Houthi rejection of Saudi peace plan is based on ‘flawed notion’

Houthi rejection of Saudi peace  plan is based on ‘flawed notion’
In this file photo taken on October 03, 2017 Saudi border guards keep watch along the border with Yemen in the al-Khubah area in the southern Jizan province. (AFP)
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Updated 29 March 2021

Houthi rejection of Saudi peace plan is based on ‘flawed notion’

Houthi rejection of Saudi peace  plan is based on ‘flawed notion’
  • The militia and its sponsor in Iran think the world is divided on Yemen when in fact it ‘is united behind Saudi initiative,’ according to analyst

RIYADH/JEDDAH: The Houthi militias in Yemen and their Iranian sponsors have rejected the latest Saudi peace initiative designed to end the crisis in the country because they believe the international community is divided on the issue, according to experts.

“But the Houthis must realize that the world is completely united (in its desire to) achieve peace in Yemen, and it is united behind the Saudi initiative,” said political analyst Mubarak Al-Ati.
He suggested that Martin Griffiths, the UN’s envoy to Yemen, and Tim Lenderking, the US special envoy to the country, will probably travel to Muscat for talks with the Houthis to emphasize that “the time has come to end the suffering of the Yemeni people” and persuade them to support the peace process.
The Saudi initiative, which was announced on Monday, is an opportunity for the Houthis to be partners in achieving the peace that the Yemeni people want, and which is supported by the international community, said Al-Ati.
Instead, he added, “the Iran-backed Houthi militia seems to be unwilling to accept the Saudi initiative, which aims to reconstruct Yemen and bring peace and prosperity back to the war-torn Arab country.”




Mubarak Al-Ati

Attacks by the Houthis on targets in Saudi Arabia have escalated in recent weeks. The latest occurred on Friday morning, when a ballistic missile was intercepted in the skies over the city of Najran by Saudi defense forces. A day earlier, a “projectile” hit an oil terminal in Jazan, causing a fire. Earlier on Thursday, a number of explosives-packed drones were intercepted and destroyed, according to reports on state TV.
The attacks were condemned by authorities in the Kingdom, regional organizations and other countries. The Saudi Ministry of Energy described them as “acts of sabotage targeting the security of energy supplies.” A government spokesman said they threaten the stability of global energy supplies.
Tariq Al-Zahrani, a strategic expert, told Arab News that the Houthis have clearly rejected the latest Saudi peace initiative.
“The Houthis are following the instructions of Iran and are working on preserving Iranian interests in the region,” he said. “Iran is, in fact, plotting against Saudi Arabia. It wants Saudi Arabia to get busy in a conflict in the south, away from Syria and Lebanon.”
He added that the Houthis are blocking progress in Yemen and the Saudi plan offers a way to break the deadlock.
Al-Zahrani also highlighted the fact that US President Joe Biden served as vice president in the Obama administration and was a member of the US team that agreed on the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran.

HIGHLIGHT

Mohammed Abdelmajid Qubati, a former minister of information and of tourism in Yemen’s legitimate government, said: ‘It is essential that the Houthis and their supporters in Tehran to realize how important it is to seize this opportunity for peace, so that Yemen can begin to move toward reconstruction and development, and regional and international security and stability can be improved.’

“The Houthis are a political card the Democrats are using to put pressure on the Republicans,” he said. “They are trying to prove that the war in Yemen and (the decision by former President) Donald Trump’s administration to withdraw from the nuclear agreement with Iran are both mistakes committed by the Republicans.”
Mohammed Abdelmajid Qubati, a former minister of information and of tourism in Yemen’s legitimate government, said the latest Saudi peace plan is an extension of previous peace initiatives proposed by the Kingdom.
“The Houthis’ irresponsible rejection of the initiative announced by Saudi Arabia reflects Iran’s deplorable endeavor to thwart this important peace initiative, which aims to achieve a complete and comprehensive ceasefire, based on the awaited political settlement that is built on national, regional and international principles and references,” he said.
Qubati added that it is essential that the Houthis and their supporters in Tehran to realize how important it is to seize this opportunity for peace, so that Yemen can begin to move toward reconstruction and development, and regional and international security and stability can be improved.

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Film Commission launches its strategy to develop Saudi film, cinema sector

The Film Commission launched its strategy at a ceremony in Riyadh, held under the patronage of Minister of Culture Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan. (SPA)
The Film Commission launched its strategy at a ceremony in Riyadh, held under the patronage of Minister of Culture Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan. (SPA)
Updated 48 min 23 sec ago

Film Commission launches its strategy to develop Saudi film, cinema sector

The Film Commission launched its strategy at a ceremony in Riyadh, held under the patronage of Minister of Culture Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan. (SPA)
  • The strategy aims to increase direct GDP contribution, increase job opportunities, and increase the number of locally produced feature films

