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Abdullah bin Zayed chairs Arab Foreign Ministers' emergency meeting in Cairo

posted on 11/01/2016: 1524 views

CAIRO: The UAE Foreign Minister, H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, yesterday chaired the emergency meeting of Arab foreign ministers at the Arab League's Secretariat-General in Cairo. It is being held at the request of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to denounce Iran's violations of the diplomatic inviolability of the Saudi Arabian embassy in Tehran and its consulate in the city of Mashhad as well as Iran's interference in the internal affairs of Arab countries.

A number of Arab foreign ministers and Arab League Secretary-General Dr. Nabil Al Araby attended the meeting.

Sheikh Abdullah said that the support for the request from Saudi Arabia to hold this emergency meeting had been swift and strong, which demonstrated the vehement Arab condemnation of Iranian attacks on the Saudi diplomatic missions in Iran as well as Arab solidarity with Saudi Arabia in matters of Arab sovereignty, which 'we are all working together to protect.' In his welcome address, Sheikh Abdullah said: 'The Arab emergency meeting is convened today in light of the dangerous escalation and blatant attack by the Islamic Republic of Iran against the Saudi embassy in Tehran and its consulate in Mashhad city, which took place under the eyes of the Iranian government, without it providing the necessary protection and security to diplomatic premises in accordance with international law and international diplomatic norms and charters which oblige host countries to protect diplomatic premises and safeguard them.' ' It goes without saying that repeated attacks on diplomatic missions and diplomats have taken place in Iran over the last decades, and this indicates either a reluctance or negligence from the Iranian government to protect these premises. In this context, we strongly condemns these attacks and categorically rejects Iran's policy of interfering in the internal affairs of the Kingdom and in the internal affairs of any other Arab state, including in the sovereign judicial judgments in Saudi Arabia. At the same time, we also reiterates our vehement commitment to standing with Saudi Arabia in whatever deterrent measures it takes to confront terrorism and extremism,' Sheikh Abdullah added.

'We emphasise today the decisive and firm Arab stance which absolutely refuses to allow our internal affairs to be subject to interference by this or that state, which then expressed regret for its action when faced with a solid, collective Arab stance in support of Saudi Arabia and Arab unity and sovereignty. They were shocked to see the Arab stand strongly, united and firmly with their brothers in the Kingdom' the UAE foreign minister said.

He noted that all measures taken by Saudi Arabia underline and confirm the firm, solid and clear position taken to confront terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and to prevent the instigators of sedition and troubles from exploiting the circumstances through which the region is passing, so as to undermine the pillars of security and stability in our countries, and plunge us into internal destructive conflicts and chaos and sectarian division. These measures also prove the strong determination and persistence of Saudi Arabia to uproot terrorism and extremism and to deter whoever tries to spark and stir sedition, sectarianism, troubles and to tamper with Saudi Arabia's security and stability.

'Saudi Arabia's carrying out of the sentences on convicts is an inalienable sovereign right, especially after establishing - through its judicial system – the necessary evidence and clues proving they have committed these crimes. The Saudi move is necessary to enhance security and safety for all Saudi people and expatriate residents. No state or individual has the right to interfere in the Kingdom's internal affairs or its institutions and judicial rulings or to attempt to exploit any situation to stir troubles and sedition in any part of the Kingdom.' Noting that the Arab region is currently experiencing serious risks and challenges, notably terrorism, extremism and chaos, Sheikh Abdullah said 'We are also facing other dangerous threats, represented by Iran's continuing threat and its flagrant interferences in our Arab affairs, which have reached unprecedented levels. What we are seeing now is a natural result of this policy which considers the Arab space as a place for expansion and influence - an approach which we reject."

'We call on sisterly countries to take a clear-cut stance to stop Iran's continuous interference in the region's internal affairs and its attempts to plunge the region into a state of conflicts and seditions,' he added.' The UAE Foreign Minister also expressed the hope that the emergency meeting of Arab foreign ministers would reach agreement on a unified Arab stance within the framework of Arab solidarity and common security and safeguarding of the regional sovereignty of all Arab states, so as to confront Iran's policy of interference in the internal affairs of Arab League member states. These countries, he said, have always supported our countries at delicate times and difficult situations since their establishment. He added that the dangers and risks posed by Iran and its interference in the internal affairs of Arab states have become quite clear to all, at a time when Iran is bent on using the card of sectarianism as an instrument for hegemony over the region and for interference in the internal affairs of Arab states by making threats, supporting extremist groups, training and arming terrorists and forming militias to spread chaos and violence and to destabilise regional security.

'We look forward to our meeting coming out with a decisive position through which we will safeguard our national sovereignty and our regional security and safety, thereby displaying our determination to protect them against regional interference and our belief that regional sovereignty is an integral general principle and remains a red line on which we are prepared neither to be lenient nor to compromise," Sheikh Abdullah said.

He reminded the meeting of earlier resolutions passed by the Arab League Council, in particular Resolution No. (144) of 2015, which categorically condemned Iran's policy of interference in internal affairs of Arab states, which it deemed a blatant violation to international law and the principle of good neighbourliness.

'This interference also poses a serious threat to regional and international peace and security. We call on the Islamic Republic of Iran to refrain from interfering in the internal affairs of Arab states and to cease its provocative violations and acts as well as its attempts to drive a wedge of division and sectarian sedition between Arab citizens or supporting acts of vandalism, terrorism and incitement to violence. Iran's record of interference in other states includes its occupation of the UAE's three islands of Greater and Lesser Tunbs and Abu Musa and its flagrant meddling into internal affairs of Bahrain, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Yemen without any regard to Arab feelings and neighbour-to neighbour relationships," he said.

The UAE foreign minister also condemned statements made by senior Iranian officials which, he said, were also considered to be interference in the internal affairs of Arab states which do not contribute to confidence-building measures, which threaten security and stability in the region and which constitute a breach of international laws and the norms and principles of the UN Charter.

Concluding his statement, Sheikh Abdullah said: 'Our Arab message remains one of peace and cooperation and respect for principles of sovereignty and non-interference. Even during these difficult, thorny and extraordinary circumstances, we are seeking a natural relationship that binds the Arab World with its regional environment; a relationship that is based on projects for cooperation, development and respect for principles of sovereignty and non-interference in the internal affairs of others and seek to get out from the darkness of extremism and sectarianism. The Arabs are ready to opt for these mature and positive relations, but is Tehran ready for that? Is it serious and sincere?"

'We pray to Almighty Allah to protect us from the evil of seditions and to spare our countries from any harm,' he concluded. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


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