Saudi Navy ‘sweeping Yemen shores for Houthi mines’

Saudi warships are seen during a naval exercise in this October 9, 2016 file photo. (REUTERS file photo)
Updated 25 March 2017

Saudi Navy ‘sweeping Yemen shores for Houthi mines’

JEDDAH: The Saudi Navy is constantly engaged in mine-sweeping on Yemeni shores, amid warnings over explosives planted by Houthi militias.
Maj. Gen. Ahmed Al-Assiri, spokesman for the Saudi-led coalition, told Arab News on Saturday that the sweeps of Yemen’s Red Sea coastline are routine.
“We have warned several times of the threat the Houthi-planted mines pose to the international maritime movements,” he said.
Several of the naval mines were found near the southwestern port city of Mokha aimed at targeting international shipping boats.
“Just a few days ago there was an incident where a fishing boat hit a mine off the Yemeni shores. Seven innocent fishermen were killed in this incident. This signifies the threat of these mines which needs to be addressed,” Al-Assiri said.
Forces allied with the internationally-recognized government of Yemen seized control of the strategic Red Sea port near Mokha in January, waging an assault against Houthi militias.
The US Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) earlier this month warned of the risk of aquatic mines in the Bab Al-Mandab Strait, according to media reports.
A report issued by the ONI warned merchant ships of the dangers of mines set near the Mokha port entrance by Houthis and militias allied to ousted Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh.
ONI stated that the US Navy will employ all needed efforts to protect the freedom of ships in the strait, it was reported.


Saudi Arabia keen on strengthening ties with EU 

Saad Al-Arifi
Updated 6 min 50 sec ago

Saudi Arabia keen on strengthening ties with EU 

  • Al-Arifi explained that Vision 2030 guides the Kingdom’s aspirations toward a new stage of development to establish a vibrant society where all citizens could realize their dreams

BRUSSELS: Saudi Arabia has underlined the importance of strengthening and developing relations with the EU in all fields, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Saturday.
The permanent representative of the Kingdom to the EU, Saad Al-Arifi, said during the dialogue session with the Arabian Peninsula Relations Mission in the European Parliament in Brussels that long-term relations had bound the Kingdom and the Gulf states with the EU since 1967 and that there was a strong convergence on a range of issues, based on mutual respect and common desire to continue these ties at a number of levels.
“We have emphasized the deepening of these ties by establishing our mission to the EU, promoting our bilateral discussions, enhancing interpersonal contacts as well as building bridges between Saudi society and European societies,” he said.
“The Kingdom is currently developing Vision 2030, which is a blueprint for an ambitious nation, and reflects the long-term goals that are based on the strengths and unique capabilities of the Kingdom.”
Al-Arifi explained that Vision 2030 guides the Kingdom’s aspirations toward a new stage of development to establish a vibrant society where all citizens could realize their dreams, hopes and aspirations, to succeed in a prosperous economy with major reforms in a number of aspects.