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Saudi FM Prince Faisal says ball is in Houthis’ court for Yemen ceasefire

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Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan said Wednesday that the Kingdom’s peace initiative to end the war in Yemen was currently stalled because of the Iran-backed Houthis.

“There is no stability without addressing the concerns of the countries in the region about Iran’s behavior, the issue of Iran’s ballistic missiles and interventions must be addressed; the ball is now in the Houthis’ court,” Prince Faisal told Al Arabiya during an interview.

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Saudi Arabia in March unveiled a peace initiative to end the years long war in Yemen between the internationally recognized government and the Houthis in March.

Prince Faisal voiced hopes that the Houthis would advance the interest of Yemen over the interest of regional parties, adding that the Kingdom was committed to a political solution to the crisis.

Lebanon

Turning to Lebanon, Prince Faisal blamed Hezbollah’s hegemony over political decision-making in the country for the lack of any real reform.

“We are concerned about the future of Lebanon, but it [Lebanon] has to find a way to save itself,” Prince Faisal said.

The Saudi official also commented on the recent comments by Lebanon’s outgoing foreign minister, Charbel Wehbe, who accused Saudi Arabia and Gulf countries of funding ISIS. “[Wehbe’s comments] are racist and do not express the Lebanese people.”

“The statements of the foreign minister of Lebanon, to say the least, are non-diplomatic,” he added.

Wehbe stepped down from his role as Lebanon’s top diplomat after his racist and derogatory remarks sparked public outrage from Lebanese officials as well as Gulf officials.

Sudan

Prince Faisal also commented on the political transition in Sudan, saying that Saudi Arabia was committed to supporting the transitional phase in Sudan.

“The prosperity and stability of Sudan are positive for the region; the political transition process that Sudan is going through is an important and sensitive stage,” Prince Faisal added.

He said that Saudi Arabia had worked to stabilize and support Sudan, while also supporting it during the Paris conference.

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