Egypt reaffirms solidarity with Saudi Arabia

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Egypt’s foreign minister on Jan. 4 confirmed Cairo’s continued solidarity with Saudi Arabia after the kingdom cut ties to Iran.

“We reject Iranian interference in the internal affairs of the kingdom,” Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry told the press while meeting with Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir in Riyadh.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry meets with Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir on Jan. 4. /SPA
Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, left, meets with Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir on Jan. 4. /SPA

“We made a decision to break off relations with Iran 27 years ago because of the situation at that time,” said Shoukry. “We have stressed many times that we stand firmly with our brothers in the kingdom and other Gulf states. We confirm once again as we have done and will continue to do that the kingdom’s security is an integral part of Egypt’s security and Egypt’s security is an integral part of the kingdom’s security.”

Saudi Arabia severed ties with Iran after Jan. 2 attacks by Iranians on the Saudi embassy in Teheran and its consulate in Mashhad. Protesters attacked the Saudi facilities in retaliation for Riyadh’s execution of prominent Shi’ite cleric Nimr al-Nimr.

Jubeir said foreign ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and Arab League will meet soon to discuss “Iran’s negative role and breaches of international laws and norms.”

“The violations and aggressive moves came from one party and not from both,” Jubeir said. “The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for over 35 years has not carried out any aggressive act against Iran; but Iran in the 35 years since the Iranian revolution has moved in a negative and aggressive way toward the kingdom, interfering in the affairs of the region, supporting terrorism, recruiting people from the region to work against their societies, and smuggling weapons and explosives into countries in the region in order to destabilize them. Such actions are of course unacceptable.”

Jubeir added that “Iran incites terrorism, violence and extremism, protects terrorists and people accused of terrorism and gives them Iranian passports, does not respect international laws or international norms in particular. The behavior and actions are up to Iran but the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the region would welcome improvements in Iran’s behavior.”

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