GCC boosts drive to unify naval operations

Updated 09 March 2015
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GCC boosts drive to unify naval operations

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) has stepped up efforts to unify naval operations and to set up a joint maritime security force to respond to the increased threats of conflict in the regional waters.
“A joint GCC naval exercise will run until March 12,” said a GCC statement released here.
“The joint GCC naval exercise is a right step toward an ambitious goal to achieve unified naval command system, in case of emergency situations,” said the statement.
The joint naval exercise began in the UAE on Monday with the participation of naval forces of the six Gulf states. The exercise will help raise the level of GCC’s preparedness, combat efficiency and cooperation.
The aim of the exercise is to unify the naval operations of the GCC states and to exchange expertise to make the GCC navy a deterrent force in a region.
Saudi Arabia is participating in the GCC exercise with a number of naval units, boats, special naval security units and Super Puma aircraft.
A local GCC official contacted by Arab News on Saturday could not provide details on the plan of setting up a strong GCC naval force.
On maritime threats, a report published recently said that “threats to regional waters over the past year have extended from the Strait of Hormuz further south to the Bab Al-Mandal gateway in Yemen and north to the Red Sea.”
The report has quoted Maj. Gen. Ahmed Yousif Al-Mulla, a Kuwaiti defense official, as saying that “the new force is expected to be formed within coming months.”
The creation of a GCC force will complement international efforts in the field of maritime security, especially at a time when radical groups and militants have become very active in the waters. These groups are also backed by some nation states.
At a recent meeting between GCC Secretary-General Abdul Latif Al-Zayani and Adm. John Miller, commander of US Naval Central Command, concerns were raised about the maritime security.
The meeting reviewed bilateral relations and military cooperation between the GCC states and the US in addition to the issues of common concern such as territorial and maritime security.
The GCC has already set up the Gulf Shield Force, which played a major role in controlling riots in Bahrain.
The six-member bloc has also decided to create a common GCC police force and a common counterterrorism body.


Saudi graduates urged to turn ideas into investment projects

Madinah Gov. Prince Faisal bin Salman on Wednesday patronized the graduation ceremony of 3,384 Taibah University students for the academic year 2017-2018. (SPA)
Updated 5 min 24 sec ago
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Saudi graduates urged to turn ideas into investment projects

  • Madinah Gov. Prince Faisal bin Salman called on graduates to benefit from bodies that support small enterprises and turn ideas into investment projects

JEDDAH: Madinah Gov. Prince Faisal bin Salman on Wednesday patronized the graduation ceremony of 3,384 Taibah University students for the academic year 2017-2018.

Integrating graduates into the labor market and giving them suitable job opportunities are the responsibility of the province’s public- and private-sector officials, he said, urging the combining of efforts to enable graduates to contribute to the Kingdom’s development.

He called on graduates to benefit from bodies that support small enterprises and turn ideas into investment projects.

Taibah University President Abdul Aziz Al-Sarani thanked King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for their care and support for students, academic initiatives, and the development of the education sector.

“Taibah University seeks to adopt the latest developments and highest international academic standards for developing and implementing academic programs, supporting students and empowering them, and achieving the Kingdom’s Vision 2030” reform plan, he said.

Following the recent International Conference on Humanizing Cities, the university has decided to launch the Prince Faisal bin Salman award for humanizing cities, Al-Sarani added.

On behalf of all the graduates, one of them said in a speech: “After four years of memories, wonderful work and great effort, we graduate today to serve our country with our creative skills and great faith.”

At the end of the ceremony, Prince Faisal honored the winners of the Ambassadors of Moderation competition and first-class honor students.