Envoy: Interfaith center in Vienna operating normally

Updated 23 August 2016
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Envoy: Interfaith center in Vienna operating normally

RIYADH: A major intergovernmental organization, popularly known as King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz International Center for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue (KAICIID), is operating normally without any hassle after controversies surrounding the center were settled amicably.

“The Vienna-based KAICIID is functioning smoothly,” Austrian Ambassador Gregor W. Koessler, said here Sunday.
Koessler, who was speaking to Arab News about growing Saudi-Austrian relations in different sectors, said: “The Vienna center has been working within the framework of its mandate to promote dialogue among religions, peace and deeper understanding.”
The center has been actively pursuing its programs, and has come forward to condemn strongly acts of terror globally, he added.
He said that the Saudi-funded center is required to “renew its mandate in autumn this year. “In fact, the KAICIID is the only global organization to work together on an equal footing with leaders of the five major world religions to create a better understanding. It does this by enhancing understanding and cooperation between people of different cultures and followers of different religions.
The KAICIID was founded by Saudi Arabia, Austria and Spain, representing the “Council of Parties” responsible for overseeing the work and the functioning of center. Its board of directors, which designs and supervises the center’s programs, comprises prominent representatives and scholars from five major religions — Islam, Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism and Judaism.
Referring to the growing relations between the Kingdom and Austria, Koessler said that a joint business meeting, to be held on Oct. 11, will give a major boost to the commercial links.
The diplomat, who will be shortly leaving for Vienna for diplomatic consultations, said that this high-powered business meeting will be held within the framework of the Saudi-Austrian Joint Economic Committee.
The meeting will focus on a range of topics including Saudi Vision 2030. “It will be a sort of review meeting in which our strategic relationship will top the agenda besides a number of economic topics of mutual interest,” said the envoy.
He pointed out that the companies and the businesses of the two countries have evinced a keen interest to work together within the framework of Vision 2030, which offers a clear road map for development.
He said Saudi citizens traveling to Austria would be able to rent and drive cars in Austria following the signing of the Convention on Road Traffic of Vienna 1968. Moreover, Austria welcomes the increasing numbers and the growing interest of Saudi citizens to travel to the country. The number of Saudis traveling to Austria has tripled in the last four years, with 118,000 Saudis traveling to that country last year.
Austria is one of the preferred destinations in Europe for Saudi tourists as the country offers a great variety of holiday experiences within short distances. Austrian cities offer a vibrant mix of family entertainment and shopping centers with many UNESCO World heritage sites. This is in addition to natural panoramic views, sports, cultural programs and a range of entertainment programs for chidlren, adults and families.


Around 3 million arrested for residency, labor violations in KSA

405,806 were transferred to their respective diplomatic missions to obtain travel documents. (SPA)
Updated 21 April 2019
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Around 3 million arrested for residency, labor violations in KSA

  • 1,227 Saudi citizens were arrested for harboring the violators against local laws, of which 50 are being detained, pending the completion of procedures

RIYADH: Nearly 3 million violators of residency, work and border security systems have been arrested in a year-long roundup, according to an official report.
Since the campaign began in November 2017, there have been 2,987,317 offenders, including 2,328,031 for violating residency regulations, 458,591 for labor violations and 200,695 for border violations, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.
The report said that 50,388 people were arrested while trying to cross the border into the Kingdom, 50 percent of whom were Yemeni citizens, 47 percent were Ethiopians and 3 percent were of other nationalities.
2,135 people were arrested for trying to cross the border into neighboring countries and 3,697 were arrested for involvement in transporting and harboring those violators. 1,227 Saudi citizens were arrested for harboring the violators against local laws, of which 50 are being detained, pending the completion of procedures.
Immediate penalties were imposed against 443,210 offenders; 405,806 were transferred to their respective diplomatic missions to obtain travel documents; 507,042 were transferred to complete their travel reservations; and 750,504 were deported.