Saudi FM Calls on Iran to Be Transparent about Its Nuclear Program

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan participates in the MENA Forum, hosted by the Middle East Institute and Think Research and Advisory, in New York on Friday. (Think Research and Advisory)
Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan participates in the MENA Forum, hosted by the Middle East Institute and Think Research and Advisory, in New York on Friday. (Think Research and Advisory)
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Saudi FM Calls on Iran to Be Transparent about Its Nuclear Program

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan participates in the MENA Forum, hosted by the Middle East Institute and Think Research and Advisory, in New York on Friday. (Think Research and Advisory)
Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan participates in the MENA Forum, hosted by the Middle East Institute and Think Research and Advisory, in New York on Friday. (Think Research and Advisory)

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan expressed his country’s concern over Iran’s acquiring a nuclear weapon, warning of the danger this could pose to the regional and international security.

The top Saudi diplomat said on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York: “We are concerned about the Iranian nuclear program. We are clear that Iran (acquiring) a nuclear weapon is a very dangerous matter. It is dangerous not only for security in the region, but also for the structure of international security.”

He continued: “We hear from the Iranians that their nuclear program is for civilian purposes. We hope this is true. And if that is the case, then I don’t understand the lack of transparency... We also have a nuclear program, we adhere to the highest standards of transparency, and we are working with our international partners to build the program so that everyone is fully aware of it...”

“So we hope that the Iranians will take the path of transparency to reassure everyone. And if they don’t, it will raise many questions about their intentions.”

Iran and the Houthis

The Saudi foreign minister was addressing New York’s MENA Forum, hosted by the Middle East Institute and Think Research and Advisory, on the sidelines of the 77th UN General Assembly on Friday.

He pointed to Iran’s continuous supply of drones to the Houthi militias in Yemen, saying that Saudi Arabia had managed to deter about 94 percent of the drone attacks against it.

Regarding the nationwide truce in Yemen, Prince Faisal said: “We see signs that the Houthis are not likely to accept the extension of the truce, and this would be a very unfortunate development because the truce has already achieved results for the Yemeni people.”

The truce went into effect in April and has since been renewed twice. It is set to expire on October 2.

Iraq

The foreign minister said the Kingdom “encourages Saudi companies to invest in Iraq,” stressing that promoting economic stability in the country would “limit the influence of players who do not care about the interests of the Iraqi people, but only about their political and ideological agendas.”

“We know that the situation there is currently difficult, but there are voices calling for change in the interest of the country and its economy. Iraq has a lot of capacities,” he emphasized.

Israel and Palestine

On relations with Israel, Prince Faisal affirmed that the Kingdom “is interested in peace,” but the only way for a stable region was to resolve the Palestinian crisis, which he said will only happen through the establishment of a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital.

“Negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians need to move in this direction,” he stated, stressing Saudi support for efforts in this context.

He added: “Any additional steps will not be sustainable. We need sustainable peace, and the only way to achieve that is through a solution.”

Russia and Ukraine

Commenting on the Russian-Ukrainian crisis, the Saudi FM said ending the conflict must go through negotiations.

Prince Faisal stressed that the Kingdom had expressed its willingness to mediate between the two sides since the beginning of the crisis.

In this regard, he noted that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman worked to facilitate a prisoner release, saying: “I am happy to announce that they are on their way to their country after arriving in the Kingdom two days ago.”

China

In addition, Prince Faisal stated that China was the largest trading partner of the Kingdom and the United States, adding: “We all have an interest in working with China, as it is the second largest economy in the world. So it is important that we have an ongoing dialogue.”

The minister pointed to an increasing trend towards the politics of marginalization, stressing that many countries around the world felt that they were not represented fairly, and that their interests were not being taken care of.

He said: “This is very dangerous, and if marginalization increases, we fear that the global economy and the international security structure will be shaken.”

“We, in the Kingdom, have decided to focus on a path to sustainable development and prosperity for our people. We don’t want politics to distract us. We want to talk about investment, cooperation and progress, and we hope our international partners will focus on that as well.”



