International, regional support for Saudi effort to end conflict in Yemen

International, regional support for Saudi effort to end conflict in Yemen
The Saudi initiative includes a comprehensive cease-fire, the reopening of Sanaa airport, and resuming the political process. (File/AFP)
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Updated 24 March 2021

International, regional support for Saudi effort to end conflict in Yemen

International, regional support for Saudi effort to end conflict in Yemen
  • UN says Saudi peace initiative ‘aligns’ with its own efforts to end Yemen conflict
  • Gulf and Arab countries say they welcome and support the Saudi initiative

NEW YORK/LONDON: The UN welcomed on Monday Saudi Arabia’s new peace initiative to end the war in Yemen.
The proposals align with the world body’s own efforts, Farhan Haq, deputy spokesman for Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, said.
The Saudi initiative, which includes a comprehensive cease-fire and the reopening of Sanaa airport, was announced by Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan. The plan would also ease restrictions on Hodeidah port and resume the political process.
Haq said the UN’s special envoy Martin Griffiths had been working to secure a nationwide cease-fire, reopen the airport for civilian aircraft and restart talks.
“There’s no doubt that every effort must be made to end the conflict in Yemen and address the suffering of the Yemeni people and the UN looks forward to continue working with all the parties to achieve this goal,” he said.
Guterres himself welcomed the initiative, during a phone call with the Kingdom’s ambassador to the UN Abdallah Al-Mouallimi.
Guterres affirmed his support for the initiative and toward reaching a comprehensive political solution, adding that this initiative is in line with the UN’s initiatives and efforts in solving the crisis.

The new initiative to end the six year war also drew support from the international community.
During a phone call on Monday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken told Prince Faisal that Washington supported efforts to end the conflict in Yemen, “starting with the need for all parties to commit to a cease-fire and facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid.”
Blinken said Washington is committed to supporting Saudi Arabia’s defense and “strongly condemned recent attacks against the Kingdom’s territory from Iranian-aligned groups in the region.”

US envoy to Yemen Tim Lenderking welcomed Saudi Arabia and the Yemeni government’s commitment to a cease-fire and political process.
“We hope the parties negotiate the remaining details of a cease-fire to ease the suffering of the Yemeni people and transition to a Yemeni-led political process,” he added.
The European Union called the initiative a “positive step” in the peace process.
Peter Stano, spokesman for the European External Action Service in Brussels, said the EU encourages all parties to participate without delay with the UN special envoy, adding that the bloc asserts that reaching a comprehensive political agreement remains the only solution to end the crisis.
UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab welcomed the announcement and called for a nationwide cease-fire and action to ease humanitarian access restriction.
“The Houthis must now match the steps toward peace and an end to the suffering of the Yemeni people,” said Raab.

France said it commended the initiative and the Yemeni government’s decision to join it.
“The Houthis must now agree to this proposal, to allow the initiation of a process leading to the settlement of the current crisis and an end to the suffering of the Yemeni people,” the French foreign ministry said.
Spain and Russia also welcomed the proposal with Madrid urging “the parties to negotiate a political solution without delay under the auspices of the UN,” and Moscow calling on the parties “to study it carefully” and said it “advocates for the speedy end of the prolonged armed confrontation in Yemen.”
Japan also welcomed the announcement and Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi said his government will continue to support efforts of the UN envoy Griffiths to end the conflict in Yemen.
GCC chief Nayef Al-Hajraf said the initiative reflects great concern and a sincere desire to end the Yemeni crisis.
He praised Saudi Arabia’s efforts to support Yemen’s security and stability, and Oman’s positive role to end the Yemeni crisis.
He said GCC countries were keen to provide all aspects of support to the Yemeni people and see Yemen return as a strong and active member of the Gulf and Arab community in a way that “preserves the country’s security, unity, independence and territorial integrity.”
Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit called the initiative a “positive step” toward a political settlement in Yemen, and the main points represent a starting point for a comprehensive dialogue and a balanced treatment of the concerns of all the parties.
Aboul Gheit called on the Houthis to put aside any private interests or foreign agendas, and to seize the opportunity and initiate a comprehensive political dialogue that ends the crisis.

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Adel bin Abdulrahman Al-Asoumi, speaker of the Arab Parliament, said the initiative includes a clear road map that applies a practical and specific vocabulary, and represents a valuable opportunity for a final and comprehensive solution to the Yemeni crisis.
The UAE said the initiative represents a valuable opportunity for a comprehensive cease-fire in Yemen, and will pave the way toward a lasting political solution.
UAE Foreign Minster Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed urged the international community to join efforts to adhere to this initiative and the cease-fire by all parties.
He also praised Saudi Arabia’s pivotal role in implementing the Riyadh Agreement, forming the new Yemeni government, reaching a political solution and speeding up efforts to end the Yemeni crisis.

