Makkah governorate to launch three mega-projects before year-end

Jeddah Seafront Development project aims to provide an entertainment space for Jeddah’s residents and visitors.
Updated 19 November 2017
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Makkah governorate to launch three mega-projects before year-end

JEDDAH: Makkah governorate will soon announce three mega-projects established by the governor, Prince Khaled Al-Faisal.
Governorate spokesman Sultan Al-Dosari said that the projects will launch around the end of this year.
He said that one of the projects that will be inaugurated soon is phase 4-5 of the Jeddah Seafront Development project, which aims to provide an entertainment space for Jeddah’s residents and visitors.
The other projects he referred to were the test phases of the new King Abdul Aziz International Airport, which will start operating in Ramadan — according to the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) — and the Haramain Express Train connecting Makkah and Madinah through Jeddah and Rabigh, which will be officially inaugurated in the first quarter of 2018.
All three projects, Al-Dosari explained, are in line with Makkah’s strategic development plan, which aims to balance the region’s development to reduce migration to cities and make neighboring regions attractive to residents.
He added that, as governor of Makkah, Prince Khaled has faced numerous challenges over the past decade. His first priority was to find a solution for the water scarcity and frequent cuts, drain Al-Misk Lake, and put an end to the piles of garbage in Jeddah. Solving these issues took four years.
The structure of the emirate has also changed, Al-Dosari said, and some new effective administrations have been added. There are some 2,568 projects currently ongoing in the region, he said.
In the holy city itself, four ring roads have been constructed; government departments were moved out of Mina; the General Services Center in Al-Shumaisi was launched and seven new neighborhoods were developed.
On the human level, he said, the biggest project was the correction of the status of more than 250,000 Burmese residing in the Kingdom.
There have been several important new projects announced for the city of Makkah recently, including the first phase of the bus project and the ongoing King Abdul Aziz Parallel Road project, which will provide a number of high-quality hotels and mosques and will be completed by the end of 2019.


Trump slams rush to condemn Saudi Arabia over Jamal Khashoggi disappearance

Updated 47 min 9 sec ago
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Trump slams rush to condemn Saudi Arabia over Jamal Khashoggi disappearance

  • ‘I think we have to find out what happened first’
  • ‘Here we go again with, you know, you’re guilty until proven innocent. I don’t like that’

WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump on Tuesday criticized rapidly mounting global condemnation of Saudi Arabia over the mystery of missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi, warning of a rush to judgment and echoing the Saudis’ request for patience.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Trump compared the case of Khashoggi to the allegations of sexual assault leveled against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh during his confirmation hearing.

“I think we have to find out what happened first,” Trump said. “Here we go again with, you know, you’re guilty until proven innocent. I don’t like that. We just went through that with Justice Kavanaugh and he was innocent all the way as far as I’m concerned.”

The Oval Office interview came not long after Trump spoke Tuesday with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. He spoke by phone a day earlier with King Salman.

After speaking with the king, Trump floated the idea that “rogue killers” may have been responsible for the disappearance. The president told the AP on Tuesday that that description was informed by his “feeling” from his conversation with Salman and that the king did not use the term.

“It sounded to me, maybe these could have been rogue killers,” Trump said.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is now in Turkey after talks with King Salman and the crown prince in Riyadh on the case of Khashoggi.

Pompeo had a brief meeting with the king before a lengthy, 40-minute discussion with the crown prince.

“We are strong and old allies. We face our challenges together,” the crown prince said as he warmly welcomed Pompeo to the Saudi capital.

Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs Adel Al-Jubeir also had talks with Pompeo. “The secretary and the foreign minister agreed on the importance of a thorough, transparent, and timely investigation,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said later.

Khashoggi, a Saudi citizen who lived in the US, disappeared on Oct. 2 after visiting the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul to complete paperwork related to his divorce. Saudi Arabia and Turkey have set up a joint team to investigate the disappearance.