Egyptian President sides with Saudi Arabia, calls on on Iran to stop meddling in the Middle East, but stresses he is against war.
By Elad Benari –Arutz Sheva
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi on Wednesday called on Iran to stop “meddling” in the Middle East, but stressed that he does not want war and believes dialogue can resolve the region’s crises.
With his comments, quoted by The Associated Press, Sisi threw his support behind Egypt’s Gulf ally Saudi Arabia amid the kingdom’s mounting tensions with Iran.
The Egyptian president told reporters that he did not want more tensions in the region, but that doesn’t mean threats to Arab countries can be tolerated.
“The region has enough instability and challenges as it is. We don’t need any new complications involving Iran or Hezbollah so we don’t add new challenges to the region,” Sisi was quoted as having said at a news conference in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh.
“I am against war, we can resolve crises with dialogue,” he stressed when asked about the possibility of war with Iran or Hezbollah.
But, he added, “Gulf security is a red line and others must stop meddling in our affairs and not work to escalate tensions. We in Egypt believe that Arab and Gulf security and any threat to Gulf (Arab) nations is a threat to our own national security.”
Sisi also said Saudi Arabia remained stable in the wake of the surprise arrest over the weekend of dozens of ministers, members of the royal family, businessmen and senior army officers.
“Conditions in Saudi Arabia are totally stable and I have confidence in the government’s handling of the situation,” he insisted.
But he avoided the increasingly aggressive rhetoric that has come from Riyadh in recent days.
Over the weekend, Saudi Arabia blamed Iran for a missile fired toward its capital by Houthi rebels in Yemen and warned that could be considered an act of war.
At the same time, Saudi officials accused Hezbollah, Iran’s terror proxy in Lebanon of “declaring war” on the kingdom, following the resignation of Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Al-Hariri.
Shiite Iran and Sunni Saudi Arabia have a historic rivalry in the Middle East. Saudi Arabia has repeatedly called on Iran to stop its “meddling” in the affairs of the kingdom’s neighbors.
Iran has fired back, accusing Saudi Arabia of trying to “drag the entire region into confrontation”.