Saudi Arabia bans poultry products from 6 countries

Heat-processed poultry products are treated in a way that destroys the avian flu virus and are excluded from the temporary ban.
Updated 06 January 2017

Saudi Arabia bans poultry products from 6 countries

RIYADH: An outbreak of avian influenza prompted the Kingdom to ban imports of poultry products temporarily from six bird flu-affected European and Asian countries.
The Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA) confirmed the temporary ban on imports of poultry meat and eggs after the World Organization for Animal Health reported an avian influenza outbreak.
Announcing the ban late Wednesday, the SFDA said: “The authority has temporarily banned the importing of poultry meat, eggs, their products and equipment from provinces and districts in five countries due to the outbreak of a highly virulent avian influenza.”
“The ban affects Bacs-Kiskun county in Hungary, Kherson province in Ukraine, Lubuskie province in Poland, Friesland county in the Netherlands and provinces of Tarn-et-Garonne and Aveyron in France,” the SFDA said in a statement.
Poultry products from other provinces in these countries, which are thermally processed and certified to be free of bird flu, are not affected.
Heat-processed poultry products are treated in a way that destroys the avian flu virus, and are excluded from the temporary ban.
The Kingdom also temporarily banned imports of poultry products from India due to a bird flu outbreak, the commercial section of the Indian Embassy told Arab News on Thursday.
A senior official from the embassy said that the SFDA has decided to impose a temporary ban on the import of live birds, hatching eggs and chickens from India due to the outbreak of pathogenic avian influenza.
He added that such bans, however, are periodically reviewed and lifted as and when the situation returns to normal.
The Kingdom, the second-largest importer of chicken broiler meat in the world, on previous occasions imposed similar bans on poultry imports from other countries after avian influenza outbreaks, and lifted them when the situation returned to normal.
The avian virus, popularly known as bird flu, is the highly pathogenic H5N2 strain.

GCC summit calls for greater economic and defense unity among Gulf countries 

Updated 10 December 2019

GCC summit calls for greater economic and defense unity among Gulf countries 

  • Heads of the delegations land in Riyadh before the 40th Supreme Council meeting gets under way
  • King Salman tells the summit that the GCC has overcome many crises in its history

RIYADH: The GCC summit called for greater regional economic and defense integration as the meeting chaired by King Salman came to a close in Riyadh on Tuesday.

The final statement, read by GCC General Secretary Abdullatif Al-Zayani, called for finalizing legislation for financial and monetary unity by 2025, according to the meeting's final communique.

The statement also called for boosting military and security cooperation to maintain regional security.

“The leaders of the GCC countries have affirmed today their keenness to preserve the strength, cohesion and strength of the GCC …  as an oasis of stability, security, economic prosperity and social peace,” the statement said.

It referred to attacks in the last year against Saudi Arabia, including coordinated missile and drone strikes against major oil facilities blamed on Iran.

The statement said the GCC states “stand unified against the attacks” and that this reflected the Gulf defense agreement that says “aggression against a member state would be considered as aggression against all the GCC states.”

“The highest goal of the Cooperation Council is to achieve coordination, integration and interdependence among the member states in all fields in order to reach their unity,” it said.

The 40th Supreme Council meeting was chaired by King Salman, who met the heads of each delegation as they landed.

They included the UAE Vice President and Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, Bahrain's King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa, Oman's Deputy Prime Minister for the Council of Ministers Fahd bin Mahmoud Al-Said and Qatar's Prime Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al-Thani.

In his opening remarks, King Salman said the GCC had managed to overcome many crises that the region has faced.

He said the current set of challenges “call for concerted efforts to confront them.”

“The Iranian regime continues its hostile actions to undermine security and stability and support terrorism,” the king said.

He said the GCC must “work with the international community to stop the interference of this regime, deal seriously with its nuclear program and the program to develop ballistic missiles.”

There was no mention in the final communique of the dispute between Qatar and other Gulf and Arab countries. 

But Prime Minister Sheikh Abdullah was the most senior Qatari official to attend the GCC summit since 2017 - the same year Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt launched a boycott of Qatar over its links to extremist groups among other things.

Speaking after the meeting, Saudi Arabia's foreign minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan said: “The four countries (boycotting Qatar) continue to support the efforts of the Kuwaiti Emir and value their success.”

Al-Zayani, who is stepping down as secretary general, said all the GCC leaders had praised the efforts of the Emir of Kuwait in preserving the unity of the cooperation. 

At a preparatory meeting on Monday, Gulf foreign ministers approved the nomination of former Kuwaiti Finance Minister Nayef Al-Hajraf as the next secretary-general of the GCC.

His term will begin in April 2020 following the end of Al-Zayani’s term.