Wexler to Asharq Al-Awsat: Regional Peace Not Possible Without Saudi Arabia

US Senator and President of the S. Daniel Abraham Center for Middle East Peace in Washington DC, Robert Wexler.
US Senator and President of the S. Daniel Abraham Center for Middle East Peace in Washington DC, Robert Wexler.
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Wexler to Asharq Al-Awsat: Regional Peace Not Possible Without Saudi Arabia

US Senator and President of the S. Daniel Abraham Center for Middle East Peace in Washington DC, Robert Wexler.
US Senator and President of the S. Daniel Abraham Center for Middle East Peace in Washington DC, Robert Wexler.

US Senator and President of the S. Daniel Abraham Center for Middle East Peace in Washington DC, Robert Wexler stressed that real peace in the Middle East is not possible without Saudi Arabia.

In remarks to Asharq Al-Awsat, he said the Saudi-American relationship is the cornerstone for not just tangible security, but in handling terrorism related to extremist ideologies and deterring emerging groups.

The relationship between Riyadh and Washington is very important, not just in traditional politics, but goes beyond it to the fields of innovation, economy and regional peace efforts, he continued.

Moreover, he said there was deep understanding of the fundamental nature of the American-Saudi relationship and the massive long-term value of the partnership and joint interests and goals.

Saudi Arabia is the cornerstone for American interests and its allies.

When it come to Israeli-Palestinian peace, it would be impossible to imagine any deal or any real tangible peace progress taking place without Saudi Arabia, said Wexler from Riyadh.

He cited late King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz's declaration of the 2002 Arab peace initiative, saying it was a great vision of peace.

The collective challenge at hand, continued Wexler, is building sustainable peace.

Furthermore, he acknowledged that Israel is partly to blame for the collapse of the peace process in the region.

He refused to blame Tel Aviv entirely for the failure to achieve peace in the conflict with Palestinians.

He cited the Abraham Accords and peace agreements signed between Israel, Egypt and Jordan as evidence of the Israelis' openness to the region.

The Abraham Accords are not just peace between governments, but they represent warmer peace between peoples, remarked Wexler.

He stressed that the development of relations between Israel, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Morocco is not taking place at the expense of progress in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

All peoples of the region can benefit from the new dynamism created by the Abraham Accords, he continued.

The Accords are being used to display new openness on the regional level to push forward progress, narrow down disputes and improve the lives of Palestinians and Israelis alike, said Wexler.

In Riyadh, he revealed that he met with a number of Saudi officials, including State Minister for Foreign Affairs Adel al-Jubeir. Discussions focused on developing the needed strategies and steps to improve the lives of Palestinians and Israelis and to narrow down the scope of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

He added that discussions focused on the most realistic paths to pursue to help the parties achieve the desired progress. They tackled the practical suggestions to help the Israelis and Palestinian achieve progress over the details of the conflict.

Discussions also covered American-Saudi relations.

Wexler stressed that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was clear in his comments and declared actions in making peace. He is seeking a future of comprehensive regional peace.

On Saudi Arabia, he noted that it boasts a young population that is seeking innovation, technology and a brighter future where they can overcome challenges and the pain of the past.

He said he sees in the Kingdom a brave and diplomatically savvy leadership and readiness to review old problems with progress with the aim of achieving a real dignified and prosperous future.

In Saudi Arabia, it has become possible for words to materialize into action and finding the best ways to overcome differences, he noted.



Saudi FM Takes Part in GCC Ministerial Meetings Related to Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Japan

Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah takes part in the GCC and Egypt ministerial meeting in Riyadh. (SPA)
Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah takes part in the GCC and Egypt ministerial meeting in Riyadh. (SPA)
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Saudi FM Takes Part in GCC Ministerial Meetings Related to Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Japan

Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah takes part in the GCC and Egypt ministerial meeting in Riyadh. (SPA)
Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah takes part in the GCC and Egypt ministerial meeting in Riyadh. (SPA)

Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah participated on Sunday in the joint Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states and Egypt ministerial meeting, held at the GCC General Secretariat in Riyadh.

The meeting, chaired by Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the State of Qatar Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, president of the current session of the Ministerial Council, reviewed the strong cooperation between the GCC and Egypt, and ways to enhance and develop them.

Participants discussed the serious developments in Gaza Strip and the city of Rafah, the Israeli military escalation against unarmed civilians, and the importance of an immediate ceasefire to ensure the return of security and stability to Gaza Strip.

They tackled joint action to create conditions to arrive at a comprehensive and just peace in a way that preserves the rights of the Palestinian people and establishes a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital.

The GCC also held similar separate ministerial meetings related to Jordan, Morocco and Japan.


Saudi King, Crown Prince Congratulate Bulgarian President on National Day

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz (AAWSAT)
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz (AAWSAT)
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Saudi King, Crown Prince Congratulate Bulgarian President on National Day

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz (AAWSAT)
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz (AAWSAT)

The Saudi leadership sent cables of congratulations to Bulgarian President Rumen Radev on the occasion of his country’s National Day, SPA said on Sunday.
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud sent a cable wishing Radev continued good health and happiness, and the government and people of Bulgaria steady progress and prosperity.
Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, Crown Prince and Prime Minister, congratulated Radev on the occasion sending well-wishes to him, to the government and people of Bulgaria.