Kuwait said it welcomed and supported the initiative and called on the Yemeni parties to “fully adhere to it in order to launch consultations between the parties to reach the desired political solution.”
Bahrain’s foreign ministry commended the Kingdom’s “honorable positions in support of Yemen, its constant endeavor to restore security and stability, and the aid and humanitarian assistance it has provided.”
Oman, which has been leading mediation efforts with Riyadh and Washington, said that it would continue to work with the Kingdom, the UN and the concerned Yemeni parties to achieve the desired political settlement that would restore security and stability to Yemen while also preserving the security and interests of regional countries.
Egypt said the initiative works to prioritize the interests of the Yemeni people and to create an atmosphere to resume the political process.
The foreign ministry called on all Yemeni parties to respond to the initiative in order to stop the bloodshed and support efforts to bring peace to Yemen.
Jordan’s Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi said the plan was an integrated proposal in line with international resolutions that reflected Saudi Arabia’s concern for the security and stability of Yemen and the region.
Safadi met the UN’s Griffiths on Monday to discuss efforts to reach a political agreement to end the war.
China’s embassy in Yemen said it appreciates the Kingdom’s tireless efforts to resolve the conflict.
“We hope that all parties will make joint efforts and move in the same direction in order to reach a comprehensive political solution under the auspices of the UN,” the embassy said in a tweet.

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Saudi Arabia reopens consular section of its embassy in Kabul

Saudi Arabia reopens consular section of its embassy in Kabul
Updated 16 sec ago

Saudi Arabia reopens consular section of its embassy in Kabul

Saudi Arabia reopens consular section of its embassy in Kabul
  • The decision stems from the Kingdom’s keenness to provide all consular services to the Afghan people, SPA said

RIYADH:  Saudi Arabia reopened the consular section of its embassy in Kabul on Tuesday.

The decision stems from the Kingdom’s keenness to provide all consular services to the Afghan people, Saudi Press Agency reported.

The Kingdom has called on the Organization of Islamic Cooperation to urgently convene an extraordinary ministerial meeting to discuss the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan and pathways for a humanitarian response.

Pakistan has offered to host this meeting in Islamabad on Dec. 17.


In Jeddah, Italian gastronomic delights whet the Saudi appetite

‘It’s great to learn about Italian cuisine, drinks and desserts that we did not know about before. (Supplied)
‘It’s great to learn about Italian cuisine, drinks and desserts that we did not know about before. (Supplied)
Updated 30 November 2021

In Jeddah, Italian gastronomic delights whet the Saudi appetite

‘It’s great to learn about Italian cuisine, drinks and desserts that we did not know about before. (Supplied)
  • World Week of Italian Cuisine in Saudi Arabia concludes with feast in Jeddah

JEDDAH: The celebrations in Saudi Arabia for the sixth annual World Week of Italian Cuisine concluded with a showcase of Italian gastronomic delights, accompanied by authentic Italian music, at the country’s consulate general in Jeddah.
A number of Italian food brands, restaurants and catering companies took part in the event on Sunday, which celebrated Italian culinary arts by serving up traditional dishes to representatives of the Italian and Saudi communities.
“It’s great to learn about Italian cuisine, drinks and desserts that we did not know about before,” said Abdulrahman Rammal, one of the Saudi guests. “Our previous knowledge of Italian food was limited to certain meals, such as pizza and pasta, but the Italian Cuisine Week created more-knowledgeable awareness of the world of food.”
He said that a number of Italian sweets companies also presented their latest products, and added that such cultural events encourage Saudis to learn more about other nations and their peoples.
Stefano Stucci, the consul general of Italy in Jeddah, told Arab News: “The event is a worldwide initiative of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, with the support of Italian embassies and consulates around the world, aimed at promoting the quality and heritage of Italian cuisine, as distinctive signs of our identity and culture.”
The consulate general in Jeddah said it organizes, with selected partners, a number of events designed to promote Italian cuisine culture, and the uniqueness and diversity of authentic Italian ingredients and products.

Food exports play a vital role in the Italian economy. With an annual turnover of more than $163.4 billion, they represent the second-highest-ranking Italian manufacturing sector and account for 8 percent of national gross domestic product, according to Federalimentare, which protects and promotes the Italian food and beverage industry.


