Security chief: 9,000 Saudi officers to protect Hajj metro

Maj. Gen. Saad Al-Jabbari speaks to media in Jeddah on Saturday. (AN photo)
Updated 13 August 2017
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Security chief: 9,000 Saudi officers to protect Hajj metro

JEDDAH: As many as 9,000 officers and soldiers will be assigned to protect the “Hajj metro” train service and passengers, a security chief said.
The Al-Mashaaer Al-Mugaddassah Metro, as the transport service is known, operates for one week a year during the main pilgrimage season.
The commander of the Facilities Security Forces, Maj. Gen. Saad Al-Jabari, said that his forces are ready to maintain the security of the train service this year.
Al-Jabari, in an exclusive interview with Arab News, said new military vehicles would be deployed for the first time this season to confront any possible terrorist threat.
Preparations and training of his forces are complete and will help in the smooth running of the train line, Al-Jabari said.
Facilities Security Forces are responsible for protecting public facilities, such as oil, electrical and other vital facilities, Al-Jabari said. The forces are about to take over the administration and protection of new posts, such as the Civil Affairs agency, health centers, Saudi Railway Company train stations, and the security forces’ hospitals in Makkah, Riyadh and the Eastern Province.
New command centers will also be opened for the forces in many regions.
Al-Jabari said that there are currently intensive overseas courses being conducted for 45 officers and 200 soldiers in different countries, and that they will be appointed as trainers upon their return to the Kingdom.
Facilities Security Forces, with direct support from the interior minister, recently received a number of armored vehicles and tactical weapons, which will be used to protect vital facilities in the Kingdom, Al-Jabari added.


Crown Prince: Future opportunities between Saudi Arabia and China are very big

Updated 45 min 40 sec ago
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Crown Prince: Future opportunities between Saudi Arabia and China are very big

  • Saudi Arabia and China signed economic cooperation agreements worth a total of $28 billion at a joint investment forum
  • The crown prince presided at a China-Saudi cooperation forum that concluded with 12 agreements on cooperation

RIYADH: Future opportunities between Saudi Arabia and China are very big, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said Friday during his visit to China.

Citing a 32 percent increase in bilateral trade last year, the crown prince added that high-level contacts were paying off in areas from commerce to security and defense.
"Saudi Arabia's relations with China can be traced back a very long time in the past," Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman told President Xi Jinping at their meeting in the Great Hall of the People in the heart of the Chinese capital.

Meanwhile, the Chinese president stressed his country's keenness on joint efforts with Saudi Arabia to support strategic relations between the two countries. He added that there has been coordination with Saudi Arabia on international and regional issues in recent years. 

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The crown prince earlier Friday presided at a China-Saudi cooperation forum that concluded with 12 agreements on cooperation in fields ranging from petroleum and the chemical industry to investment, renewable energy and counter-terrorism. Saudi Arabia is one of China's top crude oil suppliers and an important market for its exports.

Saudi Arabia and China also signed economic cooperation agreements worth a total of $28 billion at a joint investment forum. 35 agreements had been signed at the forum, held by Saudi Arabia’s investment agency SAGIA. Four licenses for Chinese companies were awarded at the forum.
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman also pledged Saudi Arabia's backing for China's gargantuan "belt and road" infrastructure project, saying he was willing to link it with the kingdom's Vision 2030 plans— a blueprint put forth by the crown prince to wean the kingdom off its reliance on oil, particularly as sustainable sources of energy become cheaper and more popular.
The Crown Prince's visit follows trips to India and Pakistan, which send millions of laborers to Saudi Arabia and are seeking closer economic ties.