The Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO|)has called for dialogue in tandem with adherence to “obligations under international law” amid rising tensions in the Middle East.
The call follows the multiple drone attacks on two key Saudi Arabian oil facilities last Saturday, which sent world oil prices soaring as well as adding pressure on the Rand and quashed hopes of an interest-rate cut Thursday.
The attacks also saw accusatory fingers pointed in the direction of Iran, despite Houthi rebels claiming responsibility for the Saudi oil facility bombings.
DIRCO said that it was particularly concerned about the effect the violence would have on the already dire situation in Yemen, the poorest country in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region even prior to the conflict.
“In order to ensure a long-term solution to the crisis in Yemen, we call upon all parties to commit to a political process, where a negotiated, United Nations-mediated and Yemeni-led settlement that is inclusive and fair and that will put the interests and well-being of all Yemeni citizens first,” a DIRCO statement said.
“Starvation and the outbreak of cholera threaten more than half of the population of Yemen, especially the most vulnerable, namely women and children. The likely effect of this conflict on global growth and job creation is also a concern.”
The United States promptly pointed to Iran, blaming its historical foe for the attacks.
Saudi officials believe Iran or one of its proxies conducted the coordinated bombing operation which debilitated Saudi oil facilities, the Wall Street Journal reported.
South Africa urged all role players to abide by their obligations under international law, calling “on all parties to de-escalate hostilities, to commit to a general ceasefire through which dialogue and inclusive peaceful negotiations can be enabled, and to abide by their obligations under international law in pursuit of a lasting settlement.”
Tehran has strongly denied any connection in the Saudi attacks which involved drones and cruise missiles from the north of the Kingdom.