Kuwait to Hold Parliamentary Elections on April 4

 Kuwaiti military helicopters perform during an airshow to mark country's 63rd Independence Day celebrations in Kuwait City on February 26, 2024. (AFP)
Kuwaiti military helicopters perform during an airshow to mark country's 63rd Independence Day celebrations in Kuwait City on February 26, 2024. (AFP)
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Kuwait to Hold Parliamentary Elections on April 4

 Kuwaiti military helicopters perform during an airshow to mark country's 63rd Independence Day celebrations in Kuwait City on February 26, 2024. (AFP)
Kuwaiti military helicopters perform during an airshow to mark country's 63rd Independence Day celebrations in Kuwait City on February 26, 2024. (AFP)

Kuwait said Saturday it will hold elections for its national assembly on April 4.

The state-run KUNA news agency made the announcement, citing a decree published by the oil-rich country's official gazette.

In February, Kuwait’s emir dissolved parliament.

Domestic political disputes have been gripping Kuwait for years. That has left it with little in its coffers to pay bloated public sector salaries, despite generating immense wealth from its oil reserves.

Parliament has been repeatedly dissolved after failing to move forward, with Kuwait’s Constitutional Court in 2023 annulling a 2022 decree overturning another such annulment. The country’s late emir then annulled that parliament again and held an election for a new parliament, which was annulled with the February decision.


Kuwait Bans Unauthorized Gatherings

Kuwait flag
Kuwait flag
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Kuwait Bans Unauthorized Gatherings

Kuwait flag
Kuwait flag

Kuwait's Interior Ministry said it banned all "unauthorized assembly" after calls voiced by Kuwaiti activists to stage sit-ins on Saturday in support of Gaza.
The Ministry said the decision came upon the directives of Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Defense and Acting Minister of Interior Fahd al-Yousef al-Sabah.
The Minister banned all forms of unauthorized gatherings and marches except in accordance with the established laws and regulations.
The Ministry also banned publishing any unauthorized calls for gatherings on social media platforms.
On the other hand, al-Sabah announced a study of plans that will be taken soon to combat and prosecute fake accounts on social media that spread fake news threatening the country’s security .


GCC Secretary-General Welcomes Statement of Palestinian Factions

Secretary-General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Jasem Mohammed Albudaiwi
Secretary-General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Jasem Mohammed Albudaiwi
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GCC Secretary-General Welcomes Statement of Palestinian Factions

Secretary-General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Jasem Mohammed Albudaiwi
Secretary-General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Jasem Mohammed Albudaiwi

Secretary-General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Jasem Mohammed Albudaiwi welcomed the statement issued by the Palestinian factions that met in Moscow.

"The meeting statement outcome is a positive start to beginning unified political action, conform with the aspiration of the Palestinian forces and factions participating in the meeting, to form a government that includes all segments of the Palestinian people ... in light of the critical circumstances," Albudaiwi said.

He stressed that the GCC countries support all results and solutions that serve the Palestinian cause and guarantee the national rights of the Palestinian people.


Kuwait Top Court Criminalizes Lebanon’s Hezbollah

Palace of Justice in Kuwait (KUNA)
Palace of Justice in Kuwait (KUNA)
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Kuwait Top Court Criminalizes Lebanon’s Hezbollah

Palace of Justice in Kuwait (KUNA)
Palace of Justice in Kuwait (KUNA)

Kuwait’s Court of Cassation has labeled Lebanon’s Hezbollah as a “forbidden and criminal group” under national law.

The court accused Hezbollah of planning to destabilize Kuwait to establish an Iranian-style republic there.

This decision clarifies the legal status of Hezbollah, which individuals accused of spying for the group had disputed.

The final decision of the Court of Cassation came in the context of convicting three Kuwaiti citizens of espionage for Hezbollah, overturning their acquittal.

However, the court opted not to pronounce a punishment, instead obligating them to “good conduct,” a legal term indicating they must refrain from involvement in similar cases.

Nevertheless, the court clarified that joining Hezbollah and cooperating with it constitutes a “crime punishable by law.”

The case, involving the three Kuwaitis and a Lebanese national, revolves around accusations brought forth by the State Security apparatus regarding their involvement in funding Hezbollah-affiliated entities, sending funds and donations to them.

The case was initially heard in the Court of Appeals late in 2023, where three defendants were acquitted.

However, following appeals against the appellate court’s verdict, the case was reheard by the Court of Cassation, which on Thursday issued a final ruling overturning the acquittal of the Lebanese and Kuwaitis, convicting them again.


