Saudi deputy defense minister holds talks with US military officials

Saudi Arabia’s Deputy Defense Minister Prince Khalid bin Salman meets with deUS defense officials. (File/AFP)
Saudi Arabia’s Deputy Defense Minister Prince Khalid bin Salman meets with deUS defense officials. (File/AFP)
Short Url
Updated 07 July 2021

Saudi deputy defense minister holds talks with US military officials

Saudi deputy defense minister holds talks with US military officials
  • Prince Khalid met with US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin
  • US committed to working with Saudi Arabia to end the war in Yemen

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Deputy Defense Minister Prince Khalid bin Salman held talks with senior US military officials in Washington on Tuesday.
Prince Khalid met with US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, who confirmed Washington’s commitment to its defense relations with the Kingdom.
Prince Khalid said he discussed “longstanding and historic partnership between our two countries, our military and defense cooperation, and our mutual efforts to preserve regional stability,” with the officials.

The Pentagon said the US was also committed to working with Saudi Arabia to end the war in Yemen and in confronting Iran’s destabilizing activities in the region.

 

The US Department of Defense condemned the cross-border attacks launched by Yemen’s Houthi militia with Iranian support.
The Houthis have stepped up attacks targeting the Kingdom’s southern region since the beginning of the year, threatening vital, oil and civilian installations.
Prince Khalid is expected to hold talks with officials at the State Department on Wednesday, spokesman Ned Price said.
The White House said he met with national security adviser Jake Sullivan.


Saudi Arabia announces 2 more COVID-19 deaths

Saudi Arabia announces 2 more COVID-19 deaths
Updated 23 October 2021

Saudi Arabia announces 2 more COVID-19 deaths

Saudi Arabia announces 2 more COVID-19 deaths

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia announced two deaths from COVID-19 and 43 new infections on Saturday.

Of the new cases, 13 were recorded in Riyadh, eight in Jeddah, two in Buraidah, two in Madinah, two in Makkah, and two in Dhahran. Several other cities recorded one new case each.

The total number of recoveries in the Kingdom increased to 537,246 after 38 more patients recovered from the virus.

A total of 8,776 people have succumbed to the virus in the Kingdom so far.

Over 45 million doses of a coronavirus vaccine have been administered in the Kingdom to date.


Saudi Arabia welcomes UN Security Council's condemnation of Houthi attacks

Saudi Arabia welcomes UN Security Council's condemnation of Houthi attacks
Updated 23 October 2021

Saudi Arabia welcomes UN Security Council's condemnation of Houthi attacks

Saudi Arabia welcomes UN Security Council's condemnation of Houthi attacks
  • The state-run news agency said the condemnation represents the Security Council’s commitment to the crisis in Yemen

DUBAI: Saudi Arabia welcomed Saturday a statement by the UN Security Council condemning attacks by the Houthi militia against the kingdom, the Saudi Press Agency reported. 

The state-run news agency said the condemnation represents the Security Council’s commitment to the crisis in Yemen and recognizes the importance of resolving this conflict politically.

This would contain the crisis’ negative repercussions caused by the Houthis’ rejection of calls for a ceasefire and the lack of positive engagement in political negotiations that would lead to the return of security and stability in Yemen, SPA said.

 

 


Saudi Green Initiative forum

Saudi Green Initiative forum
Updated 23 October 2021

Saudi Green Initiative forum

Saudi Green Initiative forum

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman opened the Saudi Green Initiative forum in Riyadh place on Saturday, announcing the Kingdom’s new “green” objectives.

The forum will discuss Saudi Arabia's environmental efforts with guests that include high-profile government leaders and international personalities.

"We announce in this Forum the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's roadmap for protecting the environment and confronting climate change. This annual forum will serve as a platform to launch our new environmental initiatives and monitor the impact of the previously announced ones," the Crown Prince said. 

"I am pleased to launch initiatives in the energy sector that will reduce carbon emissions by (278) million tons annually by 2030, thus voluntarily more than doubling the target announced, estimated at (130) million tons annually," he added.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman also announced the Kingdom's accession to the Global Methane Pledge, "which aims to reduce methane emissions globally by 30 percent."

The Crown Prince also announced Saudi Arabia’s intention to join the Global Oceans Alliance, the Alliance to Eliminate Plastic Waste in Oceans and Beaches, the Sports for Climate Action Agreement, and to establish a global center for Sustainable Tourism, and a Non-Profit foundation to explore the seas and oceans.

"I look forward to the Middle East Green Initiative Summit, which we will host the day after tomorrow, with the aim of synergizing and coordinating efforts among the countries of the region to develop the plans necessary to reach the Middle East Green Initiative target," he concluded. 

12:54 p.m. KSA

Tony Chan, president of KAUST, calls for more partnerships, and collaboration between the public and private sectors to achieve environmental objectives.

 "We are working closely with NEOM to build one of its largest gardens," he said. 

12:41 p.m. KSA

Saudi Arabia has a big opportunity to be leader in the future of the ocean, said World OceanCouncil CEO Paul Holthus, adding that Aramco is one of the biggest ocean-related companies in world.

11:42 a.m. KSA 

 

Prince Charles says we have already seen great progress, which the Saudi and Middle East green initiatives will accelerate.

"We now have dangerously narrow window of opportunity to accelerate climate change action," Prince Charles said.

11:20 a.m. KSA 

Saudi environment minister says the Kingdom will use 50 million hectares for planting the 10 billion trees target under the Saudi Green Initiative.

 

 

The Crown Prince increased the percentage of protected land from 16 percent to 20 percent under the Saudi Green Initiative, the enviroment minister said. 

