Saudi Arabia and UAE condemn ‘Turkish aggression’ in Syria

Smoke rises from the Syrian town of Tal Abyad after Turkish bombings, as part of an offensive against Kurdish fighters launched Monday. (AFP)
Updated 10 October 2019

Saudi Arabia and UAE condemn ‘Turkish aggression’ in Syria

  • The Kingdom’s foreign ministry says the operation is a ‘threat to regional security’
  • Lebanon describes offensive as ‘an aggression against a sister Arab state’

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia condemned the Turkish offensive against Kurdish forces in northern Syria Monday, describing it as “military aggression”.

The Kingdom’s foreign ministry said the operation is a “threat to regional security” and undermines international efforts in combating Daesh.

The attack was a “blatant violation of the unity, independence, and sovereignty of Syrian territories,” the ministry said.

Saudi Arabia’s comments came amid a wave of international condemnation over Turkey’s actions. The military operation aimed at crushing Kurdish fighters in northern Syria started on Monday afternoon with airstrikes and artillery. Later in the evening, ground forces moved across the border.

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The attack comes after US troops pulled back from the area, paving the way for an assault on forces that have long been allied with the United States.

The UAE also condemned the offensive, saying it represented a dangerous development and a blatant and unacceptable aggression against the sovereignty of an Arab state.

The Bahrain foreign ministry also condemned the Turkish offensive, saying it supports the call for an emergency meeting of the Arab League Council to take a unified Arab stand toward the aggression.

The Lebanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs also condemned the Turkish offensive as “an aggression against a sister Arab state and the occupation of the land of Syria exposes its people to death and displacement.”

The ministry called on the Turkish leadership “to reconsider its decision and urged it to work with the countries concerned to restore stability in Syria and implement international resolutions with emphasis on the unity of the Syrian land and people.”


Saudi Arabia’s AlUla provides a perfect ‘Corner of the Earth’ for Jamiroquai to shine

Updated 25 January 2020

Saudi Arabia’s AlUla provides a perfect ‘Corner of the Earth’ for Jamiroquai to shine

  • “I was transported into a completely different world”: Jay Kay

ALULA: British band Jamiroquai thrilled a delighted audience at Maraya Concert Hall in Saudi Arabia on Friday night during a show packed with hits.

In a first for a venue more used to hosting opera and classical concerts, the British funk/acid jazz outfit had fans dancing along to the music.

The show, at the distinctive, mirror-covered concert hall in historic AlUla, was part of the second Winter at Tantora festival. It opened with “Shake It On,” followed by the hit singles “Little L,” “Alright,” and “Space Cowboy.” By this time the crowd was well and truly warmed up, and “Use the Force” got them on their feet.

“The song seemed to resonate with everyone” Jay Kay told Arab News in an exclusive interview after the show.

During the gig, Kay dedicated the 2002 song “Corner of the Earth” to AlUla, which he described as a “magical and wonderful place, which is absolutely stunning.” The opportunity to perform there was “an honor and privilege” he added. He also thanked “Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman for his vision, and Prince Badr for making this happen and the great hospitality.”

After a further selection of singles and album tracks, the show ended on a high with a quartet of hits — “Cosmic Girl,” “Virtual Insanity,” “Canned Heat” and “Lovefoolosophy.”

Kay praised the Maraya Concert Hall as “a brilliant place to play.” He admitted that initially he was a little worried when he saw it because he was under the impression it would be an outdoor venue. However, any concerns he had were gone by the time the first sound check was done.

“I was transported into a completely different world; the acoustics were unbelievable, like being in a German concert hall,” he said. “It is obviously very well thought out and that’s what makes it so good. The sound was fabulous — I never looked at my sound guy once.”

Jamiroquai’s music videos often feature Kay in super cars, of which he owns many, and he revealed that he would love to shoot such a promo in AlUla.

“In reality, I’m desperate to get in one of the dune buggies, and would kill to have a (Ariel) Nomad and have a go in one in AlUla, where it’s supposed to be driven, for a day or five and dune bash, which is such a rare thing for us in England,” he said.

The singer also said he wants to bring his family to AlUla, which has become a hub for culture and creativity in Saudi Arabia.

“I would like to come out with my family and my youngest, who is called Talula, so hopefully we can have Talula come to AlUla, which would be wonderful,” said Kay.

He added that he was looking forward to exploring the area on Saturday, before leaving the country, but added: “I’m sure you can never have enough time to see everything there is to see.”