US praises Saudi invitation to Houthi delegation for Yemen peace talks

Update The Houthis have been fighting against the Coalition to Restore Legitimacy in Yemen alliance since 2015. (Reuters/File Photo)
The Houthis have been fighting against the Coalition to Restore Legitimacy in Yemen alliance since 2015. (Reuters/File Photo)
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Updated 15 September 2023
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US praises Saudi invitation to Houthi delegation for Yemen peace talks

US praises Saudi invitation to Houthi delegation for Yemen peace talks
  • Jake Sullivan commended Saudi leadership for extending offer to conduct peace talks
  • Houthis have been fighting against the Coalition to Restore Legitimacy in Yemen alliance since 2015

RIYADH: Hopes for peace in Yemen rose on Thursday as a 10-strong delegation from the Iran-backed Houthi militia flew to Riyadh for their first talks in the Kingdom since the war began in 2014.

“The delegation will head to Riyadh to continue consultations with the Saudi side,” Houthi political chief Mahdi Al-Mashat said. “Peace was and still is our first option and everyone must work to achieve it.”

On Friday, the White House praised Saudi Arabia for inviting the Houthis for peace talks.

“We commend the leadership of Saudi Arabia for this current initiative and thank the leadership of Oman for its important role,” National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said in a statement.

“The US has been proud to lend our diplomatic support to these peace efforts in coordination with the Yemeni parties and the United Nations,” Sullivan added.

The first round of the Oman-mediated consultations between Riyadh and Sanaa, which are running in parallel to UN peace efforts, was held in April when Saudi envoys visited Sanaa. A UN-brokered ceasefire is largely holding, despite having officially lapsed last October.

Yemen was plunged into war when the Houthis overran the capital Sanaa in a coup in September 2014. A Saudi-led Arab coalition intervened on behalf of the internationally recognized government the following March.

The ensuing fighting has forced millions from their homes, and caused one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises in a country already devastated by decades of conflict and upheaval. UN agencies and 91 NGOs said on Thursday that 21.6 million people — 75 percent of the population — needed humanitarian assistance.

The six-month ceasefire that expired last October is still mostly observed but moves towards peace have been slow since the Saudi delegation visited Sanaa in April.

“Optimism exists regarding the mediation and the Omani efforts to achieve peace in Yemen,” said Ali Al-Qhoom, a member of the Houthis political council.

The head of the Sanaa Center for Strategic Studies think tank, Majed Al-Madhaji, said the Houthi visit was “like moving the relationship between the Houthis and Saudi Arabia from the back rooms to the living room.” By organising talks in Riyadh, both sides were “legitimizing this relationship and giving it an additional impetus. On the political level, it is an advanced step to end Saudi Arabia’s direct role in Yemen and for the Houthis to acknowledge its role as a mediator.”

Moves toward peace in Yemen were boosted when Saudi Arabia and Iran reached a surprise Chinese-brokered rapprochement in March, seven years after they broke off ties.

Houthi demands include payment of their civil servants salaries by the displaced Yemeni government, and the launch of new destinations from Sanaa airport, which was closed until last year when commercial flights resumed to Jordan and Egypt.


Djibouti PM receives Saudi deputy foreign minister

Djibouti’s Prime Minister Abdoulkader Kamil Mohamed receives Saudi Deputy Foreign Minister Waleed Al-Khuraiji on Thursday. (SPA)
Djibouti’s Prime Minister Abdoulkader Kamil Mohamed receives Saudi Deputy Foreign Minister Waleed Al-Khuraiji on Thursday. (SPA)
Updated 25 July 2024
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Djibouti PM receives Saudi deputy foreign minister

Djibouti’s Prime Minister Abdoulkader Kamil Mohamed receives Saudi Deputy Foreign Minister Waleed Al-Khuraiji on Thursday. (SPA)
  • During the meeting with Mohamed, Al-Khuraiji reviewed relations between Djibouti and Saudi Arabia
  • Topics of common interest were also discussed

RIYADH: Djibouti’s Prime Minister Abdoulkader Kamil Mohamed received the Kingdom’s Deputy Foreign Minister Waleed Al-Khuraiji on Thursday, Saudi Press Agency reported.

During the meeting, the officials reviewed relations between the two countries and discussed topics of common interest.

Saudi Deputy Foreign Minister Waleed Al-Khuraiji meets with Djibouti’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Mahmoud Ali Youssef on Thursday. (SPA)Caption

Al-Khuraiji was also received by Djibouti’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Mahmoud Ali Youssef during his visit to the country.


Chinese Embassy celebrates 97th anniversary of People’s Liberation Army

Chinese Embassy celebrates 97th anniversary of People’s Liberation Army
Updated 25 July 2024
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Chinese Embassy celebrates 97th anniversary of People’s Liberation Army

Chinese Embassy celebrates 97th anniversary of People’s Liberation Army

RIYADH: The Chinese Embassy in Saudi Arabia hosted a reception on Wednesday in Riyadh’s Cultural Palace to mark the 97th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Liberation Army.

“We would like to use this opportunity to celebrate not only our history, but also the history of military and security cooperation between Saudi Arabia and China,” said Zhu Je, the armed defense attache at the Chinese Embassy.

