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Saudi king orders ‘all’ measures to protect nation

King Abdullah chaired the National Security Council to discuss the developments in Iraq

Published: Updated:

Saudi king Abdullah bin Abdulaziz ordered on Thursday “all steps” be taken to safeguard kingdom from possible terrorist actions in light of the violence gripping the neighboring Iraq, the state news agency SPA reported.

“The [National Security] Council, chaired by King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz …, looked into the developments and repercussions of [events in Iraq],” the Saudi Press Agency said.

“Keen on safeguarding the security of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia vis a vis possible actions by terrorist organizations or other [groups] to tamper with the security of the nation, King Abdullah … ordered that all the necessary measures be taken to protect the nation’s gains and territories as well as ensuring the safety and providing stability for the proud Saudi people,” the agency added.

Saudi Arabia is one of several countries bordering Iraq, where the Shiite-led government of Nouri al-Maliki is facing a growing Sunni insurgency spurred by what critics of the Iraqi leader say are his sectarian policies.

Last week, Riyadh denounced Baghdad’s “exclusionary and sectarianism” policies and called for the formation of an inclusive national government.

Maliki has rejected calls both from within and outside Iraq for him to step down and vowed to crush the Sunni uprising which is spearheaded by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).