Houthi militia plot ‘to target Jeddah airport’ slammed

Debris of the Houthi ballistic missile that was downed on Thursday night, 65 km off Makkah, was captured by AN photographer Ahmed Hashad on Saturday.
Updated 30 October 2016
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Houthi militia plot ‘to target Jeddah airport’ slammed

RIYADH: The Houthi statement on Saturday that its missile was aimed at the King Abdul Aziz International Airport in Jeddah has drawn widespread condemnation from the diplomatic community.
In an attempt to defuse the international uproar, the Houthi militia on Friday denied targeting Makkah and claimed that the missile was aimed at King Abdul Aziz International Airport in Jeddah, AP reported.
The missile was intercepted and destroyed 65 km away from Makkah on Thursday night.
The diplomatic corps condemned the heinous attack that tried to undermine the sovereignty, security and territorial integrity of the Kingdom.
Jeddah airport is immensely significant as it is the gateway for the pilgrims coming from around the world for Haj and Umrah.
Denouncing the Houthi crime, Flavio Marega, Brazil’s ambassador, told Arab News: “This is against international law, I completely agree that such an attack must be condemned in strongest possible words.”
They first launched the missile deep inside and now trying to justify it saying it targeted the international airport, only makes it worse, he added. “This is not acceptable.”
Laurens Westhoff, the Netherlands ambassador, said: “Of course, I condemn the missile attack from the Houthis on the people of Saudi Arabia.”
The airports near Makkah, in Madinah or in Jeddah “are all civilian airports and we are against any such attacks that target the civilians,” he added.
The envoy said: “We really hope that the negotiators resume peace talks in order to restore peace in Yemen.”
Perturbed over the irresponsible denial, Pakistan Ambassador Manzoor Ul Haq said that saying the missile was aimed at the Jeddah airport is even more shocking.
“We strongly condemn attacks against any city, whether it is Jeddah or any other part of the Kingdom,” the envoy said.
Denouncing the attack, Lebanese Ambassador Abdul Sattar Issa said: “I strongly condemn this aggression on the territory of the Kingdom. It is unacceptable to target one of the two holiest places in Islam,” he said.
Turkish Ambassador Yunis Demirer said his country condemns it even if they (the Houthis) were not targeting the holy city of Makkah.
“This is not at all acceptable. We condemn the missile attack in the strongest words.”
Meanwhile, Sheikh Abdul Rahman Al-Sudais, head of the Presidency of the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques, stressed that “this act is flagrant aggression and a provocative act for over a billion Muslims in the world.
The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Secretary-General Iyad Madani described the attack as “big foolishness emanating from a group that does not care about Muslim sentiments.” He termed it as aggression against Muslims all over the world, taking into account that Makkah is the cradle of the revelation of Islam and the direction of the daily prayers.
Madani said that he is in consultation with other members of the executive committee to hold a meeting to discuss this dangerous act.
The Imams Council in Spain underlined that the attempt “is a terrorist act in order to achieve Safavid designs in the region.” It asserted that the whole Islamic nation stands by the government and people of Saudi Arabia.
The European Islamic Conference said such a terrorist act is a pre-planned machination to realize the Persian Safavid enterprise in the region, that begins with destruction of the Two Holy Mosques.
Darul Ifta of the Philippines said that Muslims in the Philippines stand by the Kingdom in combating the Houthi militias.
The Moroccan Ministry of Foreign Affairs called the attack “a criminal act which is a provocation for world Muslims and an attempt to destabilize the security and stability in the Kingdom.”
Morocco fully stands by Saudi Arabia in combating any attempt aiming to target its peace and sovereignty, it said.
Lebanon’s Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Latif Derian said the attack is an act against the symbols of Islam. He termed it “an indescribable crime and an assault on the sanctity of the holy places.”


High-level investment forum aims to further boost business between Saudi Arabia and Japan

Updated 18 June 2019
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High-level investment forum aims to further boost business between Saudi Arabia and Japan

  • Japan is one of Saudi Arabia’s most important economic partners

TOKYO: More than 300 government, investment and industry leaders on Monday took part in a high-level gathering aimed at further boosting business opportunities between Saudi Arabia and Japan.

The Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) welcomed key figures from the public and private sectors to the Saudi-Japan Vision 2030 Business Forum, held in Tokyo.

Hosted in partnership with the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), the conference focused on the creation of investment opportunities in strategic sectors of the Kingdom. Delegates also discussed key reforms currently underway to enable easier market access for foreign companies.

Speaking at the event, Saudi Economy and Planning Minister Mohammed Al-Tuwaijri, said: “Today’s forum is a testimony to the success of the strategic direction set by the Saudi-Japanese Vision 2030 two years ago, which seeks to drive private-sector involvement, both by partnering with public-sector entities.”

SAGIA Gov. Ibrahim Al-Omar said: “At SAGIA, we have been working on creating a more attractive and favorable business environment in Saudi Arabia, which is making it easier for foreign companies to access opportunities in the Kingdom.”

Japan is one of Saudi Arabia’s most important economic partners. It is the Kingdom’s second-largest source of foreign capital and third-biggest trading partner, with total trade exceeding $39 billion.

JETRO president, Yasushi Akahoshi, said: “Saudi-Japan Vision 2030 has made great progress since it was first announced. Under this strategic initiative, the number of cooperative projects between our two countries has nearly doubled, from 31 to 61, and represents a diverse range of sectors and stakeholders.”

Since 2016, the Saudi government has delivered 45 percent of more than 500 planned reforms, including the introduction of 100 percent foreign ownership rights, enhancing legal infrastructure and offering greater protection for shareholders.

As a result, the Kingdom has climbed international competitiveness and ease-of-doing-business rankings, with foreign direct investment inflows increasing by 127 percent in 2018 and the number of new companies entering Saudi Arabia rising by 70 percent on a year-on-year basis in the first quarter of 2019.