Saudi FM warns of ‘catastrophic consequences’ if Israel attacks Rafah, slams international ‘double standards’

Update Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan addresses the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland. (SPA)
Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan addresses the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland. (SPA)
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Updated 27 February 2024
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Saudi FM warns of ‘catastrophic consequences’ if Israel attacks Rafah, slams international ‘double standards’

Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan addresses the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland. (SPA)
  • Prince Faisal said no institutional dialogue could be taken seriously if the situation in Palestine was overlooked

RIYADH: Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan on Monday warned against the “catastrophic consequences” of any Israeli attack on Rafah, south of Gaza, during his speech at the 55th session of the UN Human Rights Council. 

“In this light, we warn against the disastrous repercussions of an attack on Rafah, as the last refuge for civilians, who are there due to the displacement by the Israeli army.” 

Prince Faisal denounced the double standards adopted by some countries toward the crisis in the war-ravaged Gaza Strip. He also reiterated calls for an immediate ceasefire. 

“The Kingdom has repeatedly called on the international community to bear its responsibilities in stopping the war and irresponsible escalation to protect innocent civilians and to pave the way for a clear and credible peace process, which all parties are committed to,” he said.

“We call on the international community to bear its responsibility to put an end to escalation and war, protect civilians, in order to pave the way for a clear and legitimate peace process that includes all parties,” he added.

Making reference to the near-30,000 Palestinians killed in Gaza since the war on Hamas began last October, Prince Faisal said no institutional dialogue could be taken seriously if the situation in Palestine was overlooked.

He asked: “What rights are we talking about, and Gaza is under the rubble? How can the international community stay silent, and the people of Gaza are being displaced and are suffering from the most heinous forms of human rights violations?”

He added: “Despite the death of 30,000 people and the starvation of more than 2 million people, the lack of security and basic services, such as water, electricity and medicine, the Security Council is still leaving meetings without a result.”


Saudi Ministry of Media, Microsoft Arabia sign memorandum of understanding

Saudi Ministry of Media, Microsoft Arabia sign memorandum of understanding
Updated 28 May 2024
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Saudi Ministry of Media, Microsoft Arabia sign memorandum of understanding

Saudi Ministry of Media, Microsoft Arabia sign memorandum of understanding
  • Deal aims to advance media sector in the Kingdom

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Media signed a memorandum of understanding with Microsoft Arabia in Riyadh on Tuesday covering several areas of cooperation, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

The signing ceremony was witnessed by the Assistant Minister of Media Abdullah Al-Maghlouth, and Ziad Mansour, Microsoft’s executive vice president of data and artificial intelligence.

Bassem Al-Hazmi, the general manager of digital transformation and information technology and the general manager of cybersecurity, was also present, along with the President of Microsoft Arabia Turki Badhris.

Cooperation will include developing technical aspects in the areas of data analysis, self-learning, AI, security and privacy solutions, and various software and service development solutions.

It will aim to raise the quality of local media content and keep pace with global transformations to serve the future goals of the Ministry of Media.

The memorandum also bids to advance the media sector in the Kingdom, enabling it to contribute to the local economy while benefiting from the developments of AI and its multiple applications in the field of media.


Who’s Who: Mansour Al-Babtain, VP of commercial partnerships and liaison at World Defense Show

Who’s Who: Mansour Al-Babtain, VP of commercial partnerships and liaison at World Defense Show
Updated 28 May 2024
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Who’s Who: Mansour Al-Babtain, VP of commercial partnerships and liaison at World Defense Show

Who’s Who: Mansour Al-Babtain, VP of commercial partnerships and liaison at World Defense Show

Mansour Al-Babtain is the vice president of commercial partnerships and liaison at the World Defense Show.

A former fighter pilot, Al-Babtain has extensive experience working with high-level government figures and private-sector leaders.

He joined the WDS in April 2021. His current role is to oversee the sales, sponsorship and customer experience divisions, in addition to maintaining his liaison responsibilities with Saudi government entities including the General Authority for Military Industries and international delegations.

