GCC, Belgium to cooperate in combating extremism, terrorism

Dirk Achten. (Courtesy photo)
Updated 08 November 2017

GCC, Belgium to cooperate in combating extremism, terrorism

RIYADH: A visiting Belgian delegation held talks with senior officials from the Kingdom and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) secretariat on combating terrorism and extremism.
Dirk Achten, vice-minister and secretary-general at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belgium, the head of a nine-member team visiting the capital, held talks on Monday with Abdel Aziz Abu Hamad Aluwaisheg, assistant secretary-general for political and negotiations affairs at the GCC.
Belgian Ambassador Geert Criel also participated in the meetings with GCC and other Saudi officials.
The meeting held at the Secretariat General of the GCC was co-chaired by Aluwaisheg and the visiting Belgian minister.
During the meeting, the two parties reviewed relations between the two sides and discussed the latest developments in the region. They also discussed ways of combating terrorism and extremism, in addition to the efforts made by the two parties in this direction.
Speaking to Arab News following the meeting, Aluwaisheg said: “During the meeting with Achten, we discussed modalities for GCC-Belgian cooperation in all fields — political, economic and people-to-people. We then focused on combating terrorism and extremism. We agreed to cooperate on countering radicalization, terrorist recruitment and messaging, as well tracking and disrupting terrorism financing.”
“We will be developing exact mechanisms for such engagement over the next weeks,” Aluwaisheg concluded.
Ambassador Criel told Arab News that the vice minister had a meeting at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with a number of officials, discussing bilateral issues of mutual concerns and regional questions.
The envoy said that the visit was more concentrated on combating extremism since Belgium is already cooperating with the Kingdom in the fight against terrorism. The delegation wanted to exchange experiences in the field of combating extremism and wants to learn from the Kingdom’s experiences, Criel added.
He added: “We discussed cooperation in the field in the fight against terrorism and extremism with the officials of the Ministry of Interior and the GCC secretariat. We also visited the Prince Mohamed bin Naif Center for Counseling and Care, where we had very useful and instructive discussions.”
The Mohamed bin Naif Center for Counseling and Care is fully dedicated to a society that is marked by moderation in both thoughts and behavior. Being envisioned to protect community against immoderate thoughts, the center conducts scientific and practical correctional rehabilitation programs to reform youths that fell victim to such thoughts.


‘Wusool’ transport program benefits 60,000 Saudi women

Updated 20 February 2020

‘Wusool’ transport program benefits 60,000 Saudi women

RIYADH: Over 60,000 Saudi female employees have benefited from Wusool, a female transportation program that helps ease their daily commute.

The program aims to find solutions that reduce the burden of transportation costs for Saudi female workers in the private sector by providing them with subsidies from the Human Resources Development Fund (HRDF) for high-quality, safe and secure transportation services to and from the workplace, partnering with taxi companies through licensed smart apps.

The program aims to increase the participation of women in the labor market and increase job stability. 

The HRDF said it made amendments and updates to Wusool to ensure that the largest number of applicants benefitted from it. This comes as part of the HRDF’s support for women working in the private sector.

The procedures included amendments to the terms of enrollment in the program, including the requirement to be registered under the General Organization for Social Insurance (GOSI), where the employee should be registered for less than 36 months, and her monthly salary should not exceed SR8,000 ($2,132). SPA Riyadh

The amendments also included a fixed monthly financial support provided by HRDF, covering 80 percent of the cost at a maximum of SR800 per month, in addition to the cancelation of the previously planned financial participation of SR200, and extending the support period to 12 months.

Women working in the private sector can register for the Wusool program by visiting http://wusool.sa.