Saudi Housing, National Guard ministries sign cooperation agreement

Minister of National Guard Prince Abdullah bin Bandar bin Abdul Aziz, right, and Minister of Housing Majid Al-Hogail signed agreement in Riyadh. (SPA)
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Updated 24 January 2020

Saudi Housing, National Guard ministries sign cooperation agreement

The Kingdom’s National Guard and the Ministry of Housing on Thursday signed a memorandum of understanding for joint cooperation, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

It was co-signed by the minister of National Guard, Prince Abdullah bin Bandar bin Abdul Aziz, and the minister of housing, Majid Al-Hogail, in Riyadh.

The ministry’s “Sakani” program will provide housing services to National Guard employees who are entitled to housing support. It comes as part of the ministry’s mission to support employees of other government agencies and help them to own a home. The agreement includes coordination between “Sakani” and the National Guard to provide special offers. These include a special discount for those with a monthly income of over SR14,000 ($3,733), extra support for those with a monthly income of less than SR14,000, and exemption from certain fees. 


US denies banning dates from Saudi Arabia

Updated 19 min 55 sec ago

US denies banning dates from Saudi Arabia

  • There has been no FDA ban on dates from Saudi Arabia, the administration told Arab News

RIYADH: The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has denied that it banned the import of dates from Saudi Arabia, following media reports that it had done so earlier this week.

“There has been no FDA ban on dates from Saudi Arabia,” the administration told Arab News. The Saudi National Center for Palms & Dates (NCPD) also denied the reports.

The NCPD pointed out that reports published mentioned the finding of pesticide residues in date samples from a Saudi company dating back to 2009.

In a statement on Sunday, the NCPD said that the US FDA published on its website a list of all the companies “classified by country” which did not meet US standards.

It added that the FDA required companies to update their information with it as and when that changed.

Bashar Al-Quraya, deputy chairman of the Dates Committee of Al-Qassim Chamber of Commerce, told Arab News that the information did not come from reliable sources. “We did not see any real official statements,” he said.

The center stressed that they work with the relevant authorities to raise the level of date safety in general for products sold in local or export markets.

“Saudi Arabia is considered number one in date quality,” Al-Quraya said, adding that when they export dates to Germany and the UK, the entry procedures go very smoothly. “There are no problems and the procedures are very simple and clear.”

Al-Quraya also pointed out that for the last two months of growth before harvesting the crop, no pesticides are sprayed on Saudi dates, and the exported fruits are subjected to tests before shipping.

“The rumors did not affect the market. I am now at the food fair in Dubai, there is a great demand for Saudi dates from European countries,” he said.

“If there was a problem with our dates the news should come from the UK or Germany, as the number of dates we export (there) are much bigger than what we export to the US,” he added.