Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

From President Trump’s strong words on Iran to Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al Jubeir’s spirited defence of his government, and from King Salman’s dedication to Palestine to Antonio Gueterres’s comments on Yemen, here are a selection of quotes that marked turning points in history this year.

At the heart of the Iran deal was a giant fiction that a murderous regime desired only a peaceful nuclear energy programme. Today, we have definitive proof that this Iranian promise was a lie. Therefore, I am announcing today that the US will withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal.

- Donald Trump | US President

I name this summit in Dhahran the Jerusalem summit so that the entire world knows Palestine and its people remain at the heart of Arab concerns.

- Saudi King Salman Bin Abdul Aziz | at the Arab Summit held in Dhahran in April

In Saudi Arabia our leadership is a red line. The custodian of the two holy mosques (King Salman) and the crown prince are a red line. They represent every Saudi citizen and every Saudi citizen represents them. And we will not tolerate any discussion of anything that is disparaging towards our monarch or our crown prince.

- Adel Al Jubeir | Saudi Foreign Minister

I feel like I’m surprised – am I really driving in my own country? I feel happy, relieved. I feel like
I’m free.

- Mona Al Fares | a doctor, in Jeddah after the lifting of the ban on women driving

A negotiated political settlement through inclusive intra-Yemeni dialogue is the only way to end the conflict and address the ongoing humanitarian crisis.

- Antonio Gueterres | UN Secretary-General

We are launching an initiative [to support government formation] ... and it has to succeed, because if it doesn’t ... there is a catastrophe, we want to say it with all frankness, and this is the reason for my intervention.

- Michel Aoun in December | Lebanese President, seven months after Lebanon went to the polls

People should not be destined to spend their lives surrounded by borders they are forbidden to cross, or waters they are forbidden to navigate.

- Nikolay Mladenov | the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, speaking on protests in Gaza

Stop fighting for seats, posts, gains, influence, power, and rulership. Is it not time to stand as one for building and reconstruction, instead of burning ballot boxes or repeating elections just for one seat or two?

- Moqtada Al Sadr | after his bloc won the Iraqi elections

Egypt can fit us all with all our differences. Accepting others and creating common ground will be important for us in order to create political development.

- Abdul Fattah Al Sissi | Egyptian President to MPs as he took his oath of office

The softer approach on Iran has failed. Due to Iran’s destructive regional and global policy, we have voiced our support to President Donald Trump’s administration towards Tehran.

- Dr Anwar Gargash | UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs

It is shameful to see countries participating with the US and Israel in celebrating the former’s embassy move to occupied Jerusalem in a clear and grave violation of international law and [UN] Security Council resolutions. I don’t think the American administration realises its real implications in the short and long terms.

- Abu Al Geit | Arab League chief

Iran is an important neighbour and the GCC countries have always called for constructive cooperation with it. Unfortunately, Iran continues to interfere in the internal affairs of the GCC states and supports terror organisations and militias to destabilise the region.

- Abdul Lateef Al Zayani | GCC Secretary-General

The American administration’s decision to withhold $300 million has had a deep impact on UNRWA’s ability to cater to Palestine refugees’ needs, whether through the regular services or emergency services.

- Sami Mshasha | a spokesman for the UN Relief and Works Agency, as the agency cut hundreds of jobs