RIYADH — Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries could turn a page and build strong relations with Iran if it respects them and stops “meddling” in their affairs, Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir said Wednesday.
“If Iran changes its way and its policies, nothing would prevent turning a page and building the best relationship based on good neighborliness, with no meddling in the affairs of others,” he told reporters in Riyadh.
“There is no need for mediation” in such a case, said Jubeir, whose country severed all links with Iran in January after crowds attacked the kingdom’s diplomatic missions in Iran.
Jubeir said relations with Tehran had deteriorated “due to the sectarian policies” followed by Iran and “its support for terrorism and implanting of terrorist cells in the countries of the region”.
“Iran is a neighboring Muslim country that has a great civilization and a friendly people, but the policies followed after the revolution of Khomeini have been aggressive,” he said.
Jubeir was speaking after a meeting for Gulf foreign ministers and their counterparts from Jordan and Morocco.
GCC, Jordan, Morocco reject Iran’s intervention
The foreign ministers of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states, as well as Jordan and Morocco reiterated their complete rejection of the Iranian interference in the internal affairs of the Gulf states and the region.
They also strongly condemned the attacks on the Saudi embassy in Tehran and the consulate in the Iranian city of Mashhad, holding the Iranian authorities fully responsibility for these terrorist acts.
In a communiqué issued at the end of the fifth joint meeting of the ministers in Riyadh on Wednesday, they reemphasized their determination to stamp out terrorism and extremism in all their forms and manifestations, and drain their sources of funding. They vowed to fight against the deviant ideologies that inflict big harm to the image of Islam. The ministers praised the efforts being made at the regional and international levels in this regard.
The meeting praised Saudi Arabia’s initiative to form an Islamic military alliance to fight terrorism and extremism, the Saudi Press Agency reported. The meeting reiterated the right of sovereignty of the United Arab Emirates over its three islands of Greater Tunb, Lesser Tunb and Abu Musa, stressing that any practices or actions taken by Iran over the three islands are null and void. The ministers reiterated their call to Iran to respond to the efforts exerted by UAE to resolve the issue through direct negotiations or the International Court of Justice.
The communiqué said that the meeting praised the continuous mutual visits by leaders of GCC countries, Jordan and Morocco, which reflected the importance attached by the leaders to develop outstanding relationship among their countries. The ministers welcomed the signing of a memorandum of understanding for cultural cooperation between the GCC countries and Jordan.
The ministers expressed their identical views on various regional and international issues of common interest, the communiqué said. The ministers reiterated their unwavering stance with regard to the Palestinian cause and other regional issues.
While urging the international community to own responsibility in supporting the Syrian refugees, the ministers praised the governments of GCC, Jordan and Morocco for their efforts in alleviating the suffering of the Syrians who are either internally displaced or fled the country.