KSA sends condolences to crane victims’ families

Updated 16 September 2015

KSA sends condolences to crane victims’ families

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s Cabinet ministers have sent their condolences to the families of the 111 people who died after being struck by a falling crane in the Grand Mosque last Friday.
At the Cabinet meeting at Al-Salam Palace in Jeddah on Monday, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman prayed to Allah to bless the souls of the deceased, and wished the injured a speedy recovery.
King Salman thanked the leaders of countries across the globe for their condolences. He ordered government agencies to provide the best services for the injured and their families, and assist them to perform their Haj rituals.
In addition, he urged government officials to ensure they provide quality services for pilgrims during this year’s Haj. He said it was an honor and duty for officials to serve the pilgrims.
The Cabinet condemned the storming of Al-Aqsa Mosque, and said it was a violation of its sanctity by the Israeli occupation forces. It said such crimes must be stopped, including the building of settlements.
The Cabinet reaffirmed its support for the Syrian people; and condemned the terrorist attack that targeted security officers at the Al-Kamees police station in Bahrain.
King Salman briefed the Cabinet on his talks with President Joko Widodo of the Republic of Indonesia, commending the strong relations between the two countries.
The Cabinet ministers expressed pride at having brave soldiers defend the Yemeni people against aggressors in that country.
Meanwhile, the Cabinet congratulated King Salman on his official visit to the United States. King Salman thanked the President of the United States Barack Obama for assisting in developing a new, deeper partnership between the two nations.
The Cabinet also reviewed the decisions taken by the 144th session of the council of the Arab League and its firm position on various issues.
The Cabinet also welcomed the United Nations General Assembly’s decision to recognize Palestine as an observer state and said it was a diplomatic achievement and an additional step toward full membership.
The Cabinet issued a series of decisions including approval for the Qatar National Bank to open a branch in the Kingdom provided that it abides by applicable bank regulations.
The Cabinet also approved a memorandum of understanding signed with Algeria on communication and information technology.

Arab coalition working to protect region’s security, says spokesman

Coalition spokesman Col. Turki Al-Maliki at a press briefing. (SPA file photo)
Updated 19 March 2019

Arab coalition working to protect region’s security, says spokesman

  • Houthis want to disturb peace, says coalition spokesman
  • Stockholm peace agreement under strain

RIYADH: The Arab coalition supporting the internationally recognized Yemeni government is committed to protecting regional and global security, a spokesman said Monday.

Coalition spokesman Col. Turki Al-Maliki was asked at a press briefing about Houthi militias threatening to target the capitals of Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

“This is their way to disturb peace,” Al-Maliki replied. “Previously the Houthis targeted Riyadh with a ballistic missile, violating all international laws by attacking a city that has more than 8 million civilians. We take all precautions to protect civilians and vital areas. The coalition works to protect regional and international security.”

Al-Maliki said Houthis had targeted Saudi border towns several times, the most recent incident taking place in Abha last Friday.

But the Saudi Royal Air Defense Force had shot down a drone that was targeting civilians, he added.

He said four Saudi nationals and an Indian expatriate were injured in the attack because of falling debris.

The drone wreckage showed the characteristics and specifications of Iranian manufacturing, he said, which proved Iran was continuing to smuggle arms to the militias.

He warned the Houthis to refrain from targeting civilians because the coalition, in line with international humanitarian law, had every right to counter such threats.

He said the coalition was making efforts to neutralize ballistic missiles and dismantle their capabilities, as the coalition’s joint command would not allow the militia to possess weapons that threatened civilian lives and peace.

Al-Maliki reiterated that the Houthis were targeting Yemeni civilians and continued to violate international laws. 

He also urged Yemenis to try their best to prevent children from being captured by Houthis, who were using them as human shields and child soldiers.

His comments came as the UN tried to salvage a peace deal that was seen as crucial for ending the country’s four-year war.

The Stockholm Agreement was signed by the Yemeni government and Houthi representatives last December.

The main points of the agreement were a prisoner exchange, steps toward a cease-fire in the city of Taiz, and a cease-fire agreement in the city of Hodeidah and its port, as well as ports in Salif and Ras Issa.

Militants triggered the conflict when they seized the capital Sanaa in 2014 and attempted to occupy large parts of the country. An Arab coalition intervened in support of the internationally recognized government in March 2015.

The World Health Organization estimates that nearly 10,000 people have been killed in Yemen since 2015.

Earlier this month US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that President Donald Trump’s administration opposed curbs on American assistance to the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen.

“The way to alleviate the Yemeni people’s suffering isn’t to prolong the conflict by handicapping our partners in the fight, but by giving the Saudi-led coalition the support needed to defeat the Iranian-backed rebels and ensure a just peace,” Pompeo said at a news conference in Washington.