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Saudi Arabia: Iran is a neighbour, peace is the strategic option, says King Salman

September 23, 2021 at 2:24 pm

King Salman bin Abdulaziz, Saudi Arabia’s king, speaks in a prerecorded video during the United Nations General Assembly via live stream in New York, U.S., on Wednesday, Sept. 22, 2021. [Michael Nagle/Bloomberg via Getty Images]

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman Bin Abdulaziz has told the UN General Assembly in New York that Iran is a neighbour and “peace is the strategic option” in the Middle East. The king delivered his speech via video link.

“We hope that our initial talks with Iran will lead to tangible results to build confidence and pave the way for achieving the aspirations of our peoples in cooperative relations based on adherence to the principles and resolutions of international legitimacy and respect for sovereignty,” said King Salman. Iran should also end its support for “terrorist groups and sectarian militias,” he added.

Moreover, he insisted, the region should be free of weapons of mass destruction. “We support international efforts to prevent Iran from developing such weapons.” He made no mention of Israel’s nuclear arsenal.

According to the Saudi Press Agency, the Saudi monarch explained that the Kingdom’s foreign policy attaches great importance to consolidating security and stability, supporting dialogue and peaceful solutions, and providing conditions that support development and achieve peoples’ aspirations for a better tomorrow, in the Middle East and in the world at large.

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“Peace is the strategic option for the Middle East, through a just and lasting solution to the Palestinian issue on the basis of international legitimacy resolutions and the Arab Peace Initiative, in a way that guarantees the right of the Palestinian people to establish their independent state on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.”

Salman claimed that the Houthi militias take advantage of the suffering Yemeni people and their urgent need for humanitarian assistance. Houthi militias are, he said, attacking civilians in the Kingdom “on a daily basis”, while threatening international maritime routes and energy supplies.

The King reminded the General Assembly that Saudi Arabia is one of the founding members of the United Nations, and that it has been committed to the purposes and principles of its founding Charter. The UN Charter aims to maintain international peace and security, he said, resolve disputes peacefully, respect sovereignty and independence, and promote non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries. In order to deal with the challenges facing the international community, concluded the Saudi leader, multilateral cooperation needs to be strengthened.