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Saudi King slams Iran at GCC meeting

King of Saudi Arabia, Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud makes a speech during the 39th Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Summit in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on 9 December, 2018 [Bandar Algaloud/Saudi Kingdom Council/Handout/Anadolu Agency]
King of Saudi Arabia, Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud makes a speech during the 39th Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Summit in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on 9 December, 2018 [Bandar Algaloud/Saudi Kingdom Council/Handout/Anadolu Agency]

Saudi King Salman Bin Abdulaziz yesterday criticised the Islamic Republic of Iran for what he said was the republic’s “interference in the internal affairs of neighbouring countries”.

“The Iranian regime is continuing its hostile policies and continues to intervene in other nations’ internal affairs,” King Salman said at the opening of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) meeting in Riyadh.

“This requires all of us to maintain our countries’ gains and to work with our partners to preserve security and stability in the region and the world,” he added.

Qatar’s Emir Tamim Bin Hamad Al thani, Sultan of Oman Qaboos Bin Said Al Said and UAE President Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan did not attend the meeting.

King Salman claimed the Saudi-led coalition “continues to support efforts to reach a political solution to the Yemen crisis” while a political solution “which contributes to the establishment of a transitional government” must be found for the Syrian war.

READ: Qatar rift overshadows Gulf Arab summit as emir stays away 

Meanwhile, Kuwait’s Emir Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah warned of the serious challenges facing GCC countries, mainly the conflict in the Gulf region.

“We are faced with a serious threat to our unity and to the interests of our people and the world,” he said, calling for Gulf unity to  be maintained.

The Kuwaiti emir reiterated his country’s position that relations with Iran should be based on international principles, including non-interference in internal affairs, respect for state sovereignty and adherence to the rules of good neighbourliness.

GCC members Saudi, the UAE and Bahrain launched an air, sea and land blockade on neighbouring Gulf state Qatar in June 2017 accusing it of supporting terrorism, charges Doha vehemently denies.

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