Saudi Arabia concerned over escalation of unrest in Mogadishu: Foreign ministry

Saudi Arabia concerned over escalation of unrest in Mogadishu: Foreign ministry
Earlier in February, at least three people were killed and eight others wounded after a car bomb detonated near a security checkpoint along a key road in Mogadishu. (File/AFP)
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Updated 20 February 2021

Saudi Arabia concerned over escalation of unrest in Mogadishu: Foreign ministry

Saudi Arabia concerned over escalation of unrest in Mogadishu: Foreign ministry
  • The ministry stressed the importance for no further escalation of troubles
  • The ministry offered its condolences to the families of the victims and wished the injured a speedy recovery

DUBAI: Saudi Arabia’s foreign ministry said it “greatly concerned” over the developments of events in Somalia, which led to multiple fatalities in its capital, Mogadishu, state news agency SPA reported .
The ministry stressed the importance for no further escalation of troubles and expressed its keenness to reach a solution in the country through dialogue.
It also offered its condolences to the families of the victims and wished the injured a speedy recovery.
Earlier in February, at least three people were killed and eight others wounded after a car bomb detonated near a security checkpoint along a key road in Mogadishu, security official and witnesses said.
The capital is regularly targeted by attacks by the Al-Qaeda-linked Al-Shabab group who have been waging a long and violent insurgency seeking to unseat the internationally backed government in Mogadishu.
They were driven out of Mogadishu in 2011, but still control territory from where they plan and launch frequent, deadly strikes against government and civilian targets.


More countries condemn Houthi attacks against Saudi Arabia

More countries condemn Houthi attacks against Saudi Arabia
Updated 20 min 30 sec ago

More countries condemn Houthi attacks against Saudi Arabia

More countries condemn Houthi attacks against Saudi Arabia
  • The Houthis in Yemen launched six drones at the south of the Kingdom, all of which were shot down
  • The coalition also intercepted a ballistic missile targeting Riyadh

LONDON: Jordan, the UK, the EU and Qatar joined the widespread global condemnation of attacks by an Iran-backed militia on Saudi Arabia.
The Houthis in Yemen launched six drones at the south of the Kingdom, all of which were shot down by the Arab coalition.
The coalition also intercepted a ballistic missile targeting Riyadh.
“The UK condemns the latest Houthi missile and drone attacks targeted at Saudi Arabia and Marib,” foreign minister Dominic Raab said. “These put innocent lives at risk, and show that those responsible are not serious about peace, let alone protecting the Yemeni people.”


Jordan also condemned the “continued targeting of cities in Saudi Arabia” by the Houthis.
Jordan “condemns these cowardly terrorist acts and the targeting of innocent civilians which constitute a flagrant violation of international humanitarian law,” a foreign ministry statement said.
The statement said that Jordan stands with the Kingdom in the face of anything that “threatens its safety or the safety of the Saudi people.”
Qatar strongly condemned the Houthi ballistic missile attack that targeted Riyadh and said it was “a dangerous act against civilians which contravenes all international norms and laws.”
In a statement, Qatar’s foreign ministry reiterated the state’s firm position on rejecting violence, criminal and subversive acts regardless of the motives behind them.


The EU’s ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Oman also condemned the attacks against the Kingdom.
“Such attacks which are endangering civilians, increasing regional instability and delaying the prospect of a solution to the Yemen conflict must stop,” Patrick Simonnet said.


Saudi crown prince receives calls from Qatar emir, Kuwaiti counterpart

Saudi crown prince receives calls from Qatar emir, Kuwaiti counterpart
Updated 37 min 15 sec ago

Saudi crown prince receives calls from Qatar emir, Kuwaiti counterpart

Saudi crown prince receives calls from Qatar emir, Kuwaiti counterpart
  • Mohammed bin Salman reassured them of his health

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman received a phone call from Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim, Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported on Sunday.
During the call, Prince Mohammed reassured Sheikh Tamin of his health, and the Qatari emir “wished him continued health and wellness.”
Sheikh Tamim also “affirmed Qatar’s support for all that would enhance the security, stability and sovereignty of the Kingdom,” the statement said.
The two sides discussed the latest regional and international developments, and underlined their keenness to promote joint Arab and Gulf action, Qatar News Agency reported, adding that Doha considers the Kingdom’s stability as an integral part of the stability of Qatar and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).
Prince Mohammed also received a similar phone call from his Kuwaiti counterpart Sheikh Meshaal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah on Sunday, SPA said.
He thanked Sheikh Tamin and Sheikh Meshaal for their sincere sentiments.


Saudi and US air forces begin joint training exercise

The Royal Saudi Air Force and the US Air Force began the Dragon joint training exercise in western Saudi Arabia. (SPA)
The Royal Saudi Air Force and the US Air Force began the Dragon joint training exercise in western Saudi Arabia. (SPA)
Updated 28 February 2021

Saudi and US air forces begin joint training exercise

The Royal Saudi Air Force and the US Air Force began the Dragon joint training exercise in western Saudi Arabia. (SPA)
  • The exercise is a continuation of the joint cooperation between the two air forces to maintain regional security and stability

LONDON: The Royal Saudi Air Force and the US Air Force on Sunday began a joint training exercise in the west of the Kingdom, the Ministry of Defense said.
The “Dragon” exercise focuses on tactical interception training, combat training, counterattack, and suppressing enemy air defenses.
It is considered a continuation of joint cooperation between both air forces to maintain regional security and stability, the ministry said, adding: “The exercise also contributes to achieving compatibility and operational integration.”


