KSA signs pact to stamp out illicit tobacco trade

Updated 26 November 2015
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KSA signs pact to stamp out illicit tobacco trade

RIYADH: The World Health Organization has announced that the Kingdom has become the first Arab country and the tenth internationally to join the protocol to eliminate illicit trade in tobacco products. The announcement was made by the director general of the executive board of the Health Ministers' Council for the Gulf Cooperation Council States, Tawfik Khoja.
Khoja congratulated Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman, along with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Naif, Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Minister of Health Khalid Al-Falih on their momentous achievement. Specifically, he thanked them all for their efforts in making the Kingdom part of the global campaign against illegal tobacco dealings.
“As one of the countries that signed this international pact early, it will contribute to the well-being of humanity as a whole. Such a forward-thinking step is not unusual for the Kingdom and its wise leadership.
We hope, as health care professionals and officials, that this move by the Kingdom will help to decrease the supply and demand of tobacco and will consequently contribute to fighting tobacco-related illnesses that exhaust financial resources and which also put lives in danger,” Khoja said.
“This Kingdom has always been very active and effective in global initiatives related to tobacco control and in implementing the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control Policies (MPOWER),” he pointed out.
The objective of this protocol is to eliminate illicit trade in tobacco products. The protocol has 47 articles and four annexes related to licensing, tracing, tracking and record keeping, as well as sections related to security and internet sales of illicit tobacco products.


Saudi Arabia says missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi is dead

Updated 20 October 2018
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Saudi Arabia says missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi is dead

  • The journalist died after a fistfight at the consulate in Istanbul
  • Deputy intelligence chief, royal court adviser removed from positions, 18 Saudis arrested

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia announced on Saturday the death of missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi, saying a preliminary investigation indicated he lost his life after a fight at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.
“The discussions between Jamal Khashoggi and those he met at the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul... devolved into a fistfight, leading to his death,” the Saudi Press Agency said, citing the public prosecutor.
Eighteen Saudis have been arrested in connection with the incident and the investigation is ongoing, the public prosecutor said.
“The Kingdom expresses its deep regret at the painful developments that have taken place and stresses the commitment of the authorities in the Kingdom to bring the facts to the public opinion, to hold all those involved accountable and bring them to justice,” a statement on the SPA said.
Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist who lived in the US, disappeared on Oct. 2 after visiting the consulate to complete paperwork related to his divorce.
Deputy intelligence chief Ahmed Al-Asiri was removed from his position and Saud Al-Qahtani from his advisory role at the Royal Court, through royal decrees.
Three other intelligence officials who were also sacked have been named as Mohammad bin Saleh Al-Rumaih, Abdullah bin Khalifa Al-Shaya and Rashad bin Hamed Al-Muhamadi.
King Salman also ordered the creation of a ministerial committee, headed by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, to restructure the country’s General Intelligence agency and issue the results of its work within a month.
Members of the committee include the interior and foreign ministers as well as the heads of the General Intelligence and State Security.
A team of Saudi investigators were sent to Istanbul and have been working on the case with Turkish detectives, who entered the consulate on Thursday.
Earlier in the week, Saudi Arabia promised a thorough and transparent investigation into what happened to the journalist in Turkey.