Top officials discuss GCC security

Updated 08 July 2014

Top officials discuss GCC security

Regional security and cooperation topped the agenda of the consultative meeting held recently between the deputy ministers and high-ranking officials from the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and Sheikh Mohammad Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, Kuwaiti deputy premier and minister of interior.
The meeting assumes significance amid growing regional challenges including security concerns created by the Islamic State and the Sharura standoff on the Saudi-Yemen border.
“The meeting between GCC officials and Sheikh Mohammad stressed permanent cooperation between GCC interior ministries,” sources at the Ministry of Interior said.
According to the sources, regional security topped the agenda of the discussion, which took place after the consultative meeting on Thursday in Kuwait.
“They called for unifying their visions and discussed security developments in regional and international arenas,” the sources added.
The meeting also discussed regional stability, security and fight against crime.
Earlier, the GCC had announced the formation of a unified military command to reinforce the regional security architecture in order to strengthen the six member bloc’s defense capabilities.
The participating deputy interior ministers expressed gratitude to the Kuwaiti government for hosting the important meeting.
Notably, the Kuwaiti Ministry of Interior said Monday that it will bring all those involved in the violation of the law to book in order to safeguard the country’s security.
The GCC countries are also planning to launch a common visa on the lines of the Schengen visa to allow Gulf-based expats and foreign businessmen to move easily across the borders of the six-member bloc and boost tourism and trade in the region.


‘Dare to dream,’ football hero Thierry Henry tells Saudi fans

Footballing great Thierry Henry thrills fans as he signs 10 footballs on stage and tosses them to the audience. (Photo/Supplied)
Updated 13 min 13 sec ago

‘Dare to dream,’ football hero Thierry Henry tells Saudi fans

  • Fans got up close and personal with the former champion during a segment called the lightning round, where Henry had to answer questions in 10 seconds

DHAHRAN: Stepping onto the Tanween stage in front of a sold-out venue full of cheering fans, footballing great Thierry Henry was quick to say how “hyped” he was to meet his Saudi supporters.
As a guest and speaker at Tanween Season, the former Arsenal striker and French international faced a busy schedule on Saturday after arriving at King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture (Ithra) in Dhahran.
First, he had a “meet and greet” with fans, many wearing Arsenal shirts, which was quickly followed by a discussion of the theme for this year’s event, “Play.”
After two young footballers from Riyadh performed a series of tricks that included balancing a football on one leg, then kicking it in the air to land on their backs, Henry said: “I would have broken my back trying to do that. It’s not easy.”
On his second visit to Saudi Arabia — the first was to Riyadh last year — Henry said that he was impressed by this year’s Tanween theme since he had seen firsthand the results of a children’s quality-of-life program at Tanween.
“What I liked most was to see the smiles on the faces of those children when I was walking around the impressive building. Being able to dream is key for me, but seeing how the youngsters were interacting, and how happy they were with their families walking around, was just priceless,” he said.
Growing up, Henry’s father played an important role in his development. The footballer did not miss a beat when answering that his father was his idol. “My dad was the hardest man to please; to put a smile on his face was the hardest thing to do,” he said.
Although the footballer grew up in a “not so great” Paris neighborhood, he considered it an enriching cultural experience. “It was great for me at the time because it allowed me to travel, although I wasn’t really traveling,” he said.
France’s colonial history meant he was exposed to different cultures early in his life.
“If I going upstairs to have couscous, to the second floor to have Senegalese food, or to eat with the Portuguese downstairs, it allowed me to travel, staying where I was,” he explained.
During his talk Henry showed that his Arabic extends to common niceties such as “shukran,” “afwan” and “alsalamau alaikum.”
Having an impact on the English Premier League and his role in Arsenal’s record-breaking era almost two decades ago are more important to him that being considered the world’s best striker, he said. As for his favorite stadium, Henry was quick to choose Highbury.
Offering advice to younger Saudis in the audience, Henry urged them to face their problems calmly and cleverly.
“Don’t run away. Face it and don’t be scared to fail. Come back again, but smarter,” he said.
Fans got up close and personal with the former champion during a segment called the lightning round, where Henry had to answer questions in 10 seconds. That revealed that he has always admired Muhammad Ali as the greatest, Messi is his current favorite football player and winning the World Cup was the most memorable moment in his career.
After the talk, Henry thrilled the crowd — a reminder of his playing days — by tossing 10 footballs to lucky fans who cheered as he left the stage.