Emir of Qatar calls Saudi Crown Prince, seeks dialogue to end row with Anti-Terror Quartet

Qatar's emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani (left), and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. (QNA photo via AFP / SPA file photo)
Updated 09 September 2017
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Emir of Qatar calls Saudi Crown Prince, seeks dialogue to end row with Anti-Terror Quartet

JEDDAH: Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani has called Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to express his desire to start a dialogue and discuss the demands of the Anti-Terror Quartet (ATQ), the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) said.
Crown Prince Mohammed received the call on Friday, a day after US President Donald Trump offered to mediate and help resolve the dispute between Qatar and the quartet of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates. Trump made the announcement in a joint press conference at the White House with Kuwaiti Emir Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah, who had been mediating between Qatar and the ATQ.
The Crown Prince welcomed Sheikh Tamim’s dialogue offer, SPA said, adding that the details will be announced later after Saudi Arabia “concludes an understanding” with its three partners.
The ATQ severed diplomatic relations with Qatar in June, accusing it of supporting extremist groups and of being too close to Iran, which has been accused by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) of fomenting strife in various partrs of the region.
The four countries also shut down air, maritime and land links and imposed economic sanctions on Qatar.
A defiant Qatar rejected the quartet's demands, even though these were reduced from an initial 13 to six. Doha also restored diplomatic ties with Tehran, further widening the rift.
Earlier Friday, Washington said Trump had called the Qatari emir and “stressed the importance of unity in fighting terrorism.”
“The president underscored the importance of all countries following through on commitments from the Riyadh Summit to maintain unity while defeating terrorism, cutting off funding for terrorist groups, and combating extremist ideology,” the White House said in a statement.
Trump and Sheikh Tamim also discussed the continued threat Iran poses to regional stability, the statement said.
The ATQ said in a statement early Friday that dialogue with Qatar should not be preceded by any condition.
And while the ATQ thanked the Emir of Kuwait for his mediation efforts, it made it clear that the military option against Qatar was never on the table.
"The Quartet regrets what the Emir of Kuwait said about the mediation succeeding in preventing a military intervention. (The Quartet) stresses that the military option was never — and never will be — an option in any way."
The ATQ also thanked President Trump for insisting that the only path to resolve this issue is to stop financing terror, and that he wouldn't have the desire to resolve it (the issue) if that is not achieved.


System launched to help predict, plan for heavy rain in Saudi Arabia

Updated 15 July 2018
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System launched to help predict, plan for heavy rain in Saudi Arabia

  • "Matir" uses all the data to provide predictions and alerts for all of Saudi Arabia’s 286 secretariats and municipalities
  • Matir features a control panel that shows the overall forecast of flooding risk for the coming five days

JEDDAH: The Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs has launched a system to help predict and plan for heavy rain and flooding across the Kingdom
The high-tech system, called Matir, is the first of its kind in the Arab region. It is designed to help the authorities plan early for extreme weather situations, especially rain, and make the best decisions to minimize the loss of life and property.
To do this, it uses data from satellites and regional and international weather centers and monitoring stations. This raw data is modeled, with equations and algorithms applied to make forecasts with a high degree of accuracy.
Matir features a control panel that shows the overall forecast of flooding risk for the coming five days. The information is color coded based on the risk level, with yellow and red representing the highest risks.
The system also provides standard hour-by-hour weather predictions for next five days, including temperatures, wind speed and direction, rainfall intensity, mist and clouds, as well as relative humidity.
The system uses all the data to provide predictions and alerts for all of Saudi Arabia’s 286 secretariats and municipalities. It also provides radar data detailing the location and direction of thunderstorms and lightning.