Saudi opening of airspace to all airlines ‘not a prelude’ to other steps: UN envoy

Saudi opening of airspace to all airlines ‘not a prelude’ to other steps: UN envoy
Mohammed Abdulaziz Alateek. (SPA photo)
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Updated 27 July 2022

Saudi opening of airspace to all airlines ‘not a prelude’ to other steps: UN envoy

Saudi opening of airspace to all airlines ‘not a prelude’ to other steps: UN envoy
  • Kingdom’s support for Palestinian cause ‘will not change’: Deputy permanent representative Mohammed Alateek
  • ‘Houthi militias … must stop exploiting the suffering of Yemeni civilians’

UNITED NATIONS: Saudi Arabia’s “constant and firm” support of the Palestinian people will not change “even if we allow the crossing of international flights over our airspace,” said the Kingdom’s deputy permanent representative to the UN.

Mohammed Abdulaziz Alateek added that Saudi Arabia’s opening of its airspace to all carriers that meet the overflight requirements of its aviation authority is in line with the Kingdom’s international obligations and not “a prelude to other steps.”

During a UN Security Council meeting to discuss the Middle East, Alateek told council members and a host of country representatives that Saudi Arabia remains committed to the “constant principles” of ending Israeli occupation, establishing an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital, and guaranteeing the right of return for Palestinian refugees.

“The Kingdom will continue to stand with the Palestinian people,” he said. “We reaffirm the importance of a comprehensive and lasting peace in the Middle East as a strategic choice to end one of the longest and most complicated conflicts in our modern history, based on the two-state solution, and in line with international terms of reference, as well as the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative which guarantees the establishment of a Palestinian state along the borders of 1967 with East Jerusalem as its capital, the return of refugees, and ending Israeli occupation of all Arab territories including the Syrian Arab Golan and Lebanese territories.”

Alateek urged the UNSC and the international community to “shoulder their responsibilities” by helping the Palestinians achieve their aspirations to an independent state and by addressing “ongoing Israeli violations of international law and Security Council resolutions.”

The Middle East’s long history of conflict and instability has rendered it more vulnerable to the adverse impact of challenges such as pandemics, said Alateek, who reaffirmed Saudi Arabia’s belief that regional and international cooperation are key to confronting such common woes.

This belief was behind the decision to hold the July 16 Jeddah Security and Development Summit, whose outcomes included a commitment to the security and stability of Yemen, and support for UN Special Envoy Hans Grundberg’s efforts to strengthen and extend the current truce for the second time, said Alateek.

“Houthi militias must abide by the truce,” he added. “They must stop exploiting the suffering of Yemeni civilians. They must open humanitarian corridors in Taiz.”

Keeping the Middle East free of weapons of mass destruction was another consensus reached by Arab participants at the summit.

“We also need to prevent the funding, arming and recruitment of terrorist groups by some countries in the region,” said Alateek.

He concluded by condemning last week’s attack on Dohuk in northern Iraq, and said Saudi Arabia will stand with Iraq in confronting challenges to its sovereignty and territorial integrity.


Saudi citizens displaced by Hurricane Ian safely evacuated 

Saudi citizens displaced by Hurricane Ian safely evacuated 
Updated 30 September 2022

Saudi citizens displaced by Hurricane Ian safely evacuated 

Saudi citizens displaced by Hurricane Ian safely evacuated 

Princess Reema Bandar Al-Saud, Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to the United States, spoke on Friday with Shafi bin Bijad Al-Otaibi, the Consul General in Houston, to check on the progress of the evacuation of Saudi citizens displaced by Hurricane Ian. 
Princess Reema was briefed on the service and care provided to the Saudi citizens, state agency SPA reported. 
The ambassador thanked the embassy and consulate staff for their efforts, and urged them to provide comfort to citizens until the crisis was over.
Hurricane Ian, one of the most powerful storms ever recorded in the US, swamped southwest Florida on Wednesday, flooding streets and buildings and leaving nearly 2 million homes and businesses without power.
US President Joe Biden said the hurricane may be responsible for “substantial loss of life” and could end up being the deadliest storm in Florida history.
The death toll had climbed to 12 by Thursday night, according to local reports.
Ian was downgraded to a tropical storm Thursday morning and is expected to approach the coast of South Carolina on Friday.


IAEA elects Saudi Arabia as member of board of governors until 2024

IAEA elects Saudi Arabia as member of board of governors until 2024
Updated 30 September 2022

IAEA elects Saudi Arabia as member of board of governors until 2024

IAEA elects Saudi Arabia as member of board of governors until 2024

DUBAI: Saudi Arabia has been elected by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on Thursday to become a member of the agency’s Board of Governors until 2024.
Saudi Arabia received the majority of votes from its geographical group, which includes countries of the Middle East and South Asia, state agency SPA reported.
The announcement was made during the IAEA’s 66th General Conference held from Sept. 26 - 30 in Vienna.
The 35-member Board of Governors is viewed as one of the most important decision-making groups in the energy agency, especially when addressing critical issues.
This includes the safeguards file, which is the IAEA’s responsibility to verify the peaceful activities of state parties in relation to the Non-Proliferation Treaty.


