Gulf united on Russia-Ukraine war, says Saudi foreign minister

  • Regional security and concerns about the activities of Iran are important unifying factors, Prince Faisal said
  • Lavrov: GCC nations have given assurances that they will not impose sanctions on Moscow

RIYADH: Gulf nations stand united on the issue of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, according to Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister, Prince Faisal bin Farhan.

Our stance as Gulf countries regarding the Russian-Ukrainian crisis is unified,” he said on Wednesday during a speech at the opening of the 152nd session of the Ministerial Council of the Gulf Cooperation Council.

“Today we had two fruitful meetings with the Russian and Ukrainian ministers, during which we stated our unified stance regarding the Russian-Ukrainian crisis and its negative consequences, namely the food security of the affected countries and the world.”

Closer to home, he added, regional security and concerns about the activities of Iran are important unifying factors.

“Laying the foundations of our regional security is one of the most important pillars of our unity, which faces big challenges and requires close coordination to reach a common approach to our international relations to nurture our interests,” said Prince Faisal.

“In the forefront of these challenges is Iran’s nuclear project, its arming of militias, its support for terrorism and its destabilizing behavior in the region. That’s why our dialogue and communication with Iran should be based on a unified Gulf stance, through which we call for peace, cooperation and adherence to the principles of international legitimacy and good-neighborliness, so we can be able to work together to achieve our developmental plans within a stable regional environment that supports partnerships and economic-diversification projects.”

He added: “The stability of the brotherly country of Yemen is an integral part of the security of the Gulf system and the Arabian Peninsula. Therefore, the GCC countries emphasize the provision of all means of support to achieve the goals of Yemen’s Presidential Leadership Council and empower its supporting bodies to carry out the roles assigned to them, so that Yemen can regain its stability and security and maintain its unity and sovereignty.

“We reiterate our support for the UN’s efforts, led by its special envoy to Yemen, aiming to reach a comprehensive political solution to end the crisis in Yemen.

“We seek during our meeting today to contribute to the security and stability of our countries and achieve our people’s aspirations for a better future.”

Sergey Lavrov, Russia’s minister of foreign affairs, said that Western nations seek to form a unilateral world led by the US. During a press conference on Wednesday after a closed meeting in Riyadh with his counterparts from GCC countries, he also accused the West of pushing Ukraine to threaten the security of his country.

Lavrov said that GCC nations understand the nature of the conflict between his country and the West, and that the Gulf states have given assurances that they will not join Western nations in imposing sanctions on Moscow.

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He accused Western countries of violating the UN charter through their actions against his country, and called for the withdrawal of heavy weapons from Ukraine.

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