saudi arabia

Strong Arab front needed to confront regional competitors: UAE Minister

Gulf and Arab states have long complained of Iranian interference in their domestic affairs

Gulf News
15:22 December 27, 2017

Dubai: There is an urgent need to strengthen the Arab front in light of geostrategic competition in the region, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Anwar Gargash, wrote on Twitter on Wednesday.

“A strong Arab front, with Riyadh and Cairo, at the helm, is the only way the Arab world can confront regional competitors,” he said.

“There are several regional powers longing to expand their influence at the expense of the Arab world, their ambitions are covered by sectarianism and partisanism, and the Arab response should be made through cooperation and coordination. The Arab front is experiencing a dilemma and the solution lies in cooperation and solidarity against the surrounding regional ambitions. The sectarian and partisan perspective is not an acceptable alternative. The Arab world will not be led by Tehran or Ankara, but rather by its own capitals,” he said.

Gulf and Arab states have long complained of Iranian interference in their domestic affairs.

From Lebanon, Syria, Gaza, Iraq, Yemen, Bahrain, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia—Iran has supported sectarian and terrorist groups to undermine the leadership of the respective countries.

Iran’s backing of Al Houthi militants in Yemen has drawn Saudi Arabia into the Yemeni war where it is trying to restore the internationally-recognised government of Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi.

Earlier this week, the UN Security Council condemned “in the strongest possible terms” last week’s ballistic missile attack by Iran-backed Al Houthi militants in Yemen on Riyadh.

A statement approved yesterday by all 15 council members “also expressed alarm at the stated intention of Al Houthis to continue these attacks against Saudi Arabia, as well as to launch additional attacks against other states in the region.”

The Saudi-led coalition fighting the Yemeni militants said it intercepted a missile over Riyadh the previous week.

The Security Council called on the parties in Yemen to start negotiating a political settlement.

The members called on all UN member states to fully implement all aspects of the arms embargo against Al Houthi militants as required by the relevant Security Council resolutions, and expressed its grave concern about the reports of continuing violations of the embargo.

The Security Council expressed concerns about the lack of progress in peacemaking and reiterated its call for all parties to engage constructively in the peace efforts of the UN Secretary-General’s special envoy for Yemen, Esmail Ould Shaikh Ahmad.