Saudi Air Force begins joint exercise with US and Pakistani forces

The Royal Saudi Air Force took part in exercises at Mushaf Air Base in Punjab province, Pakistan. (SPA)
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The Royal Saudi Air Force took part in exercises at Mushaf Air Base in Punjab province, Pakistan. (SPA)
The Royal Saudi Air Force took part in exercises at Mushaf Air Base in Punjab province, Pakistan. (SPA)
2 / 2
The Royal Saudi Air Force took part in exercises at Mushaf Air Base in Punjab province, Pakistan. (SPA)
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Updated 31 March 2021

Saudi Air Force begins joint exercise with US and Pakistani forces

The Royal Saudi Air Force took part in exercises at Mushaf Air Base in Punjab province, Pakistan. (SPA)
  • A number of RSAF Tornado combat aircraft are taking part in the exercise
  • The Aces Meet 2021 maneuvers will continue until April 10

RIYADH: The Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF) and their US and Pakistani counterparts have begun a joint military exercise at Mushaf Air Base in Punjab province, the Saudi Defense Ministry said on Tuesday.
The Aces Meet 2021 maneuvers were launched on Monday in the presence of Maj. Gen. Awad Al-Zahrani, the Saudi Military Attache in Pakistan, and Chief of Air Staff (Operations) Vice Marshal Waqas Sulehri.
A number of RSAF Tornado combat aircraft are taking part in the exercise, together with their air, technical and support crews. It includes the planning and implementation of training sorties and counteroperations, and defensive and offensive training in a number of war scenarios, said Lt. Col. Hamad Al-Hajjri, the commanding operations officer of the participating RSAF forces. He added that it also includes training for air operations in environments that differ from that of the Kingdom.
Capt. Abdulrahman Al-Omari, commander of supply and provisioning, said that by working in different environments, technical crews are able to maintain, equip and arm aircraft to the highest quality standards and follow all safety procedures required to meet operational needs and increase combat readiness.
The exercise, which continues until April 10, also aims to provide an exchange of experiences and expertise in the field of planning, and in combat and support air operations.

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Hajj without smart card, permit will not be allowed

Hajj without smart card,  permit will not be allowed
Updated 2 min 29 sec ago

Hajj without smart card, permit will not be allowed

Hajj without smart card,  permit will not be allowed
  • Permit will be matched with the electronic card and the pilgrim’s ID

JEDDAH: In an effort to ensure compliance with coronavirus (COVID-19) safety measures, the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah confirmed that no one will be allowed to perform Hajj without a smart card and a documented official permit.

Dr. Abdulfattah Mashat, deputy minister of Hajj and Umrah, said that the permit will be matched with the electronic card and the pilgrim’s ID, noting that there is no platform to apply for Hajj except the official website of the ministry.

“Any company that offers service packages outside the ministry’s platform is violating the system,” he said. 

“At the first stages of the ‘Eatmarna’ application, we noticed some violations by some entities and individuals, but with the passage of time, community awareness began to increase.”

Mashat said this year’s Hajj will use permits through the “Absher” platform only. Information for those who purchased their Hajj packages on the ministry’s platform will be linked to Absher and their ID.

According to the deputy minister, more than 470,000 applications have been received as of Wednesday at 5 p.m. as all met the conditions of immunization and have never performed Hajj before.

FASTFACT

470K

More than 470,000 applications have been received as of Wednesday at 5 p.m. as all met the conditions of immunization and have never performed Hajj before.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah called on all domestic pilgrims connected with the ministry to adhere to health instructions to enable those wishing to perform Hajj.

The ministry said resident locations will apply visual and thermal screening procedures upon pilgrims’ entrance and movement.

The allocated hotels in Makkah and Madinah must conform to the requirements listed by the Ministry of Tourism, the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah, and other bodies concerned with monitoring the accommodation of pilgrims.

The hotels must take into account the application of precautionary measures to prevent crowding inside rooms. The hotels also have to provide catering services for each pilgrim in his room as open buffets are banned.

A health guide (or health leader) from the concerned authority will be available during the pilgrims’ presence in the Hajj areas and during their movements.

This step comes to ensure the preventive measures. Pilgrims must consult a doctor if they suspect COVID-19 symptoms to ensure his safety and the safety of others.

Regarding the procedures in the holy sites, the Two Holy Mosques, and the central area in Makkah and Madinah, social distancing will be enforced throughout the grouping of pilgrims in all Hajj stages. This is in accordance with health requirements in residential buildings and tents. Pilgrims’ bags and baggage carts will be disinfected periodically.

Security guards will facilitate the exit of pilgrims from holy sites according to the time allotted to them and will ensure adherence to the number of pilgrims allowed in one space (no more than 50 people). Seat numbers on buses will be assigned to each pilgrim during the entire Hajj trip and standing inside busses will not be allowed. There will be an empty seat assigned between each pilgrim and carrying personal carry-on baggage will be prohibited.

In the case that a passenger suspects COVID-19 symptoms, the bus will be stopped and disinfected.

The ministries of health and hajj announced Saturday that a total of 60,000 pilgrims will be allowed to perform the pilgrimage this year, which will begin mid-July.


