Coalition fighter returns safely to base despite missile attack

Updated 22 March 2018
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Coalition fighter returns safely to base despite missile attack

RIYADH: A fighter for the Saudi-led Arab coalition was intercepted by a hostile air defense missile launched from Saada airport in Yemen, but managed to return to base safely.
The official spokesman of the Coalition Forces in Yemen, Col. Turki bin Saleh Al-Malki, said that at 15:48 local time on Thursday, the fighter was intercepted by a hostile air defense missile, launched from Saada airport in Yemen. 
Although the fighter managed to complete its mission and deal with the source of fire before returning to base, the incident showed terror groups had got hold of new air defense missiles a “serious development,” Col. Al-Turki said.
He added: “This proves that the Iranian regime, which supports the Houthi terrorist militias, continues to smuggle in specific capacities in clear and explicit defiance of UN resolutions, including resolution 2216.” 
He said that the possession of the new air defense missiles was a direct threat to the air navigation and relief and humanitarian trips.
In January 2018, Royal Saudi Air Defense forces intercepted a ballistic missile over the southern province of Najran, bordering Yemen.
Last year, Houthis launched a missile targeting King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh. Royal Saudi Air Defense forces intercepted the missile and shot it down, and there was no damage.
Earlier, Al-Maliki called on the international community to curb Iran’s supply of arms to “terrorists and outlaws” in the region and to hold the Iranian regime accountable for its behavior.
Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir said in his earlier statement that Iran was the biggest source of danger in the region due to its role in Lebanon, Yemen and Syria.
Meanwhile, last year, the Iran-backed Houthi militias in Yemen intensified attacks on Saudi Arabia, targeting several civilian areas in the Kingdom.
Houthi aggression toward Saudi Arabia caused a global outcry with a number of countries and organizations condemning the launch of ballistic missiles targeting the Kingdom.


Green light for crown prince-led Saudi privatization program

Updated 25 April 2018
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Green light for crown prince-led Saudi privatization program

  • The Privatization Program is one of 12 key elements of the Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030
  • The program is aimed at increasing job opportunities for Saudi nationals

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Council of Economic and Development Affairs on Tuesday approved the Privatization Program that is one of 12 key elements of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030. 

The program is aimed at increasing job opportunities for Saudi nationals, attracting the latest technologies and innovations, and supporting economic development.

It encourages both local and foreign investment in order to enhance the role of the private sector, with government entities adopting a regulatory and supervisory role. The aim is to increase the private sector’s contribution to GDP from 40 percent to 65 percent by 2030. 

The program will aim to reach its objectives through encouraging the private sector to invest in establishing new schools, universities and health centers, while the government pursues its organizational and supervisory role in health and education.

The privatization program aims to benefit from previous success stories, with the private sector’s collaboration in the development of infrastructure, and its involvement on a large scale in sectors such as energy, water, transport, telecommunications, petrochemicals and finance.

The program sets out a series of objectives in three areas: Developing a general legal framework for policies related to privatization; establishing organizational foundations and dedicated institutions to execute the policies; and setting a timescale for their delivery. 

The Council of Economic and Development Affairs is headed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.