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Saudi-Iranian conflict, UN Urges Peace in Yemen and Syria

Jakarta - The United Nations urged the acceleration of the peace efforts in Yemen and Syria, amid strained ties to Saudi Arabia and Iran after the execution of Shia cleric Nimr al-Nimr at the weekend sparked protests.
A spokesman for UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon deeply disturbed by severance of diplomatic relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran. (Reuters / Mariana Bazo)
Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon on Monday (4/1) told the Saudi foreign minister, Adel al-Jubeir that Ban is very disturbed by the severance of diplomatic relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran. Ban also expressed the same thing to the Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Sunday (3/1).

"The Secretary-General reiterated that the attacks against the Saudi embassy in Tehran is a reprehensible action, but added that the announcement of the termination of diplomatic relations with Tehran Saudi extremely worrying," said Dujarric.

"The Secretary-General urged the foreign ministers to avoid further action could worsen the situation between the two countries and the region as a whole," said Dujarric.

Saudi severed ties with Iran on Sunday after demonstrators stormed the Saudi embassy in Tehran as an effort to protest the execution of Shia cleric Nimr al-Nimr.

Saudi judge Nimr is a terrorist, while Iran consider it a vocal critic of the equal rights of Shiites in the Sunni majority in Saudi.

Ban want to make sure that Iran and Saudi Arabia, two major powers in the Middle East which has a long history of sectarian enmity, continuing their commitment to end the conflict in Syria and Yemen. In addressing the conflicts in these two countries, Saudi Arabia and Iran back in the opposite position.

In Yemen, Saudi led international coalition air strikes to demolish the Houthi rebel group. While in Syria, Iran supports its ally, President Bashar al-Assad and has accused Saudi create terrorist cells.

"(UN) will encourage and sincerely hope that the current tensions will not have a negative impact on the two peace processes," said Dujarric.

The UN wants the peace talks between the Syrian government and opposition groups began in Geneva on January 25, 2016. The UN also encourage a ceasefire in Syria.

Syria's UN mediator, Staffan de Mistura scheduled to visit Riyadh and Tehran this week. While Yemen's UN mediators, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, will return to the region on Thursday.

"De Mistura believe that the crisis in the Arab-Iranian relations is a very worrying development, and he emphasized the need to ensure it does not lead to a chain of adverse consequences in the region," he said.

On Saturday (2/1), coinciding with the execution Nimr and 46 other terror suspects, led international coalition air strikes Arabia announced the end of the truce, which began on December 15. This is a setback in efforts to end the conflict in Yemen.

Ban, through Dujarric told Jubeir that the Saudis had to "renew their commitment to the ceasefire" in Yemen. (ama)

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