Saudi Cabinet: Houthi attacks branded ‘war crimes’

King Salman chairs the Cabinet’s session in Jeddah on Tuesday. (SPA)
Updated 26 June 2019

Saudi Cabinet: Houthi attacks branded ‘war crimes’

  • Coalition has right to take all steps in defense, say ministers

JEDDAH: The recent wave of deadly terrorist attacks by Iranian-backed Houthi militants on civilian targets in the Kingdom were on Tuesday branded as “war crimes” by the Saudi Cabinet.
A ministerial council meeting, chaired by King Salman, condemned ballistic missile and drone raids, which it said presented a major threat to regional and international security.
In the wake of Sunday’s second terror strike this month on Abha International Airport, which killed a Syrian national and left 21 civilians injured, ministers stressed the right of the coalition to take all necessary measures to deal with the attacks under international laws.
The Cabinet session, held in Jeddah, welcomed a joint statement by the US, the UK, the UAE and Saudi Arabia expressing concern over rising tensions in the region caused by the “dangerous” peace-destabilizing activities of Iran in Yemen, the Kingdom and throughout the region.
Ministers offered their condolences to family members of the Syrian who died during Sunday’s Houthi attack on Abha airport in the south of the country and wished a speedy recovery to the people wounded in the strike.
In other business, the Cabinet highlighted the final communique of an emergency meeting of Arab finance ministers, which pledged their commitment to providing a safety net to support the Palestinian authority’s budget to the tune of $100 million each month.
The Kingdom was also thanked for its continued backing for the Palestinian cause.
Meanwhile, in a statement to the Saudi Press Agency, Minister of Media Turki Al-Shabanah said the Cabinet emphasized that the choice of Saudi Arabia to become the first Arab country to be granted full membership of the intergovernmental Financial Action Task Force, was due to its efforts in combating money laundering and terrorist financing.
The Cabinet session also gave the green light to the Saudi culture minister to discuss two memorandums of understanding (MoUs) on cooperation with his counterparts in South Korea and Japan.
The chairman of the Saudi General Entertainment Authority (GEA) was authorized to hold similar talks on MoUs with his opposite numbers in the UAE, Kuwait and Bahrain.

LA Italian eatery Madeo delights the palate in Riyadh Season pop-up

Updated 15 December 2019

LA Italian eatery Madeo delights the palate in Riyadh Season pop-up

  • Despite minor setbacks he faced while setting up, Vietina considers the experience to be a positive one

RIYADH: Renowned Italian restaurant Madeo has opened up in Al-Murabba for Riyadh Season. 

The pop-up has started brightly, and head chef Gianni Vietina invited Arab News to sample the menu and chat about his experience.

Vietina, in Saudi Arabia for the first time, said that he loved the location he had set up in, and was very happy to be opening up in the Kingdom. 

“The location is gorgeous. At night, with all the lights on, the music going, it’s very nice.”

Despite minor setbacks he faced while setting up, Vietina considers the experience to be a positive one and that the response was even better than he had expected. 

“Like anything new, you have quests, you have problems. Up to now, we’re doing pretty good. We are up and running. We’re comfortable now, which is a shame as we’re leaving pretty soon,” he said.

He added that he would repeat the experience in a heartbeat if he could: “They were nice enough to ask me to stay in Saudi a little longer, but I can’t. I need to go back home. But I would love to come back.”

He said that while he was not planning to open up a permanent restaurant in Saudi Arabia, he would not rule it out completely.  “I’ve been offered options, and friends have offered to show me locations while I’m here, but I can’t do it right now, I just opened a new restaurant two months ago,” he said.

“I chose the dishes that I know that most of the Saudis that visit my restaurant in Los Angeles like.”

Gianni Vietina, Head chef of Madeo

The pop-up’s menu contains most of what the original restaurant offers, including his ever-popular penne amadeo and spaghetti bolognese, with the chefs using a combination of imported and locally sourced ingredients. 

“I chose the dishes that I know that most of the Saudis that visit my restaurant in Los Angeles like,” he told Arab News.

For the pop-up, Vietina has stuck to using halal and alcohol-free ingredients. 

“It was challenging at the beginning. But the bolognese at Amadeo doesn’t contain pork, and I realized after we tried cooking without wine that almost nothing changed. I actually prefer it,” he said.

Madeo is a favorite of Saudis visiting Los Angeles, with Vietina going so far as to describe the restaurant as a “Little Riyadh” on most evenings between July and September. 

He even recognizes some of the customers who have come into the Riyadh pop-up, and always stops over to greet them.

Upon sampling the menu, it’s easy to see why the food at Madeo has remained popular all these years. 

The eggplant parmigiana is a perfect blend of crusty cheese and silky smooth eggplant, with hints of basil and rosemary. 

The bolognese is rich, meaty and decadent, without being too heavy and greasy. And the penne Amadeo, which Vietina has been eating since his childhood, is a timeless classic of crushed tomato, basil, finished off with butter and Parmigiano Reggiano for a creamy, rich flavor.