Arab Studies Center refutes UN allegations against Saudi-led Arab coalition in Yemen

A file photo shows Saudi-led coalition soldier patrolling the Saudi border in Yemen.
Updated 13 October 2017
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Arab Studies Center refutes UN allegations against Saudi-led Arab coalition in Yemen

MAKKAH: The Arab Studies Center, affiliated with the European Council of Social Sciences, refuted the allegations of the UN report claiming that the operations of the Arab coalition forces caused civilian casualties in Yemen.
According to the Saudi Press Agency (SPA), the deputy chair and the secretary-general of the Arab Studies Center, Ahmed Abu Saada and Mahdi Ali, said in a statement responding to the UN report: “We follow with great interest and scrutiny all the new developments in Yemen, and we do our best to contribute to the clarification of the truth and refutation of falsehood. We read recently the UN report, which talked about civilian casualties caused by the operations of the Arab coalition forces in Yemen. There are many points to be discussed regarding the credibility and validity of the report.”
The statement added: “We have the right to question the sources of the report and whether they are reliable enough to accept their story, the methodology used in the collection of information for the report, and whether proper survey methods were followed to reach the facts.”
The statement also questioned the purpose behind the timing of the report, and whether it is really meant to serve the best interests of the Yemeni people and improve their security and humanitarian conditions. The statement added that the UN declined in many situations over the past decades to publish reports about the civilian damages due to military operations at times when it should have done so, which shows the double standard used in different situations.
The statement stressed that the UN should have worked in coordination with the Arab coalition to prevent the armed terrorist militias from harming the civilian population and reveals their attempts to penetrate civilian communities and use them for political ends. “Our vision of the situation is based on stressing the ethical motives of the Arab coalition forces operations in Yemen,” the statement said, “which aim to help the elected legitimate government and prevent the extremist militias from harming neighboring countries.”
The statement also stressed that the UN report should have used a more precise methodology in reporting and documenting the alleged violations committed by the coalition of Arab forces in Yemen, taking into consideration the complex situation in Yemen and the responsibility of the armed militias of a great number of violations, which makes the legitimate government the main source of information and data in this regard.
The publishers of the statement concluded that their main aim is to preserve the integrity and credibility of the UN, and to prevent accusing the victim of committing the crime, because this may have many ramifications on the situation on the ground.


Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan arrives in Madinah during maiden visit to Saudi Arabia

Updated 18 min 11 sec ago
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Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan arrives in Madinah during maiden visit to Saudi Arabia

  • Although bilateral relations and regional security are on the agenda of Imran Khan’s visit, a more urgent priority will be a possible economic bailout package from the KSA
  • The prime minister will call on King Salman and hold a bilateral meeting with the crown prince, said the Pakistan Foreign Office

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan arrived in Madinah, Saudi Arabia, beginning the initial leg of his first foreign tour since taking office in August.
The premier was welcomed at Madinah Airport by the Governor of Madinah, Faisal bin Salman, Pakistani Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Hasham bin Saddique, and other members of the Pakistani consulate.
Khan, accompanied by Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Finance Minister Asad Umar, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry and Adviser for Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood, is also scheduled to perform Umrah during his two-day stay in Saudi Arabia.
“The prime minister will call on His Majesty King Salman bin Abdulaziz and hold a bilateral meeting with the crown prince (His Royal Highness Mohammad Bin Salman). The king will also host a state banquet for the prime minister at the Royal Court. Accompanying ministers will also meet their counterparts to discuss bilateral cooperation,” reads a statement issued by the Foreign Office.
The Secretary-General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, Dr. Yousef bin Ahmed Al-Othaimeen, will also call on the PM during his visit.
Although bilateral relations and the regional security situation are on the agenda of Khan’s visit, a more pertinent, urgent priority will be a possible economic bailout package sought from Saudi Arabia by the new Pakistani Government.
In 2014, six months after Pakistan obtained its last IMF bailout, Saudi Arabia loaned Pakistan $1.5 billion, which the government used to strengthen its currency. Pakistan’s current account deficit increased to 43 percent ($18 billion) in the fiscal year that ended June 30.
Analysts, however, told Reuters that a fresh bailout package from the IMF, which would be Pakistan’s 13th since the late 1980s, is inevitable.
While the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Government has been debating several options to plug the hole in Pakistan’s rapidly draining foreign exchange reserves, it is also avidly trying to seek financial assistance from allied countries (including Saudi Arabia, China and the UAE) as opposed to going to the IMF.
Before the visit, Finance Minister Asad Umar said that IMF assistance would remain a “fallback option.”