Kingdom slams ISIS as destructive terror group

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Updated 21 June 2014

Kingdom slams ISIS as destructive terror group

Saudi Arabia has dismissed accusations from Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki that it supports terrorist groups in Iraq as "ludicrous."
Addressing a press conference in Jeddah at the end of the 41st session of the Council of Foreign Ministers meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on Thursday, Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal took a dig at Al-Maliki. “Those allegations are not from Iraq but Al-Maliki,” he said.
He blamed Al-Maliki’s sectarian policies for the crisis in Iraq.
“We have unequivocally condemned the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS) as a terrorist group,” said Prince Saud. “ISIS does not represent the will of the Iraqi people.”
Responding to a question from Arab News that some people see the events in Iraq as a people’s revolution, he said: “We don’t see ISIS as revolutionaries. They found the space to operate in Iraq because of the policies of the (Al-Maliki) government that divided Iraqis, treated them unequally, subjugated and terrorized them.”
Prince Saud said the Iraqi prime minister indulged in politics of vengeance and behaved in a dictatorial way by consolidating power in his office. “This is what led to the presumption that this is a people’s revolt,” he said.
Al-Maliki’s politics of hate “led to the breaking of the will of the security forces in meeting the challenge of the terrorists,” he said. “ISIS is a terror organization. It is not a savior, but a destroyer of Iraq,” said Prince Saud. He said the Kingdom was "opposed to all militias" from whatever sect.
He said no one has suffered more than Saudi Arabia from terrorism. “We fought a successful battle against them,” he said. “Therefore, those allegations (from Al-Maliki) are ludicrous,” he said.
The final declaration of the OIC meeting on Thursday did not specifically mention Iraq, but called on all Islamic countries to unite against sectarian politics. “(These) exclusionary sectarian policies have led to the emergence of sedition pervading the political arena and creating chaos,” the declaration stated. “They (have) endangered peace, stability and the sovereignty of many states and are not easy to overcome.”
The OIC called on member states to not discriminate between various factions on ethnic or other grounds.
The OIC rejected the presidential elections in Syria. “They contravene the Geneva Communiqué which called for the establishment of a transitional governing body to supervise constitutional reforms, leading to free and fair elections to revive the political process and involve all Syrian parties,” the final declaration stated.
The OIC stated that the National Coalition of Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces was the legitimate representative of the Syrian people.


Riyadh roads turn green as world’s largest urban greening project branches out

Based on experience, roads and streets without trees contain eight to 10 times the amount of dust compared with streets lined with trees on both sides. (Photo/Supplied)
Updated 03 August 2020

Riyadh roads turn green as world’s largest urban greening project branches out

  • Capital gets a facelift as Vision 2030 program works to plant 7.5 million trees
  • Most of the tree species used in the project are from a well-developed local environment with low agricultural service and care

RIYADH: The Green Riyadh project, one of the world’s largest urban greening initiatives, is rapidly bearing fruit as it transforms main roads in the capital.

Major thoroughfares, including King Khalid, Makkah and King Salman roads, are getting a facelift as part of the Vision 2030 goal of improving quality of life in the city.
Dr. Fahad Al-Mana, a professor of Ornamental Plants, Gardens and Green Areas at King Saud University, told Arab News that native tree species being used for the project include Ziziphus spina-christi, Acacia gerrardii and Prosopis cineraria, commonly known as the ghaf tree.
According to Al-Mana, the trees can survive in harsh desert conditions and will grow without intensive agricultural care.
“Most of the tree species used in the planting of the Green Riyadh project are from a well-developed local environment with low agricultural service and care,” he said.
Environmental conditions in Riyadh were taken into account during the tree selection process. The species can grow to a large size in only three years.
“In some locations, they have moved large 3-year-old local trees that were taken care of in plant nurseries to new locations where they are growing successfully,” Al-Mana said.
Green Riyadh will increase the amount of greenery in the city and augment the green cover in the Saudi capital with the planting of 7.5 million trees around the city’s main features and facilities.
The project will reduce the average ambient temperature by 2 degrees Celsius and improve air quality, encouraging people to follow a healthier lifestyle by walking or cycling.

FASTFACTS

• The project will reduce the average ambient temperature by 2 degrees Celsius and improve air quality, encouraging people to follow a healthier lifestyle by walking or cycling.

• The project will maximize the use of recycled water in irrigation works by increasing usage from 90,000 cubic meters per day to more than 1 million cubic meters per day through the construction of a new recycled water network.

• Green space in the city will increase from 5 percent to 9 percent by 2030

“The aim of planting trees in the streets is to provide shade and moderate the temperature, especially in summer, which contributes to the purification of air and reduces environmental pollution by protecting the city from sand storms, winds and dust. In addition, it gives an aesthetic view and the element of nature enters the city and nearby structures,” said Al-Mana.
He added that trees, especially those planted in central street islands, must have long trunks and high branches to avoid hindering the movement of pedestrians and cars. The trunk must measure at least 3 to 4 meters and the size of the trees planted must be proportional to the width of the island.
Al-Mana said green space in the city will increase from 5 percent to 9 percent by 2030.
According to the Green Riyadh website, the project will maximize the use of recycled water in irrigation works by increasing usage from 90,000 cubic meters per
day to more than 1 million cubic meters per day through the construction of a new recycled water network.
Al-Mana said the Green Riyadh project will also reduce carbon dioxide and impurity levels in the city.
“Based on experience, roads and streets without trees contain eight to 10 times the amount of dust compared with streets lined with trees on both sides,” he said.