Leading UK role sought to resolve crisis in Syria

Updated 17 April 2014

Leading UK role sought to resolve crisis in Syria

Senior Saudi officials, Shoura Council members and academicians called on the United Kingdom on Tuesday to take a “leading role” in resolving the Syrian crisis, as many of the West’s policies on both Syria and Iran risk the stability and security of the Middle East. They also called on the UK to adopt more aggressive policy on regional issues, especially on, Syria and work closely with allies including the Kingdom.
Officials and academicians were speaking during the inaugural session of the first workshop entitled “Saudi-British relations” on Tuesday night. Several speakers and participants, both Saudi and British, expressed their disappointment and dissatisfaction on the international response to the systematic genocide carried out by Assad regime, saying that the crisis continues unabated.
The two-day Saudi-British workshop, organized jointly by the Riyadh-based Institute of Diplomatic Studies (IDS) and the London-based Chatham House, was officially launched by Ambassador Khaled Al-Jandan, undersecretary for bilateral relations at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The first session of the workshop was co-chaired by Abdulkarim H. Aldekhayel, IDS director-general, and Baroness Emma Nicholson, UK trade envoy, who is responsible for trade at the British House of Lords.
Several Shoura Council members, including Mona Abdullah Saeed Al-Mushait, Hoda Abdulrahman Al-Helaissi and Elham Mahjoob Ahmed Hassanain, were present.
On behalf of Britain, Nicholson and Julian Reilly, deputy chief of mission at the British Embassy, addressed the opening session. Saud Mousaed Al-Tamamy, adviser at the IDS Center for European Studies, spoke very candidly and comprehensively on the obstacles that hamper the ties between two nations.
In his inaugural address, Al-Jandan gave an overview of the progressively growing Saudi-British relations. “The UK was among the first nations to recognize the Kingdom in 1926, which led to the opening of a Saudi embassy in 1930,” he said. “The UK-based Saudi embassy at that time was the second official diplomatic representation of the Kingdom abroad.” A plan to hold second workshop in London has also been announced by Chatham House.
The event, which concluded Wednesday, was also attended by Sara Birke, Middle East correspondent for “The Economist,” who spoke on trade and economic issues.
The IDS, which is working closely with Chatham House, is a state-owned Saudi institution under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with the mandate to work in the field of diplomacy, diplomat’s training and policy research.
Chatham House, home to the Royal Institute of International Affairs for the last 100 years, is a world-leading source of independent analysis, informed debate and influential ideas on how to build a prosperous and secure world.
It produces independent and rigorous analysis of critical global, regional and country-specific challenges and opportunities.


Number of coronavirus cases in Saudi Arabia could hit 200,000, says health minister

Updated 07 April 2020

Number of coronavirus cases in Saudi Arabia could hit 200,000, says health minister

  • Minister added it was vital the public cooperated with the government’s instructions and precautionary measures

RIYADH: The number of COVID-19 cases in Saudi Arabia could reach up to 200,000 within a few weeks, according to the Kingdom’s health minister.

Citing four Saudi and international studies on Tuesday, Dr. Tawfiq Al-Rabiah said the case figure is likely to see a constant increase rather than a decrease, Saudi Press Agency reported.

"Within the next few weeks, studies predict the number of infections will range from a minimum of 10,000 to a maximum of 200,000," Al-Rabiah said.

The minister added it was vital the public cooperated with the government’s instructions and precautionary measures to limit the number of infections.

“There is no doubt that our commitment to the instructions and procedures, in its entirety reduces the number of cases to the minimum, while non-compliance will lead to a huge increase in the number of cases,” he said.

“We stand today at a decisive moment as a society in raising our sense of responsibility and contributing together with determination to stop the spread of this pandemic,”

Many people were not taking the dangers of the pandemic seriously enough, according to the health minister, adding that the Kingdom had death with the crisis with full “transparency and clarity.”

The Saudi health ministry also announced on Tuesday that there were a total of 2,795 confirmed cases and the death toll from the virus in the Kingdom had reached 41.

A 24-hour curfew and lockdown has been imposed in the cities of Riyadh, Tabuk, Dammam, Dhahran and Al-Hofuf and in the governorates of Jeddah, Taif, Qatif and Khobar in a bid to prevent the spread of COVID-19

Last week, King Salman issued a decree which ordered treatment to be available for anyone in need of medical care, including people who have overstayed their visa in the Kingdom.