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Kazakhstan's Foreign Ministry comments on Iran-Saudi crisis

20 january 2016, 17:35

Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has commented on the situation in the Middle East, Tengrinews reports citing the press service of the agency. As stated in the agency’s comment, Kazakhstan closely follows the latest developments in the Middle Eastern region and is concerned about the deteriorating relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia.

“As a responsible member of the international community, Kazakhstan expresses concern about increasing tensions in the relations between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Islamic Republic of Iran against the backdrop of the threat to security and stability in the region and the need to strengthen the global fight against terrorism,” the Foreign Ministry of Kazakhstan declared.

The deterioration in the relations between the rival powers is considered by some as the most dangerous crisis between Riyadh and Tehran for decades. Having divergent ideological and strategic interests, Saudi Arabia and Iran share a history of rivalry and power struggle in the region.

The current crisis spiralled on January 2, after Saudi Arabia announced the execution of 47 people accused of terrorism, including a well-known Shiite cleric Nimr al-Nimr. Iran's spiritual leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned that Saudi Arabia would suffer “divine retribution,” calling preacher al-Nimr a “martyr, acting by peaceful means.” On January 3, Saudi Arabia broke off diplomatic relations with Iran. The execution of al-Nimr sparked a round of protests in a number of Middle Eastern countries. In Tehran, the protests turned violent, with protesters storming and setting on fire the Saudi embassy.

Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs emphasized that the attacks on diplomatic missions are unacceptable, with countries of diplomatic accreditation bearing obligations to ensure missions’ security in accordance with the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.

The Kazakh Foreign Office called for an agreement and diplomatic cooperation in the region: “We urge the leaders of Saudi Arabia and Iran, the countries that are friendly and brotherly for Kazakhstan, as well as other countries in the region, to take necessary measures to prevent further escalation of inter-confessional tensions, establish political dialogue and hold negotiations between the two countries in order to ensure agreement and resume diplomatic relations. We urge all parties involved to avoid crossing the dangerous line.” As the statement concludes, Kazakhstan stands for a political solution and dialogue as the only way to resolve the crisis.

By Indira Urazova

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