Saudi interior minister slams ‘false accusations’ on Khashoggi’s disappearance

Prince Abdulaziz bin Saud bin Naif bin Abdulaziz, Saudi Arabia's minister of interior. (SPA)
Updated 13 October 2018
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Saudi interior minister slams ‘false accusations’ on Khashoggi’s disappearance

  • News reports about orders to kill Khashoggi "are lies and baseless allegations", the minister says
  • Turkey said on Thursday it had accepted a proposal from Saudi Arabia to cooperate on the investigation

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia's minister of interior, Prince Abdulaziz bin Saud bin Naif bin Abdulaziz, on Saturday denounced the "false accusations" being circulated in some media outlets linking the Saudi government and people to the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

News reports about orders to kill Khashoggi "are lies and baseless allegations", the minister said in a statement carried by the Saudi Press Agency (SPA).

He said the government of Saudi Arabia is "committed to its principles, rules and traditions and is in compliance with international laws and conventions."

Prince Abdulaziz noted that Saudi Arabia and Turkey have agree to conduct a joint investigation and it is important for the media to report only the facts and "not to affect the paths of investigation and judicial proceedings."

"He also stressed the Kingdom's keenness on the interest of its citizens at home and abroad and its keenness in particular to clarify the whole truth about the disappearance of the citizen Jamal Khashoggi," the SPA report said. 

Khashoggi, a Saudi national and journalist who had been based in the US, has been missing since Oct. 2, when he visited the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul to secure divorce papers.

Turkey said on Thursday it had accepted a proposal from Saudi Arabia to cooperate on the investigation.

A security delegation consisting of Saudi investigators arrived in Istanbul on Saturday to participate in the investigations.


Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea project ensures protection of ecology

The project will provide visitors with a uniquely diverse, immersive experience while setting new standards in sustainable development and positioning Saudi Arabia on the global tourism map. (SPA)
Updated 23 January 2019
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Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea project ensures protection of ecology

  • Master plan preserves 75% of the islands for conservation
  • The first phase of the development, scheduled for completion in 2022, includes 14 luxury and hyper-luxury hotels providing 3,000 rooms across five islands

JEDDAH: Plans to develop one of the world’s most ambitious tourism projects in Saudi Arabia, have been given the green light. The Red Sea Development Co. (TRSDC), which is leading the luxury leisure project, has received final approval from its board of directors for the program’s master plan.
The tourism project, drawn up in partnership with global design firm WATG and engineering giant BuroHappold, will incorporate state-of-the-art building design concepts from some of the world’s top architectural firms and is expected to create up to 70,000 new jobs.
The first phase of the development, scheduled for completion in 2022, includes 14 luxury and hyper-luxury hotels providing 3,000 rooms across five islands and two inland resorts on the Kingdom’s west coast. Phase one will also include marinas, leisure and lifestyle amenities and an airport to serve the destination.
As part of the planning process, major environmental studies were carried out to ensure that the area’s sensitive ecology was protected both during and after completion of the development.
The final master plan, which preserves some 75 percent of the destination’s islands for conservation and designates nine islands as sites of significant ecological value, required several redesigns to avoid potential disruption to endangered species native to the area.
John Pagano, CEO of TRSDC, said: “The design concepts that we have presented to the board will provide visitors with a uniquely diverse, immersive experience while setting new standards in sustainable development and positioning Saudi Arabia on the global tourism map.
“With the master plan approved, we are now identifying investors and partners who are interested in working with us on realizing the objectives of the project and who share our commitment to enhance, not exploit, the natural ecosystems that make the destination so unique.”
The approved master plan will steer the development of 22 of the 90-plus islands at the destination, providing up to 10,000 hotel rooms across island resorts, mountain retreats and desert hideaways. The location will also offer luxury residential properties and a wide range of commercial, retail and recreational facilities.
The master plan is underpinned by an extensive smart destination management system that will support a wide range of personalized products and services designed to appeal to the modern luxury traveler.
TRSDC employed the world’s first destination-scale computer simulation techniques, created in Saudi Arabia, to assess the impact of the development and future tourism on the environment. The resulting plan now targets a 30 percent net increase in biodiversity over the next two decades, a conservation equivalent to designating the site as a marine protection area.
Technology also underpins the destination’s sustainability initiatives, with a suite of sensors and monitoring devices in place to track and measure variations in environmental factors such as water salinity, temperature, visibility and tidal flows.
“The leadership of the Kingdom has shown great foresight in its insistence on balanced development of this pristine destination,” said Pagano. “Our plan not only envisions a stunning luxury destination, it also takes tangible, measurable steps to enhance that destination for future generations to enjoy and cherish.”