Saudi Arabia: No country is more committed to fighting terrorism than us

Saudi foreign minister also says Britain should not apologise for selling arms used in Yemen

Samuel Osborne
Tuesday 18 October 2016 09:51 BST
Saudi Arabia FM Adel al-Jubeir: 'No other country does more to fight terrorism'

No country is more committed to fighting terrorism than Saudi Arabia, the Kingdom's foreign minister has said.

Asked if Isis is losing the war against Saudi-backed rebels in Syria, Adel al-Jubeir told Channel 4 News: "Isis will lose this war. There's no doubt about it.

"The international coalition has the resources, it has the men, it has the money, it has the technology, it has the will.

"At the end of the day, this is a contest that Isis will not, cannot, win. Period. It is a matter of time."

Presenter Matt Frei then presses Mr Jubeir on whether Isis' brand of Sunni extremism could morph into another form after the group is defeated, prompting the foreign minister to reply: "We are doing everything we can to fight extremism.

"I don't believe there is any country in the world that is more committed or more determined or has expended more resources and more effort to do this than the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia."

He added: "We cannot allow people to hijack our faith. We cannot allow people to take a peaceful religion — all religions are peaceful — and turn it into a way to justify violence.

"At the end of the day, Saudi Arabia is at the cross hairs of these extremist organisations because Saudi Arabia is the birthplace of Islam and the Two Holy Mosques."

Scores dead in blasts at funeral in Yemeni capital

Mr Jubeir also said Britain should not be expected to apologise if it supplied the arms that killed more than 140 mourners at a funeral in Yemen.

"Because we're the client and we're the customer," he said. "We purchased the equipment from Britain and the equipment was used in a legitimate war in accord with international law.

"A terrible mistake happened and the mistake is being investigated and we will make amends."

The foreign minister declined to say whether British weapons had been used.

He added: "Whatever the weapons are that are being used in Yemen, they are used in accordance with international humanitarian law in a legitimate war of self defence, in a legitimate war to defend the legitimate government of Yemen."

He said preliminary results of the ongoing investigation suggest faulty intelligence and "a disregard of protocols and procedures for taking strikes" may have been to blame.

British and American governments have vowed to apply increased diplomatic pressure on their ally following the bombing of the packed funeral hall.

The US said in the wake of the bombing that its support for Saudi Arabia on security issues was not a “blank cheque”, while the UK warned its decision to allow controversial arms exports to Riyadh was “under careful and continual review”.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in