German minister urges Riyadh, Teheran to focus on opposing ISIS

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier speaks to reporters following a meeting.
German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier speaks to reporters following a meeting.PHOTO: REUTERS

BERLIN (REUTERS) - Saudi Arabia and Iran owe it to the international community to put aside their differences in the Middle East and focus on opposing the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier told newspaper Bild.

Saudi Arabia cut its ties with Iran on Sunday (Jan 3) in response to the storming of its embassy in Teheran in an escalating row between the rival Middle East powers over Riyadh's execution of a prominent Shi'ite Muslim cleric.

Steinmeier urged both countries to show responsibility and focus on calming the region and opposing the radical Islamist movement.

"I hope that the turbulence will soon end, reason prevails and Riyadh and Teheran focus on what's really important - defusing the military conflicts, fostering political solutions in Syria, Yemen and elsewhere and thus pulling the rug out from under ISIS," he told Bild in an interview published on Tuesday (Jan 5).

 

"The whole Middle East, and especially Saudi Arabia and Iran, are somewhat indebted to us," he said. "The international community has worked extensively for years to bring peace to the interrelated conflicts in the region." "Now we need responsible actors in the region who act responsibly, in Riyadh as well as in Teheran," he said.