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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 17 December 2018

World leaders condemn attempted missile attack on Riyadh

Countries around the world, including the UAE, expressed solidarity with Saudi Arabia after the attempted attack on its capital city

Analysts say the landmark regulations will draw further foreign investment to Riyadh Getty Images
Analysts say the landmark regulations will draw further foreign investment to Riyadh Getty Images

World leaders have condemned the attempted missile attack on Saudi Arabia on Saturday night, which was claimed by Yemen’s Houthi rebels.

They also expressed solidarity with the Saudis following the attack, which was successfully intercepted by the Kingdom.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, said the UAE “strongly and resolutely stands with the brotherly Saudi kingdom while confronting all challenges that target its security and the region’s security and stability”.

Sheikh Mohammed said the security of the Kingdom is an integral part of UAE security. He added that the hand of evil "will not undermine the resolve of our brothers in the Kingdom".

US President Donald Trump, who is currently on a five-country tour of Asia, suggested that Iran was behind the firing of the ballistic missile at Saudi Arabia.

Speaking to reporters on board Air Force One Sunday while flying to Japan, Mr Trump said: "A shot was taken by Iran, in my opinion, at Saudi Arabia. And our system knocked it down," a reference to the Patriot missile batteries that Saudi Arabia purchased from the US.

"That's how good we are. Nobody makes what we make and now we're selling it all over the world," he added.

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Read more:

Saudis intercept ballistic missile northeast of Riyadh

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However, Mohammad Ali Jafari, head of the Iran Revolutionary Guards who are in charge of Iran’s missile program, denied the accusations, rejecting it as one of the US President’s “slanders”.

In the UK, Boris Johnson joined in the condemnation of the attack, saying he was “horrified” by the news.

In a strongly worded statement, the British foreign secretary said: “I am shocked and horrified by the attempted missile strike on Riyadh which was a deliberate targeting of a civilian area.”

He added: “We condemn in the strongest terms this attempted attack and the actions of those involved.”

Mr Johnson said the UK remains “committed to supporting Saudi Arabia as it faces regional crises and security threats”.

Egypt’s foreign ministry said the government and people stand with the people of Saudi Arabia, and back all the measures the Kingdom's government is taking to preserve its security and stability in the face of this aggression.

It added that the attack will increase the resolve of the Arab coalition countries to restore the legitimacy in Yemen.

Meanwhile, a source from Kuwait’s foreign ministry said the attack jeopardised international efforts to reach a political solution for the bloody conflict.

The source, cited by the Kuwait News Agency, KUNA, said the attack was " a dangerous development committed by the Houthis and Saleh's forces" and vowed to support Saudi Arabia's measures to preserve its security.

The missile was fired from across Saudi Arabia's southern border by Yemen's Houthi rebels towards one of the kingdom's major international airports on the outskirts of the capital, Riyadh.

Several Houthi-owned media outlets, including Al Masira and SABA, reported the rebels had launched the missile.

The missile was shot down by Saudi air defence forces. No casualties were reported.