KSA policies ‘not dictated by pressure’
The Kingdom’s permanent representative to the United Nations, Abdullah Al-Mouallimi, has said the Russian interference in Syria could be “a silver lining” if it helps resolve the main stumbling block in reaching a settlement.
Al-Mouallimi noted that this intervention is universally regarded as a dangerous escalation and will undoubtedly have negative effects.
“However, if this intervention aims to protect the civilians in Syria, and if the Russian government somehow realizes the necessity of the departure of Bashar Assad, their forces could perhaps be involved in negotiating the possible terms of exit for this government. In this line of thinking, such an intervention may be able to be seen as a ‘silver lining’ in an otherwise dire situation,” Al-Mouallimi was quoted as saying to a local publication.
Commenting on other topics, he said that he does not consider the recent attacks on the Kingdom by Western media outlets as pessimistic, asserting that Saudi Arabia is not seen as having a poor or weak diplomatic standing by any means. “The Kingdom’s position on the international arena is an extension of its leading role in the Arab and Islamic world, as well as on the economic and humanitarian levels. Our position in the UN only further represents the leading role played by the Kingdom in these fields,” he asserted.
He dismissed the notion that the Kingdom will respond to any pressure concerning the death sentence imposed on the Saudi citizen, Ali Al-Nimr.
“I cannot see that it is appropriate now to delve into such an issue which is currently being considered by the judiciary. Any ruling in this regard will be announced in due course. However, the Kingdom does not make its decisions based on international pressure, but according to what it sees fit for the sake of justice and in public interest”, he explained.
Commenting on whether he wished his country had not rejected the opportunity for membership in the Security Council two years ago, he said: “The diplomat’s role is similar to the solider’s; he must follow orders and perform his tasks without question. Wishes and hopes mean next to nothing. We do not deal with wishes or could haves here on the diplomatic playing field, so it is useless to ponder this issue now.”
Concerning the burden of Operation Decisive Storm on the Kingdom and on him personally, he said that the operation has only served to gain the Kingdom more respect and a better status internationally. “The Kingdom has now proved that it can exert its own decision in a fully independent manner. This burden, as you describe it, is a welcome one. But this ‘burden’ is nothing compared to the sacrifices of our solders on the borders, our hawks in the skies, and our battlefield officers,” he said.