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.


New technologies help increase number of flights, passengers in Saudi Arabia’s airports — GACA

Updated 24 March 2019
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New technologies help increase number of flights, passengers in Saudi Arabia’s airports — GACA

  • More than 99.86 million passengers departed or arrived through 771,828 flights in the Kingdom's international and domestic airports in 2018
  • GACA is due to host Global Aviation Summit 2019 on April 1 and 2 in Riyadh

JEDDAH: New technologies applied in Saudi Arabia's airports has contributed to aviation growth in the Kingdom and has provided solutions for passenger’s trips, air cargo and investments, the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) has said.

GACA earlier reported an 8 percent increase in passenger numbers and 4 percent in flight rates in 2018.

It said more than 99.86 million passengers departed or arrived through 771,828 flights in the Kingdom's international and domestic airports in 2018, compared to 92.42 million passengers on board 741,293 flights in 2017.

"The GACA is keen to adopt plans to develop the Kingdom's airports network in order to keep pace with the steady increase in air traffic, increase the reliability of services, maximize geographic coverage and enhance the contribution of the airports to the overall economic growth of the country," it said.

For example, it said, GACA provides information through technology to reduce paperwork, operating costs and streamline business processes while reducing time to address them.

Most prominent among these e-services is the “Self-Services at the Kingdom's airports” that include check-in kiosks that provide boarding passes and luggage identification cards and self-service baggage drops that allows passengers to self-check their luggage.

It also provides self-scanning devices for bags in the arrival halls, ensuring that all baggage and other cargo arrive at the airport through the installation of electronic gates for the passage of freight vehicles before being emptied into the luggage compartment. 

Electronic gates and document scanning machines ensure that a traveler's information is correct and that boarding passes, passports, national identity and residency are valid.

Other services include airport operations systems and flight information display for some domestic airports.

To ensure accuracy in the flight schedules, GACA said it is working on a project to link the Saudi Arabian Airlines traffic management system to the Airport Management System, of which 50 percent has been completed.

GACA is due to host Global Aviation Summit 2019 on April 1 and 2 in Riyadh to review the infrastructure projects for airports and smart airports, the available opportunities to operate the airports and provide advanced services and consultations in civil aviation, among others.