Women’s reforms ‘will unleash Saudi economy’, says US lawmaker

US Representative Ed Royce. (Reuters file photo)
Updated 23 February 2018

Women’s reforms ‘will unleash Saudi economy’, says US lawmaker

NEW YORK: Ed Royce, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, praised the “bold vision” re-shaping Saudi Arabia and improving women’s lives on Wednesday after two days of meetings on Iran and other regional problems.
“Saudis are optimistic about the future, and rightly so. The government has a bold vision for its economy and reforms are giving women new opportunity,” Royce said. “A country that utilizes only half its population can never realize its full potential. Empowering Saudi women will help unleash its economy.”
The California Republican met with King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is spearheading the “Vision 2030” plan to modernize the Kingdom’s society, create jobs and diversify its economy away from oil.
They also discussed efforts to tackle Tehran’s support for proxy militias in Lebanon, Syria and Yemen amid concerns in Washington and among its Middle Eastern allies of a growing crescent of Iranian influence.
“Of course, Saudi Arabia — and the Middle East as a whole — faces serious threats from Iran. In our productive meetings, we discussed efforts to apply more financial and diplomatic pressure against Iran’s missile program and its support for terror,” Royce said in a statement.
US President Donald Trump told the Europeans last month that they must agree to “fix the terrible flaws” in the 2015 international Iran nuclear deal or he would re-impose the sanctions Washington lifted as part of that pact.
Royce also addressed the Arab coalition’s fight against the Iran-backed Houthi rebels of northern Yemen, where fighting, hunger and disease have snowballed into what the UN has called the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.
“In Yemen, I’m encouraged that the flow of relief has improved, but more must be done to increase access to food, water and basic medicine,” Royce said. “The Iranian-backed Houthis are pushing this conflict into a third year and eight million innocent people are on the brink of starvation.”
Royce was accompanied by his committee colleague Paul Cook, another Republican. They also met with Interior Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Saud bin Naif, Prince Khaled bin Salman, Riyadh’s ambassador to Washington, and a group of Saudi women entrepreneurs.

More than 1.25 million foreigners arrested in KSA for flouting residential, labor laws

In this file photo, expatriate workers are seen outside a Labor Ministry office in Riyadh to fix their status in the Kingdom. In the past seven months, Saudi authorities have arrested more than 1.25 foreigners for violating residential and labor laws. (AFP)
Updated 19 June 2018

More than 1.25 million foreigners arrested in KSA for flouting residential, labor laws

  • Of the total arrested, 931,069 were violators of residential regulations,  218,897 for flouting labor laws and 102,000 tried to gain entry into the Kingdom illegally.
  • The crackdown started on November 16 last year and ended on June 14.

JEDDAH: More than 1.25 million people were arrested in Saudi Arabia for violating residential, labor and border security regulations during the Kingdom’s months-long campaign.

The crackdown, which started on November 16 last year and ended on June 14, saw the arrests of 1,251,966 people in the joint security field campaign across the Kingdom. Those arrested included 931,069 violators of residential regulations, 218,897 for flouting labor laws and 102,000 violators of border security regulations.

The total number of people arrested attempting to cross the Kingdom’s borders stood at 19,233 people. Of those arrested, 54 percent were Yemenis, 43 percent Ethiopian, and 3 percent from other nations. 

The Kingdom also arrested 790 people who tried to leave the Kingdom illegally.

There were 2,167 people who were arrested for harboring and transporting violators of labor and security border regulations, and 415 citizens were arrested for transporting and sheltering expatriates violating regulations. Regulatory measures were taken against 388 citizens who were subsequently released. 

The number of expatriates currently detained stands at 10,245, including 8,817 men and 1,428 women. Immediate penalties were imposed on 221,404 violators while 177,329 violators were referred to their respective diplomatic missions for travel documents and 327,034 were deported.