Saudi Arabia condemns terrorist attack in Mogadishu

The flags of Saudi Arabia and Somalia. (File/AFP)
The flags of Saudi Arabia and Somalia. (File/AFP)
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Updated 12 February 2024
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Saudi Arabia condemns terrorist attack in Mogadishu

The flags of Saudi Arabia and Somalia. (File/AFP)
  • Four Emirati soldiers and a Bahraini officer were killed following the attack in Mogadishu where they were training the Somali national army

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia condemned and denounced a terrorist attack on a military base in Mogadishu, Somalia, Saudi Press Agency reported on Sunday.

Four Emirati soldiers and a Bahraini officer were killed following the attack in Mogadishu where they were training the Somali national army, the United Arab Emirates said. 

The soldiers were “exposed to a terrorist act” while “training and qualifying the Somali Armed Forces,” the UAE’s defence ministry said in a statement on Saturday, adding that three Emirati soldiers and a Bahraini officer were killed.

A fourth Emirati soldier, who was among two injured in the attack, “passed away upon arrival” in the UAE on Sunday, Emirates News Agency said, raising the overall death toll.

King Salman Al-Saud and Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Salman sent their condolences to President of United Arab Emirates Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

The Kingdom’s Foreign Ministry reiterated its firm position calling for the rejection of violence, terrorism, and extremism, regardless of its forms and motives.

It expressed the Kingdom’s full solidarity with Somalia, the UAE, and Bahrain, and expressed its sincere condolences to the families of those killed.

Saturday’s attack targeted troops at the General Gordon Military Base in Mogadishu and was claimed by Al-Qaeda-linked militant group Al-Shabab.


KSrelief calls for coordinating humanitarian efforts with WHO

KSrelief calls for coordinating humanitarian efforts with WHO
Updated 9 sec ago
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KSrelief calls for coordinating humanitarian efforts with WHO

KSrelief calls for coordinating humanitarian efforts with WHO
  • Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah urges international action amidst humanitarian crisis

RIYADH: Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah, supervisor-general of Saudi aid agency KSrelief, said he wants to boost the partnership with the World Health Organization to improve and coordinate response efforts, ensure all resources are allocated efficiently, and enable communities to become more resilient and independent.

Speaking at a session titled “From Crisis to Opportunity: Health in the Eastern Mediterranean Region,” at the 77th World Health Assembly, held in Geneva, Switzerland, Al-Rabeeah thanked the WHO for efforts to address the humanitarian crises in the Eastern Mediterranean region, including conflicts, migration and economic instability.

He said that the Saudi leadership made intensive and generous efforts to alleviate the suffering of millions of people in need in the region and around the world, particularly children, women and vulnerable groups.

Al-Rabeeah said that the total humanitarian assistance provided by Saudi Arabia to the WHO Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean exceeded $1.4 billion. He added that KSrelief recently announced a $500 million contribution to efforts to eradicate polio over the next five years.

He mentioned that the center provides comprehensive health treatment and support services in humanitarian emergencies.

Furthermore, KSrelief has implemented various volunteer programs in the medical sector as part of its relief and humanitarian endeavors, including 298 projects worth over $46 million in the Eastern Mediterranean region.

Al-Rabeeah urged all parties in conflict areas to ensure that relief aid providers are allowed to deliver aid in a safe and effective manner.

When aid delivery is prevented and attacks on humanitarian workers and hospital staff are allowed, he said, those in need suffer even more. The situations in the Gaza Strip and Sudan are clear examples of this, he added.

Al-Rabeeah said that KSrelief works closely with its partners to overcome challenges and ensure the safe delivery of aid even under the most difficult circumstances. For instance, during the siege of Taiz in Yemen, the center used airdrops to deliver assistance and even resorted to camels to deliver medical supplies, oxygen cylinders and other urgent items to remote mountain locations where health services were either very limited or unavailable, he said.

In Gaza, the center succeeded in assisting with the area’s current challenges.

“Restricted access to Gaza has led to severe shortages of food, water, medical supplies and other much-needed items,” he said, urging restrictions be changed to save lives, especially those of children, women and the elderly.

Al-Rabeeah urged the international community to take decisive action to protect health facilities and humanitarian workers, and all authorities to abide by international humanitarian law.

He also called for involving healthcare workers in policy-making processes, to ensure that their expertise and experience are used to shape effective healthcare strategies.

Al-Rabeeah emphasized the crucial role of international collaboration in ensuring that all people in need have access to humanitarian assistance and medical care.


