UN envoy arrives in Riyadh for talks with Yemeni government officials and political parties

Martin Griffiths, the UN special envoy for Yemen, arrived in Riyadh for talks with the Government of Yemen & political parties. (File/AFP)
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Updated 17 December 2019

UN envoy arrives in Riyadh for talks with Yemeni government officials and political parties

  • Griffiths’ visit comes exactly one year after the Stockholm Agreement was implemented
  • UN describes results achieved as ‘modest’

RIYADH: UN Special Envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths arrived in Riyadh on Tuesday to hold talks with officials from the internationally recognized government in Yemen and party representatives.
Griffiths’ visit comes exactly one year after the Stockholm Agreement was implemented.
The deal was passed in Sweden on Dec. 13 2018 and includes an agreement on the city of Hodeidah and the ports of Hodeida, Salif and Ras Issa, an executive mechanism on activating prisoner exchange and a statement of understanding on Taiz.
Yemen’s Prime Minister, Moeen Abdul Malik, called on the international community to put pressure on the Iran-backed Houthi militia to implement the Stockholm Agreement, according to the Twitter account of the Yemeni Cabinet Presidency.
The United Nations described the results achieved by the Stockholm Agreement signed between the legitimate Yemeni government and the Houthi militia as “modest,” but considered it “a step that brings the two sides closer to achieving a lasting peace for all Yemenis.”
On Monday, Griffiths discussed with the Houthi militia the next steps in the peace process, including the implementation of the detainees exchange agreement, according to the UN envoy’s Twitter account.
“In a meeting with Abdulmalik Al-Houthi yesterday, Griffiths discussed with Ansar Allah next steps in the advancement of the peace process, including implementation of prisoners agreement,” the tweet said.
Griffith’s office published a report on the anniversary of the Stockholm Agreement, saying that the process of implementation may be “slow,” and “there will be setbacks, but we will continue to care and promote every small achievement on the road to supporting Yemenis in their pursuit of peace and stability.”
The report said that the Stockholm Agreement is the first between the parties to the Yemeni conflict, adding that the Stockholm consultations remain “a major progress on the road to building confidence between the two parties and is the basis for any successful peace building effort.”
The report said that the parties committed themselves to an immediate cease-fire in the city of Hodeidah, the ports of Hodeidah, Salif, and Ras Issa.
The agreement strengthened the UN presence in Hodeidah which “resulted in a significant decrease in the overall level of violence and the number of security incidents on the city’s front lines.”
The UN agreement spared Hodeidah a “catastrophic attack on the city and ports,” and the cease-fire, which entered into force on Dec. 18, 2018, provided a safer environment for civilians.


Saudi passport directorate expands e-services through Absher

Saudi passport office said that the services will promote e-transactions and make it easier for people to get in touch with officials. (SPA)
Updated 01 April 2020

Saudi passport directorate expands e-services through Absher

  • Saudi Arabia’s information and communications technology sector makes up 4 percent of the Saudi gross domestic product

RIYADH: The Saudi General Directorate of Passports is offering a “messages and applications” service to people through the Absher online platform.
Beneficiaries can use the service by logging into their account on Absher, choosing the “My Services” option, general services, messages and applications, then clicking on the “General Directorate of Passports” link and selecting the required service from a list including “identification of residents, visas, transfer of information, transfer of information and change of profession, suggestions.” After writing their message, they simply click the “send” button.
The passport office said that the services will promote e-transactions and make it easier for people to get in touch with officials at the directorate to discuss their problems.
The Kingdom’s information and communications technology (ICT) sector makes up 4 percent of the Saudi gross domestic product.
The sector has experienced significant regulatory change, expressed across several public- and private-sector investment drives since the launch of Vision 2030.
Saudi Arabia is also the region’s largest ICT market, ranking 13th globally, with a value of $28.7 billion (SR107 billion) in 2019 and strong growth in both the consumer and enterprise segments.