Saudi FM in Luxembourg for GCC-EU Forum on Regional Security, Cooperation

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah. (AFP)
Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah. (AFP)
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Saudi FM in Luxembourg for GCC-EU Forum on Regional Security, Cooperation

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah. (AFP)
Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah. (AFP)

Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah arrived in Luxembourg on Sunday to participate in a high-level forum on regional security and cooperation between the Gulf Cooperation Council and the EU.
The Minister will discuss with participants at the forum the ways to promote cooperation between the GCC and the European Union in various fields, and the importance of multilateral coordination, the developments on the regional and international levels.
Prince Faisal will also hold bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the forum.
On Sunday, Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Jasem Al Budaiwi said that the forum is an opportunity to promote dialogue, and to strengthen coordination on issues related to regional and global stability, and security.
Al Budaiwi stressed that by working to strengthen bilateral relations and develop new cooperation mechanisms, the two parties will reach common viewpoints on many issues.
The forum will be chaired by Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Qatar, Chairman of the current session of the Ministerial Council Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani, and High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Joseph Borrell.
Senior officials and the foreign ministers of the GCC and EU states will attend.
Last month, the Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council met in Brussels with Luigi Di Maio, the EU Special Representative for the Gulf region. They discussed the preparations for the forum and the topics that need to be highlighted, mainly the situation in Gaza and the bilateral relations between the gulf countries and the European Union.
The forum will be held amid rising tension in the Middle East, mainly the Israeli war in Gaza.

On October 10, 2023, a joint meeting was held between GCC foreign ministers and the EU in Muscat. High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Joseph Borrell had met with senior GCC officials including three meetings with the Saudi foreign minister.

On Wednesday, Borrel held a telephone call with his Saudi counterpart. They discussed the deepening instability in the Middle East stressing the need to coordinate efforts for de-escalation, according to the Saudi Press Agency.


GCC: Forum on Security, Regional Cooperation is an Opportunity to Promote Dialogue with EU

Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Jasem Al Budaiwi
Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Jasem Al Budaiwi
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GCC: Forum on Security, Regional Cooperation is an Opportunity to Promote Dialogue with EU

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

Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Jasem Al Budaiwi said that the High-Level Forum on Security and Regional Cooperation between the EU and the GCC, to be held on Monday in Luxembourg, is an opportunity to enhance dialogue, and to strengthen coordination on issues related to regional and global stability, and security.

The forum will be chaired by Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Qatar, Chairman of the current session of the Ministerial Council Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani, and High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Joseph Borrell.

Senior officials and the foreign ministers of the GCC and EU states will attend.

Al Budaiwi stressed that by working to strengthen bilateral relations and develop new cooperation mechanisms, the two parties will reach common viewpoints on many issues.


Kuwait PM to Serve as Emir's Deputy if Emir is Abroad

An aerial view shows Kuwait City and the National Assembly Building (Kuwait Parliament) in Kuwait City, Kuwait, March 20, 2020. REUTERS/Stephanie McGehee/File Photo
An aerial view shows Kuwait City and the National Assembly Building (Kuwait Parliament) in Kuwait City, Kuwait, March 20, 2020. REUTERS/Stephanie McGehee/File Photo
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Kuwait PM to Serve as Emir's Deputy if Emir is Abroad

An aerial view shows Kuwait City and the National Assembly Building (Kuwait Parliament) in Kuwait City, Kuwait, March 20, 2020. REUTERS/Stephanie McGehee/File Photo
An aerial view shows Kuwait City and the National Assembly Building (Kuwait Parliament) in Kuwait City, Kuwait, March 20, 2020. REUTERS/Stephanie McGehee/File Photo

Kuwait's Prime Minister Ahmad Abdullah al-Ahmad al-Sabah will serve as the Emir's deputy when the latter is not in the country, state news agency (KUNA) said on Sunday citing a royal decree.

Emir Sheikh Meshal al-Ahmad al-Sabah has yet to choose a Crown Prince.

