French FM to discuss regional issues in Jeddah

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian. (AP)
Updated 15 July 2017

French FM to discuss regional issues in Jeddah

JEDDAH: French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian will hold talks in Jeddah with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir on Saturday.
Le Drian will address a joint press conference with Al-Jubeir in the evening.
A statement by the French Embassy in Riyadh said discussions will cover the latest international developments, the resumption of dialogue and trust between regional countries, the French-Saudi strategic partnership and ways to jointly contribute to peace and security.
“The French president and the minister have stepped up talks with our partners and the leaders of the Arab Gulf states,” said the statement.
“We are concerned by the current tensions affecting countries with which we have close and friendly ties, and call for them to be eased swiftly, in everyone’s interest.”
The statement added: “During his trip, Le Drian wants to hear these countries’ views and offer France’s contribution to the mediation effort led by Kuwait, which has our full support. This approach is in the same spirit as the efforts of our American, British and German partners, with whom the minister is in constant contact.”
The statement said Le Drian will reaffirm France’s priority of strengthening the fight against terrorism, in particular improving ways to combat its financing and the propagation of terrorist ideas and projects.
He will underscore how important it is for the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) to take united action against this scourge and collectively constitute a force for regional stability.
In Doha on Saturday, Le Drian reiterated that Paris wants to assist Kuwait-led mediation between Qatar and the Anti-Terror Quartet (ATQ) of Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt.
“France should be a facilitator in the mediation,” he told reporters after talks with his Qatari counterpart Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani.
“France is very concerned by the sudden deterioration in relations between Qatar and many of its neighbors.”
Le Drian’s visit follows a four-day mediation mission by US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, which made little progress in defusing mounting tensions in the Gulf.
Riyadh and its allies severed ties with Qatar on June 5 for its alleged financing of terror groups and support for extremism.
On Friday, the UAE’s minister of state for foreign relations, Anwar Gargash, tweeted that the countries involved “are heading toward a long estrangement” and the crisis is “far from a political solution.”

Houthi missile attacks on Saudi Arabia condemned

Updated 30 March 2020

Houthi missile attacks on Saudi Arabia condemned

  • GCC Secretary-General Dr. Naif bin Falah Al-Hajraf says the ‘terrorist attack’ is not on Saudi Arabia alone, but also on Gulf security and stability
  • Attacks shows real threat posed by Houthis and Iranian regime supporting them: Coalition

RIYADH: The US on Sunday condemned the latest attempt by Iran-backed Houthi militias in Yemen to target Saudi cities with ballistic missiles.

“As the world focuses on combating the COVID-19 pandemic and saving lives, the Houthis focused on doing the work of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds Force by attacking innocent civilians,” said John Abizaid, the US Ambassador to the Kingdom.

“We wish those injured in the attacks a speedy and full recovery.”

Two civilians suffered minor injuries from falling debris after Saudi air defenses intercepted and destroyed the Houthi missiles over Riyadh and the southern city of Jazan late on Saturday night.

Col. Turki Al-Malki, spokesman of the Saudi-led Arab coalition supporting Yemen's legitimate government, shows to the media on Sunday parts of the Houthi missile that was shot down over Riyadh the night before. (SPA)

The missile attacks at such a time showed the real threat posed by the Houthis and the Iranian regime supporting them, Saudi-led coalition spokesman Col. Turki Al-Malki said.

GCC Secretary-General Dr. Naif  bin Falah Al-Hajraf said the “terrorist attack” was not on Saudi Arabia alone, but also on Gulf security and stability.  The GCC supported all measures the Kingdom would take to defend its land and protect its citizens, Al-Hajraf said, and he called on the international community to shoulder its responsibility in countering such acts.

The UAE also condemned the attacks, and said it stood with the Kingdom against every threat to its security and stability. The attack threatened global unity against the COVID-19 pandemic, the UAE said.