Wed, 16 Oct 2019

The escalation of conflict in the Middle East has prompted the South African government to call for dialogue to avoid rising tensions.

This relates to an attack on two key Saudi Arabian oil facilities on Saturday.

The attack has already taken its toll on the rand, Bloomberg reported, and has led to a rise in oil prices, dampening hopes for an interest-rate cut on Thursday.

In a statement released on Wednesday, the Department of International Relations and Cooperation said: "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."

The department said it was "extremely concerned" about the effect the violence would have on the situation in the country.

"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."

"South Africa, therefore, calls 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, the department said.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Saudi officials believe Iran or one of its proxies conducted a complex attack that debilitated Saudi oil facilities.

The attack involved drones and cruise missiles from the north of Saudi.

Iran, however, has denied these allegations.

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