New Gulf body to tighten economic bond

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Naif, Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, leaders of Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain, UAE and GCC Secretary-General Abdullatif Al-Zayani attend a summit meeting of Gulf Cooperation Council in Jeddah on Tuesday. Earlier, King Salman received all the leaders separately. (SPA)
Updated 01 June 2016

New Gulf body to tighten economic bond

JEDDAH: Gulf Arab states on Tuesday formed a new agency to tighten economic cooperation in the region.

The Economic and Development Affairs Commission “will boost coherence, integration and coordination between member states in all economic and development sectors,” the Gulf Cooperation Council said in a statement.
The announcement was made at the 16th consultative meeting of the GCC leaders in Jeddah, chaired by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman.
Gulf states have made unprecedented fuel and energy subsidy cuts and planned to introduce indirect taxation following global price drop. They have also scaled back spending on large projects. Oil prices have fallen from more than $100 a barrel in early 2014 to around half that level.
The newly formed body “will look into matters such as completing the customs union and the common market of the GCC states,” Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir told a news conference after the summit. He said the authority “can solve these issues urgently and effectively” to promote cooperation.
On Russia’s guarantees for Iran’s non-interference in the Gulf, Al-Jubeir said Russia has nothing to do with this. However, he expressed hope that there would be good relations between the GCC member states and Iran, based on the principle of good neighborliness and non-interference in the affairs of others.
“This is our problem with Iran. When they stop this, adjust their policies and adhere to the principle of good neighborliness and non-interference in the affairs of others, the door will be open to build better relations with them, being a neighboring Islamic state, but we cannot have normal relations with a state that has no goal but to destroy us, plant cells and smuggle explosives into our allies’ lands, in order to destabilize the region.”
On Syria, he said ground intervention is an inevitable solution. He said the Kingdom was ready to send ground forces, led by the United States and coalition countries, which should include Russia. Meanwhile, the country was still sending aid to the Syrians displaced in their country and elsewhere, he said.
Regarding the Palestine issue, he said it is too early to evaluate seriousness of the Israeli side to start negotiations based on Arab peace initiative, said SPA in a tweet.


First plane with aid from Saudi Arabia arrives in Lebanon

Updated 07 August 2020

First plane with aid from Saudi Arabia arrives in Lebanon

RIYADH: The first plane with aid from Saudi Arabia arrived in Lebanon on Friday for victims of Beirut’s port explosion, the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre (KSrelief) said.

Two planes departed from King Khalid International Airport on Friday carrying more than 120 tons of medical supplies, tents, shelter kits and food for those affected by the blast. A specialized team from the center to follow up and supervise the distribution operations were also on board the planes.

The aid aims to help victims overcome the effects of the explosion, said Abdullah Al-Rabeeah, Advisor to the Royal Court and Supervisor General of KSrelief.

Al-Rabeeah stated that the directive of King Salman embodies the established humanitarian values of the Saudi leadership, stressing that this assistance highlights the pivotal role of Saudi Arabia in providing humanitarian assistance to all people in need around the world with complete impartiality.