Saudi Arabia joins US-led maritime military coalition

A jet launches from the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln in the Arabian Sea this week. The US-led alliance aims to secure waterways for commercial shipping in the region. (US Navy)
Updated 20 September 2019

Saudi Arabia joins US-led maritime military coalition

  • The aim of this international alliance is to protect merchant ships through providing safe navigation
  • The operation covers Strait of Hormuz, Bab al-Mandab, Sea of Oman and Arabian Gulf

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia said on Wednesday it has joined a US-led military coalition to secure the Middle East's key waterways for shipping.

The coalition, which includes Australia, Bahrain, and the UK, was set up to counter threats to vessels after a string of attacks against ships entering and leaving the Arabian Gulf.

Known as the International Maritime Security Construct, the coalition aims to protect commercial ships and provide safe navigation. Its area of operation covers the Strait of Hormuz, Bab Al-Mandab Strait, Sea of Oman and Arabian Gulf.

"The Kingdom's accession to this international alliance comes in support of regional and international efforts to deter and counter threats to maritime navigation and global trade," a statement on the Saudi Press Agency said.

The decision comes amid heightened tensions with Iran after a drone and missile attack at the weekend hit two key oil facilities in Saudi Arabia. The US blamed Iran for that attack and also a a number of attacks on shipping in or near the Strait of Hormus in recent months. Iran also seized a British flagged oil tanker in July that it has still not released.


Saudi Arabia committed to “25 by 25” to reduce the gap in labor market

Updated 4 min 9 sec ago

Saudi Arabia committed to “25 by 25” to reduce the gap in labor market

  • The G20 engagement groups share common areas of interest in the pursuit of their specific objectives including women, youth and sustainable development

RIYADH: Reducing the gender gap in labor participation is a moral imperative as well as a key for growth and sustainable development, which is why G20 countries have committed to reduce the gap in women’s labor participation 25 percent by 2025.

Speaking at a session called “Approaching challenges from different perspectives” on the concluding day of the T20 Inception Conference in Riyadh on Monday, Thoraya Obaid, chair of the W20 engagement group, said: “The G20 countries have committed to increasing women’s participation 25 percent by 2025. We in the Kingdom have also adopted this in our Saudi Vision 2030 Program.”

The G20 engagement groups share common areas of interest in the pursuit of their specific objectives including women, youth and sustainable development.

Princess Nouf bint Mohammed of the C20 engagement group highlighted the importance of civil society taking commitments and promises seriously, and fulfilling its promises with implementation and accountability.

“Civil Society is our heart and soul, we are the people on the ground, and provide support to reach our goals,” she said.

“Together with other engagement groups, we have all adopted a joint statement to work in the pursuit of specific objectives. I think where we can make it big collectively is on the climate issue.”

Othman Al-Moamar, of Y20 engagement group, said: “Young people are the most important component in today’s technology driven world, therefore more young people in entrepreneurship means more prosperity, and opportunities.”

Highlighting their role, Nasser Al-Jaryad of L20 engagement group said: “Our aim is empowering people, guaranteeing minimum living wages and collective bargaining, promoting social dialogue for social cohesion, and ending corporate monopolies.

“We also take all possible actions to improve the progressiveness of taxation system,” he added.

Abdulmohsen Al-Ghanam of U20 engagement group said their themes represented common challenges and aspirations of global cities.

The session was moderated by Abdullah Al-Saud, member of the T20 steering committee and director of research at King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies.