- Title: SAUDI ARABIA: Arab ministers meet to discuss security
- Date: 13th March 2013
- Summary: RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA (MARCH 13 ,2013) (REUTERS ) ARAB INTERIOR MINISTERS POSING FOR GROUP PHOTO ARAB INTERIOR MINISTERS' CONFERENCE LOGO OF CONFERENCE, READING: 'THE THIRTIETH SESSION OF THE COUNCIL OF ARAB INTERIOR MINISTERS' SAUDI INTERIOR MINISTER, PRINCE MOHAMMED BIN NAYEF AL-SAUD ,SEATED VARIOUS OF ARABS INTERIOR MINISTERS SEATED WIDE OF CONFERENCE (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) PRINCE MOHAMMED BIN NAYEF AL-SAUD, SAUDI INTERIOR MINISTER, SAYING: "The challenges that are facing the Arab nation are many and dangerous and threaten its security, development, civilisation and humanity, but we are confident in God and in the maturity of our people. We will preserve our Arab security." VARIOUS OF AUDIENCE LISTENING TO PRINCE MOHAMMED BIN NAYEF AL-SAUD'S SPEECH WIDE OF CONFERENCE (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) PALESTINIAN INTERIOR MINISTER, SAID ABU ALI, SAYING: "There is a collective Arab response to a special resolution on Palestine for collective action and also bi-laterally to help shape the sovereignty of a Palestinian state in all areas." VARIOUS OF OFFICIALS (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) BAHRAIN INTERIOR MINISTER, SHEIKH RASHID BIN ABDULLAH AL-KHALIFA, SAYING: "The security services have managed to foil a terrorist cell after investigating its members and their movements and places of training them in weapons and explosives and in finding a place in Bahrain to store and smuggle weapons, and to attack vital targets and figures. Through identification of members of the cell and looking at the physical evidence, it clearly shows the involvement of Iran's Revolutionary Guards. It shows Iran's interference in the internal affairs of Bahrain in order to destabilise security and stability, and this requires an Arab position beyond condemnation and denunciation, and to take effective measures to protect Arab security and the security of the member states." AUDIENCE CLAPPING OFFICIALS LEAVING CONFERENCE
- Embargoed: 28th March 2013 12:00
- Location: Saudi Arabia
- Country: Saudi Arabia
- Topics: Politics
- Reuters ID: LVAAEXCVK7J58A0H38HGZC5J7RT4
- Story Text: Arab interior ministers from 21 states met in Riyadh on Wednesday (March 13) to discuss ways of boosting security, as unrest continues in several countries.
Last week, Saudi Arabia accused online activists of using social media to stir up protests, banned in the kingdom, by distributing "false information" about the number of people detained by the security apparatus.
The country has witnessed a string of demonstrations in recent months by relatives of detainees in the capital Riyadh and Qassim Province.
Opening the gathering on Wednesday, Saudi interior minister Prince Mohammed bin Nayef al-Saud said the Arab world was going through a very delicate phase.
"The challenges that are facing the Arab nation are many and dangerous and threaten its security, development, civilisation and humanity, but we are confident in God and in the maturity of our people. We will preserve our Arab security," he said.
Bahrain, which has witnessed two years of unrest, blames Iran for its troubles - a charge Tehran denies.
Last month, Bahrain accused Iran's Revolutionary Guard of setting up a militant cell to assassinate public figures in the Gulf Arab kingdom and attack its airport and government buildings.
Addressing the forum in Riyadh, Bahrain's interior minister called for Arab action against the Islamic Republic.
"It shows Iran's interference in the internal affairs of Bahrain in order to destabilise security and stability, and this requires an Arab position beyond condemnation and denunciation, and to take effective measures to protect Arab security and the security of the member states," said Sheikh Rashid bin Abdullah al-Khalifa said.
GCC countries routinely accuse Iran of interfering in the region, primarily in Bahrain where the Sunni-dominated government has been struggling since 2011 to suppress pro-democracy agitation led mainly by the kingdom's Shi'ites.
Iran denies meddling in Bahrain or trying to subvert any of its other wealthy Gulf Arab neighbours. Tehran also regards the Gulf as its geo-political backyard and says it has a legitimate right to advance its interests there.
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