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Film Commission on Sunday launched its strategy to develop the Kingdom’s film and cinema sector at a ceremony in the capital, Riyadh.
The ceremony was held under the patronage of Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan, the minister of culture and chairman of the commission.
Hamed Fayez, the deputy minister of culture and vice chairman of the commission’s board of directors, said that the strategy, with its diverse and comprehensive programs and initiatives, represents a first step toward developing the sector and supporting and empowering Saudi filmmakers.
Fayez said the Kingdom has great potential in the industry due to creative Saudi talent winning awards at regional and international film festivals, Saudi films that have achieved remarkable recognition locally and internationally, and the growth of the production movement in recent years.
The Film Commission’s CEO Abdullah Al-Ayyaf said the strategy contributes to achieving the goals of the Ministry of Culture and the Kingdom’s Vision 2020 National Culture Strategy, by achieving growth in the Saudi film production sector and transforming it into a competitive industry.
It includes producing local cinematic content to attract Saudi and international audiences, and presenting the Kingdom as a leading global center for film production in the Middle East, he added.
The strategy was based on a benchmark comparison with the 20 most important countries in the film industry.
It includes six strategic pillars, including talent development, infrastructure, local production in the Kingdom, international production in the Kingdom, regulatory framework, film distribution and screening.
According to the strategy, the Film Commission will work on 19 strategic initiatives aimed at creating a large movement in the Saudi film sector, providing an infrastructure for film production, and empowering Saudi talents and capabilities.
The commission said its strategy was designed to increase direct contribution to the gross domestic product, increase the number of job opportunities in the film sector, and increase the number of locally produced feature films. 
The Film Commission is one of 11 cultural bodies affiliated with the Ministry of Culture and was established in February last year.


Kaspersky, Saudi Technology Control to combat cyberattack

Dr. Bandar Al-Haqbani, Dr. Abdulaziz Alhussain, Engineer Mohammad Alwashmi and Mohammad Hashem at the conference. (Supplied)
Dr. Bandar Al-Haqbani, Dr. Abdulaziz Alhussain, Engineer Mohammad Alwashmi and Mohammad Hashem at the conference. (AN photo by Rahaf Jambi)
Updated 54 min 18 sec ago

Kaspersky, Saudi Technology Control to combat cyberattack

Dr. Bandar Al-Haqbani, Dr. Abdulaziz Alhussain, Engineer Mohammad Alwashmi and Mohammad Hashem at the conference. (Supplied)
  • Saudi Arabia is currently developing digitization and advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence, Internet of Things, blockchain, fintech and 5G across its public and private sector

RIYADH: Global cybersecurity firm Kaspersky has signed a strategic agreement with Technology Control Company, a security services, digital services and big data company in Saudi Arabia, at the @Hack Infosec Conference 2021.
The managed security service provider agreement was marked at the conference, one of Saudi Arabia’s most anticipated information-security events of the year.
The move is in line with Technology Control Company’s commitment to providing its customers in Saudi Arabia with enhanced managed security services.
Mohamad Hashem, country manager at Kaspersky, told Arab News how new technologies increased the risk and exposure to cyberattacks by opening new avenues of attack.
“Taking this into account, Kaspersky is delighted to expand and strengthen Technology Control Company’s portfolio and offer customers in Saudi Arabia the most effective prevention, detection and response capabilities to the market,”  he said.

Dr. Abdulaziz Alhussain from TCC and Mohammad Hashem singing the agreement in @hack conference. (AN photo by Rahaf Jambi)

“Our innovative solutions and extensive expertise will ensure that our customers in the region receive the best data protection possible via a trusted local technology and service provider,”  he said.
Technology Control Company will be offering Kaspersky’s resources and services such as Security Operations Center consulting, security assessment, awareness and training.
The Kingdom is currently developing digitization and advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence, Internet of Things, blockchain, fintech and 5G across its public and private sector.

Taking this into account, Kaspersky is delighted to expand and strengthen Technology Control Company’s portfolio and offer customers in Saudi Arabia the most effective prevention, detection and response capabilities to the market.

Mohamad Hashem, Country manager at Kaspersky

As the country continues its road to digitization and adoption of these technologies, Kaspersky expects a steady rise in cyberattacks.
The partnership will play a key role in navigating these risks by helping Technology Control Company deliver security monitoring, incident response, threat hunting, threat intelligence, managed detection and response, security assessment and security awareness services in a cost-efficient, scalable and flexible way.
Technology Control Company’s customers in Saudi Arabia will be able to subscribe to next-generation SOC services based on solutions in line with global industry standards. Providing training such as incident response, malware analysis and digital forensics is another essential element of the alliance.
Hashem expressed his excitement about participation at @hack event and said that this was the first time the event was being held outside the US.
“Of course, we had to be a part of this great event because Kaspersky is one of the leading companies in the cybersecurity realm, and we are glad to be here,”  Hashem said.
He said that the company had signed an initiative with Cyberkids to help promote a better understanding of cybersecurity.
Muhammad Alwashmi, security services director at Technology Control Company, said that they were glad to partner with an international company with worldwide exposure and intelligence specific to the region.
“This agreement will support and provide our customers with premium protection to their businesses through the best solutions available in the market. Having Kaspersky on board will contribute to our success, and we are looking forward to a prosperous collaboration,”  Alwashmi said.


