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Arabs have to counter Iran’s expansionist plans

Monday 04/March/2019 - 02:40 PM
The Reference

Arab countries should join forces and give priority to ensuring security and to working on solutions to common threats, particularly those related to interference in their internal security affairs, Bahrain’s interior minister has said.

Arabs have to counter

“The most important of such interference and threats is the growing Iranian threat,” Shaikh Rashid Bin Abdullah Al Khalifa said.

“The disregard for the sovereignty and national identity of the Arab states has made the Iranian leaders on various occasions talk about Iran’s great Persian borders. This is a violation of the sovereignty of its neighbouring countries, including the Arab and Islamic states, hence, there is an urgent need to tackle the threats to our region,” the minister said as he addressed his peers at their meeting in Tunis.

Iran continues to disrupt the stability of the Arab states by interfering in their internal affairs and it is the main supporter of terrorist groups and organisations, he added.

“There is a need to counter those threats by adopting a unified Arab position and clear measures to put an end to Iran’s interference. We rely on God and on our determination and cohesion to protect our Arab identity. A unified position and joined efforts will put an end to such violations and stop such expansionist ambitions.”

Other security threats facing the Arabs include the misuse of the communication technology that has turned into a security burden for all countries, Shaikh Rashid said.

“Technology has unfortunately been exploited by terrorist groups that used it to carry out terror attacks in security-advanced and well developed areas and cities,” he said.

“This calls for coordination among all countries in order to limit the exploitation of technology by terrorist groups and to work on adopting common measures by communication and information technology authorities to develop appropriate legislation that will keep pace with the rapid development in the communication sector.”

Shaikh Rashid also warned against the phenomenon of drugs that is spreading despite the efforts of anti-narcotics authorities and their determination to tackle the issue effectively.

“This calls for the development of anti-narcotics authorities within a cohesive security system that would be able to exchange information rapidly to check the use of drugs in our societies.”

It should also be able to focus on improving the culture of self-realisation and awareness programmes to protect the communities from the negative effects of drugs.

“In this regard, I am happy to invite the anti-narcotics authorities of your ministries to learn about Bahrain’s experience, based on the Maan [Together] programme against violence and addiction implemented under the Interior Ministry’s supervision.”

The programme aims to educate students of different levels to protect themselves from addiction through avoiding drugs, and to improve their awareness about the risks posed by narcotics and their harmful psychological and physical effects, Shaikh Rashid said.