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Saudi FM: Boris Johnson 'proxy war' comment misconstrued

Boris Johnson is known for his gaffes [AFP]

Date of publication: 11 December, 2016

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The Saudi Foreign Minister has said that comments his British counterpart said about "proxy wars" was misconstrued by the press.
The press took out of context comments by the British foreign secretary about "proxy wars" waged by longtime ally Saudi Arabia, the Saudi foreign minister said Sunday, deeming the matter closed.

In a video reported last week Boris Johnson, at a conference in Rome, accused Saudi Arabia and its regional rival Iran of engaging in "puppeteering" and "playing proxy wars".

The video of his comments was posted on the Guardian website.

"I have no doubt that his comments as reported in the press were misconstrued," Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir told reporters at a joint news conference with Johnson in Riyadh.

"If you look  at the actual video of what was said, it was not as implied in the press," Jubeir said.

The British minister was on an official visit to the kingdom, during which he met King Salman.

The Guardian report came a day after British Prime Minister Theresa May attended a summit with the leaders of Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states in Bahrain.

Downing Street had to pull Johnson back into line, saying the comments reflected his "personal position".

"There are no mixed messages that we are getting from Britain," Jubeir said, noting Saudi-British ties go back more than a century.

"I believe that the matter is closed."





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