Coalition will remain off blacklist: UN chief

Saudi Ambassador to the UN Abdullah Al-Mouallimi attending a UN Security Council meeting in New York. (SPA file photo)
Updated 03 August 2016
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Coalition will remain off blacklist: UN chief

NEW YORK: UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday announced that the Saudi-led Arab coalition will remain off the blacklist of those causing the deaths  of children in Yemen, while Saudi Arabia reiterated that safety of children is always its top priority.
The UN chief made the announcement while briefing the council on its annual report on children and armed conflict. 
During his address at the meeting, Saudi Ambassador to the UN Abdullah Al-Mouallimi  said the Kingdom puts the interest and safety of children at the very top of its priorities, adding that it sees no justification in targeting children or civilians in any conflict zone. 
“We believe that children’s place is at school, and not in the battlefield. That they have an absolute right to education and health care... far from flying bullets. We are fully committed to protecting civilians and children in war zones,” he said.
Saudi Arabia is greatly concerned about allegations over violations of civilians and children’s rights in Yemen, said Al-Al-Mouallimi.
“We have formed an Arab committee to look into those allegations, and we will provide the UN with the outcome of the investigations as soon as they are completed,” he said. 
He said the Kingdom has always been keen on providing humanitarian assistance to distressed people around the globe and that Saudi Arabia stands at the frontline when it comes to supporting the reconstruction efforts in Yemen. 
Al-Mouallimi highlighted that the Kingdom has provided over $440 million in various kinds of assistance to Yemeni citizens all over that country, in addition to humanitarian assistance to refugees in Jordan, Sudan and Djibouti. 
“More than a million Yemeni citizens have crossed the borders into our country seeking refuge. We opened our government schools to their children and granted them full access to medical care,” he said. 
He added that Saudi Arabia has been suffering from Houthis cross-border aggression as more than 500 civilians have been killed by Houthi shelling across the borders.
Al-Mouallimi called on the UN to verify the credibility of its sources when compiling its reports, adding that the Kingdom was saddened with the inclusion of the coalition’s name in its report on civilians’ rights violations, despite the enormous efforts the Kingdom has been playing in alleviating the misery of millions of Yemeni citizens resulting from Houthi’s aggressions.
Ban had previously removed the coalition from the blacklist temporarily — contained in an annex to the report — on June 6 pending a joint review after Saudi Arabia, a key UN donor, vehemently protested against the preliminary UN decision.

 


Saudi Arabia, UAE to attend US-led Palestine investment meeting

Updated 23 May 2019
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Saudi Arabia, UAE to attend US-led Palestine investment meeting

  • The Palestine Liberation Organization and Islamist group Hamas have called for an Arab boycott of the meeting
  • Saudi Arabia has assured Arab allies that it will not endorse any US plan that fails to meet key Palestinian demands

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia and the UAE will participate in a conference next month in Bahrain aimed at encouraging investment in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, as part of US President Donald Trump’s long–awaited Israel–Palestine peace plan. 

The Peace to Prosperity conference, to be hosted on June 25–26 in cooperation with the US, has already been rebuffed by Palestinian officials and business leaders, who want their political demands met by any proposed solution to the conflict.

The Palestine Liberation Organization and Islamist group Hamas have called for an Arab boycott of the meeting.

The Saudi minister of economy and planning, Mohammed bin Majid Al–Tuwaijri, will attend, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Wednesday.

The UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation said Abu Dhabi would also send a delegation.

The Palestinian Authority has boycotted American peace efforts since late 2017, when Trump decided to move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and recognized the latter as the capital of Israel, reversing decades of US policy.

The Trump administration has sought to enlist support from Arab governments.

But Saudi Arabia has assured Arab allies that it will not endorse any US plan that fails to meet key Palestinian demands, which include affirming East Jerusalem as the capital of a Palestinian state, the right of return for refugees, and a freeze on Israeli settlement construction.