Shoura may discuss women driving issue

Shoura may discuss women driving issue
Updated 18 March 2013

Shoura may discuss women driving issue

Shoura may discuss women driving issue

The Shoura Council has accepted a petition that calls for holding fresh discussions on the issue of women driving in a historic move that may eventually facilitate the mobility of women. The petition, signed by 3,000 Saudi citizens including academics, scholars, writers, as well as young Saudi boys and girls, calls for the ban on women driving to be lifted.
"The human rights and petition panel of the Shoura Council has studied the petition and has decided that the issue of women driving should be opened for debate on the floor of the house," said a press statement sent yesterday to Arab News by Abdulla Alami, one of the chief campaigners, backing the women's right to drive. "Merely opening the issue for debate will give credibility to the council," Alami added.
A member of the Shoura Council , however, said: "Women driving is just one of several issues, which can or can't be taken up for discussions." It depends on the decision and the recommendations of the specialized panel, he added. This topic is still "not listed for discussion as far as I know," said the Shoura member on condition of anonymity. He, however, pointed out that he has been personally gathering information and feedback on this subject.
Referring to the call to end ban on women driving, Alami, who recently published a book titled "When would Saudi women drive?", said the petition submitted to the council calls for holding discussions and lifting the ban on women driving. "I call on the newly appointed women members of the council to join forces and to strongly discuss the subject," said Mohammed Al-Zulfa, a former Shoura member, who was the first man to raise the issue in 2006.
"I support the move to allow our women to drive in the capacity of being a Saudi citizen," said Al-Zulfa, adding that the Saudi women drive their cars in different countries where they go for education, business or tourism.
In neighboring countries like the UAE alone, about 36 percent of the Saudi female residents, drive their cars.
In fact, the driving schools in Dubai have witnessed a dramatic increase in Saudi women candidates seeking training and licenses and about 55 trainees receive licenses every month. Also, the Bahraini General Directorate of Traffic has issued more than 6,000 driving licenses to Saudi women in the past two years.
"A large number of Saudi women also hold international driver's licenses," said a Riyadh-based travel and tourism agency that helps in obtaining international driver's licenses.


Saudi Arabia and Greece sign defense agreement

Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman meets Greece's Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias. (SPA)
Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman meets Greece's Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias. (SPA)
Updated 20 April 2021

Saudi Arabia and Greece sign defense agreement

Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman meets Greece's Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias. (SPA)

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’a Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman held talks with Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias on Tuesday, Saudi Press Agency reported.
During the meeting, they reviewed bilateral relations between the Kingdom and Greece, aspects of joint cooperation in various fields, and ways to support and develop it. They also discussed current regional issues and the efforts made toward solving them.
The meeting was attended by Saudi Deputy Defense Minister Prince Khalid bin Salman and Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan, along with Greece’s Minister of National Defense Nikolaos Panagiotopoulos.
Earlier on Tuesday, the Kingdom and Greece signed an agreement related to defense cooperation during a series of ministerial meetings in Riyadh.
At the beginning of the meeting, the Saudi and Greek foreign ministers signed an agreement regarding draft arrangements for the legal status of the Greek armed forces participating in supporting the Kingdom’s defense capabilities.
Prince Faisal then held official talks with the two visiting ministers to discuss bilateral relations, the Kingdom’s foreign ministry said.
They also exchanged views on regional and international issues of mutual concern.
Following the meeting, Panagiotopoulos said “Greece and Saudi Arabia are linked by strong friendships, have common concerns about current geostrategic challenges and a common vision for the future.”
Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel Al-Jubeir also held talks with Dendias and his accompanying delegation.
Nayef Al-Hajraf, secretary general of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), met Dendias and Panagiotopoulos, where he stressed the importance of growing Gulf-Greek relations.
Al-Hajraf and Dendias signed a memorandum of understandingfor consultations on issues of common interest between the GCC’s General Secretariat and the Greek government.
Al-Hajraf said the agreement included a mechanism for cooperating and consulting in the political, economic, commercial and investment fields.


Saudi king and crown prince offer condolences over Egypt train accident

Saudi king and crown prince offer condolences over Egypt train accident
Updated 20 April 2021

Saudi king and crown prince offer condolences over Egypt train accident

Saudi king and crown prince offer condolences over Egypt train accident
  • At least 11 people were killed and nearly 100 injured when a train derailed outside Cairo

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s King Salman sent a cable of condolences and sympathy to Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, following a train accident in Qalyubia province, north of the capital.
At least 11 people were killed and nearly 100 injured on Sunday when four train carriages derailed in the city of Banha. The train was traveling to the Nile Delta city of Mansoura from Cairo.
The king said: “We received the news of a train accident in Qalyubia province in Egypt on April 18 resulting in deaths and injuries.
“We send to Your Excellency and to all the families of the deceased our deepest condolences and sincere sympathy,” King Salman adding, wishing the injured a speedy recovery.
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman sent a similar cable to the Egyptian president.


