Saudi civil aviation authority announces halt to Iran flights

T-Mag Monday 04/January/2016 22:11 PM
By: Times News Service
Saudi civil aviation authority announces halt to Iran flights

Dubai: Saudi Arabia's General Authority for Civil Aviation on Monday halted all flights to and from Iran following Riyadh's severing of diplomatic relations with Tehran, the authority said on its official Twitter account.
"Based on the kingdom's announcement of the severing of diplomatic relations with Iran, the General Authority for Civil Aviation is halting all flights from and to Iran," the authority tweeted.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told the Saudi foreign minister on Monday that Riyadh's decision to break off diplomatic ties with Iran was extremely troubling, a spokesman for the United Nations said.
"The Secretary-General reiterated that the attack on the Saudi embassy in Tehran was deplorable, but added that the announcement of a break in Saudi diplomatic relations with Tehran was deeply worrying," UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters.
Dujarric said Ban said this to Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al Jubeir in a telephone call. Ban also spoke with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Sunday, Dujarric said, adding that the UN chief urged both ministers to "avoid any actions that could further exacerbate the situation."
Bahrain and Sudan cut all ties with Iran, following Riyadh's example the previous day.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) partially downgraded its relations.
Iran accused Saudi Arabia of using the attack on the embassy as an "excuse" to sever ties and further increase sectarian tensions, as protesters in Iran and Iraq marched for a third day to denounce execution of cleric Nimr Al Nimr.
A man was shot dead in Saudi Arabia's Eastern Province late on Sunday, and two mosques in Iraq's Hilla province were bombed.
Oil prices spiked during European trading. But prices eased back on evidence of economic weakness in Asia.
Stock markets across the Gulf dropped sharply, led by Qatar which fell more than 2.5 per cent, with geopolitical jitters outweighing any benefit from stronger oil.
Crude importer China declared itself "highly concerned" with the developments. The United States and Germany called for restraint, while Russia offered to mediate an end to the dispute.
Al Azhar, the Cairo-based seat of learning, and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation in Saudi Arabia, condemned the attacks on Riyadh's missions.