Arab stance on pollution sought

Updated 07 November 2014
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Arab stance on pollution sought

The undersecretary of Meteorology and Environment Protection for Environment and Sustainable Development Affairs, Abdul Bassette Al-Sairafi, has urged all Arab countries to take a unified stance against the high pollution rates and develop a clear strategy to face environment challenges.
“There have been some environmental improvements over the past 40 years. However, there is evidence which reveals that the current environmental challenges require stronger efforts to increase green areas and protect natural resources,” Al-Sairafi said in his opening speech at the first session of the Arab Joint Ministerial Committee meeting for environment and sustainable development of Arab countries which was held in Jeddah on Sunday.
He said that adverse environmental changes had raised concerns among Arab countries which had resulted in the adoption of the recommendations of international conventions and protocols in order to protect the environment from natural disasters such as desertification and the negative effects of climate change. The committee discussed in addition, a number of important topics like the oil pollution of Lebanese shores and following up on the implementation of the Arab environment summits’ decisions in addition to other topics including the environment and sustainable development.
The meeting also discussed the implementation of the resolutions of the World Summit for Sustainable Development (WSSD), the Sustainable Development Initiative in the Arab region and the United Nations Conference for Sustainable Development. The meeting further discussed the Arab strategy to reduce the risks of disasters.
A-Sairafi highlighted the importance of the Montreal Protocol and the Vienna Convention for Ozone Layer Protection. He appealed to the countries which had adopted the protocol to exert more efforts and take a unified stance to protect their environmental interests prior to attending the 26th conference of the Montreal Protocol and the Vienna Convention for Ozone Layer Protection which will be held in Paris from Nov. 17 to 21.
The executive office of the Arab Council of Environment Ministers will hold its meeting next Saturday with the attendance of eight ministers which will be followed by the meeting of Arab ministers for environmental affairs on Sunday and Monday.


Saudi public prosecution announces results of investigation into Khashoggi killing

Updated 53 min 11 sec ago
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Saudi public prosecution announces results of investigation into Khashoggi killing

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s public prosecutor said on Thursday he was seeking the death penalty for five out of 11 suspects charged in the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Khashoggi was killed in the country’s Istanbul consulate on Oct. 2 after a struggle by a lethal injection dose and his body was dismembered and taken out of the building, he told reporters in Riyadh.

The Prosecutor said Khashoggi’s body parts were then handed over to a local Turkish agent outside the consulate grounds, the spokesman said, adding that the drawing of the agent has been prepared and will be handed over to the Turkish authorities.

He said that the head of Khashoggi’s repatriation team was the one who ordered the killing of the victim, adding that the investigations into the whereabouts of the victim’s body are still ongoing.

He noted that the mission of the team was to persuade Khashoggi to return to the kingdom.

The prosecutor said a former adviser had been due to meet the team that was ordered to repatriate journalist Khashoggi, who was killed after efforts to negotiate his return failed.

He added that the ex-advisor had been banned from travelling and remained under investigation, and that the case has been transferred to court while investigations continue.

The prosecutor said Saudi Arabia has requested Turkey to sign a cooperation deal on a probe into the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

“We have requested the brotherly Turkish authorities to sign a special cooperation mechanism specific to this case in order to provide them with the results of the investigation,” he said, adding that “the public prosecutor is still awaiting a response to these requests.”