World, Middle East

Kuwait's emir calls for continued dialogue with Iran

Call reflects recent thaw in relations between Gulf States and Shia Islamic republic

Kuwait's emir calls for continued dialogue with Iran FILE PHOTO

By Ahmed al-Masri

AMMAN, Jordan

Kuwaiti Emir Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah on Wednesday called for the continuation of dialogue between the Arab Gulf States and Iran with a view to promoting regional stability.

In a speech delivered at the 28th Arab League summit now underway in Jordan, the emir warned that the Arab world was "currently facing enormous challenges and grave threats".

He called on Arab countries to "resolve their differences” and to “not give a chance to those trying to ensnare it” in conflict.

"Our relations with Iran must be based on diplomatic norms and international law, which are in turn based on the principles of respect for national sovereignty and the avoidance of interference in [other countries’] domestic affairs," the emir said.

“We look forward to continuing consultations and constructive dialogue between the [Arab] countries of the region and [Iran] with a view to guaranteeing [regional] security and stability," he added.

In reference to the wave of popular uprisings that shook the region in 2011, the emir asserted: "The illusion of the so-called Arab Spring has adversely impacted the security and stability of several of our brother countries and disrupted their development.”

This, he went on, had led to "a deteriorating security situation and greater suffering among their people”.

"In order to overcome this dark period in Arab history, we must draw a lesson from what has happened and adjust our policies in order to fortify our societies and consolidate our internal positions with a view to meeting our people’s legitimate aspirations," the emir said.

Eighteen Arab leaders are attending the one-day Arab League summit, which opened today in Jordan’s Dead Sea region.

Ongoing conflicts in the region are expected to figure high on the summit’s agenda, especially those in Syria, Libya and Yemen, along with the longstanding Palestine-Israel dispute.

Jordan offered to host this year’s Arab summit after Yemen was unable to do so due to the ongoing conflict there.

The last Arab League summit was hosted by Mauritania in June of last year.

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