Seasonal visas for farm workers

Updated 08 July 2013
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Seasonal visas for farm workers

Ten new manpower supply companies have been licensed to meet the requirements of farmers and other businesses, Labor Minister Adel Fakeih said yesterday.
“These companies can supply manpower required by date palm farmers in Qassim and other parts of the Kingdom,” he said while unveiling plans to issue seasonal visas to meet the needs of farmers.
Speaking to reporters after holding talks with Qassim Gov. Prince Faisal bin Bandar, he said: “We discussed the labor shortage facing date palm farmers in Qassim, and the ideal solution is to approach manpower supply agencies to recruit workers.”
Speaking about the delays caused during the correction process, he said it was quite natural that the Jawazat would take more time to finish works because many foreigners had to complete the fingerprinting process. “With regard to the Labor Ministry, I would say most of our work is done electronically,” he said.
Fakeih reiterated the ministry’s efforts to create more jobs for Saudi men and women to eradicate unemployment. “I came to Qassim to inform the governor, government officials and businessmen about the ministry’s present and future programs and its achievements. We also want to know the reality on the ground in order to make necessary changes in our programs and to make them more effective.”
Prince Faisal emphasized the importance of the minister’s visit to the region and said it would contribute to improving services being extended by the ministry to citizens. He commended the ministry’s efforts to reorganize the country’s labor market.
Fakeih said the four-month extension of the amnesty would be enough to correct the status of remaining foreign workers in the country. He warned that the Labor and Interior Ministries would conduct joint raids to track down violators soon after the amnesty ends on Nov. 3.
Meanwhile, a number of Saudi businessmen have commended Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah for extending the amnesty deadline in response to requests made by citizens and businesses.
“The extension came at the right time,” said businessman Abdul Aziz Hanafi. “A large number of foreign workers had turned up to correct their status and the government felt that people have taken the matter seriously,” he said, and commended the good work of foreign missions.
Muhyuddin Hekami, assistant secretary-general of Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said the extension would have good impact on businesses. “It will also help companies save a lot of money, which they had to spend on recruitment of workers.”


Hodeidah offensive: Coalition forces seize weapons supplied by Iran to Houthis

Updated 30 min 11 sec ago
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Hodeidah offensive: Coalition forces seize weapons supplied by Iran to Houthis

  • The arsenal included drones, a sniper rifle, roadside bombs disguised as rocks and even a “drone boat” which had been filled with explosives that failed to detonate.
  • Equipment used to produce and load fuel for rockets that target Saudi Arabia contained Iranian labels.

JEDDAH: Saudi-led coalition officials on Tuesday displayed weapons and explosives supplied by Iran to Houthi militias in the Yemeni port city of Hodeidah. 

The arsenal included drones, a sniper rifle, roadside bombs disguised as rocks and even a “drone boat” which had been filled with explosives that failed to detonate.

Equipment used to produce and load fuel for rockets that target Saudi Arabia contained Iranian labels. The weapons were captured on the battlefield in Hodeidah and displayed at a military base in the UAE. 

“Unsurprisingly, there are advanced military components in the Houthi militias’ hands,” said Talal Al-Teneiji, an official at the UAE Foreign Ministry.

“We took time to inspect and disassemble these to figure out the source ... and we can say that these elements are military-grade materials imported from Iran to the Houthi militias.”

As the week-long offensive in Hodeidah intensified on Tuesday, coalition forces consolidated their grip on the city’s airport and there was new fighting on the main coast road leading to the city center, with Apache helicopters providing air support to the coalition. 

“We can hear the sounds of artillery, mortars and sporadic machinegun fire. The Houthis have been using tanks,” one civilian on the coastal strip said. 

“Water has been cut off to many of the areas near the corniche area because the Houthis have dug trenches and closed water pipes.”

At the airport, which the coalition has controlled since Saturday, their forces stormed the main compound and took full command.

UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash said: “We are waiting for the Houthis to realize the sort of military and psychological blow that they got with the airport ... we are giving them time to decide if they want to save the city ... and pull out.”

Oubai Shahbandar, a strategic communications adviser, told Arab News that “without the sea and airport of Hodeidah, the Houthi militia has effectively lost the war.”

They should agree to UN-hosted peace talks and not prolong the fighting. “The tide in this conflict has clearly turned in favor of the Arab coalition and the welfare of the Yemeni people ought to be paramount,” he said.