Visitors to Saudi Arabia must complete COVID-19 registration before departure

Visitors to Saudi Arabia must complete COVID-19 registration before departure
Updated 49 min 14 sec ago

Visitors to Saudi Arabia must complete COVID-19 registration before departure

Visitors to Saudi Arabia must complete COVID-19 registration before departure
  • GACA said this protocol will help facilitate the entry procedures and reduce waiting periods at ports of entry
  • The circular was issued to all airlines in the Kingdom

RIYADH: All foreign travelers and their companions traveling to the Kingdom must complete registration for their coronavirus (COVID-19) immunization data before departure, according to a circular issued Thursday by Saudi Arabia’s Civil Aviation Authority.
The General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) said this protocol will help facilitate the entry procedures and reduce waiting periods at ports of entry.
The registration is applicable to all citizens from Gulf Cooperation Council countries, holders of new visas, residents, and their companions, both inoculated and non-vaccinated.
The move is “in line with efforts made by the Kingdom to limit the spread of COVID-19 while ensuring the safety of citizens and residents,” GACA said.


Who’s Who: Hatem Samman, head of public policy for Amazon Saudi Arabia

Who’s Who: Hatem Samman, head of public policy for Amazon Saudi Arabia
Updated 17 June 2021

Who’s Who: Hatem Samman, head of public policy for Amazon Saudi Arabia

Who’s Who: Hatem Samman, head of public policy for Amazon Saudi Arabia

Hatem Samman joined Amazon in January 2021 as head of public policy for Saudi Arabia.

His work with Saudi government agencies and key officials aims at building strong strategic socioeconomic and business relationships in the Kingdom in line with Vision 2030.

Samman previously served as a senior policy adviser at the G20 Saudi Secretariat and as chief economist and strategy adviser at the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority, now the Ministry of Investment.

In an earlier role, he was director and lead economist of the Ideation Center at Booz & Company’s (now Strategy &) think tank in the Middle East.

He was also vice president of credit administration at Riyad Bank, and director of regulatory affairs and strategic planning at the Saudi Telecommunications Co.

Among several other positions he has held over the years, Samman served as a fellow at the University of Minnesota and consultant at the World Bank.

He has published several academic articles in prestigious journals including the International Journal of Applied Economics and the Journal of International Trade & Economic Development, and has written commentary for several newspapers, including the Financial Times.

He is also the co-author of numerous publications, including “How to Succeed at Education Reform: The Case for Saudi Arabia” and “the Broader GCC Region” (2008), and “Meeting the Employment Challenge in the GCC: The Need for a Holistic Strategy” (2010). Samman holds a bachelor’s degree in social science and mathematics from the University of California, San Diego, and a Ph.D. in political economy and public policy from the University of Southern California.


Arab experts discuss media handling of extremism and terrorist acts

Arab experts discuss media handling of extremism and terrorist acts
Updated 17 June 2021

Arab experts discuss media handling of extremism and terrorist acts

Arab experts discuss media handling of extremism and terrorist acts

Representatives from a variety of media sectors met on Thursday to draft a code of conduct for the media’s handling of terrorist incidents and to formulate a strategy for the reporting of issues related to extremism and terrorism.

The meeting — held at the headquarters of the General Secretariat of the Council of Arab Interior Ministers in Tunisia — was attended by members of information ministries and heads of the security media agencies of interior ministries from across the Arab world, as well as representatives from the Arab League, the Arab Radio and Broadcasting Union, Naif Arab University for Security Sciences, and the Saudi Broadcasting Authority.

In his opening speech, Khalid Hilal Al-Maamari, the assistant secretary-general of the Arab Interior Ministers’ Council, said the meeting highlighted the importance of the media and its role in security awareness and crime prevention. He also stressed the need to establish an effective partnership between the media arms of the security services and the news media to ensure unified efforts to protect Arab countries from any possible threats, not only in terms of security, but also at cultural, social, health and economic levels.

He added that joint cooperation between the security media and representatives of the ministries of information is the best way to achieve that goal.

 

 


Saudi Arabia’s crown prince receives message from head of Chad’s Transitional Military Council

Saudi Arabia’s crown prince receives message from head of Chad’s Transitional Military Council
Updated 17 June 2021

Saudi Arabia’s crown prince receives message from head of Chad’s Transitional Military Council

Saudi Arabia’s crown prince receives message from head of Chad’s Transitional Military Council
  • The letter dealt with relations between the two countries and ways to support and enhance them in various fields

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Thursday received a written message from the Chairman of Chad’s Transitional Military Council, Gen. Mahamat Idriss Deby, regarding relations between the two countries and ways to support and enhance them in various fields.
The message was received on behalf of Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan, by Minister of State for African Affairs Ahmed bin Abdul Aziz Kattan during a meeting with his Chadian counterpart Mahamat Zene Cherif in the Saudi capital, Riyadh.
Kattan welcomed the Chadian foreign minister and his accompanying delegation, and they discussed bilateral relations and ways to enhance them in various fields, in addition to exchanging views on regional and international issues of common interest, the Kingdom’s foreign ministry said.