International community condemns deadly Houthi attack on Saudi Arabia’s Jazan

A Houthi projectile launched from Yemen landed in Samtah, a town in the southwestern Jazan region, killing two people and wounding seven. (SPA)
A Houthi projectile launched from Yemen landed in Samtah, a town in the southwestern Jazan region, killing two people and wounding seven. (SPA)
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Updated 26 December 2021

International community condemns deadly Houthi attack on Saudi Arabia’s Jazan

International community condemns deadly Houthi attack on Saudi Arabia’s Jazan
  • The US embassy in Riyadh says the attack endangered the Saudi people alongside over 70,000 US expats
  • The GCC and Arab Parliament called on the international community to stop the cross-border attacks

LONDON: There was international condemnation on Saturday of the “horrific” Houthi attack on Saudi Arabia that killed two people, including a Saudi citizen and a Yemeni national.
The US embassy in Riyadh said attacks by the militia were “perpetuating the conflict, prolonging the suffering of Yemen people, and endangering the Saudi people alongside more than 70,000 US citizens residing in Saudi Arabia.”
The Kingdom’s Civil Defense said that Friday’s projectile launched from Yemen landed in Samtah, a town in the southwestern Jazan region. It wounded seven people and destroyed shops and vehicles.
“We again call on the Houthis to end their reckless attacks on the people of Saudi Arabia and to engage under UN auspices to end this conflict and bring peace to the people of Yemen.”

The Arab Interior Ministers Council said the “cowardly” attack is considered a criminal act and constitutes a war crime, “whose perpetrators must be held accountable”
The council’s General Secretariat issued a statement from its headquarters in Tunis saying the attack adds to the other crimes committed by the Houthi militia, its flagrant violations of international humanitarian law, and its continuous threats to regional security and stability.
The Arab Parliament and Gulf Cooperation Council also condemned the “cowardly act” and the “targeting of innocent civilians by the Houthi terrorist militia.”
The Arab Parliament said the deliberate criminal act flagrantly violated all international laws, calling on the UN to take firm stances toward these acts and to hold the perpetrators accountable.
GCC secretary-general, Nayef Al-Hajraf, said the Houthis continued immoral practices of trying to target civilians and civilian objects, as well as populated neighborhoods, amounted to a war crime. and said the international community must assume its responsibilities toward the Houthis’ practices.


The UAE called for taking all necessary measures to protect civilians and civilian objects from the threats of the militia and said the security of the emirates and of Saudi Arabia were indivisible, and that any threat or danger to the Kingdom was considered by the UAE as a threat to its security and stability.
Bahrain also called on the international community to condemn the heinous terrorist attacks committed deliberately and systematically by the Houthi militia, in flagrant violation of international humanitarian law.
Both countries, as well as the GCC, affirmed their solidarity with the Kingdom in all measures it took to maintain its security, stability and territorial integrity.
Qatar said the attack was considered a dangerous act against civilians, in contravention of all international norms and laws, and reiterated it’s “firm stance rejecting violence and criminal and sabotage acts, regardless of the motives and reasons.”

Yemen’s Information Minister Moammar Al-Eryani said the terrorist attacks threatened the lives of the 2 million Yemenis living in the Kingdom “who fled the brutality and terrorism of the Houthi militia, impoverishment and humiliation against citizens in areas under its control, in search of livelihood, security and tranquility, and militia’s missiles pursued them.”
He called on the international community to designate the militia as a terrorist organization and prosecute its leaders as war criminals.
Kuwait, Egypt, Jordan and Pakistan issued similar statements strongly condemning the attack and stressing their support for Saudi Arabia.
The Houthis have been launching near daily cross-border attacks using ballistic missiles and drones to target populated areas in the Kingdom’s southwestern region, most of which are intercepted and destroyed by Saudi air defenses.


Saudi king receives letter from Bangladesh president extending support for bid to host Expo 2030 in Riyadh

Saudi king receives letter from Bangladesh president extending support for bid to host Expo 2030 in Riyadh
Updated 10 August 2022

Saudi king receives letter from Bangladesh president extending support for bid to host Expo 2030 in Riyadh

Saudi king receives letter from Bangladesh president extending support for bid to host Expo 2030 in Riyadh

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s King Salman received a written message from Bangladeshi President Mohammad Abdul Hamid, related to strengthening relations between the two countries, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Wednesday.
Abdul Hamid expressed his country’s support for the Kingdom’s request to host the Expo 2030 in Riyadh.
The message was received by Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan during a meeting with Bangladeshi ambassador to the Kingdom, Dr. Mohammed Javed Patwary at the foreign ministry in the capital.
During the meeting, they discussed relations between the two countries and ways to enhance them, in addition to exchanging views on regional and international issues of common interest.


