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Egypt backs Saudi Arabia in spat with Iran

05 January 2016, 12:50

Tehran — The latest developments after Saudi Arabia severed diplomatic ties with Tehran amid a dispute over Riyadh's execution of an opposition Shiite cleric and attacks on Saudi diplomatic posts in Iran. (All times local.)

11:30 a.m.

Egypt's foreign minister has denounced the attacks on Saudi diplomatic missions in Iran as "unacceptable."

Sameh Shoukry said during a visit to Riyadh on Tuesday that Iranian behavior following sheikh Nimr al-Nimr's execution is tantamount to "intervening in the kingdom's internal affairs."

The Egyptian diplomat also reaffirmed his country's support for Saudi Arabia ahead of an upcoming meeting of foreign ministers at the Arab League that is due to discuss the Iran-Saudi spat.

He says the "security of the kingdom is an integral part of Egypt's security and Egypt's security is an integral part of the kingdom's security."

Saudi Arabia has supported Egypt as it struggles with a growing insurgency and economic downturn.

Several Saudi allies have rallied the kingdom's side, with a number of nations following its lead in either cutting or reducing diplomatic ties with Iran. Egypt cut ties with Iran in 1989.


10:40 a.m.

Switzerland's Foreign Ministry has said that it summoned the Saudi charge d'affaires to reiterate its opposition to the death penalty in all circumstances after a mass execution in the kingdom.

The Swiss ministry, in a statement dated on Monday, said that "these mass executions risk reviving the confessional tensions which have already caused far too many victims in this region of the world."

It stressed the importance of doing everything to lower those tensions and "avoid provocations."

The Swiss move comes after Saudi Arabia on Saturday executed Shiite cleric Nimr al-Nimr and 46 others. Saudi Arabia cut diplomatic relations with Iran late on Sunday, hours after protesters stormed and set fire to the Saudi Embassy in Tehran in protest of the execution.

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- AP


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