Major deals expected during Saudi crown prince’s London visit

A handout photo provided by the Saudi Royal Palace on April 4, 2017 shows Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (2nd L), the Kingdom's defence minister, and British Prime Minister Theresa May (R) greeting officials in the capital Riyadh. (AFP)
Updated 07 March 2018
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Major deals expected during Saudi crown prince’s London visit

LONDON: Saudi Arabia expects to sign agreements with Britain covering a range of issues during Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s visit to London this week, Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir said on Monday.
Britain’s planned exit from the EU did not reduce its attractiveness as an investment destination, the minister told reporters, and he said he expected the crown prince’s visit to take bilateral relations to a higher level.
“Our relationship is so strong that the talks will be broad and wide ranging. There will be agreements and memorandums of understanding signed in a number of areas involving a broad range of issues,” he said during a media briefing at the Saudi embassy.
Asked whether Britain’s departure from the EU, scheduled for March 2019, would affect Riyadh’s view of how attractive Britain is as an investment destination, Al-Jubeir said: “We don’t think so. We think that Britain is one of the great powers.
“British ingenuity and British technology and British know-how is not going to change whether you’re part of the EU or not part of the EU.”


Hodeidah offensive: Coalition forces seize weapons supplied by Iran to Houthis

Updated 20 June 2018
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Hodeidah offensive: Coalition forces seize weapons supplied by Iran to Houthis

  • The arsenal included drones, a sniper rifle, roadside bombs disguised as rocks and even a “drone boat” which had been filled with explosives that failed to detonate.
  • Equipment used to produce and load fuel for rockets that target Saudi Arabia contained Iranian labels.

JEDDAH: Saudi-led coalition officials on Tuesday displayed weapons and explosives supplied by Iran to Houthi militias in the Yemeni port city of Hodeidah. 

The arsenal included drones, a sniper rifle, roadside bombs disguised as rocks and even a “drone boat” which had been filled with explosives that failed to detonate.

Equipment used to produce and load fuel for rockets that target Saudi Arabia contained Iranian labels. The weapons were captured on the battlefield in Hodeidah and displayed at a military base in the UAE. 

“Unsurprisingly, there are advanced military components in the Houthi militias’ hands,” said Talal Al-Teneiji, an official at the UAE Foreign Ministry.

“We took time to inspect and disassemble these to figure out the source ... and we can say that these elements are military-grade materials imported from Iran to the Houthi militias.”

As the week-long offensive in Hodeidah intensified on Tuesday, coalition forces consolidated their grip on the city’s airport and there was new fighting on the main coast road leading to the city center, with Apache helicopters providing air support to the coalition. 

“We can hear the sounds of artillery, mortars and sporadic machinegun fire. The Houthis have been using tanks,” one civilian on the coastal strip said. 

“Water has been cut off to many of the areas near the corniche area because the Houthis have dug trenches and closed water pipes.”

At the airport, which the coalition has controlled since Saturday, their forces stormed the main compound and took full command.

UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash said: “We are waiting for the Houthis to realize the sort of military and psychological blow that they got with the airport ... we are giving them time to decide if they want to save the city ... and pull out.”

Oubai Shahbandar, a strategic communications adviser, told Arab News that “without the sea and airport of Hodeidah, the Houthi militia has effectively lost the war.”

They should agree to UN-hosted peace talks and not prolong the fighting. “The tide in this conflict has clearly turned in favor of the Arab coalition and the welfare of the Yemeni people ought to be paramount,” he said.