Rock stars: Saudi climbers chase a new high in NEOM

Rock stars: Saudi climbers chase a new high in NEOM
Updated 10 August 2022

Rock stars: Saudi climbers chase a new high in NEOM

Rock stars: Saudi climbers chase a new high in NEOM
  • The single-pitch routes, near NEOM, have become a favorite destination for a fast-growing and tight-knit group of climbers and adventurers
  • Wide variety of rock types in Saudi Arabia could play a huge role in attracting overseas climbers

JEDDAH: Saudi climbing enthusiasts in search of a “new high” have been gathering in the desert near NEOM to try out 100 new routes opened late last year as part of Rise 100, the Kingdom’s first climbing festival.

The single-pitch routes have become a favorite destination for a fast-growing and tight-knit group of climbers and adventurers.

Single-pitch climbing routes are up to a half-rope length (about 30 meters) with an anchor at the end, and are accessible to climbers of all abilities.

Rise 100 last December set the stage for NEOM’s diverse adventure sport offerings, which are designed to encourage greater environmental awareness, educating thrill-seekers beyond just the sport.

Now indoor climbing gyms are opening around the country, while a growing number of events bring international and local climbers together.

The result is a fast-growing community of young, but highly committed, climbers.

Abdul Rahman Abughazala, a 25-year-old mechatronic engineer, said that after developing an interest in the sport in college, “it took over my life.”

The young adventurer’s day now revolves around climbing.

New routes opened in NEOM “mean a lot to the climbing community,” he added.

“Newer climbers can experience different rock types and styles of climbing that are absolutely beautiful. And it is easier for Middle Eastern climbers from the north to visit Saudi and try climbing here,” he told Arab News.

Bolting more routes around the Kingdom will offer climbers more exposure and variety as they learn how to deal with different climbs and rock types.

Pioneering Saudi climber Faisal Al-Dosary said that hard granite rock gave Tanomah, a popular climbing destination in the Kingdom’s southwest, an advantage.

“Granite is stronger and more difficult to break,” he said.

“In NEOM, they are a bit closer to sandy rock, which makes them fragile. Fortunately, the routes are safe because they are bolted extremely deep. These kinds of differences will ensure that the climbers will be able to deal with any type of rock around the world.”

Abughazala agreed that the wide variety of rock types in Saudi Arabia could play a huge role in attracting overseas climbers to the Kingdom.

Al-Dosary, who was part of a team that worked together to open the first dedicated indoor climbing center in Saudi Arabia, said that it is encouraging to see so many younger climbers joining the sport.

“It is a skill that we need to develop at an early age, and it helps with flexibility and strength,” he said.

Follow this path, the climbing veteran said, “and we will have Olympic-level climbers.”

Abughazala said that he is excited about the future “because I know our potential, and I know that it is just a matter of time until our community thrives.”

Growth in the sport will also lead to greater environmental awareness and have “a big impact on the perception of nature,” he said.

“As climbers and nature lovers, leaving the place as it is, or in even better condition, is as important as the action of climbing. It is every single person’s job to care for it as much as the workers or the government body around the area.”

Climbers believe the NEOM routes are merely the start for Saudi Arabia, with the Kingdom’s desert areas and mountains destined to attract climbers from around the world.


Saudi water safety body launches new training programs

Saudi water safety body launches new training programs
Updated 10 August 2022

Saudi water safety body launches new training programs

Saudi water safety body launches new training programs
  • Water safety is a global concern, with one person drowning every two minutes around the world

MAKKAH: The Saudi Life Saving Federation has introduced two initiatives to help reduce drowning cases in the Kingdom.

The federation’s chief, Ahmed Al-Shammari, said that the programs will focus on training and qualification.

He said that the federation will introduce a six-day, 50-hour training program for men and women, after which trainees obtain an international rescuer certificate through which they can work in Saudi Arabia and in all member states of the International Life Saving Federation (ILS).

He added that another program will allow Saudis who qualify in international courses to submit them through the federation’s “rescuer” platform. A theoretical and practical evaluation process is then carried out. Once cleared, rescuers will obtain official certificates.

Al-Shammari said that the Saudi Life Saving Federation has provided its services to over 500 beneficiaries and works to increase community awareness on water safety through social and traditional media.

Water safety is a global concern, with one person drowning every two minutes around the world.

Al-Shammari told Arab News: “We regret the drowning cases occurring in several Saudi cities,” adding that avoiding these incidents is an integrated societal responsibility and everyone must join hands to prevent drowning cases.

He said that a society-wide response is what the federation works for through training, rehabilitation and a legislative calendar that benefits every rescuer, citizen, and resident, allowing them to obtain official certificates when they are available to train.

Al-Shammari said that the federation, established in 2019 by Sports Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal, was certified by the ILS in 2020.

“We need a wide media mobilization to raise awareness about the importance of rescue and water safety. We aim to train the largest number of qualified lifeguards,” he said, noting that the federation has recently been granted seven seats at the ILS in Belgium.

