UN lauds Saudi Arabia’s ‘model’ refugee aid programs around world

Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah meets UNHCR's Khaled Khalifa and his delegation in Riyadh. (Supplied photo)
Updated 17 May 2019

UN lauds Saudi Arabia’s ‘model’ refugee aid programs around world

  • UNHCR’s representative cites KSRelief as one of its most important partners
  • Khalifa said he was looking forward to consolidating strategic relations between the two sides

RIYADH: The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has lauded Saudi Arabia for its life-saving refugee aid programs throughout the world.
Khaled Khalifa, UNHCR regional representative to the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, heaped praise on the Kingdom during a meeting with Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah, general supervisor of the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief).
During their talks, held at KSRelief’s headquarters in Riyadh, Khalifa thanked the center for its cooperation with the UNHCR in helping to improve conditions for hundreds of thousands of refugees.
In a statement, KSRelief told Arab News that the two officials discussed the center’s work in a number of crisis-hit countries, particularly Yemen, and reviewed the Kingdom’s additional efforts to relieve the suffering of Yemeni, Rohingya and Syrian refugees through joint executive projects with the UNHCR.
Khalifa said he was looking forward to consolidating strategic relations between the two sides and described Saudi Arabia’s approach to refugees as a model for the linking of Islamic values and humanitarian action.
He added that KSRelief was one of the UNHCR’s most important partners, providing basic relief materials for internally displaced people in Yemen, and emergency support for Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh.
Separately, on Thursday, the center announced that KSRelief had recently distributed tens of thousands of food baskets to Syrian refugees living in the Zaatari and Al-Azraq refugee camps in Jordan, in cooperation with the Norwegian Refugee Council and the UNHCR.
KSRelief has also delivered seven truckloads of dialysis medicines to the Yemeni Ministry of Public Health and Population for use in dialysis centers throughout the war-torn country. 

Saudi Arabia says halt in arms sales will embolden Iran

Updated 20 June 2019

Saudi Arabia says halt in arms sales will embolden Iran

  • Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel Al-Jubeir was speaking after UK suspended issuing new licenses for weapons sales to the Kingdom in response to a court ruling
  • UK government disagrees with the judgement and will seek permission to appeal

LONDON: Halting weapons sales to Saudi Arabia will only benefit Iran, Adel Al-Jubeir said Wednesday, after the British government announced it would suspend issuing new licenses for the sale of arms to the Kingdom.

The UK’s International Trade Secretary Liam Fox announced the decision in parliament after a court ordered the government to “reconsider” the sales because of their humanitarian impact in Yemen.

Fox said he disagreed with the judgement and would seek permission to appeal.

Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel Al-Jubeir said the deployment of weapons in Yemen was legitimate.

“The decision by the court in the UK has to do with procedures for licensing, not any wrongdoing that took place,” Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel Al-Jubeir told reporters in London.

“The coalition is an ally of the West and the coalition is fighting a legitimate war at the behest of a legitimate government to stop Iran and its proxies from taking over a strategically important country - so the only beneficiary of a cut-off of weapons to the coalition is going to be Iran.”

The court ruling does not halt Britain's arms exports but means the granting of new licences will be paused.

Leading British defence firm BAE Systems said it would continue to support the UK government “in providing equipment, support and training under government to government agreements between the United Kingdom and Saudi Arabia.”

Saudi Arabia is part of the Arab coalition fighting to support the internationally recognized government in Yemen which was driven from the capital Sanaa in 2014 by Iran-backed militants.

Saudi Arabia accounted for 43 percent of Britain's global arms sales in the past decade, Reuters reported.

The legal action against the British government was brought by the Campaign Against the Arms Trade.

Meanwhilw, a State Department official said the US must stand with Saudi Arabia as a key security partner, when asked about the Thursday's court ruling in the UK.
Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs Clarke Cooper said both the US and Britain had long-standing bilateral ties to Saudi Arabia.
"They are carrying a significant amount of equity to protect US interests and US persons, and it is incumbent upon us to stand shoulder to shoulder with our partners, especially when they are on the front line for our interests," he said.

*With Reuters