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The Saudi ambassador to Belgium and Luxembourg and the head of the Mission to the EU, H.E. Mr Abdulrahman S. Alahmed, today represented the Kingdom at the international conference for the future of Syria and the surrounding region.

Hoping for a productive exchange, Ambassador Alahmed reasserted the Kingdom’s position that the unity and territorial integrity of Syria, its security and military institutions must be preserved.

The government of my country has, since the beginning of the conflict, sought to forge the peaceful solutions necessary for Syria’s future, and has cooperated with other partners and allies to avoid the human tragedy we are currently witnessing.”

Mr Alahmed recalled the success of the 2015 conference in Riyadh where the Syrian Supreme Commission of Revolutionary and Opposition Forces – the representative body entrusted with negotiating in the name of the Syrian Opposition – was established. The body, welcomed both regionally and internationally “has since served as a negotiation reference in all rounds held since that date. The body still participates in negotiations, and has demonstrated genuine efforts to be cooperative and flexible, as witnessed by all parties-“ This is in spite of the intransigence of the Assad regime and its allies, who have exploited the negotiations in order to carry out further crimes against the Syrian people.

The Ambassador underlined the Kingdom’s support for the efforts of the Special Envoy of the United Nations General Secretary Mr Staffan De Mistura and his efforts to find a political and peaceful solution that excludes Bashar al Assad. “The Kingdom supports his efforts to advance the negotiation process between the Syrian parties in Geneva and progress towards solutions based upon the first Geneva Convention, UN resolution 2254 and the other international resolutions.” He called on all parties to abide by international law and agreement on respecting ceasefires, delivering humanitarian aid and releasing detainees and abductees held by the regime and its militias.

Mr Alahmed renewed Saudi Arabia’s calls on the international community to stand firmly against the interference of Iranian militia and their efforts to impose demographic change, sectarianism and ethnic cleansing in Syria, including the forced displacement of people in the pursuit of such in some areas of the country.

Saudi Arabia, he said “affirms the importance of imposing sanctions on the perpetrators of war crimes in Syria, and in this regard, praises the UN General Assembly’s resolution 2332 issued on 22 December 2016, calling for the establishment of a retribution mechanism for war crimes in Syria, which should be activated promptly.”

The Saudi Ambassador referred to the Kingdom’s efforts to alleviate the suffering of Syrians both through substantial humanitarian aid and relief, as well as welcoming 2.5 million Syrian refugees as Saudi citizens with access to medical and educational services and the ability to take up jobs.

Substantial humanitarian aid and relief were offered either through donor’s conferences, or by national campaign programs to support our brothers in Syria, or through the “King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre.” Many of these programs are still active both in Syria and in the neighbouring countries (Turkey – Jordan – Lebanon). The total value of Saudi humanitarian aid and relief has reached over 780 million US Dollars in addition to the commitments taken through donors’ conferences.”

Ambassador Alahmed

H.E. the Ambassador concluded that “It is wrong to downplay the Syrian crisis in terms of its human suffering. The extent of pain, grief and tragedy is unprecedented. Yet, perhaps the ugliest aspect of the war is the survival of the Syrian regime and its persistence in its criminal approach. Indeed, only hours ago, the news circulated that the regime was using Sarin gas in the countryside of Idlib in a new criminal move showing the indifference of this regime to international decisions and demands.”

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KSA Mission Newsletter November 2016

This issue covers, amongst other things, the recent visit to Brussels of Dr Al-Rabeeah of the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre, our commitment to implementing the Paris Climate Agreement, the Saudi view on Iranian aggression and the controversial US JASTA bill, and our support of the UN’s World Food Program.

 

 

 

The 25th session of the Joint Council and Ministerial Meeting of the European Union (EU) and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) took place yesterday evening in Brussels. Following the fruitful exchange between the ministers, Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs H.E. Adel Al-Jubeir and the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini expressed “a firm determination to expand and strengthen bilateral political, economic, cultural and social cooperation and relations” between the two blocs at a joint press conference.

In a statement published by the EU-GCC co-chairs, both parties agreed that cooperation serves as ”a solid and effective foundation for sustainable regional and international stability and security,” and pledged to “further enhance their political dialogue and cooperation.”

On the conflict in Yemen, all parties welcomed the resumption of the UN-mediated Yemen peace talks in Kuwait on 16 July and reiterated their support to the UN Special Envoy for Yemen in facilitating a comprehensive and lasting settlement between Yemeni parties to restore peace and resume the transition in Yemen.

Federica Mogherini stressed the need “to work together to help the parties find common ground. There one area where convergence was complete between us and among the respective parties. We agreed there is only a political solution to the conflicts in Yemen and we’re trying to join forces to facilitate this process.” Mirroring these sentiments, Mr, Al-Jubeir added that “a political settlement in Yemen has to be based on three basic principles: the GCC initiative, the outcome of the Yemeni national dialogue and the UN Security Council resolution 2216.”

Al-Jubeir, speaking as the head of the rotating GCC presidency, said Saudi Arabia and its partners are working “to encourage the parties [in Yemen] to sign agreements and implement measures so that we can move Yemen from a state of war to a state of development, reconstruction and prosperity.”

During the meeting, ministers also reaffirmed their determination to counter terrorism and terrorism financing, and to defeat Da’esh and other terrorist organizations. They stressed the need to reach a solution to the Syrian crisis. They called for immediate country-wide humanitarian access allowing the delivery of aid to all besieged areas, emphasizing the importance of full and strict adherence to the cessation of hostilities arrangements.

EU and GCC Ministers also reviewed progress in the EU-GCC strategic relationship and “expressed their willingness to address together common political, social, economic, and security challenges, as well as macroeconomic stability and support for diversification strategies,” such as Saudi Arabia’s National Transformation Plan, Vision 2030, noting that two-way trade between the blocs represented more than €155 billion in 2015, an increase of 55% since 2010.

 

His Excellency the Minister of Foreign Affairs Adel Al-Jubeir will address the Royal Institute for International Relations – Egmont on July 19th 2016.

The event, will focus on the challenges and perspectives faced by Saudi Arabia and the wider region.

To attend the event, please register on the Egmont website.

The conference takes place between 13:00-14:30 at the Egmont Palace in Brussels

PROGRAMME

12.30 Registration

13.00 Welcome address by Marc Otte, Director General, Egmont

13.10 Intervention by His Excellency Mr. Adel Al-Jubeir, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

14.10 Questions and answers