UN General Assembly: Saudi Arabia's King Salman calls for Hezbollah to be disarmed

UN General Assembly: Saudi Arabia's King Salman calls for Hezbollah to be disarmed
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Saudi Arabia’s King Salman focused on regional issues during his first address to the United Nations at the 75th UN General Assembly meeting, which was being held virtually for the first time on Wednesday Sept. 23, 2020. (SPA)
UN General Assembly: Saudi Arabia's King Salman calls for Hezbollah to be disarmed
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Saudi Arabia’s King Salman focused on regional issues during his first address to the United Nations at the 75th UN General Assembly meeting, which was being held virtually for the first time on Wednesday Sept. 23, 2020. (SPA)
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Updated 24 September 2020

UN General Assembly: Saudi Arabia's King Salman calls for Hezbollah to be disarmed

UN General Assembly: Saudi Arabia's King Salman calls for Hezbollah to be disarmed
  • Saudi king calls for comprehensive solution, firm international position on Iran
  • He expressed support for US efforts to start talks between Israel and Palestinians

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s King Salman on Wednesday said Hezbollah must be disarmed for Lebanon to achieve security, stability and prosperity.
Last month’s Beirut port blast was a result of Hezbollah’s “hegemony” over the decision-making process in Lebanon by force of arms, he told world leaders at the 75th United Nations General Assembly.
King Salman also said the Iran-backed group had disrupted the constitutional state of Lebanon and vowed that the Kingdom would stand with the Lebanese people, particularly after the explosion that devastated large parts of Beirut and killed almost 200 people. 
The blast was caused by a huge quantity of ammonium nitrate stored negligently at the city’s port.

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On Iran, the king said Saudi Arabia has “extended its hands for peace” with Tehran and its dealings toward the Islamic regime over decades has been “positive and open.”
Saudi Arabia has received Iranian heads of state several times to discuss ways to build good relations, and it welcomed international efforts to address Iran’s nuclear program, he said.
“But again and again, the whole world has seen the Iranian regime exploiting these efforts in increasing its expansionist activities, building its terrorist networks, using terrorism, and wasting the resources and wealth of the Iranian people to achieve expansionary projects that have only resulted in chaos, extremism and sectarianism.”

He said Iran’s aggressive approach was demonstrated last year when it targeted of Saudi oil installations in a missile and drone attack that were “in flagrant violation of international laws and an assault on international peace and security.”
He added that the attacks confirm Iran’s disregard of the stability of the global economy and the security of global oil supplies.
In reference to Iran-backed Houthi militants in Yemen, the king said Iran continues, “through its tools,” to target the Kingdom with ballistic missiles, with more than 300 missiles and 400 drones launched toward Saudi Arabia.
“Our experiences with the Iranian regime have taught us that partial solutions and attempts to appease have not stopped its threats to international peace and security,” he said.

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Rather, he said there needs to be a “comprehensive solution and a firm international stance that guarantees a radical treatment of the Iranian regime’s pursuit of weapons of mass destruction, the development of its ballistic missile program, its interference in the internal affairs of other countries and its sponsorship of terrorism.”
On Yemen, he said the Iranian regime’s interference has led to a political, economic and humanitarian crisis that has brought suffering to the Yemeni people.
He said this interference constitutes a source of threat to the security of the region and its waterways that are vital to the global economy.

King Salman said the Houthis disrupt humanitarian aid to the Yemeni people, obstruct all efforts to reach a political solution and fail to respond to truce efforts.
The last cease-fire was declared by the Arab coalition fighting to restore the internationally recognized government last April in response to a UN request.
“We affirm that the Kingdom will not be complacent in defending its national security, nor will it abandon the brotherly Yemeni people until it regains its full sovereignty and independence from Iranian hegemony,” he said.
The king also said Saudi Arabia would continue to provide humanitarian support to Yemenis, and support UN efforts to bring peace to the country.
King Salman said the world had achieved important successes in confronting extremist organizations, including defeating Daesh’s control of lands in Iraq and Syria.
The Arab coalition had also struck important blows to Al-Qaeda and Daesh in Yemen, he added.
The Kingdom, he said, supported the UN International Center for Counter-Terrorism with $110 million and it established the Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology (Etidal), as well as hosting the International Terrorist Financing Targeting Center.