Sunday’s Emiri decree states that the designation would remain valid until the naming of a Crown Prince, and that the Prime Minister should comply with the order and inform the National Assembly.

The Emiri order takes effect once published in the official gazette.


Saudi Grand Mufti Urges Utilizing Technology for Islamic Authorities’ Coordination

Saudi Arabia’s Grand Mufti presided over the twenty-third assembly of the Islamic Fiqh Council and the Muslim World League (MWL) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Photo: MWL
Saudi Arabia’s Grand Mufti presided over the twenty-third assembly of the Islamic Fiqh Council and the Muslim World League (MWL) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Photo: MWL
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Saudi Grand Mufti Urges Utilizing Technology for Islamic Authorities’ Coordination

Saudi Arabia’s Grand Mufti presided over the twenty-third assembly of the Islamic Fiqh Council and the Muslim World League (MWL) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Photo: MWL
Saudi Arabia’s Grand Mufti presided over the twenty-third assembly of the Islamic Fiqh Council and the Muslim World League (MWL) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Photo: MWL

Saudi Arabia’s Grand Mufti, Abdulaziz bin Abdullah Al-Sheikh, has highlighted the adaptability of Islamic law in addressing contemporary issues and stressed the increasing responsibility of Islamic scholars amid technological advancements.

Speaking at the twenty-third assembly of the Islamic Fiqh Council and the Muslim World League (MWL) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Al-Sheikh stressed the importance of Islamic scholars tackling modern challenges.

The Grand Mufti emphasized the need for rigorous research, encouraging the use of technology to enhance collaboration among religious authorities.

The gathering, led by Saudi Arabia’s Grand Mufti, included scholars from across the Muslim world.

The assembly aimed to address contemporary issues faced by Muslims and minorities and issue rulings on them.

These rulings will be translated into various languages and shared through media channels to clarify Islamic principles and showcase the adaptability of Islamic jurisprudence.

The opening session emphasized the need for collaborative efforts among scholars and religious bodies to tackle emerging challenges and promote societal stability and happiness.

Secretary-General of the MWL Mohammed bin Abdul Karim Al-Issa highlighted the assembly’s focus on contemporary legal issues and the preceding research conducted by distinguished scholars.

Al-Issa stressed that it’s crucial for top Islamic scholars to tackle new challenges as part of their scholarly duties.

He emphasized the need for thorough research and interpretation to clarify the legal rulings, aligning with religious responsibilities.

Al-Issa also highlighted the importance of showing that Islamic jurisprudence can handle any emerging issues.

He noted that the Islamic Fiqh Council is the oldest of its kind in Islamic history, and membership is based on academic merit.

The MWL chief reiterated that the assembly has gained trust over its long history and its contributions are highly regarded and discussed in academic and research circles.

Hissein Ibrahim Taha, Secretary-General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), highlighted the importance of Saudi Arabia hosting this significant meeting of top religious figures and scholars from the Islamic world.

He emphasized Saudi Arabia’s role in supporting positive trends and safeguarding the Muslim community from various challenges.

Taha stressed the need for contemporary scholarship to keep the Islamic world aligned with global developments. He praised the unity among Islamic scholars from different countries, emphasizing their collective service to their faith.


Saudi Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Signs Two MoUs with Colombian Counterpart

Saudi Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Waleed bin AbdulKarim El-Khereiji and the Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs of Colombia Francisco José Coy Granados. (SPA)
Saudi Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Waleed bin AbdulKarim El-Khereiji and the Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs of Colombia Francisco José Coy Granados. (SPA)
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Saudi Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Signs Two MoUs with Colombian Counterpart

Saudi Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Waleed bin AbdulKarim El-Khereiji and the Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs of Colombia Francisco José Coy Granados. (SPA)
Saudi Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Waleed bin AbdulKarim El-Khereiji and the Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs of Colombia Francisco José Coy Granados. (SPA)

