CAIRO: Saudi Arabia will not stand idly by as Iran “interferes” in the region’s national security, said Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Jubeir in a Cairo press conference Sunday.
During the press conference with his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukry at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Jubeir said his country is trying to establish “normal relations” with Iran, which “depends on Iran’s attitude [….] we reject Iran’s support of terrorism.”
Saudi Arabia and Iran are enduring a proxy war in Yemen; Saudi-led military coalition launched a campaign, Resolute Storm, against Iran-backed Houthis in Yemen in March.
The Shiite Houthis controlled Yemen since September 2014, and put Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi and his government members under house arrest in January; however, Hadi fled to Saudi Arabia where he asked for an Arab intervention in Yemen.
Egypt’s naval and air forces participated in the Resolute Storm. Jubeir said that Egypt’s national security is linked with the Saudi and Gulf ones, and that “imposing guidance or power on the Arab nation is unacceptable while defending the national security.”
“There are efforts o resume political talks in Yemen after the Riyadh conference and we are engaged in talks with the United Nations to hold a conference in Geneva,” Jubeir said, emphasizing that the aim of that conference is to implement the U.N. resolution No. 2216, banning exporting arms to Houthis and blacklisting Houthis’ leader Abdullah al-Houthi.
On April 14, the U.N. Security Council adopted the draft resolution, which was approved by 14 out of 15 state members; however, Russia vetoed it.
Talks with Russia on Syria
Both ministers emphasized their shared vision on a political solution to the four-year-old Syrian crisis; Jubeir said that Saudi officials have been spoken to Russians to give up their support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
A political solution may be in light of the Geneva 1 Conference, under which al-Assad should cede power and a national unity government be formed, Jubeir noted.
Following the conference, President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi will meet the new Saudi Foreign Minister at the Presidential palace of Ittihadiya Sunday, according to a presidential statement.