OIC to Hold Extraordinary Ministerial Meeting on Israeli Aggression

The OIC held an open-ended Executive Committee extraordinary meeting at the level of foreign ministers at its headquarters on October 18. Photo: OIC
The OIC held an open-ended Executive Committee extraordinary meeting at the level of foreign ministers at its headquarters on October 18. Photo: OIC
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OIC to Hold Extraordinary Ministerial Meeting on Israeli Aggression

The OIC held an open-ended Executive Committee extraordinary meeting at the level of foreign ministers at its headquarters on October 18. Photo: OIC
The OIC held an open-ended Executive Committee extraordinary meeting at the level of foreign ministers at its headquarters on October 18. Photo: OIC

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has said it will hold next week an extraordinary meeting of its Council of Foreign Ministers to discuss the ongoing Israeli aggression against the Palestinian people.

The session will be held at the headquarters of its General Secretariat in Jeddah on March 5.

OIC Secretary-General Hissein Brahim Taha is expected to address the opening session, which will be preceded by a preparatory senior officials' meeting (SOM) on Monday to discuss and adopt the draft agenda and work program and consider the draft resolution before submitting it to the Council of Foreign Ministers the following day.

On October 11, Saudi Arabia hosted the extraordinary Joint Arab and Islamic Summit in Riyadh, organized by the OIC and the Arab League. The conference adopted several decisions, in particular assigning a committee of foreign ministers of member states to tour world capitals and international organizations in an effort to stop the Israeli aggression against the Palestinian people.

As part of its continued efforts to stop the brutal Israeli aggression since October 7, the OIC held an open-ended Executive Committee extraordinary meeting at the level of foreign ministers at its headquarters on October 18.


11th Saudi Relief Plane Arrives in Poland to Deliver Aid to Ukrainian People

The 11th Saudi relief plane operated by the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSrelief) arrived in Poland in Friday ahead of heading to Ukraine. (SPA)
The 11th Saudi relief plane operated by the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSrelief) arrived in Poland in Friday ahead of heading to Ukraine. (SPA)
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11th Saudi Relief Plane Arrives in Poland to Deliver Aid to Ukrainian People

The 11th Saudi relief plane operated by the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSrelief) arrived in Poland in Friday ahead of heading to Ukraine. (SPA)
The 11th Saudi relief plane operated by the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSrelief) arrived in Poland in Friday ahead of heading to Ukraine. (SPA)

The 11th Saudi relief plane operated by the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSrelief) arrived in Poland in Friday ahead of heading to Ukraine.

The plane landed at the Poland’s Rzeszow Airport, located near the Ukrainian border, carrying 80 tons of relief aid supplies, including electric generators and appliances.

Saudi Ambassador to Poland Saad bin Saleh Al-Saleh and a logistic team affiliated with KSrelief were also on board the plane.

The aircraft will cross the Polish border into Ukraine as part of Saudi Arabia’s historic commitment to supporting people in need and those impacted by crises around the world.


Over 400 KSrelief Trucks Cross into Gaza Strip

The trucks are carrying food, medical supplies and shelter aid. (SPA)
The trucks are carrying food, medical supplies and shelter aid. (SPA)
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Over 400 KSrelief Trucks Cross into Gaza Strip

The trucks are carrying food, medical supplies and shelter aid. (SPA)
The trucks are carrying food, medical supplies and shelter aid. (SPA)

Over 400 relief trucks provided by the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSrelief) crossed the Rafah border crossing on Friday and headed for the Gaza Strip.

The trucks are carrying food, medical supplies and shelter aid, part of a Saudi campaign aimed at providing relief to the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip. The effort is being coordinated with the Palestinian Red Crescent.

Last week, 22 relief trucks crossed Rafah, bringing the total number of relief trucks to over 400, all carrying various forms of relief aid.

The initiative is part of Saudi Arabia's ongoing support for the Palestinian people, particularly during times of crisis and hardship.


Riyadh to Host Gulf-Arab Talks on Sunday

Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Jassem Al-Budaiwi (GCC)
Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Jassem Al-Budaiwi (GCC)
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Riyadh to Host Gulf-Arab Talks on Sunday

Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Jassem Al-Budaiwi (GCC)
Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Jassem Al-Budaiwi (GCC)

Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Jassem Al-Budaiwi affirmed on Thursday that the council’s 159th ministerial session would be held on Sunday in Riyadh in addition to separate meetings with foreign ministers of Jordan, Egypt and Morocco.

The GCC secretary-general said in a statement that the ministerial meeting would be chaired by Qatari Foreign Minister Mohammad Al-Thani, the president of the GCC ministerial council’s current session, and the conferees would discuss reports concerning follow-up on implementing resolutions of the GCC Supreme Council, issued at the 44th summit, held in Qatar in December.

He added that they would also discuss memos and reports submitted by the ministerial and technical committees as well as the GCC Secretariat General with respect to dialogue and strategic relations with states and international coalitions, in addition to regional and international affairs.

He noted that Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry would hold the talks with the GCC on the sidelines of the session, while Jordan and Morocco would be engaged in identical and separate talks by the two countries’ foreign ministers, respectively Ayman Al-Safadi and Nasser Bourita.

The meetings between the GCC and the Jordanian and Moroccan sides would be part of the distinctive relationship and partnerships.