RIYADH: Foreign ambassadors in Riyadh extended their messages of gratitude and appreciation to Saudi Arabia for its efforts in evacuating foreign nationals from Sudan.
US Ambassador to the Kingdom Michael Ratney told Arab News: “I reiterate President Biden’s message and thank Saudi Arabia and our Saudi friends and partners for their assistance in the operation to evacuate US government personnel from Khartoum, for assisting with the evacuation of Americans from Sudan and for welcoming them in Jeddah.
“We have no higher priority than the safety and security of American citizens overseas,”Ratney added.
On April 22, the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced the start of the arrangement for the evacuation of Saudi citizens and foreign nationals out of Sudan carried out by the Royal Saudi Naval Forces.
The same day, the Kingdom announced the arrival of 91 Saudi citizens and 66 evacuees from foreign countries including Kuwait, Qatar, the UAE, Egypt, Tunisia, Pakistan, India, Bulgaria, Bangladesh, the Philippines, Canada, and Burkina Faso.
Since then the Kingdom has expanded its efforts further to evacuate 4,879 people from 80 nationalities including Australia, India, the US, Serbia, Poland, and Germany.
“We are very grateful to the Saudi authorities and people, particularly those with whom our consular officials have been working closely in Jeddah, and to our friends at the Foreign Ministry. The collaboration and cooperation has been great," Australian Ambassador to the Kingdom Mark Donovan told Arab News.
“It is always good to see outstanding Saudi hospitality and the Australians arriving in Jeddah have certainly been treated to that,” Donovan added.
The Kingdom has aided in evacuating 25 Australian citizens with more expected.
On Saturday, Saudi Arabia carried out its largest evacuation from Sudan with a ship carrying 20 Saudi citizens and 1,866 nationals from different countries into Jeddah.
Indonesian Ambassador to the Kingdom Abdulaziz Ahmad extended his gratitude to Saudi Arabia and said: “Protection of Indonesian citizens is a priority for the government and Indonesian representatives in Saudi Arabia. We thank the Kingdom for facilitating the evacuation of Indonesian citizens from Sudan. This is proof of the very good relationship and cooperation between Indonesia and Saudi Arabia.”
The ambassador shared with Arab News that on April 26 that 557 Indonesian citizens had been evacuated from Sudan using the MV Amanah Ship provided by the government of Saudi Arabia.
When the citizens of his country arrived at Jeddah, the ambassador welcomed them to the Kingdom with flowers in hand.
The evacuation of the first wave of Indonesian citizens from Sudan consisted of 322 male citizens, 199 women, and 36 children.
In Jeddah, the Kingdom is working closely with multiple embassies and consulates in order to assist evacuees in accommodation and booking their flights back to their home countries.