The department links WDS business owners with the appropriate government entities, ensures the security of the location and people prior to, during and following the show, and manages WDS committees.

From the initial show license to security support, Al-Babtain effectively manages the challenges of ensuring the smooth entry and exit of military supplies, technology, and personnel.

Having graduated from King Faisal Air Academy, he served 12 years in the Royal Saudi Air Force as a fighter pilot, squadron leader and tactical intelligence officer before moving to the Ministry of Defense and later to several government entities.

In addition to his degree in aerial sciences, Al-Babtain holds a master’s degree in strategic studies from Air University in Alabama and a diploma in diplomatic and political relations from the International Arbitration Commission in Cairo.
 


AI and intellectual property in the spotlight at Arab League meeting

AI and intellectual property in the spotlight at Arab League meeting
Updated 28 May 2024
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AI and intellectual property in the spotlight at Arab League meeting

AI and intellectual property in the spotlight at Arab League meeting

RIYADH: Intellectual property and artificial intelligence will be discussed at a regional meeting of the Arab League’s Intellectual Property and Competitiveness Department on Wednesday.

The virtual gathering, which will be hosted via video link, will include experts from the World Intellectual Property Organization and governmental intellectual property offices from several Arab nations, reported Saudi Press Agency.

Key topics on the agenda are optimizing intellectual property frameworks for AI development, the impact of AI on patenting processes, legislative efforts to address legal challenges, and implications of AI for copyright regulations.

Minister Plenipotentiary Dr. Maha Bakheet, director of legal affairs at the Intellectual Property and Competitiveness Department, said the meeting aimed to safeguard AI models through intellectual property mechanisms and enhance services.

It also hopes to drive service delivery and management progress within regional intellectual property offices.


Saudi recruiters to face heavy fines for visa violations

Saudi recruiters to face heavy fines for visa violations
Updated 28 May 2024
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Saudi recruiters to face heavy fines for visa violations

Saudi recruiters to face heavy fines for visa violations

RIYADH: The General Directorate of Public Security announced that recruiters who postpone reporting the departures of employees as soon as their entry visas expire will be subject to a fine of about SR50,000 ($13,300), imprisonment for up to six months, and deportation of recruitees if they are expatriates.

The directorate called for reporting residency, work and border security regulation violations by dialing the numbers (911) in Makkah, Riyadh and the Eastern Province, and (999) in the rest of the Kingdom.

According to the Saudi Press Agency report, the directorate said that from May 23 until June 21, anyone holding a visit visa of any type is not permitted to enter or remain in Makkah.

A visit visa of any type and name does not entitle its holder to perform the Hajj pilgrimage, added the directorate.


Kawin Incubator Program looks to empower Saudi culinary talents

Kawin Incubator Program looks to empower Saudi culinary talents
Updated 28 May 2024
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Kawin Incubator Program looks to empower Saudi culinary talents

Kawin Incubator Program looks to empower Saudi culinary talents
  • Event supports talented chefs, entrepreneurs

RIYADH: The Culinary Arts Authority is hosting the fourth Kawin Incubator Program from June 11 to Aug. 15. The initiative aims to boost culinary skills by supporting talented chefs and entrepreneurs in the food and beverage sector, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Tuesday.

The incubator consists of three main programs. The first is the Kawin Culinary Arts Incubator, featuring six courses. Each course starts with a three-day virtual competition for 80 participants, followed by a two-month, in-person incubation phase for 40 projects, concluding with the graduation of 120 projects.

Participants must be Saudi nationals — aged 18 or above — and passionate about the culinary arts and able to attend the entire program. They must also have an innovative recipe or product.

Kawin, which means create, aims to raise standards in the culinary sector by nurturing startups with innovative concepts, fostering a supportive entrepreneurial environment.

It aims to empower both male and female entrepreneurs in the culinary arts while enhancing the Kingdom’s global reputation in gastronomy.

Those Interested can learn more at https://engage.moc.gov.sa/kawn/.