Saudi Arabia says Arab summit wants international probe into use of chemical weapons in Syria

Saudi’s Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir speaks during a news conference after the 29th Arab Summit in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. (Reuters)
Updated 16 April 2018
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Saudi Arabia says Arab summit wants international probe into use of chemical weapons in Syria

DHAHRAN: Arab League leaders on Sunday condemned the “criminal” use of chemical weapons in Syria and called for an international investigation, the Saudi foreign minister said.
Adel Al-Jubeir was speaking at a news conference after the end of an Arab League summit in Saudi Arabia, which had not mentioned Syria in a statement read out at the close.
Saudi Arabia and its allies have expressed support for the missile launch by the United States, Britain and France on Saturday against three alleged chemical weapons facilities in Syria, while Arab states like Iraq and Lebanon have condemned them.
The Syrian government denies using or possessing chemical weapons and said the strikes were an act of aggression.
Meanwhile, at a preliminary meeting in Riyadh on Thursday, Arab ministers focused heavily on blocking the embassy move, unanimously condemning US President DonaldTrump’s decision and moving to block Israel’s bid to secure at seat at the UN Security Council this June.
Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir however insisted Riyadh would maintain “strong, strategic” ties with Washington.
“There is no contradiction with having very strong strategic ties with the US while telling your friends where their policy should change,” Jubeir said.
“That’s what friends are for.”
“The fact that we have very strong ties with the US over history, and the Trump administration in particular, is a positive factor, not a negative factor in trying to help guide them toward a positive engagement in the Middle East,” Al-Jubeir told reporters after the summit.


Saudi Arabia, South Korea reach agreement on visas

King Salman chairs the Cabinet session in Riyadh on Tuesday. (SPA)
Updated 16 January 2019
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Saudi Arabia, South Korea reach agreement on visas

  • Cabinet OKs air transport pact with Indonesia

JEDDAH: The Saudi Cabinet met to discuss a series of national and global developments on Tuesday, in a session chaired by King Salman.

At the forefront of the agenda was the escalation in tensions between Israel and Hamas along the Gaza border, and the continuing encroachment on Palestinian land by Israeli settlers in the West Bank. The Cabinet responded by demanding that the UN Security Council intervene. King Salman also relayed to ministers the outcome of his talks with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, which covered many regional issues.

The minister of media, Turki bin Abdullah Al-Shabanah, announced that after reviewing proposals from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and a decision from the Shoura Council, a memorandum of understanding between the government and the Republic of Korea on granting visit visas had been agreed upon.

The Cabinet approved the amendment of the air agreement on regular air transport between Saudi Arabia and Indonesia.

The Cabinet, meanwhile, praised the progress of the 2025 Sustainable Agricultural and Rural Development Program, aimed at enhancing farming techniques by promoting sustainable water and renewable energy sources.

They also discussed the framework in Vision 2030 and the National Transformation Program 2020 for building a sustainable renewable energy sector, reiterating aims to lead global renewable energy developments over the next decade, and create projects such as the wind-powered plant at Dumat Al-Jandal, as part of the King Salman Renewable Energy Initiative.

In a statement, though, Al-Shabanah said: “The Cabinet discussed the announcement made by the minister of energy, industry and mineral resources about the Kingdom’s oil and gas reserves, which highlighted the importance of Saudi Arabia as a secure source of oil supplies in the long term.”

He added, in closing, the Cabinet’s praise for the efforts of Saudi security forces in the tracking and arrest of seven people in Qatif, which foiled a planned terrorist attack.