Al-Shammari noted: “We focus on providing theoretical and practical qualifications by offering a range of courses for beginners working in water bodies, swimming pools and beaches, and contributing to the development of technical standards and regulations with all relevant authorities. We are currently working with the relevant authorities on forming a national committee to set national policies to prevent drowning cases.”

He stressed that work is currently underway to develop rescue sports competitions in various regions to prepare for the Kingdom’s representation in upcoming international forums.


KSrelief holds joint meeting with UNHCR, WHO in Poland 

KSrelief holds joint meeting with UNHCR, WHO in Poland 
Updated 10 August 2022

KSrelief holds joint meeting with UNHCR, WHO in Poland 

KSrelief holds joint meeting with UNHCR, WHO in Poland 
  • The officials also discussed several issues regarding refugees, including the humanitarian response to Ukrainian refugees fleeing to Poland and neighboring countries

WARSAW: The King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSrelief) held on Tuesday a joint meeting with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the World Health Organization (WHO), the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported. 

The meeting took place in Poland in the presence of Saudi Ambassador to Poland Saad bin Saleh Al-Saleh; Advisor at the Royal Court and Supervisor General of KSrelief Dr. Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Rabeeah; Advisor to the High Commissioner and Regional Representative of the UNHCR Khaled Khalifa; and WHO Representative for Poland Dr. Paloma Cuchi. 

During the meeting, Al Rabeeah praised the strong strategic partnership between the three organizations, adding that their humanitarian and relief projects have benefited millions around the world, according to SPA. 

He also said he hoped to expand their cooperation to reach even more people, SPA reported. 

Meanwhile, Khaled Khalifa praised the aid provided by the Kingdom to refugees in various countries around the world, while WHO’s Poland representative said Saudi Arabia’s efforts have greatly impacted the lives of millions. 

The officials also discussed several issues regarding refugees, including the humanitarian response to Ukrainian refugees fleeing to Poland and neighboring countries. 


Saudi Arabia reaffirms full support for the stability of Yemen

The session was chaired by King Salman at Al-Salam Palace in Jeddah. (SPA)
The session was chaired by King Salman at Al-Salam Palace in Jeddah. (SPA)
Updated 09 August 2022

Saudi Arabia reaffirms full support for the stability of Yemen

The session was chaired by King Salman at Al-Salam Palace in Jeddah. (SPA)
  • Cabinet appreciated UN’s efforts for a ceasefire in Yemen

JEDDAH: The Saudi Cabinet on Tuesday reaffirmed the Kingdom’s firm support for all action that can help to guarantee the security and stability of Yemen and its people.

The session was chaired by King Salman at Al-Salam Palace in Jeddah. According to Issam bin Saad bin Saeed, the member for Shoura Council affairs and acting minister of media, the Cabinet members expressed their appreciation for the efforts of the UN to improve the adherence to the ceasefire in Yemen, in line with the Saudi initiative, announced in March last year, to end the crisis in the country and reach a comprehensive political resolution.
The ministers also expressed their hopes that the Riyadh International Humanitarian Forum, which is being organized by the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center in partnership with the UN and will take place in February, will contribute to efforts to find innovative and practical solutions that can help provide humanitarian aid to the highest standards and achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

FASTFACT

The ministers also expressed their hopes that the Riyadh International Humanitarian Forum, which is being organized by the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center in partnership with the UN in February.

Ministers also reiterated the Kingdom’s assertion, made this month during the 10th Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, of support for international efforts to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons and place its nuclear facilities under a comprehensive system of safeguards under the auspices of the International Atomic Energy Agency.
The council said it considers the stability and balance of oil markets as one of the pillars of the Kingdom’s energy strategy.
It described oil as an important element in supporting the growth of the global economy, as reflected in Saudi Arabia’s pivotal role in establishing and maintaining the OPEC+ agreement on production quotas. Members stressed the importance of full compliance with those quotas by all OPEC+ member nations.
The council session concluded with the approval of a number of decisions. The chairman of the board of directors of the Saudi Authority for Data and Artificial Intelligence was tasked with negotiating with the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development a draft administrative agreement between Saudi Arabia and the bank on a multi-donor trust fund for a digital development partnership.
The minister of energy and the minister of tourism were asked to draft and sign a cooperation agreement between their ministries and their counterparts in Thailand in the fields of energy and tourism.
A memorandum of understanding on labor cooperation between the Saudi Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development and Azerbaijan’s Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of the Population was approved, as were two MoUs for cooperation in the transport and logistics sector between the Kingdom’s Ministry of Transport and Logistics Services and the French Ministry of Ecological Transition. Ministers also approved an MoU for cooperation between the Saudi General Authority for Statistics and the British Office for National Statistics.