Envoy thanks King Salman for additional $160m aid for Maldives

An aerial view of one of the islands that comprise the Maldives in the Indian Ocean is shown in this file picture. Saudi Arabia has granted a new $160 million facility for projects in the Maldives. (AFP)
Updated 17 February 2018
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Envoy thanks King Salman for additional $160m aid for Maldives

RIYADH: The ambassador of the crisis-hit Maldives thanked Saudi Arabia on Saturday for the grant of a new $160 million facility for projects in the Indian Ocean island republic.

“I thank King Salman, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and the Saudi people for the new financing facility. King Salman has always pledged support for development in the Maldives,” Abdullah Hameed told Arab News.

The Maldivian envoy said that the amount is in addition to $100 million for airport development and the $80 million development of Hulhumale city, pledges made earlier by the Kingdom.

According to a communication from the Saudi Fund for Development (SFD), the new financial facility is from the Kingdom and the UAE for the expansion of airports and fisheries.

“The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the government of the UAE are following up on the current events in the Republic of Maldives,” the SFD communication said.

It added that the two countries “express their concern about all the disturbing security and stability in the Maldives and note that these events are an internal matter.”

Hameed added that Saudi Arabia and the UAE expressed “hope for peaceful solutions through internal political dialogue between the parties concerned without external interference and within the framework of the Maldivian Constitution.”

This comes after an earlier government invitation to all political parties, calling for constructive dialogue about the country’s political situation.

Hameed said the state of emergency in the Maldives lasts for only 15 days under the island republic’s constitution unless the Maldivian parliament extends it. He added that the emergency ends on Wednesday.

“Under the constitution and in case of emergency, the president is vested with power to ensure stability to ensure the rule of law and uphold the constitution,” the ambassador said.


Investigation into alleged mistakes in Yemen find coalition forces acted properly

Updated 17 January 2019
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Investigation into alleged mistakes in Yemen find coalition forces acted properly

JEDDAH: The Joint Incident Assessment Team in Yemen (JIAT) has investigated four allegations made by international governmental and non-governmental organizations and media about mistakes made by coalition forces while carrying out military operations inside Yemen.
JIAT spokesman Mansour Al-Mansour said that the team concluded that the procedures followed by the coalition forces were proper and safe, taking into consideration the rules of engagement, international humanitarian law and the coalition’s own rules.
Team members visited a number of cities in Yemen, including Aden, Lahj and Khor Maksar, during the investigation and spoke to witnesses, victims and their families to gather evidence and establish the facts.
In one of the incidents that was investigated, coalition warship fired on and destroyed a craft in the waters off the Yemeni port of Al-Khokha in September. Al-Mansour said that after examining documents and evidence JIAT had concluded that an alliance ship was escorting and protecting a flotilla of three Saudi merchant ships when, in an area off the port of Al-Khokha, a boat was spotted approaching the convoy at a high speed from the direction of the Yemeni coast.
The escort ship followed the accepted rules of engagement by repeatedly warning the unidentified vessel, using loudspeakers, not to come any closer. When these went unheeded, warning shots were fired but the boat continued to approach.
“On reaching an area that represented a threat to the convoy, the protection ship tackled the boat according to the rules of engagement and targeted it, resulting in an explosion on the boat,” said Al-Mansour. “The protection ship continued escorting the convoy. After the escort task was completed, the protection ship returned to the site of the targeted boat to carry out a search-and-rescue operation for the crew of the target boat but no one was found.”