Saudi crown prince discusses green initiatives with region's leaders

Saudi crown prince discusses green initiatives with region's leaders
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman announced the Saudi Green Initiative and the Middle East Green Initiative on Saturday. (SPA)
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Updated 29 March 2021

Saudi crown prince discusses green initiatives with region's leaders

Saudi crown prince discusses green initiatives with region's leaders
  • Crown prince announced the Saudi Green Initiative and the Middle East Green Initiative on Saturday
  • Regional countries say they are ready work with the Kingdom to achieve its goals

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman held telephone calls with regional leaders on Sunday to discuss his new environmental initiatives.

The crown prince announced the Saudi Green Initiative and the Middle East Green Initiative on Saturday, which include a number of ambitious programs that aim to reduce carbon emissions by 60 percent in the region, and plant 50 billion trees as part of the world’s largest afforestation project.

During the call with Kuwait’s Emir Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmed Al-Sabah, the crown prince discussed the initiatives’ aims to enhance the efficiency of oil production and increase the contribution of renewable energy, in addition to multiple efforts to preserve the marine and coastal environment and increase the proportion of natural reserves.

They also reviewed the initiatives’ importance in facing environmental challenges in the region and the world, and its role in improving the quality of life and public health.

In a call with King Hamad of Bahrain, the two sides discussed ways in which the initiatives address the economic and social challenges related to the regional and international environmental situation in a way that contributes to achieving regional sustainable development and enhancing the quality of life of the population.

The crown prince and the Emir of Qatari Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad reviewed the “importance of joint action to meet the environmental challenges that the region has faced for decades, and to develop an ambitious and clear-cut regional road map to address them in all aspects,” Saudi Press Agency reported.

Prince Mohammed also held similar calls with Sudanese President Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan and Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi to discuss the benefits of the initiatives for the region and the world.

Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Sudan and Iraq congratulated and thanked the crown prince for the initiative and expressed their country’s readiness to work with the Kingdom to achieve its goals.

The Arab League praised the two initiatives which it said “reflect Saudi Arabia’s keenness to play a pioneering role in international issues, and comes as a continuation of its efforts during its presidency of the G20 last year.”
Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit said the environmental issues addressed by the initiatives are all important priorities on the global agenda in the next stage, adding that it is important for Arab countries to include them in their future development plans.
The Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation also praised both initiatives and said: “The Kingdom will lead the initiative in the field of a green environment free of pollution, and the two initiatives come to meet the environmental and economic challenges facing the region, foremost of which are desertification, air pollution from greenhouse gases, and an attempt to preserve marine life.”
Yousef Ahmed Al-Othaimeen also said he valued the partnerships announced by the crown prince with Gulf and Arab countries.


GCC national ID not valid for travel

GCC national ID not valid for travel
Updated 19 sec ago

GCC national ID not valid for travel

GCC national ID not valid for travel
  • King Fahd Causeway Passports raises operational capacity

RIYADH: Using a national ID as a document for traveling to Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries remains suspended, a spokesman for the Eastern Province Passports said.

Citizens wishing to travel must verify the conditions of the destination country and ensure they are met, Mualla Al-Otaibi added.
In February last year, the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs decided to suspend GCC citizens’ use of national identity cards for travel to and from the Kingdom, coinciding with the onset of precautionary measures to combat COVID-19.
Al-Otaibi said the border points of the Eastern Region Passports had resumed work after the lifting of travel suspensions through all air, land and sea ports on May 17.
“Preventive maintenance work was carried out for all border backup devices and systems,” said Al-Otaibi.
A further 10 lanes have been installed in the departure area, bringing the total number of lanes to 27, with 36 lanes in the arrival area.
King Fahd Causeway Passports increased its operational capacity by 30 percent to facilitate passenger travel.
The spokesman said that meetings and workshops were held with port authorities to ensure speedy and smooth travel, while applying all precautions.
The movement of passengers leaving for Bahrain had decreased sharply since Monday morning, he said. The director general of Saudi Customs at the King Fahd Causeway, Dhaifallah Al-Otaibi, told Arab News they were ready to receive arrivals and departures through the causeway, and to provide customs services to travelers of all categories.
Customs at the causeway linking Saudi Arabia and Bahrain strived to enhance customs procedures, he added.

