Saudi ambassador to Yemen says talks with Houthis aim to revive Yemeni ceasefire

Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to Yemen Mohammed Al-Jaber shakes hands with the political leader of the Houthis, Mahdi Al-Mashat. (@mohdsalj)
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Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to Yemen Mohammed Al-Jaber shakes hands with the political leader of the Houthis, Mahdi Al-Mashat. (@mohdsalj)
Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to Yemen Mohammed Al-Jaber visits Sanaa with an Omani delegation. (@mohdsalj)
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Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to Yemen Mohammed Al-Jaber visits Sanaa with an Omani delegation. (@mohdsalj)
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Updated 11 April 2023
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Saudi ambassador to Yemen says talks with Houthis aim to revive Yemeni ceasefire

Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to Yemen Mohammed Al-Jaber shakes hands with the political leader of the Houthis, Mahdi Al-Mashat.
  • Saudi Arabia has always stood with Yemen during dire political and economic circumstances and crises: Al-Jaber
  • UN describes talks with Saudi and Omani delegations and the Houthi militia as welcome step toward de-escalation in tensions

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to Yemen Mohammed Al-Jaber said recent talks held with the Houthis in Sanaa aimed to revive a ceasefire and end conflict in the country.

“Continuing the Kingdom’s efforts to end the Yemeni crisis, and in support (of) the Saudi Initiative of 2021 to reach a comprehensive political solution in Yemen, I visit Sanaa along with a delegation from the brotherly Sultanate of Oman to stabilize the truce and ceasefire,” Al-Jaber tweeted on Monday.

A truce announced roughly a year ago has significantly reduced active hostilities within Yemen, and is still largely respected even though it officially expired in October.

The envoy said he also wants to “support the prisoner exchange process and explore venues of dialogue between Yemeni components to reach a sustainable and comprehensive political solution.”

He added that Saudi Arabia has always stood with Yemen during dire political and economic circumstances and crises.

“Since 2011, these brotherly efforts have continued to achieve the aspirations of the brotherly people of Yemen to restore security, stability, and economic prosperity,” Al-Jaber said.

The UN described the talks with the Saudi and Omani delegations and officials from the Houthis as “a welcome step toward the de-escalation in tensions.”

UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric was responding to questions from reporters in New York, following reports that progress had been made toward a permanent cease-fire, the UN said in a statement.

“Neighbouring Oman has been involved in peace talks with the warring parties in Yemen, running in parallel with UN efforts, led by Special Envoy Hans Grundberg, who Mr. Dujarric said was continuing to ‘explore options to extend and expand’ an UN-brokered six-month truce, which expired last October,” the statement added.

Meanwhile, Yemen’s government has welcomed Saudi Arabia’s extensive diplomatic efforts to end more than eight years of war between the government and the Houthi militia.

Muammar Al-Eryani, Yemen’s minister of information, said that his government applauds Saudi efforts to end the conflict in Yemen and restore peace and stability in the country, and that it would support any peace initiative that would end the suffering of Yemenis.

“We express our appreciation for the exceptional efforts made by the brothers in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to bring peace to Yemen, as well as our full support for their efforts to achieve peace in the region and move it from a stage of conflicts and internal strife to one of stability and security,” the Yemeni minister said.


Hail deputy governor joins Zubaida Trail for Founding Day

Hail deputy governor joins Zubaida Trail for Founding Day
Updated 22 February 2024
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Hail deputy governor joins Zubaida Trail for Founding Day

Hail deputy governor joins Zubaida Trail for Founding Day

HAIL: Prince Faisal bin Fahd bin Muqrin, the deputy governor of Hail region, took part in a Zubaida Trail caravan on Thursday to mark Founding Day celebrations.

The caravan, overseen by the Heritage Commission and organized by the Caravans Trails Association, began its journey from the historic city of Fayd to Sumaira’ Province.

Prince Faisal honored the sponsors and partners, and along with hikers, horseback riders, camel riders and cyclists, took part in the caravan journey.

Along the route, the deputy governor spoke to groups taking part in the event, including Saudis and foreigners in the Kingdom.

Prince Faisal praised the government’s support for the heritage sector, and commended the dedication of all parties involved in the caravan program.

Dr. Abdulaziz Al-Obeida, general supervisor of the Zubaida Trail, praised the support given to the initiative by the Saudi leadership, as well as the Hail governor and his deputy.

He said that the scheme aims to revitalize the ancient route, which is one of many in Saudi Arabia dating back over 1,000 years.

Al-Obeida highlighted the importance of community involvement in sustaining and developing the trail route for economic, cultural and tourism purposes.
 


Endangered native animals released in Saudi reserve

Endangered native animals released in Saudi reserve
Updated 22 February 2024
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Endangered native animals released in Saudi reserve

Endangered native animals released in Saudi reserve

AL-ULA: Fourteen Arabian oryxes and 40 Arabian sand gazelles have been released into the Gharameel nature reserve by the the National Center for Wildlife.

The conservation effort at Gharameel, located 60 km north of AlUla, took place with cooperation from the Royal Commission for AlUla.

The reserve features unique biodiversity throughout its rock and sand formations, and hillsides.

Resettlement of endangered native species is a key target of the center, as well as restoring biodiversity and environmental balance as part of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030.

