Italian Navy frigate’s visit to Dammam ‘boosts defense ties’

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A file photo of the Italian Navy multi-mission frigate Carlo Margottini.
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A helicopter is seen atop the Italian Navy multi-mission frigate Carlo Margottini.
Updated 22 March 2018
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Italian Navy frigate’s visit to Dammam ‘boosts defense ties’

JEDDAH: The visit of the European multi-mission frigate Carlo Margottini in Dammam was a positive sign for Italian efforts to promote defense ties with the Kingdom, Italian ambassador Luca Ferrari said on Thursday.
The frigate left Kuwait on Thursday and is expected to arrive in Saudi Arabia on Friday. Ferrari said it was the perfect time for the arrival of the frigate, 10 months after the visit of the FREMM frigate Carabiniere in the Kingdom in May 2017.
He said that there were "intensive" understandings between Italian shipbuilding company Fincantieri and Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI), the holding company set up by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for the development of Saudi military industries to produce half of military equipment in the Kingdom by 2030.
Ferrari said Saudi Arabia began taking an interest in the naval military industries in the second half of 2016 when Carabiniere pulled into Saudi seas twice; the first time from Dec. 26, 2016 to Jan. 10, 2017 and the second time from May 3 to May 6 in 2017.
"Today, Carlo Margottini is back and its return has a very important meaning, reminding every one of the Kingdom’s concern to conclude cooperation agreements and buy ships to develop its defensive industry," he said.
The frigate Carlo Margottini Sapienza set sail on Feb. 20, and stopped in Pakistan and Kuwait. After Dammam, it will dock in Abu Dhabi before proceeding to Djibouti in April to lead the EU campaign against piracy (Operation Atlanta). Carlo Margottini will remain in the Gulf of Aden until August.
The decision to move the Italian frigate to the Middle East is part of the activities of the Italian Navy, along with allied nations within the framework of multinational cooperation and dialogue between states.


Saudi Arabia’s first ‘smart’ pharmacy inaugurated

Updated 21 July 2018
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Saudi Arabia’s first ‘smart’ pharmacy inaugurated

TABUK: Prince Fahd bin Sultan, governor of Tabuk region, inaugurated the Kingdom’s first smart pharmacy — operated by a robot — at King Fahd Specialist Hospital on Thursday, following his meeting with the province’s director general of health affairs, Ghurmallah bin Abdullah Al-Ghamdi.
It is hoped that the smart pharmacy — which can dispense 1,500 packages of medicine per hour, store over 20,000 packages of medicine, reject expired drugs, and deal with 240 prescriptions per hour — will save the time of patients and pharmacists, ensure better control of drug stocks, provide the highest safety standards, and reduce medication errors.
The pharmacy has six outlets, one of which is dedicated to serving disabled people.
Prince Fahd congratulated Tabuk Health Affairs on this achievement, which he said would contribute to better health care services.
He stressed that serving citizens was the main objective and praised the role of young men and women in meeting the requirements of the future.
He also thanked King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for their support for the health care sector in Saudi Arabia.
Al-Ghamdi thanked Prince Fahd for his support for the health care sector in the province.