The forum was jointly organized by the Institute of Diplomatic Studies (IDS) and the Gulf Research Center (GRC).
“Iran is escalating tension in the region and the world at large,” said HRH Prince Saud Al-Faisal, Minister of Foreign Affairs, in a speech read out by Prince Turki bin Mohammed bin Saud Al-Kabeer, Deputy Minister for Multilateral Relations at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Prince Saud said that Tehran had “refused to comply” with the provisions of the International Energy Agency, the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT), and the world community. He expressed concerns about “the growing tension and instability in the region and its implications.” He, however, assured the Kingdom's support to the efforts to keep Middle East free from weapons of mass destruction and nuclear weapons.
Prince Saud lamented Israel's constant refusal to join the NPT and expressed concerns on Tel Aviv's nuclear programs. “This has been a major stumbling block in achieving the goal of a peaceful Middle East with greater stability and security,” he said while referring to the Palestinian-Israeli negotiations currently on the “dead end.”
Referring to the unrest in the region, Prince Saud said that the Middle East region was facing hard times in the forms of political and economic problems. He called on the intellectuals and the participants of the conference to find out ways and means to deal with the challenges facing the Gulf and, more intensely, the GCC's neighboring nations. “The Arab region is witnessing profound changes never seen before,” Prince Saud said, adding the need to ensure peace and stability without losing sight of the legitimate demands of the people.
This is in addition to the continuing effects of the global economic crisis that still cast a shadow over many countries and people, said Prince Saud in his inaugural speech. “Given the GCC's strategic location and its possession of large reserves of oil and gas, the challenges and threats facing the Gulf region undoubtedly and indirectly threaten the security and stability of the region and the world,” he warned.
Source: Arab News