Saudi Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Waleed bin AbdulKarim El-Khereiji and the Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs of Colombia Francisco José Coy Granados, signed two memorandums of understanding on Friday in the Colombian capital, Bogota, the Saudi Press Agency said.
The memorandums of understanding will see academic cooperation between the two countries and political consultations between the foreign ministries of the two friendly countries.
After the signing ceremony, El-Khereiji and the Colombian Foreign Minister held a meeting and reviewed the bilateral relations and emphasized the importance of developing them in various fields.
The signing ceremony was attended by Acting Charge d'Affaires of the Saudi Embassy in the Republic of Colombia, Mohammed Al-Shatri, the Director General of the Vice Minister’s Office, Mutashar Al-Enezi, and Acting Foreign Minister of Colombia, Gilberto Murillo.


OIC Regrets Security Council's Failure to Accept Full UN Membership for Palestinian State

Vendors selling bread wait for customers at the Jaffa Gate in the Old City of Jerusalem on April 19, 2024. (AFP)
Vendors selling bread wait for customers at the Jaffa Gate in the Old City of Jerusalem on April 19, 2024. (AFP)
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OIC Regrets Security Council's Failure to Accept Full UN Membership for Palestinian State

Vendors selling bread wait for customers at the Jaffa Gate in the Old City of Jerusalem on April 19, 2024. (AFP)
Vendors selling bread wait for customers at the Jaffa Gate in the Old City of Jerusalem on April 19, 2024. (AFP)

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) expressed on Friday its profound disappointment with the UN Security Council's decision to deny Palestine full UN membership.

The OIC strongly condemned the United States’ use of its veto power, which is a clear violation of the UN Charter and a major obstacle to the Palestinian people's right to self-determination.

It also reiterated its unwavering support for Palestine's right to full political and legal representation at the UN, a right long denied, and emphasized that recognizing the State of Palestine as a full UN member is essential to achieving peace and stability in the region, and paving the way for a viable two-state solution.

The OIC commended the countries that voted in favor of the draft resolution and urged those that voted against or abstained to reconsider their positions and align them with their obligations under international law, the UN Charter, and the relevant UN resolutions.

It said it views the Security Council’s failure to grant Palestine full membership as a continuation of the decades-long injustice toward the Palestinian people, calling on the international community to take immediate action to end this injustice once and for all.


GCC: Failure to Recognize Full UN Membership for Palestinians Does Not Help Achieve Peace

Secretary-General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Jassem Mohamed Al-Budaiwi.
Secretary-General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Jassem Mohamed Al-Budaiwi.
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GCC: Failure to Recognize Full UN Membership for Palestinians Does Not Help Achieve Peace

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

Secretary-General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Jassim Mohammed Al-Budaiwi emphasized on Friday the GCC’s firm position in support of the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and the establishment of an independent state according to the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.

He urged the international community to work decisively and without delay to ensure the recognition of the State of Palestine and grant the Palestinian people their basic and legitimate rights in line with UN resolutions and international law.

Al-Budaiwi said the US veto of the Palestinian membership application to the UN is a step backward in the efforts to achieve just and comprehensive peace in the Middle East.

He stressed that the UN Security Council must take serious steps to re-evaluate international mechanisms concerning peace, to ensure that peoples’ rights are respected and regional and global security and stability are safeguarded.

He stressed that all countries and international organizations must stand by justice and support efforts to restore rights and build a better future for all the peoples of the region and the world.


Muslim World League Expresses Deep Regret over Obstructed Palestinian UN Membership

A general view taken from Jerusalem's Mount of Olives shows the holy city with the Dome of the Rock mosque in the center in the early hours of April 19, 2024. (AFP)
A general view taken from Jerusalem's Mount of Olives shows the holy city with the Dome of the Rock mosque in the center in the early hours of April 19, 2024. (AFP)
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Muslim World League Expresses Deep Regret over Obstructed Palestinian UN Membership

A general view taken from Jerusalem's Mount of Olives shows the holy city with the Dome of the Rock mosque in the center in the early hours of April 19, 2024. (AFP)
A general view taken from Jerusalem's Mount of Olives shows the holy city with the Dome of the Rock mosque in the center in the early hours of April 19, 2024. (AFP)

The Muslim World League (MWL) voiced on Friday its profound disappointment at the failure to grant Palestine full membership in the United Nations.

