Saudi Arabia defends Bahrain’s crackdown on violent protest

Security forces during a raid on a sit-in in Diraz, Bahrain, Tuesday. (AP)
Updated 25 May 2017

Saudi Arabia defends Bahrain’s crackdown on violent protest

RIYADH/MANAMA: Saudi Arabia on Wednesday defended the actions of Bahraini authorities who opened fire on a protest by supporters of a top Shiite cleric, killing five people.
The security of Bahrain “is an integral part” of Saudi security, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) quoted a source in the Kingdom’s Foreign Ministry as saying.
“The source affirmed the support of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the measures being taken,” including in Diraz village near the capital Manama, it said.
These measures are to “address all terrorist attempts aimed at destabilizing and damaging” security and order, it added.
Bahrain’s Interior Ministry said in a Twitter message: “Five deaths have been registered among the outlaws” in Diraz, near the capital of Manama, where the police opened fire to disperse the sit-in outside the home of cleric Isa Qassim.
“A total of 286 arrests were made, including fugitives that had escaped from Jau Prison,” the ministry said.
“Several terrorists and convicted felons were also apprehended with a large number of them hiding in the residence of Isa Qassim,” it added.
Several members of the security forces were injured, it said.
Witnesses had earlier told AFP that several people were wounded when police officers fired at demonstrators throwing stones and Molotov cocktails at security forces.
A US State Department official told AFP: “We urge restraint on all sides in responding to today’s developments and call on all parties to contribute to a climate conducive for dialogue and reconciliation.”
A court last year ordered the dissolution of Bahrain’s main opposition group Al-Wefaq after authorities accused it of “harboring terrorism.”
Bahrain’s Parliament in March voted unanimously to grant military courts the right to try civilians charged with any act of “terrorism.”


Saudi Arabian delegation holds UNESCO reception in Paris

Updated 4 min 29 sec ago

Saudi Arabian delegation holds UNESCO reception in Paris

PARIS: The permanent Saudi delegation to the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) held a reception to mark the 40th session of UNESCO’s General Conference in Paris, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Thursday.
The session was held in the presence of the Saudi education minister and deputy chairman of the National Committee for UNESCO, Dr. Hamad bin Mohammed Al-Asheikh.
The session was attended by the permanent delegates of UNESCO member states and senior officials from the organization.
“Today, we see the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 objectives coincide with UNESCO’s mission through the Kingdom’s keenness to support educational, cultural and scientific projects around the world because of its regional and international status, and its roles in strengthening relations between Arab and Islamic countries and the global agenda for sustainable development in the organization’s educational, cultural and scientific fields, Al-Asheikh said in his speech.
He affirmed the Kingdom’s continued cooperation with UNESCO member states in the fields of education, culture and science, and its continued support for the organization’s programs.
He said the Kingdom is one of the founding members of UNESCO, and the sixth country to sign the organization’s charter, on Nov. 4, 1946, upon the directives of the late King Abdul Aziz.