Concerns grow over Saudi-Iranian rising tensions

Updated: 2016-01-05 10:17


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Concerns grow over Saudi-Iranian rising tensions

A man reads the newspaper showing the photo of the prominent Shi'ite cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr in Sanaa, Yemen, January 3, 2016. [Photo/Xinhua]

Over and above, Saudi Foreign Minister, Adel al-Jubeir, announced Monday that Saudi Arabia will cease air traffic with Iran, placing a ban on its citizens from travelling there, reported Al Arabiya local news.

He also said that severing relations covers commercial ties, whereas Iranian pilgrims are always welcome in Saudi Arabia.

Escalated tensions between two key players in the troubled Middle East's political affairs, sparked concerns from various parts of the world.

The European Union (EU) Monday urged concerned parties to act responsibly towards recent events between Iran and Saudi Arabia, the cause of a current strained diplomatic situation between the two countries.

"We expect all regional powers to act responsibly toward this volatile situation," EU foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini's spokesperson, Catherine Ray, briefed a press conference.

Ray informed reporters the EU would continue to closely monitor the situation between Iran and Saudi Arabia, adding that dialogue was ongoing on all levels with its partners.

Mogherini contacted her Iranian and Saudi counterparts Sunday, advocating for effort from both sides to avoid further escalation of tensions.

The German government also called on Saudi Arabia and Iran Monday to recommence dialogue despite recent souring of diplomatic relations between both countries.

"We support both countries using all possible avenues to improve their relations," said German government spokesman Steffen Seibert.

Seibert stressed that an amicable relationship between the two countries is fundamentally important in resolving the crises in Syria and Yemen, as well as regional stability.

Moreover, France called on both Saudi Arabia and Iran to moderate the escalation of the diplomatic row between the two Middle Eastern powers, a government official said.

Stephane Le Foll, France's government spokesman, said "France anticipates a de-escalation of tensions" between Riyadh and Tehran.

"France entreats both sides to curtail tensions. We must be observant of Saudi and Iranian relations," Le Foll said.