Iran slammed for Syria-Iraq chaos

Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, assistant minister of petroleum and mineral resources, addresses the meeting entitled Arabian Gulf and Regional Challenges in Riyadh on Wednesday. (SPA)

Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, assistant minister of petroleum and mineral resources, addresses the meeting entitled Arabian Gulf and Regional Challenges in Riyadh on Wednesday. (SPA)

Leaders from various Arab countries participating in a conference entitled “Arabian Gulf and Regional Challenges, which concluded here on Wednesday, urged nations to unify to help ensure security and stability in the region.

The leaders also denounced all acts of terror in Yemen, Iraq, Syria, Libya and on Palestinian territory by the Israeli government.

Addressing the concluding session, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, assistant minister of petroleum and mineral resources, said that energy security would play a pivotal role in the development and stability of the region.

Referring to King Abdullah City for Renewable Energy, he said that it has the responsibility to develop alternative and sustainable sources of energy. He agreed with some speakers who argued that the region’s enormous petroleum resources would help stabilize the politically divided region. This was already happening, he said.

Prince Abdulaziz said that oil consumption by countries outside the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development countries had increased many times, and prices were likely to rise in future.

He said the six GCC countries were playing an important role in global investment and were attracting talented people to assist in their development. The GCC countries were well aware of their limitations and strengths, he said.

Addressing the session, Saad bin Tefla Al-Ajmi, former Kuwaiti minister of information, said there was a need to develop a unified strategy to deal with the situation in Iraq, Syria, Palestine, Yemen, Iran and other parts of the Arab world.

However, he slammed Iran for the violence in Iraq and Syria and said its nuclear program was a matter of serious concern for the region.

He said Iran’s leaders have difficulty sitting down with their counterparts in the GCC countries and does not want to settle disputes.

Al-Ajmi said education was crucial to develop the region. “There are small countries that have used their human resources as national wealth, with revised curricula. Their graduates are contributing handsomely to the rapid development in their countries. Our curricula also need to be revised to fulfill national requirements. We need to work on it,” Al-Ajmi said. He said there was also a need for education systems to counter extremism.

Participating in the brainstorming session, Mohammed Fahad Al-Harthi, editor in chief of Arab News, raised important questions about the projects at King Abdullah City for Renewable Energy, upgrading the energy sector, increasing subsidies, and restructuring education systems to combat terrorism in the region.

Delegates at the conference had on Tuesday slammed the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group for its violent actions in the Middle East, and lambasted Israel for continuing to oppress the Palestinians.

Prince Abdulaziz bin Abdullah, deputy foreign minister, has said IS “does not represent Islam. There is no place for violence in Islam, a religion of peace spread the world over by Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him.”

 
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