. The Iraqi government issued a statement that this does not represent its point of view toward the kingdom. The Iraqi charge d'affaires in Riyadh was summoned and we delivered a strong-worded message with respect to these statements. I do not know why he makes such statements from time to time.'
He added, 'What I know is that the policies adopted by him during his tenure as prime minister in Iraq and the sectarianism promoted by him led to destruction in Iraq, unfortunately. We know that Iraqis refuse such a tone, and the people of the region and its peoples reject it as well,' indicating that the kingdom is one the first countries to suffer from terrorism and at the forefront of fighting terrorism. The kingdom is attested by the international community in dealing firmly with terrorism, extremism, the financing of terrorism and the fight against the ISIS as part of the international coalition in Syria.'
On Iranian officials' statements, the minister asked about 'the reason for the recent escalation and intensification of these statements. I expect that they have to do with the agreement because before it, they refused many of the conditions that were put to them. They may have to do with the defeat of their allies in Yemen, or with the deterioration of the situation of their ally Bashar Assad in Syria or they may have to do with the arrival of the international community to the conclusion that the sectarian policies that were followed in Iraq should be abandoned and reforms that were agreed upon last summer should be applied. Iran may see that these things are provoking to them.'
The minister said, 'We reject their aggressive talk about the kingdom and the countries of the region because it does not represent good neighborliness and confirms the aggressive approach taken by Iran towards the countries of the region.'
The minister said that sanctions against Iran are still on and will remain until the implementation of the agreement whose implementation has not started yet and which has not been adopted by the Security Council and this will take several months. Flow of money will not happen in hours or days. It will take some time and the lifting of sanctions will be gradual, and the use of money will be gradual too.'
He pointed out that the countries of the world hope that Iran will use the money to develop the economy and invest in its future, infrastructure and education and expressed his belief that part of the Iranian people and youth in particular hope to open up to the rest of the world for a different future, an investment that should be done by the Iranians.
On the situation in Yemen, the Foreign Minister stated that the position of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, from the beginning, is that the solution in Yemen is a political solution. 'Our hope was that various parties in Yemen would be able to reach a solution that ensures security and stability, but unfortunately this did not happen. The Houthis occupied and moved their militias from Saada into Amran, Sana'a, Ibb, Taiz, and Aden, and posed a direct threat to the legitimate Yemeni government, which had to request support under item 51 of the Charter of the United Nations', he said.
'The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Coalition countries have provided this support, but from the first day of military operations, we have always said that the solution in Yemen is political, and we hope that Houthis and Ali Saleh will have the wisdom to find a political solution to take out Yemen of this problem,' he added.
He pointed out that operations have continued and Coalition forces achieved now a victory in Aden area and took control of the airport, the sea port and large parts of Aden and perhaps the outskirts of Aden. 'Now we're seeing a shift in the balance of power in Yemen, and we hope that will convince the rebels and their loyalists to abandon the military option and return to the negotiating table in order to save Yemen and take it out of the crisis experienced by it,' he said.
The Foreign Minister explained that the humanitarian truce was designed to open the way for the delivery of humanitarian aid to Yemen, pointing out that the Kingdom has sent three relief flights, and currently there are ships that entered the port of Aden.
He stressed that the Kingdom will continue to intensify the delivery of humanitarian assistance to the Yemeni people, and urges the international community to do the same.
With regard to the Houthis' violation of the humanitarian truce, Al-Jubier said that this is regrettable, but we are trying to have contacts with them through the United Nations and other parties to abide by the truce to open the way for assistance to the brotherly people of Yemen.
'Houthis must resolve their problems with the legitimate government so as to ensure the security and stability of Yemen, and realize there is no place in Yemen to any militia out of the legitimate government and the government authority, and that the Houthis' situation in Yemen is like any other group in Yemen having the right to engage in the political process and take certain positions and they do not have a distinguished status in Yemen and they do not have the right to have an armed militia outside the central government,' he said.
In response to a question about the events in Aden and their relationship to the Iranian nuclear program, the minister said, 'There is no relationship between them because the talks began 20 months ago and was extended for a year. I think we must separate what is happening in Yemen and the nuclear agreement because Iran was forced to accept the conditions that were rejected by it for a long time.'
About the international position on developments in Aden, he said, 'The United States, Britain and France support efforts undertaken by the countries of the alliance and support of legitimacy in Yemen.'
Regarding Syria, he said that there have been efforts over the years among a number of countries of the world to support the moderate Syrian opposition.
He added that there is a change which has begun to appear in Syria on the ground in weakening the Assad regime and strengthening the position of the opposition, and, God willing, we hope that this will lead to a change in the situation in Syria contributing to ending the brotherly Syrian people's tragedy.
On the situation in Libya, the minister expressed concern by everyone about the situation in Libya and their desire to have a government that can control security and lead or contribute to a stabilization that takes Libya out of the tragedy it is living.


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