Animal reintroduction also promotes the RCU’s plan to activate six nature reserves while regenerating AlUla as a leading global destination for cultural and natural heritage.

The formations of rocky pillars in the area were created through wind and rain erosion over thousands of years.

AlUla is also a popular stargazing destination for tourists from around the world.
 


Saudi honeybee program achieves 200% productivity boost

Saudi honeybee program achieves 200% productivity boost
Updated 22 February 2024
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Saudi honeybee program achieves 200% productivity boost

Saudi honeybee program achieves 200% productivity boost

RIYADH: The honeybee breeding program — spearheaded by the Sustainable Agricultural Rural Development Program “Saudi Reef” in partnership with the Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture — is poised to make a substantial impact on bee populations.

A select group of model beekeepers has achieved an impressive 200 percent increase in productivity by implementing the program.

According to the “Saudi Reef” program, the surge in production is attributed to a strategic focus on expanding queen bee rearing within the breeding and propagation program.

Additionally, the adoption of innovative production techniques and best practices, including hive management and organic beekeeping, has played a key role.

These practices have been documented in a booklet distributed to beekeepers and have yielded significant production boosts in several model farms established by the project.

Expanding on its success, the program plans to roll out projects for “bee queen breeding and nuclei production” across eight centers spanning regions such as Jazan, Najran, Asir, Baha, Makkah, Madinah, Hail and Tabuk.

Each center is expected to produce 5,000 queen bees annually, characterized by purity and high-production specifications.

This will enable beekeepers to expand queen bee breeding and bee colonies while preserving favorable genetic traits for enhanced production and resilience against diseases and environmental factors.

The honeybee development and honey production sector is a key focus of the “Saudi Reef” program. Since its inception, the program has had significant increases in production, enhancing the income and living standards of its beneficiaries.

To increase food security and agricultural self-sufficiency, Saudi Arabia unveiled an ambitious initiative in August last year to produce more than 7,500 tons of honey annually as part of the Saudi Reef.


Makkah expo focuses on next steps for hotel, culinary sectors

Makkah expo focuses on next steps for hotel, culinary sectors
Updated 22 February 2024
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Makkah expo focuses on next steps for hotel, culinary sectors

Makkah expo focuses on next steps for hotel, culinary sectors
  • Saudi employees trained at top schools bringing skills back to the Kingdom

MAKKAH: The Makkah Expo for Hotels and Restaurants, held at the Makkah Chamber of Commerce and Industry Exhibition Center, ended on Wednesday evening.

The exhibition’s fifth edition was inaugurated by Vice Chairman of the Makkah Chamber of Commerce Mustafa Rajab and involved officials, business owners and company representatives.

A large number of companies and institutions representing the hotel and culinary sectors, specialized in serving Hajj and Umrah pilgrims and visitors, attended the three-day exhibition, which was held in collaboration with the Unit for Exhibition Organization.

Abdullah Haneef, the acting secretary-general of the Makkah Chamber of Commerce, told Arab News: “The exhibition provided an opportunity to access the best practices in the hotel and restaurant sectors, as it brought together a select group of people specialized in this field in Makkah, a pioneer in the hotel sector field attracting large numbers of visitors from around the world.”

He added that industry officials exchanged business ideas and showcased modern tools and technology, food products and hotel and restaurant supplies, and took part in several accompanying events.

Haneef added: “The exhibition offers an opportunity for investors, interested parties, specialized companies and experts in the hotel and restaurant sector from inside and outside the Kingdom, to display their products to investors and interested individuals and exchange expertise, as well as engage in commercial deals between exhibitors, participants and individuals interested in the hotel and restaurant sector.”

The exhibition also hosted a salon for culinary arts and live cooking demonstrations.

Khalid Al-Ghamdi, an investor in the hotel sector, said that the Saudi industry has begun a strong post-pandemic recovery, and is fulfilling its role in serving visitors.

He added that intensive training programs Saudi employees are undertaking in top international hotel schools are helping them apply their knowledge back in the Kingdom.

Al-Ghamdi said that the restaurant sector is facing significant challenges but also opportunities, including smart digital solutions.

Makkah is one of the most significant and holiest places worldwide, drawing millions of Muslims for religious rituals such as Hajj and Umrah, he added.

The city should therefore focus on enhancing future innovation plans and smart marketing to make the hospitality sector a top performer, through innovative solutions and major investment, he said.


Saudi, French FMs discuss bilateral ties on G20 sidelines

Saudi, French FMs discuss bilateral ties on G20 sidelines
Updated 22 February 2024
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Saudi, French FMs discuss bilateral ties on G20 sidelines

Saudi, French FMs discuss bilateral ties on G20 sidelines
  • Ministers reviewed latest regional and international developments, particularly Israel’s war on Gaza

RIYADH: Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan met on Thursday with his French counterpart Stephane Segournet on the sidelines of the G20 foreign ministers’ meeting in Rio de Janeiro.

They discussed bilateral relations and ways to enhance them in various fields, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

They also reviewed the latest regional and international developments, particularly Israel’s war on Gaza.

The Kingdom’s Ambassador to Brazil Faisal Ghulam and Walid Al-Smail, assistant director general of the Saudi foreign minister’s office, were also present at the meeting.