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Saudi Crown Prince: Fighting Terrorism Is a Joint Responsibility | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Mohammed Bin Naif Bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, addresses the General Assembly. UN Photo/Loey Felipe

New York, Jeddah – Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef bin Abdulaziz reiterated Saudi Arabia’s complete rejection of terrorism in all forms and confirmed that the kingdom had issued a set of rules and regulations that criminalize terrorism and its funding.

He pointed out that Saudi: “is now part of 12 international agreements to fight terrorism,” and head along with United States and Italy a coalition against ISIS funding.

During his speech at the 71st session of the U.N. General Assembly in New York, the prince said that Saudi Arabia is the country of the Holy Mosques and the origin of Islamic traditions. He described Islam as the religion of peace.

The prince also pointed out that Saudi Arabia was one of the first countries that denounced the attacks of September 11.

He praised the Saudi security forces saying that: “The security apparatus in Saudi Arabia has foiled 268 terrorist operations, including operations against friendly states.”

The crown prince criticized the vote on the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA) bill saying that it violates international principals. JASTA allows American victims of terror attacks on U.S. soil to sue anybody responsible for the attack, even if it’s a foreign government.

As for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Bin Nayef condemned Israel’s “terrorist practices and acts of aggression” against the Palestinians and stressed that the Arab Peace initiative is the foundation of a permanent peace in the region.

Regarding Yemen, the prince stressed that Saudi Arabia’s intervention there with its Gulf Cooperation Council allies “has received a great international acceptance” and has helped launch a national dialogue.

In his speech, the prince called for a transition in Syria by supporting the moderate opposition, pointing out that it’s about time “to take concerted decisions to save the Syrian people from the crimes, murders, destruction and displacement all of which is performed by President Bashar al-Assad.”

Concerning Iran, the prince condemned the attack on the Saudi Embassy in Tehran and the Saudi Consulate in Mashhad saying that the Iranian authorities didn’t protect the facilities properly as per the binding international agreements.

“The Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia calls upon the Islamic Republic of Iran to desist from all of the policies of discrimination, racism and sectarianism and to begin to build positive relations with its neighbors on the basis of the principles of good-neighborliness and non-interference in the internal affairs of other States,” he said.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Naif also addressed the U.N. Summit for Refugees and Migrants on Tuesday in New York.

He declared that, in coordination with international organizations, Saudi Arabia is committed to supporting refugees. “Saudi Arabia is keen to provide assistance to Syrian refugees in neighboring countries through direct aid to campaigns to collect donations for their relief,” he said.

He also noted that his country has received more than 2.5 million Syrian refugees and two million from Yemen and is facilitating free access to education, health care and employment for them.

Bin Nayef said that Saudi Arabia welcomed all refugees and facilitated their residency applications allowing them to remain on Saudi soil. He also pointed out that the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques gave directives in 2015 to establish King Salman Center for Relief and Humanitarian Aids.