Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 27 May 2019

Al Jubeir says Saudi to maintain human rights while fighting terrorism

Saudi minister of state also urges UN body to back a Palestinian state on 1967 borders

Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Adel Al Jubeir, told the UN the kingdom would ensure fair trials Getty
Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Adel Al Jubeir, told the UN the kingdom would ensure fair trials Getty

Saudi Arabia aims to strike a balance between combating terrorism while preserving human rights when detaining militants, its Minister of State for Foreign Affairs said yesterday.

Adel Al Jubeir told the UN Human Rights Council in New York that Saudi Arabia would ensure fair trials and improve detention conditions.

The kingdom tried to rehabilitate those brainwashed by terrorist organisations, Mr Al Jubeir said.

“Saudi Arabia is keen in combating terrorism as an ideology and behaviour," he said. "We are striking a balance between combating terrorism on the one hand and the preservation of human rights on the other."

Mr Al Jubeir repeated King Salman’s statement this week on the Palestinian cause.

“Our position on the Palestinian situation is steadfast, and we categorically reject anything that would compromise the historical presence of Jerusalem,” he said.

He said the UN should promote a Palestinian state based on 1967 borders.

Ahmed Al Jarman, assistant minister for human rights at the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs, reinforced the Palestinian message.

“There must be global support for Palestine, with the 1967 borders and East Jerusalem as its capital, in line with UN resolutions,” Mr Al Jarman said.

Mr Al Jubeir said the kingdom condemned abuses against the Rohingya minority by Myanmar, calling it a gross breach based on “racist tendencies”.

He called on the authorities to allow Rohingya refugees to return to Myanmar.

On Yemen, where Saudi Arabia is supporting the internationally recognised government in the four-year civil war, Mr Al Jubeir said the UN should put more pressure on Iran-backed Houthi rebels.

He said Riyadh condemned terrorism, the siege of cities, the refusal to allow delivery of humanitarian aid and the use of children as soldiers and human shields, and the use of landmines.

"We condemn the Houthis’ use of these tactics,” Mr Al Jubeir said.

Mr Al Jarman said the UAE believed “only a political solution will bring an end to the crisis in Yemen” and welcomed the peace talks held in Sweden in December last year.

Saudi Arabia has spent $13 billion (Dh47.75bn) on humanitarian aid in Yemen.

The most recent contribution was on Tuesday when Saudi Arabia and the UAE, a coalition partner in the conflict, each pledged $500 million towards humanitarian assistance in the war-torn country.

The Arab world’s poorest nation is on the brink of a widespread humanitarian disaster, with more than 14 million people in danger of famine.

Saudi Arabia and the Arab Coalition condemned Iran's military backing of the Houthis in Yemen.

“We call on the international community to put an end to Iranian human rights violations, whether it is against Iranian people in the face of Ahwaz, or across the region by supporting terrorist militias and promoting sectarian strife,” Mr Al Jubeir said.

He was referring to the systematic discrimination against Ahwazi Arabs in the Khuzestan Province in south-western Iran.

Mr Al Jubeir is expected to travel from New York to Abu Dhabi in the coming days to attend a two-day Organisation of Islamic Co-operation meeting being held in the capital.

Updated: February 28, 2019 01:21 AM