Saudi and Malian foreign ministers discuss strengthening ties

Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minster Prince Faisal bin Farhan held a meeting with his Malian counterpart Zeini Moulaye, and his accompanying delegation, in Riyadh on Sunday, Feb. 28, 2021. (SPA)
Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minster Prince Faisal bin Farhan held a meeting with his Malian counterpart Zeini Moulaye, and his accompanying delegation, in Riyadh on Sunday, Feb. 28, 2021. (SPA)
Updated 28 February 2021

Saudi and Malian foreign ministers discuss strengthening ties

Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minster Prince Faisal bin Farhan held a meeting with his Malian counterpart Zeini Moulaye, and his accompanying delegation, in Riyadh on Sunday, Feb. 28, 2021. (SPA)
  • Both sides exchanged views on regional and international issues
  • Prince Faisal bin Farhan awarded Moulaye with the Order of King Abdul Aziz

RIYADH: Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan met Mali’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Zeini Moulaye and his accompanying delegation in Riyadh on Sunday, the Saudi Press Agency reported.
They discussed bilateral relations and ways to strengthen them for the benefit of joint interests. 
Both sides also exchanged opinions and views on regional and international issues of common interest.
Prince Faisal presented the Order of King Abdul Aziz with Distinguished First Class to Moulaye, in recognition of his efforts to strengthen relations between the two countries.
The reception was attended by the Saudi assistant minister of state for African affairs, Dr. Sami Abdullah Al-Saleh, and the Kingdom’s ambassador to Mali, Khaled bin Mabrouk Al-Khaled.
Also on Sunday, the Saudi Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Dawah and Guidance and Mali’s Ministry of Religious Affairs and Worship signed a memorandum of understanding.
It was signed by the Saudi minister of Islamic affairs, dawah and guidance, Sheikh Abdullatif Al-Asheikh, and Moulaye.
Al-Asheikh said the agreement aimed to communicate with Muslims around the globe, and tender much-needed help and support, especially with regards to understanding Islamic teachings, and tolerance based on moderation and balance.
He noted the Kingdom’s keenness to strengthen joint cooperation with all countries to deepen the value of moderation.
Moulaye praised the Kingdom’s efforts to help people without discrimination as this approach raised the banner of Islam, and the mission of peace and security, all over the world.
He said the agreement would strengthen joint action for the benefit of the two countries.


Pakistan PM’s special adviser denies findings of US intelligence report on Khashoggi

Pakistan PM’s special adviser denies findings of US intelligence report on Khashoggi
Updated 28 February 2021

Pakistan PM’s special adviser denies findings of US intelligence report on Khashoggi

Pakistan PM’s special adviser denies findings of US intelligence report on Khashoggi
  • Pakistan in “solidarity” with Saudi Arabia to bring Khashoggi killers to justice
  • Kingdom took all measures to convict people responsible for the crime, Foreign Office says

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s special adviser on religious harmony and the Middle East has denied the findings of a US intelligence report containing an “assessment” of the Jamal Khashoggi murder case, calling it “baseless.”
Saudi journalist Khashoggi was murdered in October 2018 at the Kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul, where he had gone to complete paperwork related to his divorce.
“The Saudi government fulfilled the requirements of justice, and propaganda against the Kingdom’s leadership is baseless,” Tahir Ashrafi, chairman of the Pakistan Ulema Council (PUC), said during a convention in Lahore on Saturday.
He expressed solidarity with the Kingdom, adding that ties between the two countries “are strong and permanent, and nothing can dent the relationship.
“There has been a negative campaign against Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman since day one, but he laid down the foundations for polices of moderation in Saudi Arabia, and his Vision 2030 is for the development of the Kingdom and the entire Arab World,” Ashrafi said.
The Foreign Office of Pakistan on Saturday also expressed solidarity with Saudi Arabia after the release of the report, saying that Islamabad recognized the Kingdom’s efforts to bring Khashoggi’s killers to justice.
In an official statement issued in Islamabad, the Foreign Office noted that the Saudi authorities had described the killing as an “abhorrent crime” and a “flagrant violation” of the Kingdom’s laws and values.
“The Saudi government has further underlined that it took all possible measures within its legal system to ensure that the individuals responsible were properly investigated, convicted and sentenced, and that justice was served,” the statement continued.
“Pakistan underscores adherence to the rule of law, respect for national sovereignty, and protection and promotion of human rights by all states, in accordance with their respective constitutional frameworks and international obligations,” it added.
Saudi Arabia has already rebuffed the contents of the report, saying that it “completely rejects the negative, false and unacceptable assessment in the report pertaining to the Kingdom’s leadership, and notes that the report contained inaccurate information and conclusions.”
The Saudi Foreign Affairs Ministry noted that people responsible for the killing had been convicted and sentenced in Saudi courts, and that “these sentences were welcomed by the family of Jamal Khashoggi.”