Saudi cabinet welcomes ‘constructive’ UK Hezbollah ban

Lebanon's Hezbollah supporters chant slogans during last day of Ashura, in Beirut, Lebanon September 20, 2018. (Reuters/File Photo)
Updated 06 March 2019

Saudi cabinet welcomes ‘constructive’ UK Hezbollah ban

  • Britain announced on Feb. 25 it would seek to make membership of the group a crime
  • In 2016, the GCC designated Hezbollah a “terrorist” organization

RIYADH: The Saudi Cabinet on Tuesday lauded the British government’s move to classify the political wing of Hezbollah as a terrorist organization.
At its weekly meeting, chaired by King Salman, the Cabinet described the move to outlaw the Lebanese movement as an “important and constructive” step in the global fight against terrorism.
The Cabinet stressed it was now important that the international community followed suit in taking a firm and united stance towards terrorist militias that threatened the security and stability of the region. 
Among other national and global issues discussed, the Cabinet reinstated its commitment to helping the people of Yemen by donating $500 million to co-finance the UN Humanitarian Response Plan for the war-torn country this year.
The funding is in addition to the “IMDAD” initiative announced earlier this year to support food security and nutrition in Yemen.
The Cabinet noted the Kingdom’s participation in the 40th session of the Human Rights Council, held in Geneva, and expressed its appreciation of the organization’s role in the promotion and protection of human rights around the world, which Saudi Arabia fully backed.
During the meeting, the Cabinet authorized the go-ahead for talks between Saudi Arabia and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) over the headquarters of the Unified Military Command for member states.
The session also entrusted Saudi state security chiefs to discuss with their Indonesian counterparts a draft memorandum of understanding for cooperation in the field of counter-terrorism.

Two Saudis among 31 foreigners killed in Easter Day attacks in Sri Lanka

Updated 23 April 2019

Two Saudis among 31 foreigners killed in Easter Day attacks in Sri Lanka

  • Mohamed Jafar and Hany Osman, cabin crew with Saudi Arabian Airlines, were in transit and staying at one of the three hotels targeted
  • Saudi Ambassador Abdulnasser Al-Harthi says officials are awaiting the results of DNA tests

COLOMBO: Two Saudis were among 31 foreigners killed in a string of Easter Sunday suicide bombings in Sri Lanka, the Sri Lankan Foreign Ministry said on Monday, a day after the devastating attacks on hotels and churches killed at least 290 people and wounded nearly 500.

The extent of the carnage began to emerge as information from government officials, relatives and media reports offered the first details of those who had died. Citizens from at least eight countries, including the United States, were killed, officials said.

Among them were Saudis Mohammed Jafar and Hany Osman. They worked as cabin crew on Saudi Arabian Airlines, and were in transit and staying at one of the three hotels that were hit.

Saudi Ambassador Abdulnasser Al-Harthi said that officials are awaiting the results of DNA tests on the two Saudi victims, and only after these are received will their names be confirmed.

Cabinet spokesman Rajitha Senaratne said the Sri Lankan government believes the vast scale of the attacks, which clearly targeted the minority Christian community and outsiders, suggested the involvement of an international terrorism network.

“We don’t think a small organization can do all that,” he said. “We are now investigating international support for them and their other links — how they produced the suicide bombers and bombs like this.”

The attacks mostly took place during church services or when hotel guests were sitting down to breakfast. In addition to the two Saudis, officials said the foreign victims included one person from Bangladesh, two from China, eight from India, one from France, one from Japan, one from The Netherlands, one from Portugal, one from Spain, two from Turkey, six from the UK, two people with US and UK dual nationalities, and two with Australian and Sri Lankan dual nationalities.

Three of Danish billionaire Anders Holch Povlsen’s four children were among the foreigners who were killed, a spokesman for the family confirmed. Povlsen is the wealthiest man in Denmark, the largest landowner in Scotland and owns the largest share of British online fashion and cosmetics retailer Asos.

Two Turkish engineers working on a project in Sri Lanka also died in the attacks, the English-language Daily Sabah newspaper reported. Turkey’s foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu gave their names as Serhan Selcuk Narici and Yigit Ali Cavus.

Fourteen foreign nationals remain unaccounted for, the Sri Lankan foreign ministry said, adding that they might be among unidentified victims at the Colombo Judicial Medical Officer’s morgue.

Seventeen foreigners injured in the attacks were still being treated at the Colombo National Hospital and a private hospital in the city, while others had been discharged after treatment.