Saudi Arabia’s King Salman discusses Red Sea, Gulf of Aden security with Eritrean president

1 / 2
Saudi Arabia’s King Salman receives Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki, who is on an official visit to the Kingdom, in the capital Riyadh. (SPA)
2 / 2
Saudi Arabia’s King Salman receives Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki, who is on an official visit to the Kingdom, in the capital Riyadh. (SPA)
Short Url
Updated 18 February 2020

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman discusses Red Sea, Gulf of Aden security with Eritrean president

  • They discussed the Council of Arab and African States bordering the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s King Salman held talks on Monday with Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki in the capital Riyadh.
During the talks, they reviewed the bilateral relations between the two countries and developments in the Horn of Africa and the region.
They also discussed the importance and role of the Council of Arab and African States bordering the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden and ways of developing and enhancing opportunities for cooperation in various fields.
The meeting was also attended by Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan and his Eritrean counterpart Osman Saleh Mohammed, among other senior officials from both sides.
Last month, the new council was formed in Saudi Arabia aimed at securing the waterways of the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden.
The council, which includes Egypt, Jordan, Eritrea, Yemen, Sudan, Djibouti and Somalia, will increase cooperation between the countries and aims to tackle piracy, smuggling and other threats in the seas that are key international shipping routes.
The Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden are two of the world’s busiest shipping routes connecting Europe to Asia and the Middle East.
King Salman also hosted a lunch banquet in honor of Afwerki and his accompanying delegation.
The Kingdom played a leading role in September last year in hosting historic talks between the leaders of Eritrea and Djibouti. The two nations have been at loggerheads for decades over a long-standing border dispute.


Saudi Arabia eases coronavirus lockdown restrictions

Updated 26 May 2020

Saudi Arabia eases coronavirus lockdown restrictions

  • Curfew to be eased on Sunday, except in Makkah, as domestic travel permitted
  • All curfews in Saudi Arabia to be lifted by June 20

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia announced the easing of restrictions that has halted much of the activity in the country due to the coronavirus pandemic.

As of Sunday 31, May, the curfew on all areas of the Kingdom will be eased, except Makkah. Movement in cities and within the regions of the country will again be permitted, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Tuesday.

The easing will mean the Kingdom’s 24-hour lockdown is relaxed with a curfew from 3 p.m to 6 a.m until Sunday, after which the hours will change to 8 p.m. to 6 a.m.. Makkah will remain under a full 24-hour lockdown.

On June 21, all curfews in the Kingdom will be lifted and prayers at Makkah’s mosque will be permitted.

Before then, social distancing guidelines must continue to be adhered to and gatherings of more than 50 people will continue to be banned.

Authorities have also allowed the attendance at ministries, government agencies and private sector companies, and the return of their office activities.

Some economic and commercial activities will also be allowed to take place including those at wholesale and retail shops, as well as malls. Cafes will be permitted to operate once more.

However, all job sectors where social distancing rules are harder to achieve such as beauty salons, barbershops, sports and health clubs, recreational centers and cinemas will remain closed.

Umrah pilgrimage and international flights will continue to be suspended until further notice.

The new rules are subject to constant evaluation at the health ministry and can be changed if the situation warrants it.

Earlier, Dr. Tawfiq Al-Rabiah, the health minister, said: “The phases start gradually until we return to normalcy, with its new concept based on social distancing.” 

He added that the precautionary steps taken by the Kingdom early in the outbreak helped to limit the spread of the virus. 

Now, he said, the ministry has developed a plan for the next phase that relies on two main factors: The capacity of the health care system to cope with critical cases, and the expansion of testing to identify new infections as soon as possible.

Reassuring the Saudi nation on Monday, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said: “The bad conditions will pass, God willing, and we are heading toward the good, God willing.” 

The Kingdom recorded 2,235 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, taking the total to 74,795, and the death toll rose by nine to 399. Worldwide the virus has infected more than 5.5 million people and killed nearly 350,000.