Hezbollah has destroyed Lebanon, must disarm: Saudi Arabia’s King Salman

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Hezbollah’s hegemony over Lebanon has destroyed the country’s constitutional, state institutions and the only way to break out of this is for the Iran-backed group to be disarmed, Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz said Wednesday.

King Salman said the catastrophic Aug. 4 Beirut blasts were a result of the “hegemony of Hezbollah, a terrorist organization affiliated with Iran.”

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He added that Saudi Arabia stands with the Lebanese people who are experiencing a “humanitarian catastrophe” due to Hezbollah’s control over the decision-making process in Lebanon “by force of arms.”

This had led to disabling state institutions and the only way for Lebanon to achieve security, stability and prosperity is for “this terrorist organization [to] be disarmed,” the Saudi king said.

King Salman also criticized Iran for turning down chances for peace. He said Tehran “time and again” used its terrorist networks to intensify its expansionist activities and destabilized several countries in the region, including Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Lebanon.

“The Kingdom will not hesitate to defend its national security, nor will it abandon the fraternal people of Yemen until they regain their complete sovereignty and independence from Iranian hegemony,” King Salman said.

Arab-Israeli conflict

As for the Arab-Israeli conflict, King Salman voiced Saudi Arabia’s support for all efforts to advance the peace process. “Peace in the Middle East is our strategic option,” he said.

A just solution must be reached where the Palestinian people have their “independent state with East Jerusalem as its capital,” King Salman said.

Nevertheless, Saudi Arabia supports the efforts of the Trump administration to achieve peace in the Middle East and bring the Palestinians and Israelis back to the negotiation table, King Salman said.

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