Top diplomats rally behind KSA on Yemen

Updated 27 March 2015
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Top diplomats rally behind KSA on Yemen

Top foreign diplomats stationed in Riyadh representing Europe, Americas, Asia and Africa have lent their strong support to the military effort of the Arab world led by Saudi Arabia to end the widespread instability and chaos in Yemen. The diplomats here Thursday also reaffirmed the need for a broad international military alliance, that may eventually emerge to counter Houthi rebel advances.
The diplomats said that a large number of countries were prepared to commit troops for a ground assault as Saudi Arabia began pounding the Houthi militants in Yemen with airstrikes. “The United States coordinates closely with Saudi Arabia and our GCC partners on issues related to their security and our shared interests,” said Stewart Wight, a spokesman of the US Embassy, here Thursday.
“In support of GCC actions to defend against Houthi violence, US President Barack Obama has authorized the provision of logistical and intelligence support to GCC-led military operations,” said Wight , while referring to the establishment of a ‘Joint Planning Cell’ with Saudi Arabia to coordinate US support. Matthew Tueller, US ambassador to Yemen, is also currently in Jeddah, confirmed Kate Osterloh, a public diplomacy officer at the US embassy here.
Asked about the UK position, Nicola Woodget, a spokeswoman of the British embassy, said that Britain had supported the Kingdom on the question of Yemen. Quoting a foreign ministry statement, Woodget said that “we supported the Saudi military intervention in Yemen following President Hadi’s request for support by all means and measures to protect Yemen and deter Houthi aggression.”
Another close Saudi ally, Turkey has also strongly supported the Saudi air strike on advancing Houthi militants. Turkish Ambassador Yunus Demirer said that “Ankara supports the operation led by Saudi Arabia in Yemen against the Houthi movement on the request of the legitimately elected President Hadi.” “We believe that this operation will prevent the threat of civil war and chaos in Yemen and restore the legitimate state authority,” added Demirer.
“Turkey strongly condemns the continuation of the unilateral actions by the Houthi militias, who have refused to withdraw from Sanaa and government institutions by rejecting the UN Security Council Resolution No. 2201, besides all agreements concluded in Yemen and also the military operation they launched to capture Aden,” said a statement released by Turkey and distributed by the Turkish embassy Thursday.
A statement released by the embassy of France here said that “France reiterates its support to the government of Yemen led by President Hadi. France also strongly condemns acts of destabilization by the Houthi rebellion and called on all those who support the insurgency to leave him off and to return to the political process. Faced with this alarming situation, France stands by its partners in the region to restore stability and unity of Yemen.”
While supporting the joint operations against the rebels, Sri Lankan Ambassador Mohamed Hussein Mohammed said that terror should not be allowed to raise its ugly head in any country as it happens in the case of strife-torn Yemen. “Such rebel activities could affect peace and stability in the region,” he said, recalling that his country has been a victim of terrorism for more than 30 years.
Speaking about his country’s position on Yemen, Uruguayan Ambassador Carlos Mora: “We follow closely the developments in Yemen and we hope that the situation can be solved quickly because any escalation of the civil war could lead to consequences adversely affecting the region. “We are for peace, dialogue, stability, and eventually progress and prosperity for Yemen and Yemeni people,” said Greek Ambassador Ioannis Christofilis.

With inputs from M. Rasooldeen & Rodolfo Estimo


Saudi gamer crowned Ad Diriyah eSport champion

Yasser Al-Mansour won the ABB FIA Formula E Road to Ad Diriyah Esports Championship. (Supplied)
Updated 44 min 2 sec ago
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Saudi gamer crowned Ad Diriyah eSport champion

  • Al-Mansour took an early lead and held it throughout to win

RIYADH: It was a big day for electric racing in Saudi Arabia, but not all heroes in Ad Diriyah sat behind a Formula E car on Saturday as one Saudi gamer held his nerve to be crowned eSport champion.
Yasser Al-Mansour netted the $125,000 prize as he saw off his competitors, who were both Saudis, to win the ABB FIA Formula E Road to Ad Diriyah Esports Championship.
Unlike Formula E race where drivers battled it out until the dying seconds, Al-Mansour took an early lead and held it throughout.
The winner, from Fara’a, a small town a few hours’ drive from Riyadh, hailed the event saying: “I kept my position even though it was tough. Every one of my competitors had impressive lap times. I’m just happy I came up on top.”
“This eSports tournament is amazing. Not only is eSport a popular among Saudi youth now it can be used to introduce countless people to the world of motor sports. The simulators we raced felt like real life,” he said.
Al-Mansour beat out Mubarak Al-Dossary, from Dhaharan, who came second and won SAR250,000, and Abdulaziz Rayes, from Jeddah, who finished third and scooped SAR125,000.
On the line in the exciting eSports competition was a prize pot of up to SAR1million, $250,000, held in the Allianz E Village, just one of the attractions surrounding the 2018 ‘Saudia’ Ad Diriyah E-Prix at the stunning UNESCO World Heritage site.
The event was supported by the Saudi Arabian Federation for Electronic & Intellectual Sports (SAFEIS).
Dale Buxton, EGaming Consultant to Formula E, said: "The response to this competition has been huge, thousands flocked to enter and the standard has been so high. It shows the passion that exists for eSports within the Kingdom and we are grateful for the support of the Saudi Arabian Federation for Electronic & Intellectual Sports."