10:44 a.m. KSA

The UAE's Sultan Al-Jaber says the world is entering an oil supply crunch.

 

10:37 a.m. KSA

Executive secretary of UNFCCC says Kingdom targets are very powerful figures ahead of COP26.

 "It sends very powerful signal at the right moment," Patricia Espinosa said. 

10:25 a.m. KSA 

Saudi energy minister says the Kingdom’s youth will play a big role in the Saudi Green Initiative.

 "They are determined to make their own future," he told the forum. 
 

 


First full Friday prayers at Two Holy Mosques

First full Friday prayers at Two Holy Mosques
Updated 23 October 2021

First full Friday prayers at Two Holy Mosques

First full Friday prayers at Two Holy Mosques
  • Worshippers return to holy cities as restrictions eased

MAKKAH: After more than a year and a half, Muslims worldwide were delighted to see Friday prayers at the Two Holy mosques return to full capacity.

Considered the two holiest sites in Islam, painful images of the mosques devoid of worshippers due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March of 2020 affected Muslims everywhere, but particularly citizens of Makkah and Madinah.

“It’s a blessing, to walk in the mosque’s pathways and you’re surrounded by people again,” said Abdullah Mahdi, a private-sector worker and longtime resident of the holy city. “Though masked still, it doesn’t really matter, the place is alive with movement and worshippers again.

“It’s truly a sight to behold and to see the Grand Mosque’s courtyard around the Kaaba filled with people on the first Friday after the easing of the restrictions is a sign that it’ll be alright, God-willing.”

Last Saturday, the Ministry of Interior announced the easing of restrictions across the Kingdom, including those affecting the Grand Mosque in Makkah and the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah, which are returning to full operations and capacity.

Deputy Secretary-General for the Affairs of the Grand Mosque Dr. Saad bin Mohammed Al-Muhaimid told Arab News that the Presidency of the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques had used all of their human and mechanical resources to implement the plan to return to full capacity.

FASTFACTS

• Last Saturday, the Ministry of Interior announced the easing of restrictions across the Kingdom, including those affecting the Grand Mosque in Makkah and the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah, which are returning to full operations and capacity.

• Those working at the Two Holy Mosques had been asked to abide by and enforce the directives issued by the authorities concerned with fighting the coronavirus pandemic to ensure everyone’s safety.

“They did so through an integrated plan of capabilities and services that were harnessed to preserve the safety of the Grand Mosque’s visitors and facilitate the performance of their rites in a spiritual, safe and reassuring atmosphere,” he said.

“Based on the directives of the president of the General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques, Sheikh Dr. Abdulrahman Al-Sudais, we have accelerated the pace of work and raised the level of readiness in an effort to provide the Grand Mosque’s visitors with better services and means of comfort.

“We have also doubled our efforts since we started implementing the plan to return to full capacity while achieving the highest-quality standards.”

The deputy secretary-general said that those working at the Two Holy Mosques had been asked to abide by and enforce the directives issued by the authorities concerned with fighting the coronavirus pandemic to ensure everyone’s safety.

The ministry and authorities stressed the importance of visitors adhering to the directives included in the Interior Ministry’s statement by wearing face masks at all times inside the Grand Mosque and booking their Umrah and prayer appointments through the official applications (Eatmarna and Tawakkalna).


Saudi Arabia’s carbon-rich mangroves are key to combating climate change

Saudi Arabia’s carbon-rich mangroves are key to combating climate change
Updated 23 October 2021

Saudi Arabia’s carbon-rich mangroves are key to combating climate change

Saudi Arabia’s carbon-rich mangroves are key to combating climate change
  • Mangrove forests are vital for climate change, as highly productive and biodiversity-rich inter-tidal forests sequester carbon faster than terrestrial forests
  • Saudi Green Initiative starts on Oct. 23-24 and aims to assert the country’s work to achieve change domestically and regionally regarding climate change

JEDDAH: Plans to establish Saudi Arabia’s first national mangrove park are underway to enhance the Kingdom’s efforts in environmental protection and tourism development through vast green spaces.

The plans were announced by the Ministry of Environment, Water, and Agriculture. They are part of the ministry’s initiative to add more green spaces and national parks in the country, which currently has 27 national parks.

Mangroves are mainly found off the south-western waters in the Jizan region. They help to protect marine habitats, seagrass, coral reefs, and more from harmful runoffs from passing boats and human waste. 

They are known to residents of the Farasan Islands and Jizan as shura trees, and the area is frequented by residents and visitors all year round.

To further protect mangrove forests, the ministry planted more than 875,000 mangrove trees in the southern regions of the Red Sea coast. 

The first is in a location dubbed Bahar1 and is near the cultural village south of Jizan city where 440,000 trees were planted. There were 435,000 mangrove trees planted in Bahar2 in the town of Al-Sawarmah.

Greenhouse gases drive climate change. 

Mangrove forests are vital for climate change, as highly productive and biodiversity-rich inter-tidal forests sequester carbon faster than terrestrial forests. The more CO2 the mangroves capture, the faster the greenhouse gases are removed from the atmosphere. The distinctive ecosystems also protect shores and can help prevent direct damage in case of storms.

More than a quarter of the world’s mangroves have been lost over the past decade due to artificial intrusions.

The Saudi Green Initiative starts on Oct. 23-24 and aims to assert the country’s work to achieve change domestically and regionally regarding climate change, to build a better future, and improve the quality of life. The country has made significant efforts to protect the environment and mitigate the effects of climate change. Reducing carbon emissions is crucial to slow the impact of climate change and restore environmental balance. 

Ten billion trees will be planted throughout the Kingdom to transform the desert into green land and rehabilitate 40 million hectares of land in the upcoming decades.