RIYADH – United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres said that Islamophobia in some parts of the world is fuelling terrorism.
“One of the things that fuel terrorism is the expression in some parts of the world of Islamophobic feelings, Islamophobic policies and Islamophobic hate speeches,” Guterres said at a joint press conference with Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir at the ministry headquarters in Riyadh on Sunday evening.
Referring to the Syrian crisis, he said: “We will never be successful in fighting terrorism in Syria unless an inclusive political solution is found for the Syrian people.”
The UN chief also commended the key role being played by the Kingdom in boosting security and stability of the region, saying “Saudi Arabia is the pillar of stability in the region and Saudi’s stability is a model for the pursuit of change and growth”.
He expressed hope that the Kingdom can play a significant role in the world as a whole. He stressed that the cooperation between the United Nations and Saudi Arabia is key in the fight against terrorism. “The United Nations is working to help member states in the fight against terrorism”.
Guterres thanked Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman, Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Naif and Deputy Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman for the warm welcome and generous hospitality accorded to him during his first ever visit to the Kingdom.
Guterres said the UN envoy to Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed had his full support, days after Houthi militias asked him not to renew the diplomat’s term due to what it said was bias against the Iranian-aligned movement.
“Our envoy has my full support and I believe that he is doing an impartial work, that he is doing it in a very professional way and independently of what other people may think, he has my full support,” Guterres said while appealing to the parties involved in the conflict not to exploit the delivery of humanitarian aid, adding any such action was to be condemned.
Addressing the press conference, Al-Jubeir said the talks with the UN chief were positive and constructive.
“The role of UN is highly commendable with regard to extending humanitarian assistance, potential building and finding solutions to conflicts.”
Referring to the situation in Yemen, Al-Jubeir said: “We made 70 agreements with Yemen’s Houthis and ousted president Saleh. They did not implement a single one”.
He said that the Kingdom hoped to continue sending aid to Yemen and a large amount of GCC money had been allocated to rebuilding the war torn country.
On Syria, Jubeir said Saudi Arabia expected international support for moderate Syrian opposition to continue. “We expect Syrian talks in Geneva to lead to political solution,” he added.