Riyadh forum to focus on science, philosophy

Riyadh forum to focus on science, philosophy
Updated 57 min 22 sec ago

Riyadh forum to focus on science, philosophy

Riyadh forum to focus on science, philosophy

RIYADH: Space diplomacy, climate change and environmental issues will be among far-reaching topics to be discussed at a major philosophy and science conference in the Saudi capital.

The event is being organized by the Kingdom’s Literature, Publishing and Translation Commission and will take place from Dec. 1-3 at King Fahd National Library in Riyadh.

Philosophers, scientists and artists will take part in the forum, which is being held under the theme “Knowledge and Exploration: Space, Time and Humanity.”

The three-day conference will include lectures, panel discussions, seminars and workshops on a range of issues affecting the future of the planet.

Mohamed Hassan Alwan, CEO of the Literature, Publishing and Translation Commission, said: “Last year’s ground-breaking conference succeeded in putting Saudi Arabia on the global philosophical map, and established the Kingdom as a regional center for philosophical dialogue.”

The second conference “will bring together leading philosophers, educational institutions and others to debate the important issues of our time, and help stimulate intercultural, international and interdisciplinary dialogue,” he said.

Speakers for the event will be announced nearer the date of the conference.


Saudi entertainment body launches discount fair for international brands

Saudi entertainment body launches discount fair for international brands
Updated 30 September 2022

Saudi entertainment body launches discount fair for international brands

Saudi entertainment body launches discount fair for international brands
  • Up to 70% off on fashion, home accessories, cosmetics
  • 3m items from 1,500 firms on display until Oct. 14

JEDDAH: The Saudi General Entertainment Authority on Wednesday announced the launch of “Outlet 2022” shopping festival, the first of its kind in the Kingdom.

According to the organizers, the two-week outdoor festival, which will kick off on Saturday, will offer exclusive discounts of up to 70 percent on fashion, home accessories, and cosmetic products designed by international experts. The event’s galleries will have a Greek-inspired design.

On his Twitter account, Turki Al-Sheikh, GEA chairman, said the event in Riyadh is a pioneering initiative.

“We’ll soon have the ‘Outlet Festival,’ the first of its kind in Saudi Arabia. The festival will bring together the most famous brands in the world to be sold at reduced prices and discounts. A different thing in Riyadh,” Al-Sheikh said in his tweet.

The festival will be held in Al-Rehab neighborhood, west of the Saudi capital, and will include places to eat and events for children.

Farah Ahmed, who lives in the neighborhood, told Arab News that she has been observing the construction of the outlet. “It’s impressive how quickly the GEA built the space. They are working day and night to make it happen.” 

Entry to the festival is free, and will include more than three million discounted items of 1,500 international brands.

“I’m so excited about the festival, especially (since) I haven’t been able to travel or shop this summer, yet I feel that two weeks is not enough. I hope the GEA extends it further,” she added. 

Doors will be open daily from 3 p.m. to 1 a.m. Tickets can be booked through the Ticket MX App and website, and VIP and VVIP tickets can be booked through the Parky App and website.


MoU signed with US institute to train Saudi judicial cadres

MoU signed with US institute to train Saudi judicial cadres
Updated 30 September 2022

MoU signed with US institute to train Saudi judicial cadres

MoU signed with US institute to train Saudi judicial cadres

RIYADH: President of the Board of Grievances, and of the Administrative Judiciary Council, Sheikh Khaled Al-Youssef, recently signed a memorandum of understanding between the board and the US Case Western Reserve University in research and training.

The terms of the memorandum included training and development of judicial and administrative cadres and exchanging experiences and research in the administrative and organizational fields, to benefit from the CWRU’s expertise as one of the most prestigious international universities in the field of law and administration.

A seminar, “Synergies between the Board of Grievances in Saudi Arabia and CWRU School of Law in the US,” was also held, during which Al-Youssef presented a working paper, highlighting the Board of Grievances’ achievements in completing the digital transformation of all litigation procedures.

The working paper focused on highlighting aspects of cooperation between the two sides under the signed MoU.

Meanwhile, the Federation of Saudi Chamber recently hosted a meeting between Saudi businesspeople and a delegation from the World Affairs Councils of America to discuss cooperation between the two sides to support Saudi-US relations.

The Saudi side acquainted the US delegation with the top programs and initiatives of the Saudi Vision 2030, in addition to the mega projects that are being developed in Qiddiya and the Red Sea, among others, and the developments witnessed in the educational, tourism, technological, digital, artificial intelligence, women, youth and SMEs sectors.