Saudi initiative exempts less-developed countries from $6bn debt

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Saudi Arabia’s King Salman chairs the council of ministers’ weekly session. (SPA)
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Saudi Arabia’s King Salman chairs the council of ministers’ weekly session. (SPA)
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Saudi Arabia’s King Salman chairs the council of ministers’ weekly session. (SPA)
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Saudi Arabia’s King Salman chairs the council of ministers’ weekly session. (SPA)
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Saudi Arabia’s King Salman chairs the council of ministers’ weekly session. (SPA)
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Saudi Arabia’s King Salman chairs the council of ministers’ weekly session. (SPA)
Updated 31 October 2018

Saudi initiative exempts less-developed countries from $6bn debt

  • The figure was revealed during a meeting of the Saudi Cabinet on Tuesday chaired by King Salman

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia has canceled $6 billion of debt owed to the Kingdom from the least developed countries.
The figure was revealed during a meeting of the Saudi Cabinet on Tuesday chaired by King Salman.
The Cabinet discussed the Kingdom’s cooperation with the international community to achieve stability and development and the humanitarian and economic role played by Saudi Arabia, particularly with its commitment to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, the Saudi Press Agency reported.
The ministers referred to the “Kingdom’s debt pardoning initiative,” which had “exempted least developed countries from a total $ 6 billion debt.”
The Cabinet also expressed the Kingdom’s condemnation of the shooting in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the attack in the town of Jafra in southern Libya, and the two suicide bombings in the capital of Tunisia and the Afghan capital. 
The Cabinet also reiterated the Kingdom’s condemnation of the terrorist massacres, brutal attacks and genocide being committed against the Rohingya in Rakhine State and other minorities in Kachin Shan province and other areas in northern Myanmar, which constitute one of the worst forms of terrorism against Muslim and other minorities. It reaffirmed the Kingdom’s call for urgent action to stop the violence and to offer the Rohingya in Myanmar their rights without segregation or apartheid.
The Cabinet praised Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for assuring at the Future Investment Initiative 2018 last week that Saudi Arabia had made huge steps in enhancing and developing its economy during the past three years.
The ministers also commended the status that the Kingdom’s economy has reached, pointing to the growth of non-oil revenues by 48 percent at the end of the third quarter compared to the same period last year, and the growth of government spending by 25 percent at the end of the third quarter, compared to the same period last year.
The Cabinet praised the completion of the specialized judiciary system following the launching of general, specialized and labor courts to develop the judiciary sector.
The Cabinet welcomed the measures taken by the member states of Terrorist Financing Targeting Center, which designated nine individuals linked to the Taliban Movement, including Iranians, in addition to the designation made by Saudi Arabia and Bahrain for four persons who provided sponsorship and financial and material support for Iran’s terrorist sabotage activities.


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.