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.


Saudi Arabia’s first electronic cochlear implant performed in Jubail 

Updated 4 min 17 sec ago
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Saudi Arabia’s first electronic cochlear implant performed in Jubail 

  • The implant was successfully conducted for a 15-month-old baby who was born completely deaf

JUBAIL: A medical team at the Royal Commission Hospital in Jubail has performed Saudi Arabia’s first electronic cochlear implant operation.

The head of the team, Dr. Mohammed Al-Sheikh, said the implant was successfully conducted for a 15-month-old baby who was born completely deaf. An Auditory Brainstem Response test was previously run to ascertain the nature of the baby’s condition when the parents noticed its failure to respond to sound.

Dr. Mohammed Al-Muqbel, head of the health services program at the Royal Commission in Jubail, praised the efforts of Al-Sheikh and his staff. Al-Sheikh added that credit was also due to the Newborn Hearing Screening Program at the hospital, which worked in collaboration with the audiology unit to provide early intervention and treatment for babies born with hearing defects.

The operation, meanwhile, represents a groundbreaking moment in technological development for Saudi medicine, making the next generation of auditory aids available to citizens, and removing barriers for deaf children from an increasingly early age.