The king said Saudi Arabia has a responsibility to protect Islam from terrorist organizations, which “find a fertile environment to appear in countries experiencing sectarian divisions, weakness and collapse of state institutions.”
On the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, he said the Kingdom supports all efforts aimed at advancing the peace process.
Saudi Arabia launched the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative, which called for the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital.

“We also support the efforts made by the current US administration to bring peace to the Middle East by bringing the Palestinian and Israeli sides to the negotiating table to reach a just and comprehensive agreement,” he added.
Last week, the UAE and Bahrain became only the third and fourth Arab counties to recognize the state of Israel and formally established diplomatic relations in a US-brokered signing ceremony hosted at the White House.
He said the Kingdom also supports the peaceful solution in Syria, the exit of militias and mercenaries, and the preservation of Syria's territorial integrity.
King Salman condemned foreign interference in Libya and called on all Libyan parties to come to the negotiating table and “stand together to preserve the unity and integrity of Libya.”

He said the Middle East region has for decades suffered from “the forces of extremism and chaos” but that Saudi Arabia has chosen a future path based on the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, through which it aspires to be a “pioneering economy” and “interactive society.”
On the coronavirus pandemic, he said the world faces a major challenge, “which demonstrated the urgent need for everyone to join hands to face common challenges to humanity.”
“The Kingdom, as chairman of the G20, continues to push forward the international response efforts to deal with the pandemic and address its humanitarian and economic impacts.”


Saudi showjumpers riding high

Saudi showjumpers riding high
With SR130,000 ($34,600) in cash prizes, the three-day competition, held without spectators due to the coronavirus restrictions, has been organized by the Saudi Arabian Equestrian Federation (SAEF) in partnership with the Ministry of National Guard and the Diriyah Gate Development Authority. (AN photos by Huda Bashatah)
Updated 16 January 2021

Saudi showjumpers riding high

Saudi showjumpers riding high
  • Elite riders saddle up for $34,600 National Guard Ministry cup at Jeddah Trio Ranch

JEDDAH: The Saudi National Guard Ministry’s showjumping cup competition kicked off on Thursday at the Jeddah Trio Ranch, with Abdullah Al-Sharbatly and Dalma Malhas leading a top-class equestrian lineup.

With SR130,000 ($34,600) in cash prizes, the three-day competition, held without spectators due to the coronavirus restrictions, has been organized by the Saudi Arabian Equestrian Federation (SAEF) in partnership with the Ministry of National Guard and the Diriyah Gate Development Authority.
The competition consists of nine rounds, with three rounds each day. About 130 horses were registered in the competition. The fences were set at 1.15m for the small grade where about 80 riders competed on the first day.
Almost 40 equestrians took part in the 1.20m-1.25m medium grade. Another 20 competitors battled in the 1.30m-1.35m grade on the first day of competition.
“We have seven competitions under the names of seven ministries. After good international and Olympic results, support has doubled for equestrian sports, particularly showjumping,” a member of the SAEF technical committee, Ali Al-Sahli, told Arab News.
One rider, Naif Al-Sudairi, said that equestrianism in Saudi Arabia is making rapid advances on many levels.
“With Saudi Vision 2030, we now have more tournaments in all regions of the country, and the competition has heated up,” he told Arab News. “This can motivate the riders to improve and show our best in the run-up to international competitions.”
He added that he is looking forward to representing Saudi Arabia in the global equestrian events.

First day
In the small round on the first day of the competition, Khaled Al-Hady came first with 20 points. His horse, Doberlina Van de Kapel, came second with 18 points. Mohammed Hassan Al-Hadi was ranked third with 16 points, while Princess Al-Anoud Al-Saud secured fourth place with 14 points, and Waleed Al-Ghamdi was fifth with 12 points. Faisal Al-Ouda and Abdul Aziz Al-Hamazani came sixth and seventh, respectively.
In the medium class, Mohammed Al-Malki topped the ranking with 30 points followed by Khalid Al-Mobty, who collected 28 points. Badr Al-Fard came third with 26 points, and Abdullah Al-Sheikh was fourth with 24 points. Ahmed Bakarman came fifth with 22 points.

