Saudi Arabia hosts 895,175 Yemeni, Syrian refugees as guests: KSRelief chief

Abdullah Al-Rabeeah Head of the Saudi Arabia delegation attends the High-level Pledging Event for the Humanitarian Crisis in Yemen, at the United Nations, in Geneva, Switzerland, in this April 25, 2017 photo. (REUTERS)
Updated 07 May 2017
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Saudi Arabia hosts 895,175 Yemeni, Syrian refugees as guests: KSRelief chief

OTTAWA: Royal Court Adviser and General Supervisor of the King Salman Center for Relief and Humanitarian Aid (KSRelief) Abdullah Al-Rabeeah, underscored the Kingdom’s leading role in humanitarian work and its commitment to the international humanitarian law, which corresponds to the teachings of Islam that call for the preservation of human dignity and sparing mankind suffering.
Al-Rabeeah who is visiting the province of Ottawa made his remarks in the presence of Saudi Ambassador to Canada Naif bin Bandar Al-Sudairi and a group of Canadian journalists whom he briefed on KSRelief’s vision and message, stressing its commitment to international law and collaboration with the UN and other global humanitarian organizations.
He said the Kingdom has been showing utmost concern for the humanitarian situation in Yemen, sending aid to all Yemeni provinces, including areas controlled by the Houthi militia, through KSRelief programs.
KSRelief carried out 127 projects in Yemen providing relief and humanitarian aid, as well as shelter, in addition to agricultural and water programs, Al-Rabeeah said.
KSRelief was able to reach everywhere in Yemen through 81 international and local partners; its programs place special emphasis on children and women projects, he said.
Al-Rabeeah said Saudi Arabia received 603,833 Yemeni refugees with their families who are allowed to move freely and work.
Beyond its borders, the Kingdom offered support to Yemeni refugees in Djibouti and Somalia, he added.
At the same time, the Kingdom, he said, was among the first countries to give support to the Syrian people, of whom it welcomed 291,342 as refugees, allowing them to live in the Kingdom as guests.
Thousands of them work and 114,000 Syrian students are enrolled in government schools. At the same time, similar support is given by the Kingdom to millions of refugees in neighboring countries, he added.
Al-Rabeeah also stressed the Kingdom’s concern over the humanitarian situations in Iraq, Somalia and other disaster-hit countries.
Through KSRelief, the Kingdom has so far provided $700 million worth of aid to 37 countries, he said.
He also spoke about the difficulty of delivering aid through Al-Hudeidah port in Yemen, in view of the fact that the fell under the control of Houthis who seize aid, depriving the Yemeni people of their simplest rights for political ends.
Al-Rabeeah also talked about the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 and the National Transformation Program (NTP) 2020 that aim at building a strong economy and creating job opportunities, and encourage humanitarian and voluntary work.
He stressed that the Arab Coalition forces facing terrorism is performing its role in response to the call of the Yemeni people and in line with the outcome of the national dialogue, UN resolutions and GCC initiative.


Saudi Arabia’s top diplomat: ‘Our security and religion are a red line’

Updated 52 min 53 sec ago
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Saudi Arabia’s top diplomat: ‘Our security and religion are a red line’

  • Al-Jubeir's statement comes following last week's attacks on Saudi oil tankers in the Arabian Gul and installations within the Kingdom
  • He accused Iran of committing "countless crimes" including seeking to destabilize the region

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia is doing its best to avoid war in the region but stands ready to respond with "all strength and determination" to defend itself from any threat, the Kingdom's top diplomat said on Sunday.

In a news conference, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel Al-Jubeir accused Iran of committing "countless crimes" including seeking to destabilize the region. He urged the international community to take responsibility to stop the Islamic republic from doing so.

"Our security and religion are a red line," Al-Jubeir said. His statement comes following last week's attacks on Saudi oil tankers in the Arabian Gulf and installations within the Kingdom.

Iran’s foreign minister was quoted by the state-run IRNA news agency on Saturday as saying his country is “not seeking war” even as the chief of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard said Tehran was in a “full-fledged intelligence war with the US.“

The US has ordered bombers and an aircraft carrier to the Arabian Gulf over an unexplained threat they perceive from Iran, raising tensions a year after Trump pulled America out of Tehran’s nuclear deal with world powers.

Al-Jubeir said Iranian regime can spare the region the dangers of war by adhering to international laws and covenants, by stopping its interference in the internal affairs of other countries of the region, by stopping its support for terrorist groups and militias, and immediately halting its missile and nuclear weapons programs.

"Saudi Arabia stresses that its hand is always extended to peace and seeks to achieve it, and believes that the peoples of the region, including the Iranian people, have the right to live in security and stability and to move towards development," he said.

"We want peace and stability and we want to focus on the Kingdom's Vision 2030 which will enrich Saudi people’s lives," he added.

Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies Bahrain, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates have repeatedly accused Iran of bankrolling the activities of its proxy Shiite militias such as the Hezbollah in Lebanon, the Houthis in Yemen and various groups in Iraq.

Houthi militias had repeatedly launched ballistic missiles and rockets into civilian targets in Saudi Arabia since a Saudi-led Arab Coalition threw its support behind the government of Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi against the Iran-backed power-grabbers. Last week, they owned responsibility for the drone attacks on two oil pumping stations in Saudi Arabia.

Al-Jubeir also urged Qatar, an estranged member of the GCC to stop supporting extremists and terrorists and return to the fold. Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the UAE and Egypt severed trade and diplomatic ties with Qatar in 2017, charging Doha of siding with terror groups that have been destabilizing the region. 

Instead of making amends with its GCC brothers, Qatar sought help from Turkey and Iran in bid to alleviate the impact of the boycott action of the group known as the anti-terror quarter (ATQ).