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Firm Arab stand needed to deter Iran Houthi attacks provided an impetus to renew discussions on joint Arab defense mechanisms; Sisi
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 31 - 05 - 2019

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman told an emergency Arab summit here on Thursday that decisive action was needed to stop Iranian "escalations" in the region following attacks on Gulf oil assets this month.
King Salman also told the gathering that the Palestinian cause would remain the Arab world's top priority until the establishment of "an independent state with East Jerusalem as its capital".
King Salman had opened an earlier meeting of Gulf Council Cooperation states leaders with a warning that Iran's development of nuclear and missile capabilities and its threatening of world oil supplies posed a risk to regional and global security.
"The absence of a firm deterrent stance against Iranian behavior is what led to the escalation we see today," the King told the wider Arab gathering.
Saudi Arabia and the UAE have said they want to avoid war after drone strikes on oil pumping stations in the Kingdom and the sabotage of tankers off the UAE coast.
Riyadh accused Tehran of ordering the drone strikes, which were claimed by Yemen's Iran-aligned Houthi group.
"The Kingdom is keen to preserve the stability and security of the region, to spare it the scourge of war and to realize peace and stability," King Salman said, urging the global community to prevent Iran from "interfering" in Arab affairs.
Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit voiced a message that "Arabs do not turn others into enemies but they also do not accept injustice," adding that "Houthi militias have crossed the red line."
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi told the summit that this month's attacks provided an impetus to renew discussions on joint Arab defense mechanisms.
He also said that Egypt supports a Palestinian state under 1967 borders, East Jerusalem as its capital.
Sisi linked the security of the Gulf to his country's national security. "All means should be used to deter the perpetrators of the attacks on oil facilities in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf," he said.
Following Sisi's speech, King Abdullah II of Jordan reaffirmed that the security of the Gulf states is a fundamental pillar of the region's stability.
Speaking from a "difficult experience," Iraqi President Barham Salih said that the region is witnessing a crisis that foretells a war that will "destroy everything," adding that the principle of non-interference in internal affairs needs to be respected.
He also called on neighbors and allies to support his country's stability.
Affirming Salih's words, Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah expressed fear that the escalation facing the region will add to "previous wounds."
In his speech, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas rejected the concept of 'Peace to Prosperity' to solve the Palestinian issue, referring to the economic workshop hosted in Bahrain in cooperation with the United States to overture the latter's plan for peace between Israelis and Palestinians.
Sudan's head of the Transitional Military Council, Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan, announced that his country seeks democratic elections involving all political factions. He also reiterated Khartoum's support for the Palestinian people and peace in Syria and Libya.
"This gathering in Makkah is a gathering of unity, faith and wisdom," said Lebanon's Prime Minister Saad Al-Hariri in his speech. SG/SPA/Agencies

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