Saudi Cabinet: Houthi attacks branded ‘war crimes’

King Salman chairs the Cabinet’s session in Jeddah on Tuesday. (SPA)
Updated 26 June 2019

Saudi Cabinet: Houthi attacks branded ‘war crimes’

  • Coalition has right to take all steps in defense, say ministers

JEDDAH: The recent wave of deadly terrorist attacks by Iranian-backed Houthi militants on civilian targets in the Kingdom were on Tuesday branded as “war crimes” by the Saudi Cabinet.
A ministerial council meeting, chaired by King Salman, condemned ballistic missile and drone raids, which it said presented a major threat to regional and international security.
In the wake of Sunday’s second terror strike this month on Abha International Airport, which killed a Syrian national and left 21 civilians injured, ministers stressed the right of the coalition to take all necessary measures to deal with the attacks under international laws.
The Cabinet session, held in Jeddah, welcomed a joint statement by the US, the UK, the UAE and Saudi Arabia expressing concern over rising tensions in the region caused by the “dangerous” peace-destabilizing activities of Iran in Yemen, the Kingdom and throughout the region.
Ministers offered their condolences to family members of the Syrian who died during Sunday’s Houthi attack on Abha airport in the south of the country and wished a speedy recovery to the people wounded in the strike.
In other business, the Cabinet highlighted the final communique of an emergency meeting of Arab finance ministers, which pledged their commitment to providing a safety net to support the Palestinian authority’s budget to the tune of $100 million each month.
The Kingdom was also thanked for its continued backing for the Palestinian cause.
Meanwhile, in a statement to the Saudi Press Agency, Minister of Media Turki Al-Shabanah said the Cabinet emphasized that the choice of Saudi Arabia to become the first Arab country to be granted full membership of the intergovernmental Financial Action Task Force, was due to its efforts in combating money laundering and terrorist financing.
The Cabinet session also gave the green light to the Saudi culture minister to discuss two memorandums of understanding (MoUs) on cooperation with his counterparts in South Korea and Japan.
The chairman of the Saudi General Entertainment Authority (GEA) was authorized to hold similar talks on MoUs with his opposite numbers in the UAE, Kuwait and Bahrain.

King Salman to host 1,000 Sudanese pilgrims 

Updated 22 July 2019

King Salman to host 1,000 Sudanese pilgrims 

  • 500 pilgrims are to be selected from the Sudanese army
  • Another 500 to be selected from families of Sudanese soldiers who died while fighting Houthi terrorists in Yemen

RIYADH: King Salman has issued an order to host 1,000 pilgrims from Sudan to perform Hajj, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Sunday.

According to the directive, the 1,000 pilgrims will perform Hajj within the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques’ Guests Program for Hajj and Umrah, implemented and supervised by the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Call and Guidance.

Islamic Affairs Minister Sheikh Abdullatif Al-Asheikh said that of this total, 500 pilgrims would be selected from the Sudanese army and those belonging to the families of Sudanese martyred while participating in the “Determination Storm and Restoring of Hope” operations within the Arab coalition forces supporting the legitimate government in Yemen.

This year, King Salman has ordered the hosting of 1,300 pilgrims from around the world as part of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques’ Guests Program for Hajj and Umrah.

Earlier, King Salman issued a directive for the hosting of 200 Hajj pilgrims from the families of victims of the terrorist attack in Christchurch, New Zealand.

The king also ordered 1,000 Palestinian pilgrims who are family members of martyrs to be hosted while they performed Hajj.  

Al-Asheikh said that the hosting of the families during the Hajj season was part of Saudi Arabia’s efforts to “confront and defeat terrorism” in all its forms.

So far, the number of pilgrims who have arrived in the Kingdom since the start of the Hajj season has reached 562,056, according to statistics issued by the Saudi General Directorate of Passports.

Most pilgrims — 547,505 — came to the Kingdom by air, while 8,548 entered by land and 6,003 arrived by sea, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

Last year more that 1.75 million pilgrims from abroad performed Hajj, according to figures from the Saudi General Directorate of Passports.