Saudi Arabia ‘strongly condemns’ Houthi attack on Yemen UN monitors

Retired Dutch General Patrick Cammaert (C), who is leading a joint committee, which includes both government and rebel representatives, tasked with overseeing a truce in the Red Sea port city and the withdrawal of both parties, arrives at the Yemeni port of Hodeidah on January 13, 2019. (AFP)
Updated 18 January 2019
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Saudi Arabia ‘strongly condemns’ Houthi attack on Yemen UN monitors

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia on Friday strongly condemned the targeting of “UN personnel by the Iran-backed Houthi militia in Yemen” after cease-fire monitors came under fire.
The attack took place on Thursday in Hodeidah, where a truce agreed in talks in Sweden came into force last month.
The Houthi militia “have violated their signed commitments in Stockholm and continue to flout international law and escalate their aggression against the Yemeni people,” Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to the United States Prince Khalid bin Salman tweeted on Friday.


The UN said one round of small arms fire struck a UN-marked armored vehicle that was part of convoy carrying chief monitor Patrick Cammaert.
The UN monitors arrived in Hodeida — the entry point for the bulk of Yemen’s imports — on Dec. 23. The UN Security Council this week agreed to expand the force to 75 monitors.


Saudi Arabia plans to create 561,000 jobs under new digital employment initiative

Updated 24 April 2019
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Saudi Arabia plans to create 561,000 jobs under new digital employment initiative

  • Qiwa program aims to achieve the Vision 2030 goal of reducing unemployment rate to 7 percent

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia has revealed ambitious plans to create more than 561,000 private-sector jobs by 2023 as part of a new digital era for the Kingdom’s labor market.

Minister of Labor and Social Development Ahmad Al-Rajhi made the announcement at the launch of the Qiwa online platform, which aims to combine all the country’s employment services under one electronic roof.

Through digitalization, the Ministry of Labor and Social Development hopes to not only boost job opportunities for Saudi men and women, but also improve workplace efficiency and productivity, and attract international investment.

Al-Rajhi said: “The ministry has entered into partnerships and agreements to settle more than 561,000 job opportunities in the private sector until 2023,” and the minister added that 45,000 Saudis had entered the labor market in the last three months.

The new labor force platform will consolidate employment-related e-services already offered to job seekers, employees and employers and plans are in the pipeline to plug a further 71 services into the system.

The Qiwa program aims to provide Saudi government officials with a data mine of statistical information to tackle business challenges facing employers and employees, help create new job opportunities, and achieve the Vision 2030 goal of reducing the country’s unemployment rate to 7 percent. Another key objective is to strategically enhance the Kingdom’s business environment to make it more attractive to local and international investors.

A ministry statement issued to Arab News, said: “The Qiwa platform will have an impact on motivating investors. It will also re-engineer policies and procedures for all services provided to individuals and enterprises on a strong platform that will make a quantum leap in the business world and turn the Saudi market into an attractive market for opportunities and potential for competencies.

“The services are provided in both Arabic and English in order to enable foreign investors to benefit from the services of a strong platform,” the statement added.

The e-services include programs to encourage Saudis to access jobs in their locality by improving the workplace environment and making it more appealing to men and women.

The Kingdom’s public sector is quickly adapting to international standards and labor market demands by digitalizing services, while the ministry is using the latest business management methods to help public organizations increase the competency and productivity of workers while creating a competitive labor market that can partner with the private sector.