We are ready to receive arrivals and departures through the causeway.

Dhaifallah Al-Otaibi, DG Saudi Customs

He confirmed the continued cooperation and coordination between all parties operating at the border crossing, and that port authorities were all working as one business system to provide the best services.
“Customs (the land link between Saudi Arabia and Bahrain) continues to take precautionary measures, (which are) more intense with the start of travel between the two countries to ensure the maximum levels of safety recommended to protect travelers and arrivals, in addition to protecting the employees of the port,” he added.
Customs at the King Fahd Causeway continued working on freight traffic since the suspension of personal travel between the two countries last year, he said.
Causeway customs statistics said that procedures for about 272,000 trucks entering and leaving the Kingdom had been completed between March 2020 until the end of April 2021, while about 325,000 vehicles had crossed the causeway in both directions since the beginning of this year.


Saudi Arabia announces $20m grant to help cover Sudan’s debt with IMF

Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan headed the Kingdom’s delegation at the International Conference in Support of Sudan in Paris. (SPA)
Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan headed the Kingdom’s delegation at the International Conference in Support of Sudan in Paris. (SPA)
Updated 31 min 26 sec ago

Saudi Arabia announces $20m grant to help cover Sudan’s debt with IMF

Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan headed the Kingdom’s delegation at the International Conference in Support of Sudan in Paris. (SPA)
  • King Salman and the crown prince were keen to ease Sudan’s debt burden

LONDON: Saudi Arabia has provided a $20 million grant toward covering part of Sudan’s financial debt with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan said the grant was an extension to previous support provided by the Kingdom to Sudan.
He was speaking as he led the Kingdom’s delegation at the International Conference in Support of Sudan in Paris on Monday.
Saudi Arabia also announced it would transfer the balance into the two emergency and deferred fees accounts with the IMF, to contribute to the handling of arrears and alleviate Sudan’s debt burden.
Prince Faisal said that King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman were keen to ease Sudan’s debt burden and contribute to addressing the nation’s arrears, in addition to “enhancing Saudi investments in Sudan and the Kingdom’s support for all sectors that would achieve the aspirations of the Sudanese people toward further progress, prosperity and development,” Saudi Press Agency reported.
“What unites us together today is our common goal to support the transitional phase that Sudan is going through toward a bright and prosperous future, and based on this, on April 13, 2019, my country announced its full support for the Sudanese people regarding their future and the measures taken are in their interest.”
He said that the Kingdom provided a package of humanitarian and development aid.
Prince Faisal said that the Kingdom was one of the first countries that contributed and participated, through the framework of the Friends of Sudan Group, in supporting this transitional phase in Sudan.
“This comes from my country’s belief in the importance of activating Sudan’s regional role and providing everything that would protect Sudan and preserve its security,” Prince Faisal added.
He said he appreciated the roles of the US, France, and the UK and their tireless efforts in supporting Sudan under for the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative.
The Kingdom’s Finance Minister Mohammed Al-Jadaan also attended the conference in the French capital, which was part of the Summit on the Financing of African Economies that is attended by more than 40 countries and will continue until Tuesday.


Saudi Arabia records 12 COVID-19 deaths, 886 new cases

Saudi Arabia records 12 COVID-19 deaths, 886 new cases
Updated 17 May 2021

Saudi Arabia records 12 COVID-19 deaths, 886 new cases

Saudi Arabia records 12 COVID-19 deaths, 886 new cases
  • The Kingdom said 1,127 patients recovered in past 24 hours
  • 9 mosques temporarily closed after some people tested positive for coronavirus

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia recorded 12 new COVID-19 related deaths on Monday, raising the total number of fatalities to 7,174.
The Ministry of Health confirmed 886 new confirmed cases reported in the Kingdom in the previous 24 hours, meaning 433,980 people have now contracted the disease. 
Of the total number of cases, 7,892 remain active and 1,377 in critical condition.
According to the ministry, the highest number of cases were recorded in the capital Riyadh with 281, followed by Makkah with 250, the Eastern Province with 97, Madinah recorded 63 and Asir confirmed 51 cases.
The health ministry also announced that 1,127 patients had recovered from COVID-19, bringing the total number of recoveries in the Kingdom to 418,914.