Saudi Arabia records 12 COVID-19 deaths, 1,070 new cases

Saudi Arabia records 12 COVID-19 deaths, 1,070 new cases
Updated 20 April 2021

Saudi Arabia records 12 COVID-19 deaths, 1,070 new cases

Saudi Arabia records 12 COVID-19 deaths, 1,070 new cases
  • The Kingdom said 940 patients recovered in past 24 hours
  • The highest number of cases were recorded in Riyadh with 483

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia recorded 12 new COVID-19 related deaths on Monday, raising the total number of fatalities to 6,846.
The Ministry of Health confirmed 1,070 new confirmed cases reported in the Kingdom in the previous 24 hours, meaning 407,010 people have now contracted the disease. 
Of the total number of cases, 9,626 remain active and 1,105 in critical condition.
According to the ministry, the highest number of cases were recorded in the capital Riyadh with 483, followed by Makkah with 209, the Eastern Province with 157, Madinah recorded 44, and Asir confirmed 39 cases.

The ministry also announced that 940 patients had recovered from COVID-19, bringing the total number of recoveries in the Kingdom to 390,538.
The ministry renewed its call on the public to adhere to the measures and abide by instructions.
The coronavirus pandemic has affected over 141 million people globally and the death toll has reached around 3.01 million.


Saudi Arabia’s crown prince and China’s president discuss climate change

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman held talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping to strengthening relations. (File/SPA/AFP)
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman held talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping to strengthening relations. (File/SPA/AFP)
Updated 20 April 2021

Saudi Arabia’s crown prince and China’s president discuss climate change

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman held talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping to strengthening relations. (File/SPA/AFP)
  • Kingdom is working to organize an annual summit for the Middle East Green Initiative, with China as a major partner
  • They also discussed cooperation in the fields of energy, trade and technology

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman made a phone call to Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday, Saudi Press Agency reported.
During the call, the two leader reviewed the recently announced Saudi Green Initiative and the Middle East Green Initiative to combat environmental challenges in the region.
The crown prince announced the two initiatives in late March that aim to form partnerships with regional countries to tackle afforestation, reduce carbon emissions by 60 percent, and protect the marine environment, among other projects.
The crown prince and the president discussed the contributions of these two initiatives toward achieving global targets to combat climate change, and their influential role in raising the quality of life in the region and the world at large.
The crown prince said the Kingdom is working to organize an annual summit for the Middle East Green Initiative in the presence of leaders and officials in the environmental field, adding that China will be a major partner for the initiative.
The Chinese president said Beijing supported both initiatives, stressing the importance of their support by the international community.
Xi told the crown prince that China wants to advance its strategic partnership with the Kingdom.
The crown prince and the president also discussed cooperation in the fields of energy, trade and technology.
Prince Mohammed said his country was ready to strengthen the interconnection between the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 and China’s Belt and Road Initiative.
During the call, Xi said Beijing “is willing to work with Saudi Arabia and other members of the international community to build an equitable climate governance regime that is cooperative and beneficial to all,” Xinhua news agency reported.
The Chinese president also called for joint efforts to comprehensively and effectively implement “the Paris Agreement on climate change in accordance with the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities.”


Saudi-led Arab coalition intercepts Houthi drone launched towards Khamis Mushait

Saudi-led Arab coalition intercepts Houthi drone launched towards Khamis Mushait
Updated 20 April 2021

Saudi-led Arab coalition intercepts Houthi drone launched towards Khamis Mushait

Saudi-led Arab coalition intercepts Houthi drone launched towards Khamis Mushait

DUBAI: The Saudi-led Arab coalition intercepted and destroyed a Houthi drone targeting Saudi Arabia’s Khamis Mushait on Tuesday, state TV Al-Ekhbariya reported.

The Kingdom has seen an increase in attacks by the militia after the US delisted the Houthis from the list of terrorist organizations.

Last month, Yemen’s Foreign Minister Ahmed bin Mubarak condemned recent attacks by the Houthis, saying that they hindered the peace process and blamed Iran for the ongoing crisis in the country.
“The Iranian interventions have become a formidable obstruction to peace as Iran has turned the Yemeni conflict into a negotiating card that Iranian regime capitalizes on to serve its nuclear negotiations,” he said.