British PM May welcomes coalition efforts to reopen Yemen ports for humanitarian assistance

Crown Prince Salman has affirmed ‘the keenness of the Kingdom and the coalition countries on the security and stability of Yemen, the safety of its people,’ among others. (Arab News)
Updated 21 December 2017

British PM May welcomes coalition efforts to reopen Yemen ports for humanitarian assistance

JEDDAH: British Prime Minister Theresa May has welcomed the steps being taken by the Saudi-led coalition to reopen ports to enable the humanitarian assistance to access the Yemeni people.
In a telephone conversation with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the British premier leader also reiterated the UK’s “welcoming of measures taken by the Coalition for supporting the legitimacy in Yemen.”
The Arab Coalition in Yemen said the Houthi-controlled Hodeidah port would remain open for a month, despite a failed missile attack on the Saudi capital last Tuesday, and noted it was keen “keen to maintain humanitarian aid to the Yemeni people.”
The British premier likewise stressed in her conversation with the crown prince “the need for continuing inspection procedures to prevent the smuggling of weapons and missiles to Yemeni territories and threatening the security and stability of neighboring countries and the region.”
American officials last week presented declassified documents to prove that Iran was violating international law by funneling missiles to Houthi militias in Yemen.
Nikki Haley, the US envoy to the UN, particularly presented segments of missiles that were launched toward Saudi Arabia from Houthi-controlled territory in Yemen.
For his part, Crown Prince Salman affirmed “the keenness of the Kingdom and the coalition countries on the security and stability of Yemen, the safety of its people, the security of neighboring countries and providing all humanitarian aid and relief materials for the Yemeni people.”


Worshippers flock to reopened Prophet’s Mosque for Friday prayers

Updated 06 June 2020

Worshippers flock to reopened Prophet’s Mosque for Friday prayers

MADINAH: Hundreds of thousands of worshippers attended the first Friday prayers to be held at the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah since the gatherings were suspended to stop the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak.

The green light for the resumption of the prayer meetings came as part of a plan to gradually reopen the Kingdom’s mosques while ensuring worshippers and visitors adhered to preventive measures.

A ban on access to the Rawdah remained in place and only groups of worshippers numbering up to a maximum of 40 percent of the mosque’s capacity were being allowed entry.

Precautionary measures also included the allocation of specific doors for the entry of worshippers, the installation of thermal cameras, removal of all carpets so that prayers could be performed on the marble, sanitization of the mosque’s floors and courtyards, periodic opening of domes and canopies to ventilate the mosque, and the removal of Zamzam water containers.

The Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah will be closed after evening prayers and reopened one hour before dawn prayers. Parking lots will operate at 50 percent capacity and a media awareness campaign has been launched to highlight safety procedures at the holy site.

Medical teams have also been stationed at the main entrances to the mosque in cooperation with the Ministry of Health.

Elsewhere in the Kingdom, worshippers also flocked to perform Friday prayers at mosques amid strict health measures.

On May 31, Saudi authorities reopened all mosques for prayers, except in Makkah, as part of the Kingdom’s plan for a gradual return to normal life.

Last week the minister of Islamic affairs, dawah and guidance said that the country’s mosques were ready to welcome back worshippers, following his field trips to check that necessary preparations had been made.

All worshippers must still maintain a distance of 2 meters between rows, wear masks to enter a mosque, and Friday sermons and prayers have been limited to a maximum of 15 minutes.