Saudi deaths: Tehran urged to speed up probe as foul play suspected

Updated 10 June 2015

Saudi deaths: Tehran urged to speed up probe as foul play suspected

JEDDAH: The Foreign Ministry has summoned the Iranian ambassador to express its concern over the deaths of four Shiite Saudi children in his country, and to urge Tehran to speed up its investigation.
Osama Nugali, head of media at the Saudi Foreign Ministry, said there was “deep sorrow” in government at the news that four young Saudis had died and 28 others got sick from what appears to be a poisonous chemical they had inhaled while in their rooms in Mashhad on Sunday.
“The Saudi Foreign Ministry summoned the Iranian ambassador to the Kingdom and expressed its deep concern at the incident, and its hope that the Iranian authorities speed up the investigation and disclose the circumstances involved,” he said.
Nugali said that shortly after the incident occurred, the charge d’affaires and officials at the consulate in Mashhad went to the hotel to check on the Saudis and provide support, including, medical care.
The embassy also communicated with the Iranian Foreign Ministry and other departments in Mashhad to launch an investigation. “The incident is a matter of concern and the Saudi government is following up on the case,” Nugali said.
Meanwhile, Iran’s Health Minister Hassan Hashemi was reported as saying on Tuesday that the Saudis “may have been deliberately poisoned.”
Hashemi said that the poison was from a fumigation operation in the hotel where the Saudis were staying. Traces of this poison were found in samples of blood taken from the deceased, but a probe was under way, he said.
Hashemi said 32 Saudi visitors were poisoned, of whom four died and seven are being treated in the intensive care unit of a local hospital.
Mohammad Qanie, president of the hotel owners’ association in Mashhad, in northeast Iran, said the manager of Al-Tawhid Hotel in the city was arrested and the building closed. The hotel was licensed and had no previous problems, he said.


G20 ready to limit effects of coronavirus on global economy, Saudi finance minister

Updated 3 min 28 sec ago

G20 ready to limit effects of coronavirus on global economy, Saudi finance minister

RIYADH: Finance officials from the Group of 20 major economies agreed on Sunday to continue monitoring the risk from the coronavirus outbreak and to adopt appropriate policies to limit the global economic impact, Saudi Arabia's finance minister said.
The two-day gathering in Riyadh was dominated by growing concern over the widening fallout from the coronavirus outbreak, with the International Monetary Fund predicting it would shave 0.1 percentage point off global growth. 
During the meeting, which also included central bank governors heads of international and regional organizations, under the Saudi G20 Presidency, was chaired by Saudi finance minister Mohammed Al-Jadaan and the Saudi Central Bank
governor Ahmed Al-Kholifey.
They also discussed the global economic outlook and possible policy responses to support growth and safeguarding against downside risks, as well as the priorities of the Saudi G20 presidency, under the theme of “Realizing Opportunities of the 21st Century for All.” 
They also addressed the tax challenges arising from the digitalization of the economy, utilizing the benefit of technology for infrastructure, developing domestic capital markets, and framing supervisory and regulatory issues for the digital era.