Gasco won’t pay damages

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Updated 07 December 2012

Gasco won’t pay damages

Muhammad Al-Shubnan, director general of the National Gas and Industrialization Company (Gasco), said yesterday that his company would not pay for the losses caused by the gas tanker blast that occurred in Riyadh a few weeks ago.
Twenty-two people died and 133 were injured in the accident on Nov. 1 when the driver of a gas tanker lost control and hit the side of an overpass at the inter-junction of Makkah Road with Sheikh Jaber Al-Sabah Road in the capital.
“Investigators have not yet announced their findings. Until then, the company will not bear the losses incurred from the accident,” Al-Shubnan was quoted as saying by Al-Madinah Arabic daily.
The Gasco chief said his company would appeal against the verdict if it were found guilty. “There are courts that protect the rights of all parties and ensure justice for everybody when they face any injustice. We are waiting for the investigation results and on the basis of those results, we will take the next steps.”
Al-Shubnan added: “We cannot take any steps before seeing the investigation report. Naturally, we’ll coordinate with our insurance company that takes up such accidents.”
Asked about the effect of the change of routes for Gasco tankers in Riyadh after the accident, he said it would not affect the company’s efficiency and operation. “We have been meeting the requirements of our clients in the city.
There is no shortage in services. The change in route was aimed at reducing the traffic bottlenecks in Riyadh,” he explained.
Referring to the company’s board meeting and discussions on paying compensations to victims, he said: “Yes, the meeting had discussed the accident among other topics on the agenda. It was not solely for discussing the accident as mentioned by some media organizations. On the contrary, it was a regular meeting of the board and was not aimed at a specific purpose.”
Insurance experts have estimated the total value of damages caused by the tanker blast at SR 300 million. There are seven insurance companies linked with parties affected by the accident. Insurance companies would not be responsible for the thefts that took place soon after the blast, experts warned.
The government set up an investigation soon after the incident that shocked the Kingdom. The panel is composed of senior officials from the Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Finance and Civil Defense, along with other government agencies.
Prince Mohammed bin Saad, deputy governor of Riyadh, said the investigation would find the party responsible for the losses resulting from the blast.

Saudi Arabia to send Syrians an additional $100 million of humanitarian aid

Updated 26 April 2018

Saudi Arabia to send Syrians an additional $100 million of humanitarian aid

  • Total relief provided by the Kingdom since the war began now stands at about $1billion
  • Latest package announced by Foreign Minister Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir at conference in Brussels

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia will provide an additional $100 million of humanitarian aid to alleviate the suffering of the people of Syria, through the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center.

The announcement of the latest aid package was made by Minister of Foreign Affairs Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir on April 25 at an international conference on the future of Syria and the region, held in the Belgian capital Brussels. He pointed out that the meeting comes after the suspected chemical attack in the city of Douma, in eastern Ghouta, which killed dozens of civilians, including women and children.

“The world is facing a regime allied with terrorist militias who believe that spreading atrocities and committing crimes will bring victory to it, and that war crimes are bearing fruit,” said Al-Jubeir. “In addition to bombing civilians with explosive barrels, the policies of starvation and siege, ethnic and sectarian cleansing, and the demographic change of Syrian cities and towns, its use of chemical weapons have shocked the entire world.”

He said that the only acceptable solution to the Syrian crisis is a peaceful political resolution, and that Saudi Arabia has been working to achieve this since the crisis began, while also working with others to end the continuing human tragedy in the war-torn country.

The Kingdom has played a role in unifying the ranks of the Syrian opposition and encouraging them to speak with one voice, he added. After the Riyadh 1 Conference in 2015, Saudi Arabia hosted the Riyadh 2 conference for the Syrian opposition in November 2017, which succeeded in unifying the factions and establishing a negotiating body to take part in the rounds of talks held since then, earning praise from the United Nations.

The foreign minister also reiterated his country’s support for the efforts of the UN secretary-general’s envoy, Stephan de Mistura, to resume negotiations between all sides of the conflict.

“The Kingdom hopes that the agreements endorsed by the international resolutions on the ceasefire and the delivery of humanitarian aid to its beneficiaries will be implemented throughout Syria, regardless of their ethnic, religious, sectarian or political affiliations, and calls for the speedy release of detainees and abductees and clarifying the situation of those absent,” said Al-Jubeir. “It also renews its demand to punish individuals and institutions for war crimes and to prevent their impunity.”

He added that the worsening humanitarian crisis affecting refugees inside and outside of Syria should add to the urgency of finding a political solution and resuming the negotiating process as soon as possible.

Since the war began, the Kingdom has taken in about two and a half million Syrians and treats them like its own citizens, Al-Jubeir said, providing them with free health care, work and education. Saudi universities and schools have more than 140,000 Syrian students. He added that Saudi Arabia is also supporting and helping to care for of millions of Syrian refugees in Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon, in coordination with the governments of those countries. The humanitarian assistance provided so far totals about $1 billion.