JEDDAH: Iranian evacuees have thanked Saudi Arabia after they escaped the fighting in Sudan aboard a Saudi-flagged ship carrying the largest number of people since evacuations from Sudan began.
The people rescued, including Iranians and others of different nationalities, arrived on Saturday morning in Jeddah from Sudan on board the Saudi ship, “Amana.”
Hassan Zarnegar Abarghouei, Iran’s charge d’ affaires in Saudi Arabia, thanked the Kingdom for its efforts in evacuating Iranians from Sudan.
“We are thankful for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, minister of foreign affairs and the army of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for cooperating to transfer the Iranian people from Port Sudan to Jeddah,” he told Arab News in an interview.
Asadullah, an Iranian evacuee, praised the evacuees reception upon arrival in Saudi Arabia and described the dire situation in Sudan before leaving the country.
“The situation was very difficult (in Sudan); complete lack of security, no transportation as well as many other issues, like lack of water and electricity supply,” he told Arab News.
Lida Saeedi, another Iranian evacuee who lived in Sudan with her husband who works for a company there, also thanked Saudi Arabia for its efforts.
“Thank you for everything you did for us, we were so afraid of what was happening in Sudan, it’s very dangerous . . .”
“They said Saudi Arabia has sent a ship for us and we were so happy because we didn’t know how were we going to get out,” she said.
Later on Saturday, an Iranian airplane landed at the King Abdullah Air Base to transport 65 evacuees from Saudi Arabia to Iran.
The passengers were seen off at the military base by Saudi Maj. Gen pilot Ahmed Al-Debais, commander of the Western Region and Maj. Gen. Abdullah Al-Zahrani, commander of the air base. Al-Debais wished the passengers a safe trip back to their country.
He pointed out that all the efforts the Saudi authorities are doing come as an implementation of King Salman’s directives to do all they can to evacuate Saudi citizens as well as people from Islamic and friendly countries from Sudan.
It was announced that Saudi Arabia had carried out the biggest evacuation from Sudan since the start of its operations on Saturday when a ship carrying 20 Saudi citizens and 1,866 nationals of other countries arrived in Jeddah.
The new arrivals brought the number of evacuees since the start of the Kingdom’s mission to 4,879 people, made up of 139 Saudi citizens and 4,738 nationals of other countries.