FaceOf: Faisal Al-Hegelan, veteran Saudi diplomat

Faisal Al-Hegelan
Updated 14 January 2019
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FaceOf: Faisal Al-Hegelan, veteran Saudi diplomat

  • He was born in Jeddah in 1929 and attained a law degree in 1951 from the University of Cairo
  • He was named an ambassador to a number of countries in the 1960s and 1970s

Faisal Al-Hegelan died Wednesday in Beirut aged 90, having devoted decades of his life to serving Saudi Arabia as an ambassador and government minister.

He was born in Jeddah in 1929 and attained a law degree in 1951 from the University of Cairo, which was known then as King Fuad I University.

He joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as an attaché after graduating, working at Saudi embassies in Washington, Madrid, Buenos Aires and Caracas.

Al-Hegelan held several positions at the ministry. He was promoted to the second secretary in 1954 and then to the first secretary in 1958. Two years later he was transferred to the General Secretariat of the Cabinet to serve as an adviser to King Saud.

He was named an ambassador to a number of countries in the 1960s and 1970s: Spain, Venezuela, Argentina, the UK, Denmark and the US.

Al-Hegelan returned to the Kingdom after years as a globetrotting envoy, holding several high-level government posts including health minister.

He chaired the board of directors at the Saudi Red Crescent Authority and was appointed plenipotentiary at two of the country’s top medical institutions: King Faisal Specialist Hospital and King Khaled Eye Specialist Hospital. 

He went back to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1996 as the ambassador to France, and earned international recognition for his efforts and service.

His awards and honors included the Order of Isabella the Catholic from Spain, the Order of May from Argentina, the Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire, and the Order of Rio Branco from Brazil.


Investigation into alleged mistakes in Yemen find coalition forces acted properly

Updated 17 January 2019
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Investigation into alleged mistakes in Yemen find coalition forces acted properly

JEDDAH: The Joint Incident Assessment Team in Yemen (JIAT) has investigated four allegations made by international governmental and non-governmental organizations and media about mistakes made by coalition forces while carrying out military operations inside Yemen.
JIAT spokesman Mansour Al-Mansour said that the team concluded that the procedures followed by the coalition forces were proper and safe, taking into consideration the rules of engagement, international humanitarian law and the coalition’s own rules.
Team members visited a number of cities in Yemen, including Aden, Lahj and Khor Maksar, during the investigation and spoke to witnesses, victims and their families to gather evidence and establish the facts.
In one of the incidents that was investigated, coalition warship fired on and destroyed a craft in the waters off the Yemeni port of Al-Khokha in September. Al-Mansour said that after examining documents and evidence JIAT had concluded that an alliance ship was escorting and protecting a flotilla of three Saudi merchant ships when, in an area off the port of Al-Khokha, a boat was spotted approaching the convoy at a high speed from the direction of the Yemeni coast.
The escort ship followed the accepted rules of engagement by repeatedly warning the unidentified vessel, using loudspeakers, not to come any closer. When these went unheeded, warning shots were fired but the boat continued to approach.
“On reaching an area that represented a threat to the convoy, the protection ship tackled the boat according to the rules of engagement and targeted it, resulting in an explosion on the boat,” said Al-Mansour. “The protection ship continued escorting the convoy. After the escort task was completed, the protection ship returned to the site of the targeted boat to carry out a search-and-rescue operation for the crew of the target boat but no one was found.”