In an interview with Arab News, Zhu recalled Saudi Defense Minister Prince Khalid bin Salman’s June visit to Beijing, where he met his Chinese counterpart, Dong Jun.

Zhu described the meeting between the two ministers as “a milestone in the new era.”

He told Arab News: “This is the first time that he visited China to meet with the Chinese minister of defense and also the vice chairman of the Central Military Commission.

“The ministers decided to continue to deepen bilateral cooperation in defense and military areas, strengthen strategic communication between the leaderships, and to elevate the relationship to a higher level.”

The defense attache highlighted the importance of the meeting, in which Prince Khalid and his Chinese counterpart reviewed Saudi-Chinese relations and ways to strengthen ties.

The People’s Liberation Army anniversary reception welcomed defense officials and ambassadors based in the Kingdom.

Chinese Ambassador Chang Hua hosted the event alongside Zhu and welcomed guests to the reception.

Zhu delivered the opening remarks and highlighted the “strategic friendly cooperation” between the Kingdom and China’s defense ministries.

“China firmly supports Saudi Arabia to strengthen its strategic capacities for safeguarding its national security, and resolutely opposes any external interference in the Kingdom’s internal affairs,” he said.

China aims to “facilitate the reconciliation between Saudi Arabia and Iran, as well as the unity between Palestinian parties, to support Saudi Arabia’s efforts to maintain stability, restore peace and protect civilians in the region and in the world,” he added.

Zhu thanked the Kingdom for its support, saying: “I once again express our sincerest gratitude and respects to the leaders, government, armed forces, security forces and people of Saudi Arabia.”

He also praised the Saudi ministries of defense, interior and National Guard, as well as his embassy colleagues.


KSrelief celebrates Youth Skills Day at Jordan’s Zaatari camp for Syrian refugees

KSrelief celebrates Youth Skills Day at Jordan’s Zaatari camp for Syrian refugees
Updated 25 July 2024
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KSrelief celebrates Youth Skills Day at Jordan’s Zaatari camp for Syrian refugees

KSrelief celebrates Youth Skills Day at Jordan’s Zaatari camp for Syrian refugees

RIYADH: Saudi aid agency KSrelief’s Center for Community Service celebrated International Youth Skills Day at the Zaatari camp for Syrian refugees in Jordan, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Thursday.

The center held a special ceremony for the occasion, including various activities highlighting the skills of young people in the community and an awareness lecture to encourage women to develop their talents and capabilities, join training courses, and work with organizations to acquire new skills and experiences.


KSrelief provides shelter kits for thousands of displaced in Sudan

KSrelief provides shelter kits for thousands of displaced in Sudan
Updated 25 July 2024
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KSrelief provides shelter kits for thousands of displaced in Sudan

KSrelief provides shelter kits for thousands of displaced in Sudan
  • There were 400 shelter bags delivered in Blue Nile state, benefiting 2,300 people, and 590 were delivered in the Northern State, helping 3,240 individuals

RIYADH: Saudi aid agency KSrelief has distributed nearly 1,000 shelter kits across Sudan to families most in need, the Saudi Press Agency reported late Wednesday.
There were 400 shelter bags delivered in Blue Nile state, benefiting 2,300 people, and 590 were delivered in the Northern State, helping 3,240 individuals.
The assistance is part of the humanitarian and relief efforts provided by Saudi Arabia through KSrelief to support countries and people in need worldwide.


Saudi maths students scoop 10 awards at international competition

Saudi maths students scoop 10 awards at international competition
Updated 25 July 2024
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Saudi maths students scoop 10 awards at international competition

Saudi maths students scoop 10 awards at international competition
  • Mawhiba Secretary-General Amal Al-Hazaa said the victory was a source of pride for the entire nation

RIYADH: Saudi maths students scooped 10 awards, fending off strong competition from 38 countries, in the 36th annual Asian Pacific Mathematics Olympiad, the Saudi Press Agency reported late Wednesday.

The Saudi team, represented by the King Abdulaziz and his Companions Foundation for Giftedness and Creativity (Mawhiba) and the Education Ministry, won two silver medals, five bronze, and three certificates of commendation against 345 other students.

Youssef Bakheet from the educational directorate of the Royal Commission for Jubail and Yanbu, and Muath Al-Qahtani from the Eastern Province, received the silver medals.

The bronze medals were awarded to Mohammed Al-Ghamdi and Ilyas Al-Faraj from the Eastern Province, Ahmed Al-Shahri from Riyadh, Fatima Bouali from Al-Ahsa and Ahmed Khalawi from Jeddah.

The certificates of commendation were awarded to Mohammed Hafez and Abdul Salam Al-Salmi from Madinah, as well as Youssef Khalawi from Jeddah.

Mawhiba Secretary-General Amal Al-Hazaa said the victory was a source of pride for the entire nation.

The participation at APMO was part of the Mawhiba program for international Olympiads, which is held in strategic partnership with the Education Ministry.

It is one of 20 programs and initiatives that offer advanced curricula and enrichment programs provided annually by Mawhiba and the ministry for talented students.