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Ban urges Saudi Arabia, Iran to avoid actions that will exacerbate situation in region


New York -UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon, on Monday, urged Saudi Arabia and Iran to avoid any actions that could further exacerbate the situation between the two countries and in the region as a whole.

Ban made the call in a telephone call he made to Mr Abel bin Al-Jubeir, the Foreign Minister of Saudi Arabia and Mr Mohammad Zarif, the Iranian Foreign Minister.

According to a readout to UN correspondents in New York, Ban stresses the importance of continued constructive engagement by both countries in the interest of the region and beyond.

In his conversation with the Iranian foreign minister, Ban recalled his statement on the execution of Sheikh al-Nimr and 46 other prisoners by Saudi Arabia on Saturday.

He further recalled his condemnation of the attack at the Saudi embassy in Tehran and urged the foreign minister to take the necessary measures to protect diplomatic facilities in the country.

Speaking with the Saudi Foreign Minister Al-Jubeir, the secretary-general reiterated his views on capital punishment and his disappointment over the execution of al-Nimr, whose case he said was raised by the Saudi authorities on several occasions.

The secretary-general reiterated that the attack on the Saudi Embassy in Tehran was deplorable.

Ban said that the announcement of a break in Saudi diplomatic relations with Tehran was deeply worrying.

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Regarding Yemen, the UN scribe urged Saudi Arabia to renew its commitment to a ceasefire.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that since 2007, the UN General Assembly adopted series of resolutions calling on states that retain the death penalty to establish a moratorium on executions with a view to abolishing such penalty altogether.(NAN)

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