Sunday 29th Mar 2015
King Salman at the Arab Summit (Photo AP)
Last weekend, leaders from the League of Arab States assembled in Sharm el-Sheikh, a resort town on Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula. The calm environment in the city allowed the meeting to progress uninterrupted. The Saudi delegation was headed by King Salman bin Abdulaziz and spent two days at the meeting; it outlined several critical challenges facing Arab nations. The King was accompanied by Yemeni president Hadi during his trip to Riyadh on Saturday. We provide the details of his address as reported by the Saudi Press Agency.
The start of the 26th Arab Summit:
Sharm el-Sheikh, Jumada II 8, 1436, Mar 28, 2015, SPA – The 26th Arab Summit started here today. The Saudi delegation was headed by King Abdulaziz Al Saud, custodian of the Two Holy Mosques.
Addressing the summit, King Salman bin Abdulaziz said ‘Some few days ago Sharm el-Sheikh hosted the World Economic Conference, in which Egypt got support of the Arab nations and the international community. Today we have met to deliberate on ways that we can overcome the security and political crises in many Arab countries, and address the many challenges we have.
The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques further said, ‘Arab countries experience terrorism, bloodshed, and internal conflicts because of the alliance between sectarianism and terrorism, led by regional powers whose interventions in the Arab region has resulted in insecurity and instability in some of the countries. In Yemen foreign intervention empowered the Houthi militias, to the extent they overtook legitimate authority and occupied Sanaa and to date have disrupted attempts to implement the Gulf initiative that’s aimed at preserving stability and security in Yemen. The Yemen president Abed Rabbo Mansour requested the Gulf Cooperation Council countries to hold the Riyadh Dialogue Conference under the cover of GCC General Secretariat so as to provide Yemen a safe passage to stability and help it return to normal status within the Gulf Initiative’s framework and the mode of its implementation, which have been widely supported by the Arab Nations and the whole world.’
‘As the Houthi militia – which is enjoying support of some regional powers that want to extend their dominance in Yemen and use it as a base for increasing their influence in the region – continues to expand its operations against warnings by the Yemen Legitimacy, the Security Council and the Gulf Cooperation Council and all other peace initiatives, and as it furthers its aggression against innocent Yemeni citizens and its legitimate authority, and is a bog threat to the security in the region; the pro-Yemen countries supporting the Determination Storm have accepted the Yemen president’s request for a stand by the country and its legitimate authority and its people, to deter any Huthi aggressions which is serious threat to the stability and security of the region as well as international peace and security, and to counter all terrorist organizations,’ King Salman bin Abdulaziz added.
He also said ‘because we didn’t wish to have resorted to taking such a decision, we would like to clarify that Riyadh has taken an impartial stand and is willing to accommodate all Yemeni political parties that want to contribute to the country’s stability and security, to meet under GCC’s umbrella and within maintaining the legitimacy, returning all illegal weapons to the state, rejecting any legitimacy breaching, holding no threat to the security of neighboring countries, and ensuring the legitimate authority controls the whole of Yemen. We hope that all that rebels against legitimacy will find a reason to stop their foreign-induced sectarianism and terrorism.’
‘The Determination Storm operation is committed to continue its activities until it fully achieves all these objectives, so that all Yemeni citizens will enjoy stability and security. In light of this, we express appreciation and give thanks to all countries participating in the Determination Storm operation as well as all non-Asian countries in support of this operation which will hopefully contribute significantly to regional and global peace and security, ‘ the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques added.
‘The Palestinian cause is our top concerns. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has taken a firm stance as it is always based on foundations and fundamentals that aim at achieving a comprehensive and just peace in the region, and on the recovery of the Palestinian citizens’ rights, this includes the right to establish their independent state with Al-Quds as its capital city, which is consistent with the agreements with resolution of the Arab peace initiative in 2002 and international legitimacy which the international community welcomed but Israel ignored,’ the custodian of the Two Holy Mosques added.
Riyadh believes that its time that the international community should shoulder its responsibilities, by issuing a Security Council resolution adopting the Arab Peace Initiative, exercising power towards adopting it, and appointing a high integrity international envoy that will follow the implementation of the international resolution that relevant to the initiative, ‘the custodian of the Two Holy Mosques added.
King Salman bin Abdulaziz further said ‘Extremism and terrorism are serious issues in the Arab nation, and this is big threat to the security and stability of all countries in the region, and raising the need for high vigilance and solidarity when taking any action that is meant to eliminate its roots.’
‘Another major issue is the Syrian crisis which has stood still. At it continues, innocent Syrian civilians face the wrath of the regime as it shells cities and villages by planes, poisonous gases and explosives, and rejects all regional and international efforts to restore peace. Any effort to end the Syrian tragedy will be based on the Geneva Declaration I, and there is no possibility those involved in the massacre of civilians will be involved in the peace making process, ‘the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques added.
‘In contrast, we are in the process of closely following the developments in Libya, with hopes that security and stability will be achieved soon, ‘King Salman bin Abdulaziz added.
‘Regarding weapons of mass destruction and nuclear weapons, Riyadh has taken a firm and clear stance, the call to have a Middle East without any weapon of mass destruction or nuclear weapons, ‘King Salman bin Abdulaziz added.
‘Our top priority is our economic development. This summit is expected to review previous achievements in this field, and remove all barriers before the implementation of the Arab Customs Union and Arab Free Trade Zone. In order to properly address economic issues and do a follow up on decisions taken in this regard, we recommend integration of both ordinary and developmental summits, ‘King Salman bin Abdulaziz added.