In a statement, the MWL said this was a severe setback that deepens the suffering of Palestinians and emboldens Israel to continue its abuses.

The decision is a significant obstacle to achieving a fair and enduring peace in the region, it warned. Additionally, it strengthens Israel's oppressive practices against the Palestinian people.

The MWL reiterated its demand that the international community shoulder its responsibility to stop Israeli aggression against civilians in Gaza.

Additionally, it called for backing the Palestinians' self-determination and the creation of a sovereign Palestinian nation within the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem serving as its capital.


UAE Voices Deep Concern Over Ongoing Regional Tensions, Calls for Restraint 

UAE Voices Deep Concern Over Ongoing Regional Tensions, Calls for Restraint 
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UAE Voices Deep Concern Over Ongoing Regional Tensions, Calls for Restraint 

UAE Voices Deep Concern Over Ongoing Regional Tensions, Calls for Restraint 

The United Arab Emirates expressed on Friday its deep concern over ongoing regional tensions, calling for refraining from any steps that further exacerbate escalation in the region.

In a statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA), the UAE called for exercising the utmost restraint in order to avoid serious repercussions, and the region being pulled into new levels of instability.

The Ministry underlined the importance of reaching substantial solutions to the ongoing disputes and crises in the region aimed at de-escalating tensions, in addition to resolving conflicts through dialogue and diplomatic channels, and for respecting the rule of law and United Nations Charter.

The Ministry reiterated its call on the UN and UN Security Council to fulfill their responsibilities to boost international peace and security by resolving long-standing issues and conflicts in the region that threaten global security and stability.

Earlier, UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan held a telephone phone call with his Iranian counterpart Hossein Amir-Abdollahian to discuss the latest, dangerous developments in the region and their repercussions on the regional and international peace and security.

Sheikh Abdullah stressed the importance of exercising the utmost self-restraint and working to prevent the expansion of the circle of tension in the Middle East, pointing out that diplomacy and dialogue are the only way to resolve differences and ensure the security of the region and the safety of its people.

He said peace, prosperity and development are what the countries of the region should enjoy and deserve.

In addition, the top diplomats discussed bilateral relations between their countries and ways to strengthen them in a way that serves the common interests of their countries and the region.


UAE’s Etihad Airways Says Operations are Back to Normal

FILE PHOTO - An Etihad Airways Boeing 777-3FX company aircraft takes off at the Charles de Gaulle airport in Roissy, France, August 9, 2016. REUTERS/Jacky Naegelen/File Photo
FILE PHOTO - An Etihad Airways Boeing 777-3FX company aircraft takes off at the Charles de Gaulle airport in Roissy, France, August 9, 2016. REUTERS/Jacky Naegelen/File Photo
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UAE’s Etihad Airways Says Operations are Back to Normal

FILE PHOTO - An Etihad Airways Boeing 777-3FX company aircraft takes off at the Charles de Gaulle airport in Roissy, France, August 9, 2016. REUTERS/Jacky Naegelen/File Photo
FILE PHOTO - An Etihad Airways Boeing 777-3FX company aircraft takes off at the Charles de Gaulle airport in Roissy, France, August 9, 2016. REUTERS/Jacky Naegelen/File Photo

Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways' flight operations are back to normal after the harsh weather conditions in the United Arab Emirates over recent days, the airline told state news agency (WAM) on Friday.
The UAE saw its heaviest rains in 75 years bringing much of the country to a standstill for two days.
The storm, which hit neighboring Oman on Sunday, pounded the UAE on Tuesday. Eighteen persons were reported dead in Oman.
A couple of days earlier, the UAE’s National Center for Meteorology urged people to take the necessary precautions while driving their vehicles and to steer away from roads that could be blocked by flood waters.