Envoy thanks King Salman for additional $160m aid for Maldives

An aerial view of one of the islands that comprise the Maldives in the Indian Ocean is shown in this file picture. Saudi Arabia has granted a new $160 million facility for projects in the Maldives. (AFP)
Updated 17 February 2018

Envoy thanks King Salman for additional $160m aid for Maldives

RIYADH: The ambassador of the crisis-hit Maldives thanked Saudi Arabia on Saturday for the grant of a new $160 million facility for projects in the Indian Ocean island republic.

“I thank King Salman, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and the Saudi people for the new financing facility. King Salman has always pledged support for development in the Maldives,” Abdullah Hameed told Arab News.

The Maldivian envoy said that the amount is in addition to $100 million for airport development and the $80 million development of Hulhumale city, pledges made earlier by the Kingdom.

According to a communication from the Saudi Fund for Development (SFD), the new financial facility is from the Kingdom and the UAE for the expansion of airports and fisheries.

“The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the government of the UAE are following up on the current events in the Republic of Maldives,” the SFD communication said.

It added that the two countries “express their concern about all the disturbing security and stability in the Maldives and note that these events are an internal matter.”

Hameed added that Saudi Arabia and the UAE expressed “hope for peaceful solutions through internal political dialogue between the parties concerned without external interference and within the framework of the Maldivian Constitution.”

This comes after an earlier government invitation to all political parties, calling for constructive dialogue about the country’s political situation.

Hameed said the state of emergency in the Maldives lasts for only 15 days under the island republic’s constitution unless the Maldivian parliament extends it. He added that the emergency ends on Wednesday.

“Under the constitution and in case of emergency, the president is vested with power to ensure stability to ensure the rule of law and uphold the constitution,” the ambassador said.


Saudi Arabia to launch app for Umrah pilgrims

Updated 21 September 2020

Saudi Arabia to launch app for Umrah pilgrims

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia is launching an online application that allows citizens, residents, and visitors to apply for Umrah pilgrimage.
The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah said the move is part of digitalization efforts undertaken by the Kingdom. 
The ministry also released details on how it plans to gradually allow pilgrims to apply and reserve a specific time and date for Umrah in a bid to avoid overcrowding. 
The national project aims to save time and reduce costs and burdens on government agencies.
The online process will provide information to complete government procedures, in addition to raising security levels and preserving government documents.
The step comes within measures taken by the ministry to keep pace with the digital transformation under the Kingdom's Vision 2030 reform program.
It said a total of 54 government agencies are set to benefit from the system.