Saudi Arabia’s support for Yemeni people ‘will help them to cope with economic burdens’

King Salman chairs the Cabinet session in Riyadh on Tuesday. (SPA)
Updated 24 January 2018

Saudi Arabia’s support for Yemeni people ‘will help them to cope with economic burdens’

RIYADH: The Saudi Cabinet has lauded King Salman’s directives to deposit $2 billion in the Yemeni Central Bank, bringing total Saudi deposits in the account to $3 billion.
Chaired by King Salman at Al-Yamamah Palace on Tuesday, the Cabinet said this step comes as an extension of the Kingdom’s support for the Yemeni people. It will alleviate their sufferings and help them to cope with economic burdens caused by the crimes of the Iranian-backed Houthi militias that have plundered the country and its revenues.
In addition, the Cabinet welcomed the comprehensive humanitarian aid plan announced by the meeting of the Arab coalition supporting the legitimacy in Yemen, recently held in Riyadh, that included the contribution of $1.5 billion by coalition member countries. This constitutes more than 50 percent of the humanitarian aid program to Yemen announced by the UN for the current year.
The Cabinet also praised the decision of the foreign ministers of member states of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) at their emergency meeting in Jeddah, where strong condemnation was made of Houthi militias for launching Iran-made ballistic missiles toward Riyadh on Dec. 19, 2017.
The OIC ministers considered that an attack on the Kingdom and proof of the Houthis’ refusal to comply with the decisions of the international community. The Cabinet appreciated the OIC ministers’ support for the Kingdom in the face of terrorism and their solidarity with the Kingdom in steps taken to preserve its security and stability and call for a collective stance against this aggressive attack.
The Cabinet, further, praised their condemnation of Iran for its interference in the internal affairs of countries of the region and its violation of the OIC foreign ministers’ decision in Makkah in Nov. 2016 and relevant Security Council resolutions calling on Iran to stop policies conducive to fueling sectarian disputes and abstain from supporting and funding terror groups.
On terrorism, the Cabinet expressed the Kingdom’s strong condemnation of a terror attack on a hotel in Kabul, Afghanistan, and renewed the Kingdom’s standing with sisterly and friendly countries against all acts of terrorism and extremism.
Later, the Cabinet approved two memos of understanding for cooperation in the area of health between the Kingdom and Indonesia and the United Kingdom, respectively. The Cabinet also authorized the minister of finance to discuss and sign a draft agreement between the Kingdom and the UAE to avoid double taxation and evasion. It also approved the national strategy on water.

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.