Coalition did not prevent Houthis from attending peace talks

The Houthis were provided with all means to travel to the Swiss capital, says coalition spokesperson. (AN photo by Bashir Saleh)
Updated 12 September 2018

Coalition did not prevent Houthis from attending peace talks

  • The Coalition provided all facilities for the Houthi delegation to travel to Geneva for peace talks

JEDDAH: A Houthi delegation who failed to attend peace talks last week in Geneva, were not prevented in any way, the Arab coalition said Tuesday.
The coalition, which is supporting the internationally recognized government of Yemen, has said the Houthis were provided with all the means to travel to the Swiss capital to attend UN-backed negotiations.
The Houthis were accused of ‘sabotage’ by the government after they did not show for the talks. “We want the UN to be firmer in bringing the other party to the negotiations”, said Yemeni Foreign Minister Khaled Al-Yamani, after three days of talks with UN envoy Stephen Griffiths.
The Houthi group wanted the United Nations to guarantee that the flight carrying its delegation would not be inspected by coalition forces.
“They would have like to get here, we didn’t make conditions sufficiently correct to get them here,” Griffiths told a news conference, declining to elaborate.
But the government called the Houthi no-show totally irresponsible: “If they were sincere in reaching peace, they should have come, even if we were meeting in separate rooms,” said Al-Yamani.
The Iran-backed Houthis have fired numerous missiles into civilian areas in Saudi Arabia from across the border in Yemen. 
The Houthi militia have been planting landmines in areas under their control, which Yemenis continue to pay with their lives, said Arab coalition Spokesperson Col. Turki Al-Maliki.
The militia and Hezbollah are trading in narcotics to finance the war effort, he said.

World boxing champ Amir Khan eyes Saudi Arabia for new academy

Updated 14 November 2018

World boxing champ Amir Khan eyes Saudi Arabia for new academy

  • The former boxing world champion said there were a lot of warriors in Saudi Arabia
  • Khan said he believes the Kingdom possesses a lot of talent

RIYADH: British-Pakistani boxer Amir Khan wants to open a boxing academy in Saudi Arabia, and hopes the Kingdom will see rising stars become Olympic champions soon.

Speaking at the Misk Global Forum in Riyadh on Wednesday, he said the only way to achieve this was by opening academies in the Kingdom.  

“I believe that there is so much talent in Saudi, but there aren’t many boxing clubs,” he said.

Speaking at the midday session of the forum in a session titled “What Defines Me,” Khan said he believed there was a reason Saudis are good boxers: “Maybe it is in their blood – they are warriors.”

The former world champion and Olympic medalist, arrived on stage at the event wearing traditional Saudi clothes, both the thobe and shomakh, and was interviewed by Lubna Al-Omair, the first Saudi female Olympic fencer.

Khan has a charitable foundation in his name that is dedicated to empowering disadvantaged young people globally.

“All around the world I build boxing academies, (including in) England, Pakistan,” he said. “It is a way to give back and help the less fortunate. We travel all around the world to help the poor, the youth ... in the future they will do the same.”

Khan credited his father for placing him in a boxing club. “When I was young, I was hyperactive, always misbehaving, and my father took me to the boxing club. Boxing gave me discipline.”  

And he credited fans for his motivation, explaining: “At 17 I became a household name and couldn’t walk the streets without people stopping me for a picture. People are looking up to me and wanting me to succeed, and that was my motivation.”

Khan said boxing helps develop self-discipline and emotional intelligence. “Boxing teaches you to be disciplined,” he said.

“What boxing teaches you is not to fight outside. If a fight is taking place, I walk away.”

Khan also had advice for athletes in training: “The harder you work in the gym, the easier it will be in the game,” he said.

And he added: “Work hard and never give up. I always like to work harder than my opponents.”