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Arab League, GCC ask Iran to reconsider its regional role


IANS Riyadh
The Arab League and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) have called on Iran to reconsider its role in the region after accusing it of interfering in neighbouring countries' internal affairs and saying that its "actions for international maritime trade and global oil supplies" were threats to regional and global security.
In a press statement after the Gulf and Arab summits in Mecca on Thursday, the kingdom's Foreign Minister Ibrahim Al-Assaf voiced support from the Gulf and Arab countries for Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) against the recent attacks they have witnessed.
Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud said that Iran's nuclear and ballistic missile programme, Tehran's "interference in neighbouring countries' internal affairs" and its "actions for international maritime trade and global oil supplies" were threats to regional and global security, Saudi Press Agency reported.
In reaction, the Iranian Foreign Ministry on Friday slammed "baseless allegations" by the kingdom.
The Saudi Foreign Minister said that the Gulf countries were willing to make peace and cooperate with Iran if the latter "could stop backing terrorism in the region".
"The Iran-backed Houthi militants attacked Saudi Arabia with 225 missiles and drones, including the recent ones that targeted two oil pumping stations in the country", he said.
The Saudi Minister said the attacks escalated tension in the region and between Iran and the US.
The Saudi statement also reiterated that "the coordination and negotiation with Washington to reinforce Gulf-US ties serves the strategic partnership between both sides".
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said: "The Saudis have misused their position as the host of the meeting to mobilize the Arab states against Iran and to create division among the Muslim countries."
Arab League's Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit told a press conference that his organization does not push towards confrontation in the region, but calls for stability, Arab rights and an end to Iranian interference in Arab affairs.

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First Published: May 31 2019 | 6:34 PM IST

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