KSA, China sign MoU for housing units in Al-Ahsa

Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman exchanges documents with Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli in Beijing on Tuesday. (SPA)
Updated 31 August 2016
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KSA, China sign MoU for housing units in Al-Ahsa

BEIJING: Housing Minister Majid Al-Hogail and the Chinese vice minister of commerce on Tuesday signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the two governments for cooperation in the area of housing, Saudi Press Agency reported.

The MoU coincides with the visit of Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to the People’s Republic of China.
The Saudi minister also signed another MOU between the Ministry of Housing and the Government of the Ningxia Region, for the development of Al-Asfar District in Al-Ahsa and construction of 100,000 housing units with all required service facilities.
The deal also included the establishment of a joint company in the Kingdom to implement the housing project in Al-Ahsa.
In a press statement, the Saudi minister said the MOUs with the Chinese companies come as an extension of other deals with local and global real estate development companies, with the intent of increasing housing supplies and providing products with high quality at affordable prices.
Giving more details on the new project, the minister said Al-Asfar District, in Al-Ahsa, occupies an area of 54 million square meters, where some 100,000 housing units will be built, including high quality villas and apartments with different options.
This step comes in line with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, and demonstrates the keen interest of the two governments to bolster cooperation between the two countries in all areas including housing, expanding investments, activating business and commercial facilities, and achieving joint development and prosperity, he said.
He stressed that the ministry would continue signing with reputed real estate development firms to benefit from their experiences in developing housing projects of highly technical specifications that would meet aspirations of the ministry and citizens as well.
He said housing projects, carried out with private sector companies, would cover all parts of the Kingdom.
The ministry aims to find partnerships in the area of housing to develop and transfer new building technologies, train cadres to operate and maintain them, encourage investors to implement projects and real estate development companies to enter housing programs, he said.


Hodeidah offensive: Coalition forces seize weapons supplied by Iran to Houthis

Updated 20 June 2018
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Hodeidah offensive: Coalition forces seize weapons supplied by Iran to Houthis

  • The arsenal included drones, a sniper rifle, roadside bombs disguised as rocks and even a “drone boat” which had been filled with explosives that failed to detonate.
  • Equipment used to produce and load fuel for rockets that target Saudi Arabia contained Iranian labels.

JEDDAH: Saudi-led coalition officials on Tuesday displayed weapons and explosives supplied by Iran to Houthi militias in the Yemeni port city of Hodeidah. 

The arsenal included drones, a sniper rifle, roadside bombs disguised as rocks and even a “drone boat” which had been filled with explosives that failed to detonate.

Equipment used to produce and load fuel for rockets that target Saudi Arabia contained Iranian labels. The weapons were captured on the battlefield in Hodeidah and displayed at a military base in the UAE. 

“Unsurprisingly, there are advanced military components in the Houthi militias’ hands,” said Talal Al-Teneiji, an official at the UAE Foreign Ministry.

“We took time to inspect and disassemble these to figure out the source ... and we can say that these elements are military-grade materials imported from Iran to the Houthi militias.”

As the week-long offensive in Hodeidah intensified on Tuesday, coalition forces consolidated their grip on the city’s airport and there was new fighting on the main coast road leading to the city center, with Apache helicopters providing air support to the coalition. 

“We can hear the sounds of artillery, mortars and sporadic machinegun fire. The Houthis have been using tanks,” one civilian on the coastal strip said. 

“Water has been cut off to many of the areas near the corniche area because the Houthis have dug trenches and closed water pipes.”

At the airport, which the coalition has controlled since Saturday, their forces stormed the main compound and took full command.

UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash said: “We are waiting for the Houthis to realize the sort of military and psychological blow that they got with the airport ... we are giving them time to decide if they want to save the city ... and pull out.”

Oubai Shahbandar, a strategic communications adviser, told Arab News that “without the sea and airport of Hodeidah, the Houthi militia has effectively lost the war.”

They should agree to UN-hosted peace talks and not prolong the fighting. “The tide in this conflict has clearly turned in favor of the Arab coalition and the welfare of the Yemeni people ought to be paramount,” he said.