HIGHLIGHTS

• The competition consists of nine rounds, with three rounds each day.

• The fences were set at 1.15m for the small grade where about 80 riders competed on the first day.

• Almost 40 equestrians took part in the 1.20m-1.25m medium grade.

• Another 20 competitors battled in the 1.30m-1.35m grade on the first day of competition.

Malhas, who secured an individual bronze at the 2010 Youth Olympic Games in Singapore, after completing the round in 38 seconds without a single penalty, came ninth with 14 points. She is also the first Saudi female equestrian to take part in the individual hurdles at the 2018 World Equestrian Championship held in the US city of Tryon.


In the big round, Al-Sharbatly, who won the individual silver medal at the 2010 FEI World Equestrian Games, came first with 40 points, followed by Abed Sanosy with 38 points. Fahad Al-Ghamdi was third with 36 points, while Badr Al-Fard was fourth with 34 points, and Talal Al-Juaid came fifth with 32 points. Sultan Al-Qarza’e and Khaled Al-Mobty came sixth and seventh, respectively.

Riders’ journey
Muneer Al-Ayoubi, who has been riding for over 20 years, told Arab News that showjumping requires understanding between rider and horse.
“I have been participating in showjumping (activities) for more than two years. It is the most difficult type of horse-riding activities,” he said. “Unlike horse racing and endurance riding, contestants have to keep training their horses. The rider and the horse should appear as if they were one soul.”
Arwa Mutabagani, owner and managing director of Jeddah Trio Ranch, said that they have riders of different levels from all over Saudi Arabia.
Speaking about the preparation to host the competition, Mutabagani said: “The horses arrive a couple of days before the competition, so we have to be ready. On-site, we have 150 horses participating, so we have different locations to host all these numbers. We made the warm-up arena ready for the riders to prepare their horses for the show.”
An Italian equestrian expert was brought in to handle the timing and ensure there are no complaints, she said. Mutabagani said that she is training a number of female riders to become champions. Family support is essential in this type of sport, she added.
“To reach a top position, dedication, family and team support, and sacrifices are all elements that should go together. You also have to have a good instructor, a good horse, and you have to have the right competition that can help you move to higher levels,” she said.
She mentioned her daughter, Dalma Malhas, as an example, saying: “When she was competing, she was young and spent weekends at the shows and not with her peers. So, you have to sacrifice being a normal teenager to reach the top.”
Meanwhile, Mohrah Faisal, a female equestrian who took part in the small round, said that she is grateful to SAEF for supporting female riders. “We did not have such an opportunity in the past. Now I hope I can represent the Kingdom at the Olympics.”
She said that her family believed in her passion for equestrianism once they saw her succeeding in many local competitions.
Wafa Hasson, another Saudi female rider, said she competed in the UAE two years ago after SAEF gave women riders the green light, which helped them improve.
Female riders are still looking for opportunities to learn. “I want to go as far as I can. I don’t really have a limit, I just want to see what I can achieve and I will do my best to achieve it.”
Ghalia Al-Musa, another participant, said that she has been riding for 13 years, and her mother is still her biggest supporter.
“SAEF allowed female riders to compete along with male riders in 2019, and it was good news for all female riders. In the same year, SAEF selected the best female riders to represent Saudi Arabia in the Arab Women Sports Tournament in Sharjah, UAE. We came second as a team and I came fourth as an individual,” she told Arab News.
Al-Musa also hopes to represent Saudi Arabia in international events, including the Olympics.
Heavy rain in Jeddah on Friday forced the organizing committee of the National Guard showjumping cup to combine the second and third day of competition on Saturday (10 a.m. to 11 p.m.) when the competition will come  to an end.