Saudi Arabia, Qatar ‘deepen and expand’ economic, security ties

Update Saudi Arabia, Qatar ‘deepen and expand’ economic, security ties
Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad welcomes Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to Qatar. (SPA)
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Updated 06 December 2023
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Saudi Arabia, Qatar ‘deepen and expand’ economic, security ties

Saudi Arabia, Qatar ‘deepen and expand’ economic, security ties
  • Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad hold talks in Doha
  • Focus also on boosting tourism, sports, culture, entertainment sectors

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia and Qatar are working to “deepen and expand” their economic, military, sports and cultural ties, according to a statement issued on Tuesday.

The statement comes in the wake of the Saudi-Qatari Coordination Council meeting attended by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad, the emir of Qatar.

The crown prince and his delegation of senior officials arrived in Doha on Tuesday for the 44th GCC’s supreme council and the seventh Saudi-Qatari Coordination Council meetings, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

The statement said the two leaders “considered this council to be one of the most important means of communication and coordination between the two countries that embodies these established relations, and that it is necessary to strive with all seriousness to deepen and expand the areas of bilateral cooperation in a way that achieves a future sustainable renaissance and growth for the two countries and their peoples.”

Sheikh Tamim congratulated Prince Mohammed on Saudi Arabia’s winning bid to host the World Expo 2030 in Riyadh, and nomination to hold the 2034 World Cup.

Prince Mohammed and Sheikh Tamim expressed their satisfaction with the agreements and memorandums of understanding signed during various subcommittee meetings of the Saudi-Qatari council.

On regional and global political issues, the two nations would continue to consolidate and enhance cooperation, the statement added.

There would also be heightened consultations on security and military matters, with a commitment to provide training and scholarships for the two nations’ personnel.

On the sports front, special mention was made of the cooperation between Riyadh and Doha in the hosting of the Qatar World Cup, which would continue as Saudi Arabia bids to host the sport’s premier event in 2034.

There would be cooperation in the culture, tourism and entertainment sectors, including improving access for international tourists.

In the economic, trade and investment fields, the two sides would continue working within the frameworks of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 and Qatar’s National Vision 2030, the statement added.


Warnings issued after NCM forecasts thunderstorms, heavy rain

Warnings issued after NCM forecasts thunderstorms, heavy rain
Updated 04 March 2024
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Warnings issued after NCM forecasts thunderstorms, heavy rain

Warnings issued after NCM forecasts thunderstorms, heavy rain
  • NCM forecasts inclement weather in some parts of the Kingdom until Tuesday
  • Civil Defense calls on everyone to take caution and adhere to its instructions

RIYADH: People are warned to be careful after the National Centre of Meteorology forecast inclement weather in some parts of the Kingdom until Tuesday.

The Civil Defense Directorate said: “Forecasts from the NCM indicate heavy rains in the Riyadh region, including the capital Riyadh, Diriyah, Afif, Dawadmi, Al-Quway’iyah, Al-Aflaj, Hotat Bani Tamim, Al-Hareeq, Al-Zulfi, Al-Ghat, Shaqraa, Al-Majma’ah, Al-Muzahimiyah, Rumah, Marat (and) Huraymila from Sunday.

“The Civil Defense calls on everyone to take caution and adhere to its instructions. Your cooperation is needed. Your safety is our goal.”

The authority has previously warned residents against crossing flowing valleys and canyons as this can be dangerous with potentially fatal consequences.

The NCM has said most regions will experience cloudy weather, thunderstorms and rain until Tuesday.

It has issued warnings of moderate thunderstorms accompanied by strong winds reaching speeds of over 50 km per hour, leading to hailstorms, sandstorms and high waves along coastal areas. This is expected to affect the Jazan, Baha and Asir regions.

The Makkah and Madinah regions are expected to experience light to moderate rainfall.

The forecasts also indicate that some areas will remain overcast and wet until the weekend.

Riyadh had hazy sunshine on Monday. The minimum recorded temperature was 14 C, and the maximum was 27 C.