Harvard witnesses graduation of 60 Saudi students from elite US universities

Harvard witnesses graduation of 60 Saudi students from elite US universities
Updated 34 min 33 sec ago
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Harvard witnesses graduation of 60 Saudi students from elite US universities

Harvard witnesses graduation of 60 Saudi students from elite US universities

RIYADH: The Saudi Club at Harvard University recently organized a graduation ceremony for Saudi graduates from Harvard University, MIT, Boston University, and Tufts University.

The event took place on Harvard’s campus in Boston and was attended by Mohammed Khashaan, director of the public diplomacy department at the Saudi Embassy in the US, Saudi Press Agency reported.

During the ceremony, Khashaan said that the distinguished Saudi students are graduating in light of the transformations occurring under Saudi Vision 2030.

He highlighted the investment in the nation’s talented individuals, and said that the Kingdom is experiencing economic, industrial, and environmental growth, accompanied by renewed opportunities for its citizens to pursue their dreams, and contribute to building the future of the nation and the world.

Additionally, US Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Michael Ratney, delivered a recorded speech in which he congratulated the graduating students and thanked the Saudi Club for organizing the event to celebrate their achievements.

“I have been in Saudi Arabia for only a year, and the professional and personal opportunities here have never been greater. Your country is rich in resources, but its most valuable asset is its human capabilities,” Ratney said.

He also highlighted the diversity he has observed in various fields, from filmmaking to video game development and space travel, and expressed his happiness at witnessing this growth.


Saudi Arabia appoints new envoy to Syria

Saudi Arabia appoints new envoy to Syria
Updated 31 min 14 sec ago
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Saudi Arabia appoints new envoy to Syria

Saudi Arabia appoints new envoy to Syria

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia has appointed Faisal Al-Mujfel as the kingdom’s new ambassador to Syria, the Saudi Press Agency reported. 

“The honored ambassador extends his thanks to the leadership on the occasion of his appointment as Ambassador to the Syrian Arab Republic,” SPA said.


Elderly Indonesian pilgrims enjoy easier Hajj journey with Makkah Route Initiative

Elderly Indonesian pilgrims enjoy easier Hajj journey with Makkah Route Initiative
Updated 41 min 16 sec ago
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Elderly Indonesian pilgrims enjoy easier Hajj journey with Makkah Route Initiative

Elderly Indonesian pilgrims enjoy easier Hajj journey with Makkah Route Initiative

RIYADH: The Makkah Route Initiative implemented by the Ministry of Interior at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Jakarta, Indonesia, is providing exceptional services to Indonesian pilgrims, ensuring a smooth and comfortable Hajj journey.

Elderly pilgrims have expressed gratitude for the ease of procedures, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Sunday.

Siti Munasaru, a 69-year-old pilgrim from Tangerang, said she appreciates the ease with which Hajj procedures are carried out, and expressed deep gratitude to Saudi Arabia and those responsible for the initiative.

Suwatini Binti Amat, a 68-year-old pilgrim from Purworejo, Central Java, thanked the Kingdom for the services provided to pilgrims, and stressed that the Makkah Route Initiative has greatly relieved the hardships faced during traditional travel, particularly for elderly pilgrims, making their Hajj journey more comfortable and safer.

The Makkah Route Initiative has reduced waiting times, and made the trip to the holy land more convenient.

It reflects the strong collaboration between Saudi Arabia and Indonesia, and underscores the commitment to provide excellent services to pilgrims, in line with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.

Services include the issuing of electronic Hajj visas, biometric data collection, completion of passport procedures in specialized lounges at departure airports, ensuring health requirements are met, and efficient luggage tagging and sorting. After arrival in the Kingdom, pathways are assigned, and partner agencies ensure hassle-free delivery of pilgrims’ luggage to their accommodation.


MoU signed to revive cultural sites in Saudi Arabia

MoU signed to revive cultural sites in Saudi Arabia
Updated 36 min 5 sec ago
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MoU signed to revive cultural sites in Saudi Arabia

MoU signed to revive cultural sites in Saudi Arabia

RIYADH: The Heritage Commission and ASFAR, Saudi Arabia’s tourism investment company fully owned by the Public Investment Fund, signed a memorandum of understanding to enhance visitor experience at cultural heritage sites in the Kingdom.

Heritage Commission CEO Jasser Al-Harbash and ASFAR CEO Fahad bin Mushayt attended the signing, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Sunday.

The agreement aims to improve operational efficiency, enhance cooperation, develop plans, refine designs, and establish operational models for heritage sites across Saudi Arabia.

The commission highlighted the importance of partnerships in its commitment to developing the national heritage and archaeology sector, aligning with the goals of Saudi Vision 2030.

ASFAR plays a crucial role in shaping the Kingdom’s tourism sector through investments in tourist destinations, historical and cultural sites, SPA said.

The company aims to raise the prominence of Saudi cities on the tourism map by collaborating with public and private sectors.