Who’s Who: Princess Haifa bint Abdulaziz Al-Mogrin, chair the UNESCO Executive Board Program and External Relations Commission

Princess Haifa bint Abdulaziz Al-Mogrin. (SPA)
Princess Haifa bint Abdulaziz Al-Mogrin. (SPA)
Updated 22 min 56 sec ago

Who’s Who: Princess Haifa bint Abdulaziz Al-Mogrin, chair the UNESCO Executive Board Program and External Relations Commission

Princess Haifa bint Abdulaziz Al-Mogrin. (SPA)

Princess Haifa bint Abdulaziz Al-Mogrin was recently elected to chair the UNESCO Executive Board Program and External Relations Commission for two years.
During the 213th session of the UNESCO executive board in Paris, the executive council named Princess Haifa, Saudi Arabia’s permanent representative to UNESCO, for the position.
The Kingdom’s presidency of UNESCO’s programs and external relations committee reflects its pivotal role in UNESCO to support the decision-making process in a systematic and fair way.
Commenting on the election, Princess Haifa posted on Twitter: “Glad to announce that Saudi Arabia will continue its pursuits to ensure a better future for all as chair of the Executive Board Program and External Relations Commission.”
Princess Haifa received a bachelor’s degree in economics from the Riyadh-based King Saud University in 2000 and a master’s degree in science in economics with reference to the Middle East from the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London in 2007.
In 2009, she briefly took up a part-time role lecturing at King Saud University, before starting work with the UN Development Programme. In 2013, she was promoted to the role of program analyst there, covering social development and human rights.
She joined the Ministry of Economy and Planning as head of the sustainable development goals sector in 2016 and was appointed assistant deputy minister for sustainable development affairs in 2017.
She also served as the assistant deputy minister for G20 affairs under the Ministry of Economy and Planning from 2018. That same year, she was a speaker at the Second Urban Planning Forum — a testament to her expertise in the empowerment of youth and human rights advocacy.


Saudi falconry festival starts in Riyadh

Saudi falconry festival starts in Riyadh. (SPA)
Saudi falconry festival starts in Riyadh. (SPA)
Updated 46 min 33 sec ago

Saudi falconry festival starts in Riyadh

Saudi falconry festival starts in Riyadh. (SPA)
  • The festival holds a competition to select the most beautiful falcons in seven rounds, two are allocated for the Farkh category and five are for the Qirnas category

RIYADH: The King Abdulaziz Falconry Festival 2021 started on Sunday in Malham, north of Riyadh, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

It runs until Dec. 16 and is being organized by the Saudi Falcons Club, which has allocated more than SR25 million ($6.66 million) for winners.

The festival, the largest of its kind in the world, opened with the qualifying runs for Saudi falconers. These started with the Shaheen Farkh category of Saudi owners, with strong competition for a place in the final rounds for the King Abdulaziz Cup.

There will be runs for international falconers in the categories of owners and professionals.

The festival also holds a competition to select the most beautiful falcons in seven rounds, two are allocated for the Farkh category and five are for the Qirnas category.

Through these events, the festival aims to preserve Saudi heritage, pass on the hobby of falconry to future generations, educate children about their history and values, and enhance the spirit of competition among falconers.

The festival continues to register falcons in some categories until Dec. 9 to accommodate the largest number of falconers wishing to participate.

 


Yemeni governorates receive Saudi oil derivatives grant

Yemeni governorates receive Saudi oil derivatives grant. (SPA)
Yemeni governorates receive Saudi oil derivatives grant. (SPA)
Updated 42 sec ago

Yemeni governorates receive Saudi oil derivatives grant

Yemeni governorates receive Saudi oil derivatives grant. (SPA)
  • Saudi Development and Reconstruction Program for Yemen has undertaken more than 204 development projects

ADEN: The governorates of Hadramout and Mahra in Yemen have received a new batch of Saudi fuel derivatives from Aden, offered by the Kingdom under the Saudi Development and Reconstruction Program for Yemen.

Hadramout received 11,300 tons of diesel, with 8,300 tons distributed to the coast and 2,000 to the valley, while Mahra received 4,000 tons of diesel to meet the supply needed for electricity generation stations.

The new batch for Hadramout and Mahra is part of the fifth distribution of Saudi fuel derivatives to Yemen, with amounts reaching 60,000 metric tons of diesel and 30,000 metric tons of fuel oil.

Through this grant, Saudi Arabia seeks to contribute to the stability of fuel prices, improving services in all vital sectors, developing infrastructure, limiting recurrent power outages and improving the daily lives of Yemeni citizens.

The Saudi Development and Reconstruction Program for Yemen has undertaken more than 204 development projects and initiatives in the following seven sectors: education, health, water, transport, agriculture, fishery, and capacity-building of government institutions.