Saudi FM: We have worked to strengthen relations with Iraq in many areas

Adel Al-Jubeir speaking at the Egmont Royal Institute for International Relations. (Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
Updated 24 February 2018

Saudi FM: We have worked to strengthen relations with Iraq in many areas

The Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir said on Friday that Saudi Arabia has worked to strengthen relations with Iraq in many areas. 
"Iraq has a very important role in the Arab world and we support reconstruction efforts there," he said in Brussels at the Egmont Royal Institute for International Relations.
Saudi Arabia recently pledged $1.5 billion of financial support for reconstruction efforts in Iraq after the war to defeat Daesh.  
Al-Jubeir also spoke about the situation in Syria, where a relentless  regime bombardment of a rebel-held territory near Damascus has killed more than 400 people this week. 
The UN Security Council will vote on Friday on a draft resolution demanding a 30-day ceasefire.
Saudi Arabia on Thursday called for a halt to the attack on Eastern Ghouta.
“We seek to restore stability to Syria and support the Geneva resolutions for a peaceful solution,” Al-Jubeir said on Friday.
Syrian President Bashar Al Assad has been backed militarily by Iran and Russia, and their support has given him the upper hand in the conflict.
Arab countries fear that Iran is using proxy militias in Syria and elsewhere in the region to expand its influence. 
The Saudi foreign minister said Iran is "the single biggest threat to the region and perhaps to the world," and that Iranian-backed militias play a negative role in the region.
Speaking about the situation in Yemen, where Iran backs rebels fighting against the government, he said: "It is complex and we did not seek war there”.
He also said the Houthis have “repeatedly undermined efforts to reach a solution in Yemen.”
Saudi Arabia leads an Arab military coalition fighting to restore the government to full control of the country.
 Al-Jubeir also said that Saudi Arabia has opened channels to deliver aid to Yemen to alleviate the humanitarian tragedy there.
The foreign minister again called on Qatar to cease its support for terrorism and its “intervention in the affairs of neighboring countries.” 
"The crisis with Qatar is very small compared to challenges in the region,” he said.


ThePlace: Souk Al-Majlis of Qassim

Updated 44 min 8 sec ago

ThePlace: Souk Al-Majlis of Qassim

The Saudi marketplace Souk Al-Majlis, or the Divan Heritage Souk, is part of the old town of Al-Maznab and lies 7 kilometers from the urban center of the city in Al-Derah district.

Al-Maznab township itself is located  in southeastern Qassim province and covers an area of about 2 square kilometers.

It contains more than 380 houses of various sizes, while the old Divan Heritage Souk and the Masque of Bahla Palace form the starting point for the district and its main center.

The souk is popular with visitors and locals and hosts summer events, auctions and folklore presentations among other similar activities.