Prince Saud Censured

Prince Saud Censured
Prince Saud Censured

A diplomat has criticized as “unhelpful” remarks by the Saudi foreign minister against Iran amid ongoing diplomatic gestures between the two countries.

“Regarding the continuation of diplomatic talks, now it is Saudi Arabia’s turn to decide whether it would adhere to the path of negotiations or to unconstructive media statements,” ISNA quoted Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian as saying in an interview on state TV on Saturday.

He was referring to comments recently by Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal in which he accused Tehran of "interfering in the internal affairs" of Middle East states, namely Syria and Iraq.

At a joint news conference with his German counterpart on Oct 13 in Jeddah, Prince Saud went so far as to ignore basic diplomatic courtesy, and accused Iran of being "part of the problem not solution" in the protracted Syrian conflict.

"In this case, we can say that Iranian forces in Syria are occupying forces," AFP quoted him as saying.

"If Iran wants to be part of the solution in Syria, it has to pull its forces from Syria. The same applies elsewhere, whether in Yemen or Iraq," he claimed.

Amir-Abdollahian pointed to the "constructive" talks between the foreign ministers of both countries on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York in September, as well as his own trip to Saudi Arabia. However he lamented Faisal’s negative remarks which he said "are in contradiction to the atmosphere of diplomatic talks between the two countries."

He further referred to the importance of "transparency, honesty and good will" as the main factors in the course of diplomatic discourse. “We pursue the path of dialogue, negotiations and joint regional cooperation with all countries, including Saudi Arabia.”

"Tehran is determined to continue productive negotiations and help regional countries fight  terrorism and extremism and invite other countries to do likewise."