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Saudi FM Says No Direct Talks with Iran

Saudi FM Says No Direct Talks with Iran

Saturday, 15 February, 2020 - 18:00
Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan attends a panel discussion during the 56th Munich Security Conference in Munich, southern Germany, on Feb. 15, 2020. (AFP)
Asharq Al-Awsat

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan said on Saturday no private messages or direct contact had taken place to ease tensions with Iran and that Tehran first needed to change its behavior before talks can happen.

"Until we can talk about the real sources of that instability, talk is going to be unproductive," he told the Munich Security Conference.

“The only message Saudi Arabia sent to Iran was announced and clear to everyone. Before the killing of (Iran Revolutionary Guards Quds Forces commander) Qassem Soleimani, Iran had attacked our oil installations with 16 missiles, posing a threat to the global economy,” he continued.

“Iran supplies the Houthis with weapons to attack Saudi cities,” he added.

The Kingdom is prepared to hold talks “once Tehran acknowledges its hostile behavior and destabilizing influence on the region, including its firing of missiles at neighboring countries,” Prince Faisal stressed.

Only one side is behind the instability in the region, he added. “Iran is reckless and threatens the global economy.”

Turning to Yemen, the minister said Riyadh prioritizes the political solution through United Nations-sponsored dialogue, remarking: “We have always supported the political solution.”

Saudi Arabia will be committed to finding a way to dialogue and forge ahead if the Houthi militias were prepared to prioritize Yemen’s interest, not Iran’s, he stressed.

“All sides must help resolve the crisis in Yemen, not just Saudi Arabia,” he urged.

Prince Faisal had arrived in Munich on Friday where he held talks with numerous officials on the sidelines of the security conference.

On Saturday, he met with European Union high representative for foreign affairs Josep Borrell.

Discussions focused on bilateral relations, regional and international developments and cooperation between Saudi Arabia and the EU.

Prince Faisal also met with Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg and Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar.

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