PAC medical team to head for Philippines

Updated 16 November 2013
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PAC medical team to head for Philippines

Physicians Across Continents (PAC), the non-government organization affiliated to the Muslim World League (MWL), plans to send a medical team to the Philippines to help the survivors of super typhoon Yolanda.
The typhoon hit the provinces of Leyte, Iloilo and Cebu nine days ago causing many deaths and widespread destruction of property.
“The medical contingent will leave as soon as possible depending on the recommendations of a three-member exploratory team which left for the Philippines last Tuesday,” Saad Al-Garni, the PAC’s general secretary and a vascular surgeon, told Arab News on Friday.
The PAC has 400 doctors in the Saudi capital, while about 600 are based in London, Niger, Sudan and Turkey.
Al-Garni said he spoke Thursday to members of the exploratory team who were in Cebu City. The team has found it difficult to travel to Tacloban City due to security reasons and because many of the affected areas are still inaccessible.
“The team will assess the situation from Cebu City and if it’s possible, the PAC will send a six-member team that includes five doctors and one administrative worker.” Al-Garni said the medical team would work with local physicians and other foreign medical volunteers such as Doctors Without Borders.
“The team will stay there for 10 days and if their services are needed after that, we will recruit doctors locally or from other neighboring countries,” he said.
Doctors from the PAC visited Ezzedin H. Tago, the Philippine ambassador, on Monday to inform him about the plan. The Filipino envoy updated them on the extent of the typhoon’s devastation and provided pointers on coordinating their medical relief with Philippine agencies.
The ambassador also provided the group with the most recent adviseries from the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council on the typhoon’s aftermath.
Tacloban City was the hardest-hit by the typhoon with survivors having nothing to eat. Many have resorted to looting businesses and malls to survive. Others have called for government help.
“Please pity us. We have nothing more to eat. We may have survived the typhoon but we will die of starvation unless help arrives soon,” said a harried Glen Don from the village of Candahug in Palo, Leyte, against the backdrop of a virtual ghost town.
The Philippine government has deployed all its agencies to provide rescue operations and the delivery of food supplies. President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino lll has thanked the world community for helping the survivors, many of whom have left the city on military planes or buses hired by relatives in Manila.


Saudi Arabia FM: Khashoggi murder investigations will continue until all questions are answered

Updated 49 min 31 sec ago
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Saudi Arabia FM: Khashoggi murder investigations will continue until all questions are answered

  • Saudi Arabia is committed to holding those involved in the murder accountable through the judiciary
  • Al-Jubeir insisted that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had nothing to do with Khashoggi’s death

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s public prosecutor is still seeking answers to a number of questions in the investigation into Jamal Khashoggi's death, Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir said on Thursday.

The Kingdom is committed to holding those involved in the murder accountable through the judiciary, and investigations into journalist’s killing will continue until all questions are answered, Al-Jubeir said.

Al-Jubeir added that the defendants and the victim in the Khashoggi case are Saudis and that the incident took place on Saudi land. He continued by saying that there has been an attempt to politicize Khashoggi’s case, and that this is regrettable.

Al-Jubeir insisted that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had nothing to do with Khashoggi’s death.

“The Qatari media have launched an organized campaign against Saudi Arabia and are exploiting Khashoggi’s case,” Al-Jubeir added.

He said there is a difference between imposing penalties on those accused and holding Saudi Arabia responsible for Khashoggi’s death.

Bahrain said Thursday that it rejects the politicization or internationalization of the Khashoggi case. 

The Secretariat General of the Arab League praised the seriousness of the steps taken by Saudi Arabia in the Khashoggi case, and said that the measures show the Kingdom's interest in identifying those involved in the crime. 

Hours after the public prosecurtor's statment, the US placed punishing economic sanctions on 17 Saudis allegedly involved in Khashoggi's murder.

"The Saudi officials we are sanctioning were involved in the abhorrent killing of Jamal Khashoggi," Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said. "These individuals who targeted and brutally killed a journalist who resided and worked in the United States must face consequences for their actions."

The Secretary-General of the Gulf Cooperation Council Dr. Abdullatif bin Rashid Al-Zayani said the details of the investigation released Thursday “confirm the Kingdom’s commitment to complete the necessary procedures in order to continue the investigation away from the politicization sought by some malicious parties.”  

Meanwhile, France's foreign ministry said Thursday that the investigation by Saudi Arabia's public prosecutor into the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi is a “step in the right direction.”