Arab Economic and Social Council expresses support for UNRWA, Palestine

Participants encouraged Arab countries to increase economic support for the Palestinian people in the face of Israel’s occupation. (SPA)
Updated 07 September 2018
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Arab Economic and Social Council expresses support for UNRWA, Palestine

  • The council rejected any direct or indirect dealing with Israel’s illegal occupation and colonization of Palestine

JEDDAH: The Arab Economic and Social Council expressed its rejection of any attempts to end or lessen the role of the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) in supporting millions of Palestinian refugees. Deputy Finance Minister Dr. Hamad bin Suleiman Al-Bazai led the Saudi delegation to the council meeting in Cairo.
The council issued a resolution warning that cutting financial support for UNRWA will have negative consequences. Participants encouraged Arab countries to increase economic support for the Palestinian people in the face of Israel’s occupation. They urged the Arab private sector to invest in Palestine through the creation of mechanisms and special programs designed by the Arab League in collaboration with relevant entities and organizations.
The council appealed to specialized ministerial councils, Arab organizations and financial institutions to increase relief and development support for Palestine to mitigate the effects of the occupation and to help Palestine overcome its financial crisis.
The council also urged the Arab League General Secretariat to increase technical support programs for the least developed countries, including Palestine.
The council rejected any direct or indirect dealing with Israel’s illegal occupation and colonization of Palestine, and called for a database of companies dealing with Israeli settlements. It also urged Arab countries to provide the Arab League General Secretariat with reports on development projects to reduce the economic and social consequences of hosting Syrian refugees. The council urged Arab countries to expedite the completion of procedures for signing and ratifying the Convention on the Liberalization of Trade in Services among Arab States.
It also approved a draft charter for the development of the small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) sector.


King Salman, Crown Prince Mohammed ‘lend new dimension to unification’

Millions of citizens plan to celebrate the Saudi national day on Sunday. (SPA)
Updated 23 September 2018
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King Salman, Crown Prince Mohammed ‘lend new dimension to unification’

  • More than 900,000 fireworks will light up the sky from 58 locations across the Kingdom

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s National Day, celebrated every year on Sept. 23, has come a long way in broadening the concept of unification over the years.
Though the National Day meant unifying disparate sheikhdoms under the nation’s founder, the late King Abdul Aziz, its implications across the political, socioeconomic and cultural spectrum have not been lost on successive rulers.
It was King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman who fine-tuned the definition of unification as an operating philosophy. This is why millions of citizens plan to celebrate the Saudi National Day on the streets on Sunday.
The capital city, along with other Saudi cities, will witness fireworks and the unfurling of the largest national flag. More than 900,000 fireworks will light up the sky from 58 locations across the Kingdom.
Car owners, limousine drivers and young Saudi motorcyclists said that they planned to go for drives, particularly on the fashionable streets of the capital city, to celebrate. Grocery shops, stationery shops and vendors were selling bunting, flags, banners and pictures of national heroes.
“We went around the city to see the lighting and fireworks,” said Saleh Al-Omri, a local pharmacist. “Green and white balloons fill either sides of Riyadh streets,” he said.
In his National Day congratulatory message, Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah Al-Sheikh, Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, said: “The wise policy of the leaders of this country contributed to peace, security and stability.”
Fakhr Al-Shawaf, chief executive of Al-Bawani Contracting Co., said: “We are celebrating the 88th anniversary of our unification, a day when the late King Abdul Aziz established the Saudi nation.”
Ali Al-Othaim, a member of Riyadh Chamber’s board of directors, said: “The Kingdom is on the path of comprehensive economic and social development under Vision 2030.”
Shafik Namdar, a taxi driver, said that he had bought an SR10 flag for his car and planned to work and also drive with his friends to look at the city and its landmark buildings.
Several young boys, including Arslan, 12, and Mishal, 14, said that they had bought bunting, badges and flags to decorate their houses. They planned to celebrate with a special meal at home with relatives, before going into the city streets for dance and music. Some of them had plans to organize celebrations in public parks.