Saudi project clears 669 Houthi mines in Yemen

Saudi project clears 669 Houthi mines in Yemen
Updated 04 March 2024
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Saudi project clears 669 Houthi mines in Yemen

Saudi project clears 669 Houthi mines in Yemen
  • The explosives, which were planted indiscriminately by the Houthis across Yemen, posed a threat to civilians, including children, women and the elderly

Riyadh: Saudi Arabia’s Project Masam cleared 669 mines in Yemen — which had been planted by the Houthi militia — between Feb. 24 and March 1, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

Overseen by the Kingdom’s aid agency KSrelief, the project’s special teams destroyed 537 items of unexploded ordnance, 109 anti-tank mines, and 23 anti-personnel mines.

The explosives, which were planted indiscriminately by the Houthis across Yemen, posed a threat to civilians, including children, women and the elderly.

Project Masam is one of several initiatives undertaken by Saudi Arabia at the request of King Salman, which has cleared routes for humanitarian aid to reach the country’s citizens.

The demining operations took place in Marib, Aden, Jouf, Shabwa, Taiz, Hodeidah, Lahij, Sanaa, Al-Bayda, Al-Dhale and Saada.

A total of 434,002 mines have been cleared since the start of the initiative in 2018, according to Ousama Al-Gosaibi, the project’s managing director.

These include 275,891 items of unexploded ordnance, 143,621 anti-tank mines, 8,001 improvised explosive devices, and 6,489 anti-personnel mines.

The initiative trains local demining engineers and provides them with modern equipment. It also offers support to Yemenis injured by the devices.

About 5 million people have been forced to flee their homes since the beginning of the conflict in Yemen, many of them displaced by the presence of land mines.

Masam teams are tasked with clearing villages, roads and schools to facilitate the safe movement of civilians and the delivery of humanitarian aid.

The project’s contract was extended for another year in June 2023 at a cost of $33.29 million.


Saudi crown prince congratulates newly elected prime minister of Pakistan

Saudi crown prince congratulates newly elected prime minister of Pakistan
Updated 04 March 2024
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Saudi crown prince congratulates newly elected prime minister of Pakistan

Saudi crown prince congratulates newly elected prime minister of Pakistan

RIYADH: Saudi Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman has congratulated Mohammed Shahbaz Sharif, on the occasion of being sworn in as Prime Minister of Pakistan.

The Crown Prince sent a cable to Sharif on Monday expressing “his sincere congratulations and best wishes for success and prosperity for his country, and for the brotherly people of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, further progress and prosperity,” the Saudi Press Agency reported. 

Pakistan’s newly elected lower house of parliament on Sunday elected Shehbaz Sharif as prime minister for a second time, putting him back in a role he had stepped down from ahead of general elections on Feb. 8. 

Sharif, the candidate for his Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and coalition allies, secured a comfortable win over Omar Ayub Khan of the Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC) backed by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party of jailed former PM Imran Khan.


Saudi civil defense joins search and rescue exercise in Tunisia

Saudi civil defense joins search and rescue exercise in Tunisia
Updated 04 March 2024
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Saudi civil defense joins search and rescue exercise in Tunisia

Saudi civil defense joins search and rescue exercise in Tunisia

RIYADH: The Saudi General Directorate of Civil Defense is taking part in a collaborative mission with the Kingdom’s search and rescue team in Tunisia.

The White Operation Hypothesis exercise is being held until March 7, reported the Saudi Press Agency, and underlines the ongoing cooperation between Saudi Arabia and Tunisia in civil protection and defense.

It aims to use hands-on experience to bolster the capabilities and knowledge base of the international search and rescue team.

The exercise features various simulated scenarios involving rubble and water, providing an opportunity for valuable practical training.


KSrelief provides aid for orphans in Albania

KSrelief provides aid for orphans in Albania
Updated 04 March 2024
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KSrelief provides aid for orphans in Albania

KSrelief provides aid for orphans in Albania

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s aid agency KSrelief is collaborating with the Muslim community in Albania to support orphans in the country.

Monthly financial assistance will be provided to 206 beneficiaries in 10 provinces covering healthcare, education and living expenses.

The project includes weekly education sessions on community and social interaction.

KSrelief has successfully implemented a collaborative project with the Muslim Community of Albania. (SPA)

Elsewhere, KSrelief has provided 645 food parcels to the most vulnerable and displaced families in the Northern State of Sudan, benefiting 3,870 individuals.

In Yemen, KSrelief continued its mine-clearance project, Masam. Its operators successfully dismantled 669 mines across various regions during the fourth week of February.

These included 23 anti-personnel mines, 109 anti-tank mines, and 537 unexploded ordnance.