Saudi Arabia endorses report of Yemeni National Commission of Inquiry

Seeking global cooperation ... Saudi Ambassador to the UN in Geneva Faisal Trad.
Updated 01 October 2016

Saudi Arabia endorses report of Yemeni National Commission of Inquiry

GENEVA: Saudi Arabia has welcomed the submission of the initial report of the Yemeni National Independent Commission of Inquiry confirming that it is “In line with international standards and with a high level of seriousness. It also monitored 9,816 cases of violation of human rights of citizens in Yemen and international humanitarian law.”

Speaking at the United Nations Human Rights Council, Saudi Ambassador to the UN in Geneva Faisal Trad said Thursday: “Two years ago, the Houthi rebels along with Ali Abdullah Saleh loyalists took over the capabilities of Yemen in flagrant violation of all international laws which exposed the Yemeni people to murder and displacement. No woman or child was spared their criminal acts. In spite of the international support for the legitimate government of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi and the issuance of international legitimacy resolutions calling those putschists to hand over power to the legitimate government, they are still dragging their feet and exposing the Yemeni people to more suffering.”
Trad called for the international community to back the legitimate Yemeni efforts that peacefully seek to resume the political process in accordance with Security Council Resolution 2216 and the Gulf initiative and its executive mechanism.
He also called for the need to help the Yemeni people get out of these dangerous events, so as to maintain Yemen’s security, stability and unity and the region’s security and stability as well.
Trad announced the Kingdom’s rejection of the UN High Commissioner’s call to establish an international commission of inquiry, stressing that “the work of the Yemeni National Commission of Inquiry, set up by the legitimate president of Yemen, Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, is now the most important safeguard against escaping impunity and accountability.”
The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) also welcomed the report, saying in a joint speech, delivered by Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, that “The GCC does not see justification for the High Commissioner’s call for the establishment of an international commission of inquiry." The National Committee of Yemen has made great strides with regard to accountability, and called on the Human Rights Council to provide adequate support to this commission in accordance with its needs, the GCC said.
The GCC countries expressed their regret over the “indifference of the Houthi militias and Saleh’s loyalists toward the suffering of the Yemeni people of the consequences of the deteriorating humanitarian conditions, in addition to the continuing shelling and targeting of civilians. The Iran-backed Houthi militias recruit children and women, and commit atrocious violations.”
The GCC countries denounced the intentional obstruction and disruption by the rebels of peace consultations on Yemen.

Music blooms in Saudi Arabia's mountain resort city of Taif as rose ensemble takes a bow

Updated 7 min 14 sec ago

Music blooms in Saudi Arabia's mountain resort city of Taif as rose ensemble takes a bow

  • An orchestra of Ukrainian and Russian musicians performed enchanting symphonies by Mozart and Beethoven at the Ward (Rose) Village
  • The month-long Taif Season festival highlights the city as a leading Arab tourist destination

TAIF: Hanging from suspended imitation rose flowers and dressed in white, an orchestra of Ukrainian and Russian musicians performed enchanting symphonies by Mozart and Beethoven at the Ward (Rose) Village in Taif’s Arrudaf Park as part of Taif Season.

The month-long Taif Season will run during August with more than 70 quality events designed to highlight the city as a popular Arab resort and leading Arab tourist destination.

Female musicians in the orchestra played from a height of seven meters, delighting large crowds with a spectacular performance of well-known symphonies.

Mashaal Al-Rashid, head of the company organizing the Rose Village Festival, told Arab News that the name ‘Rose Village’ was chosen in recognition of the importance of rose as the icon of Taif.

“The festival’s content was elaborated, and all the activities and events organized so as to promote the value, and the social and economic significance of Taif’s roses,” he said.

Al-Rashid said that the hanging roses orchestra was inspired by the beauty of Taif’s mountains and their startling roses. 

“Each flower carries a musician holding her instrument, delivering a breathtaking performance and an enjoyable experience,” he said.

The orchestra includes musicians from several countries who were selected after delivering string performances in various world capitals.

 Dr. Nayef Al-Buraq, dean of Taif University’s College of Arts, said that Taif’s character is based on its culture and location.

“It is a cultural tourist icon that evolves year after year to keep pace with the national Vision 2030, with events that attract visitors from around the world,” he said.

“The programs aims to promote quality of life, reflected through the joyful Taif Season that paints a bright picture of Saudi creativity,” said Al-Buraq.

He said that the challenges faced in preparing for this season included developing quality academic programs, highlighting popular arts, and attracting Arab, Saudi and international creative involvement.

“These challenges highlight the leading role played by the Kingdom’s government in catering for culture and arts, and turning this festival into a tourist and cultural event throughout the year,” he said.

Festival visitor Omar Al-Khalidi said that the event offers musical attractions and cultural arts that have long been absent from Taif.

“Everyone knows that Taif is the city of arts and culture, and the first Saudi city to host a movie theater. Arrudaf Park was the scene for concerts for well-known artists such as Abdullah Mohammed, Mohammed Abdu, Talal Maddah and many other Arab talents,” he said.