King returns home after Asia tour

King Salman is welcomed on his arrival in Riyadh on Saturday. (SPA)
Updated 19 March 2017

King returns home after Asia tour

BEIJING: King Salman arrived in Riyadh on Saturday after a successful visit to China, Saudi Press Agency reported.
King Salman’s visit to China this week, at the invitation of Chinese President Xi Jinping, resulted in the two leaders discussing bilateral relations and the prospect of developing a comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries.
The two sides have identical stances on different regional and international issues, which makes cooperation easy to come about.
King Salman also met with Premier of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China Li Keqiang and with the Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress of China Zhang Dejiang for discussions during which the two sides expressed satisfaction with the significant pace of progress registered by their relations, particularly after President Xi’s visit to the Kingdom in January 2016. The two countries during the visit agreed that the High-level Joint Committee will constitute an important framework to boost friendly ties, deepen cooperation in all fields, expand horizons of cooperation in the political, security, military, economic, investment, health, education and mining fields, and increase cooperation in the priority fields. Those areas include economy, industrial projects, e-government, infrastructure, advanced technology and space. Other areas include and mutual investment in all sectors, including oil, renewable energy, electricity and peaceful use of atomic energy in a way that raise the level of strategic partnership between the two countries.
Several agreements were signed between the two countries, which will enhance the institutional framework for relations and ensure that both countries’ interests are served.
The two sides agreed on the need to continue and intensify mutual visits at leadership and other official level and to exchange views on issues of common interest.
China stressed its support for all Kingdom policies that work to maintain stability in the region and for the positive role it plays in regional and international affairs.
Saudi Arabia stressed again its belief in the One China policy.
Both sides expressed commitment to the “Doha Declaration” issued at the China-Arab Cooperation Forum last May, which stressed the principles of respect for sovereign states party to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea to choose the ways of settling disputes.
China supports the Kingdom’s efforts to achieve “Vision 2030” and is keen to be a partner that helps the Kingdom diversify its economy.
The Kingdom stressed its readiness to be a partner in building the “Silk Road Economic Belt” and “Maritime Silk Road in the 21st Century” and supports China’s hosting of the “One Belt, One Road” Forum for international cooperation.
The Kingdom pledged to supply with oil the growing Chinese market and both sides stressed the importance of the stability of the oil market for the global economy.
The two agreed to strengthen international economic cooperation and develop international trade within the G-20 framework and of financial and international institutions, among which the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), and to exert efforts, in collaboration with the Gulf Cooperation Council, to accelerate the establishment of the Chinese-GCC free trade zone.
Both China and Saudi Arabia condemned extremism and terrorism in all their forms and manifestations, stressing that terrorism is not practiced by any one race or religion and that they will cooperate in fighting these scourges.
China expressed appreciation for the steps taken by the Kingdom by establishing the Islamic Military Alliance to Combat Terrorism.
The two countries vowed to promote cultural exchange at official and popular levels, and encourage communication and cooperation in the fields of education, health, science, technology, tourism and media.
The two sides stressed the importance of achieving a just, comprehensive and lasting solution to the Palestinian cause based on the Arab Peace Initiative and the relevant UN Security Council resolutions.
They also stressed the importance of finding a solution to the Syrian crisis, on the basis of the Geneva Declaration and the UN Security Council resolutions 2254 and 2268, as well as of providing humanitarian and relief assistance to Syrian refugees and displaced people.
Both stressed the importance of maintaining the unity of Yemen and achieving security and stability in this country where a political solution has to be found based on the Gulf initiative, the output of the national dialogue conference and Security Council Resolution 2216, reaffirming their support for the legitimate authority in Yemen.
The two sides expressed concern about the situation in Libya and hope that the national reconciliation government will be able to restore security and stability, and maintain the territorial integrity of the country, and support for the Iraqi government’s fight against the terrorist organization Daesh, stressing the importance of preserving Iraq’s unity, stability and independence.

Saudi Arabia’s air defense intercepts Houthi ballistic missile fired towards Jazan

Updated 20 April 2018

Saudi Arabia’s air defense intercepts Houthi ballistic missile fired towards Jazan

  • Earlier this week, Saudi air defenses shot down a previous ballistic missile attack by the Houthis
  • The incident happened hours after the coalition warned of a “painful” response if the Houthis mounted new attacks on Saudi Arabia

Saudi air defense forces managed to intercept a ballistic missile fired by Houthi militias from Yemen headed in the direction of Saudi Arabia’s border province of Jazan on Friday.

Earlier this week, Saudi air defenses shot down a previous ballistic missile attack by the Houthis.

Colonel Turki Al-Maliki, the coalition's spokesman, said the missile was monitored by the Saudi Air Force to have been launched from Yemen's Amran province at 10:16 p.m. Monday toward populated areas in the southern Saudi province of Najran.

The missile was intercepted before it could hit its target, Al-Maliki said.

The incident happened hours after the coalition warned of a “painful” response if the Houthis mounted new attacks on Saudi Arabia using what it said were Iran-supplied drones.

So far, the Houthis have launched over 100 missiles at Saudi cities and installations.