King returns home after Asia tour

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


Pilgrims with special needs treated to a memorable Umrah trip under Saudi ministry’s Ramadan initiative

Updated 26 May 2019
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Pilgrims with special needs treated to a memorable Umrah trip under Saudi ministry’s Ramadan initiative

  • Umrah trip held as part of the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah's “Sadiq Almutamir (Friend of the Pilgrim)” initiative 

JEDDAH: Several Muslims with special needs have benefited from a special Umrah pilgrimage organized by the Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah on the occasion of the holy month of Ramadan.

According to statement from the ministry, the Umrah trip, was held on the 17th of Ramadan  (May 22) under the “Sadiq Almutamir (Friend of the Pilgrim)” initiative in partnership with Sawt Alasm association in Jeddah.

A busload of 20 people with special needs were accompanied by 12 volunteers of Sadiq Almutamir, including sign language interpreters for the deaf pilgrims. 

The first stop was at Kuday area in Makkah, where pilgrims received the special gifts of Sadiq Almutamir, supported by the Establishment of Motawifs of South East Asian Pilgrims. Next was their arrival at the Grand Mosque, wherein the pilgrims performed Umrah, enjoyed Iftar meals, and received souvenirs from Haji & Mu'tamer's Gift Association. 

Volunteers assisted the pilgrims by communicating with them, providing instructions and directions in addition to sharing their feelings with the support of the sign language interpreters. 

Sadiq Almutamir also accompanied pilgrims during the performance of Umrah, providing wheelchairs for the elderly, sharing breakfast, and learning about their impressions of performing Umrah for their first time. 

Sadiq Almutamir is one of the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah’s initiatives in Makkah’s Cultural Forum. It focuses on promoting the culture of giving and cooperation between the Saudi youth as well as elevating the volunteering services provided to Umrah pilgrims in order to enrich their experiences. It also provides optional tours to visit attractions, monuments, and places contribute to enriching experiences of Mutamirs and immortalizing beautiful memories in the Kingdom.

Launched late last year, the initiative aims to develop the spirit of volunteerism among Muslims and to invest in the youth by engaging young men and women in service and social responsibility.

“It focuses as well on improving the efficiency level of services provided to pilgrims, promoting the culture of volunteering, helping elderly and special needs’ people to perform Umrah rituals, and finally contributing to the realization of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 of reaching 1 million volunteers annually,” ministry statement said.

The trip was held in cooperation with the Western Fleet Transport, in coordination with the undersecretary of the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah for pilgrims’ transportation affairs and Haji & Mu'tamer's Gift Association.