The ministry renewed its call on the public to register to receive the vaccine, and adhere to the measures and abide by instructions.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Islamic Affairs temporary closed nine mosques in six regions after some people tested positive for coronavirus, bringing the total number of mosques closed to 1,210 within 100 days, 1,188 of which have reopened after being sterilized.
The coronavirus pandemic has affected over 163 million people globally and the death toll has reached around 3.39 million.

 


Saudi Red Crescent Authority declares success in Ramadan plan

Saudi Red Crescent Authority declares success in Ramadan plan
Updated 17 May 2021

Saudi Red Crescent Authority declares success in Ramadan plan

Saudi Red Crescent Authority declares success in Ramadan plan

MAKKAH: The Saudi Red Crescent Authority (SRCA) declared the success of its plan during Ramadan by being available in the central region and inside the Grand Mosque in Makkah, with the participation of 500 female and male volunteers who provided more than 49,000 volunteer hours, via the SRCA branch in Makkah, and on the roads leading to it.

SRCA said that during Ramadan, Makkah centers received 9,411 reports, most of which were for cases of sickness with 5,713 reports including respiratory diseases, diabetes, fainting and epilepsy, while accident reports reached 3,698 including car accidents, falls and burns.

SRCA receives reports via the free-toll number 997 or via the “Asefni” smartphone application.

On May 8, SRCA marked World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day by celebrating the efforts of humanitarian workers for “their inspiring role in pushing forward the wheel of development.”

SRCA President Dr. Jalal Al-Owaisi said that the authority was keen to consolidate and spread human values and enhance community awareness. 


Accredited labs to provide Saudi travelers with pre-travel PCR tests as flights resume

Accredited labs to provide Saudi travelers with pre-travel PCR tests as flights resume
Updated 17 May 2021

Accredited labs to provide Saudi travelers with pre-travel PCR tests as flights resume

Accredited labs to provide Saudi travelers with pre-travel PCR tests as flights resume
  • More than 11.5 million vaccine doses have been administered so far in Saudi Arabia
  • Fifteen deaths due to complications from COVID-19 were reported, raising the death toll to 7,162

JEDDAH: More than 100 Ministry of Health (MoH) accredited laboratories across Saudi Arabia are ready to provide Saudi travelers with pre-travel PCR tests as international flights resume.

Residents of the Kingdom can check the list available at https://covid19.cdc.gov.sa/ar/approved-covid-19-laboratories-ar/private-laboratories-ar/.

After weeks of fluctuating numbers, Saudi Arabia’s daily case counts are finally stabilizing again according to the MoH spokesman, Dr. Mohammed Al-Abd Al-Aly.

With a significant difference between daily case counts and recoveries of late, the MoH’s spokesman confirmed in Sunday’s press conference that the epidemiological curve could start declining if the daily case counts continue to record lower numbers in the next few weeks.

“The best way to ensure the decline is if members of the Saudi community continue to register and receive their COVID vaccine jabs, and the public’s continued adherence to following all health and safety precautionary measures and protocols,” said the spokesman.

More than 11.5 million vaccine doses have been administered so far at a rate of 33 doses per hundred, and 33 percent of the Kingdom’s 34.8 million population has received at least one jab so far.

A total of 825 new cases were reported on Sunday, raising the total number of cases to 433,094.

For the fourth day in a row, the number of recoveries continue to be reported above the 1,000-case mark with 1,028 recoveries reported, raising the total number of cases to 417,787. The Kingdom’s current recovery rate has increased to 96.4 percent.

With the rising recovery rate, there has been a significant decline in the number of active cases, with only 8,145 instances. The number of critical cases still remain a concern for authorities as 45 patients were admitted to ICUs in the past 24 hours, raising the number of critical cases to 1,376.

Of Sunday’s cases, only two regions recorded numbers in the triple digits, with Makkah leading for the first time in months with 263 cases followed by Riyadh with 231 cases. The Northern Borders reported only five cases and Jouf four.

Fifteen deaths due to complications from COVID-19 were reported, raising the death toll to 7,162.

A total of 54,049 new PCR tests were conducted in the past 24 hours, raising the total number of PCR tests in the Kingdom to more than 17.9 million so far.