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Saudi Arabia’s King Salman called international community to halt Iran’s nuclear and ballistic missile programme

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Riyadh. Saudi Arabia’s King Salman called on the international community on Monday to halt Iran’s nuclear and ballistic missile programme, and he also reiterated the kingdom’s support for U.N. efforts to end the war in Yemen.

The king’s remarks to the Shura Council, a top advisory body to the government, were his first public comments since the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the country’s consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2, which sparked a global outcry and strained Riyadh’s ties with the West.

King Salman, who made no direct mention of the Khashoggi affair during his speech, condemned the actions of Saudi Arabia’s arch-foe Iran, which is competing with the kingdom for influence across the region including in conflicts in Syria, Iraq and Yemen.

“The Iranian regime has always intervened in the internal affairs of other countries, sponsored terrorism, created chaos and devastation in many countries in the region,” the 82-year-old monarch said.

“The international community has to work to put an end to the Iranian nuclear programme and stop its activities that threaten security and stability,” he added.

The king said Saudi Arabia supported U.N. efforts to end the conflict in Yemen, where a Saudi-backed coalition has been battling Iran-aligned Houthi rebels for nearly four years to restore the internationally-recognised government.

“Our standing by Yemen was not an option but a duty to support the Yemeni people in confronting the aggression of Iranian-backed militias,” he said.

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