Saudi foreign minister meets Mexican officials

Prince Faisal bin Farhan meets with Mexican foreign minister Marcelo Ebrard and Energy Secretary Rocío Nahle in Mexico City. (SPA)
Prince Faisal bin Farhan meets with Mexican foreign minister Marcelo Ebrard and Energy Secretary Rocío Nahle in Mexico City. (SPA)
Updated 30 November 2021

Saudi foreign minister meets Mexican officials

Prince Faisal bin Farhan meets with Mexican foreign minister Marcelo Ebrard and Energy Secretary Rocío Nahle in Mexico City. (SPA)
  • They discussed enhancing investment opportunities in a number of sectors as well as bilateral efforts in stabilizing energy markets

RIYADH: Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan met with a number of Mexican officials as he visited the country.
He met his counterpart Marcelo Ebrard in Mexico City on Monday.
The pair discussed coordinating efforts to serve the interest of their nations.
They also praised Saudi Arabia and Mexico’s efforts on international security and stopping the spread of weapons that threaten the people across the globe.
Prince Faisal also met Energy Secretary Rocío Nahle.
They discussed enhancing investment opportunities in a number of sectors as well as bilateral efforts in stabilizing energy markets.
Prince Faisal also had meetings with the President of Mexican Council on Foreign Affairs Sergio M. Alcocer and the President of the Mexican Senate Olga Sánchez Cordero.
Saudi Arabia’s top diplomat, on a tour of Latin America, arrived in Brazil on Thursday to meet officials in Brasilia then opened the Kingdom’s new embassy building in the country on Friday.


Riyadh Season: Groves offers relaxing spa, shopping, entertainment, culinary experience

The zone contains several open spaces including an area surrounded by palm trees where visitors can discover its various activities. (AN photos by Saleh Al-Ghanim)
The zone contains several open spaces including an area surrounded by palm trees where visitors can discover its various activities. (AN photos by Saleh Al-Ghanim)
Updated 30 November 2021

Riyadh Season: Groves offers relaxing spa, shopping, entertainment, culinary experience

The zone contains several open spaces including an area surrounded by palm trees where visitors can discover its various activities. (AN photos by Saleh Al-Ghanim)
  • This place is ‘all about nature, relaxation, and quietness, so each zone has its flavor’

RIYADH: One of Riyadh Season’s 14 zones, the Groves, has opened its doors for visitors to experience its spa, restaurants, shops, and shows.

The Groves has combined work and relaxation through an area called The House, which consists of business meeting rooms in a luxurious environment.
Siham Hassanain, general manager of the Groves, told Arab News that the zone was a garden that reflected its name, meaning field of trees.
She said: “Visitors can hear the sound of fountains, water, and birds ... the place also has a special scent. The logo of the Groves contains the four elements of life which are water, air, fire, and earth.
“So, I used these four elements of life in the Groves. The water resembles the relaxation of the place, fire means action and attractions, earth means food, and air means memories.”
The zone contains several open spaces including Al-Jalsa, an area surrounded by palm trees where visitors can view the site and discover its various activities.

HIGHLIGHTS

• The Groves has combined work and relaxation through an area called The House, which consists of business meeting rooms in a luxurious environment.

• People can enjoy a number of attractions while at the Groves, including birds of Eden, an afternoon high tea experience where a selection of the finest teas are served in an aviary filled with classical live music.

People can enjoy a number of attractions while at the Groves, including birds of Eden, an afternoon high tea experience where a selection of the finest teas are served in an aviary filled with classical live music. Other restaurants such as GEM.IN.I and El Lechazo offer a range culinary delights.
Followers of fashion can buy from local designers showcasing their latest collections, and dog owners and their pets can meet in Riyadh’s first-ever canine park, Lucaland.

Dog owners and their pets can meet in Riyadh’s first- ever canine park, Lucaland.

Hassanain, founder of Siham International Trading Co., a Saudi firm operating in the hospitality, food, and beverage industry, noted that the Groves was located in the city’s Diplomatic Quarter with commanding views of Wadi Hanifah.
“Nature and trees are all around. Wadi Hanifah offers a unique experience ... a place to relax.
“Each zone in Riyadh Season has its own unique experience. If you want a vibrant area, go to Boulevard Riyadh City. Visit Al-Murabaa to try international restaurants. If you are looking for an Arabian night experience in the desert, Riyadh Oasis is the place.
“But the Groves is all about nature, relaxation, and quietness, so each zone has its flavor,” she added.


Madinah Library offers visitors 180,000 books

Madinah Library offers visitors 180,000 books. (SPA)
Madinah Library offers visitors 180,000 books. (SPA)
Updated 30 November 2021

Madinah Library offers visitors 180,000 books

Madinah Library offers visitors 180,000 books. (SPA)
  • The library houses around 180,000 books and 71 classifications, most of which are books on the prophetic biography with 86 titles, and other specialist administrations and departments

MADINAH: The Prophet’s Mosque Library in Madinah is seeking to enrich visitor knowledge through its 180,000 books.

The library, which is affiliated with the General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques, is considered one of the most important places that visitors to the Prophet’s Mosque are keen to visit.

It aims to offer people the opportunity to acquire skills and expertise, as well as enrich their knowledge, through its diverse range of books in more than 21 languages.

The library houses around 180,000 books and 71 classifications, most of which are books on the prophetic biography with 86 titles, and other specialist administrations and departments.

It also includes a smart digital library offering computers with e-books.

Authorities have allocated a location for the library on the northwestern roof of the second expansion of the mosque.