Cabinet backs international peace initiative for Yemen

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman presides over the Cabinet at Al Salam Palace in Jeddah on Monday. (SPA)
Updated 29 August 2016

Cabinet backs international peace initiative for Yemen

JEDDAH: The Cabinet on Monday gave its full backing to the recent international peace initiative for Yemen that was proposed during the GCC Foreign Ministers’ meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry and British Minister of State for Middle East Affairs Tobias Ellwood.
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman, who chaired the session at Al-Salam Palace in Jeddah, briefed the Cabinet on the results of his meetings with Kerry and the US delegation of Republicans and Democrats, during which they discussed bilateral cooperation in various fields.
Essam bin Saad bin Said, acting minister of culture and information, said in a statement to Saudi Press Agency that the Cabinet reviewed a report on the latest developments and commending the results of the joint meeting attended by Kerry, Ellwood, GCC leaders and other officals in the Kingdom last week.
The joint meeting focussed on the importance of finding a solution to the Yemen crisis based on the Gulf initiative, the outputs of the national dialogue and the UN resolution 2216.
The Cabinet also renewed the Kingdom’s strong condemnation and denunciation of the terrorist attacks that took place in Somali capital Mogadishu, Afghan capital Kabul and Aden, offering the Kingdom’s condolences to the victims’ families and wishing the injured a speedy recovery.
The Cabinet expressed condolences to the Italian President and people for the recent loss of life and property in an earthquake, wishing the injured a speedy recovery.
On local affairs, the Cabinet appreciated the ongoing efforts of security authorities in foiling terror attacks, including a recent attempt at the Mustafa Mosque in Qatif and interception of a vehicle carrying two Daesh suicide attackers targeting a restaurant and a cafe in Tarot city.
The minister said the Cabinet lauded the security men’s efforts in fighting against the drug menace, which resulted in the arrest of 1,461 suspects the past six months and confiscation of 24,685,282 amphetamine tablets, more than 19 tons of hashish and 14 kg of heroin, besides weapons and cash. It also thanked friendly countries for helping the Kingdom foil attempts to smuggle in drugs.

Among the other key decisions the Cabinet took during the session were as follows:
• Approval of an MoU for scientific and technical cooperation in the field of youth and sports, and an agreement for scientific and educational cooperation between the Kingdom and Tajikistan, which was signed in Riyadh on 23/03/1437 A.H. Royal Decrees have been prepared for that.
• Authorization of the President of Saudi Geological Survey — or his deputy — to discuss with the Chinese side a draft MoU for geological scientific cooperation between Saudi Geological Survey of Saudi Arabia and Geological Survey Commission of China, sign it, and submit the final version to complete statutory procedures.
• Approval of the MoU between the General Authority for Meteorology and Environment Protection and the Environment Ministry of Korea for cooperation in the fields of environmental protection, development and conservation, signed in Seoul on 03/12/1436 A.H. A royal decree has been prepared for that.
• Approval of the cooperation agreement between Saudi Arabia and Hungary for the peaceful use of atomic energy, signed in Riyadh on 06/01/1437 AH. A royal decree has been prepared for that.

The Cabinet also approved a number of appointments:
• Khalid bin Abdulaziz bin Abdullah Al-Muqrin, assistant undersecretary for economic affairs at 14th rank in the Ministry of Economy and Planning.
* Abdulrahman bin Ibrahim bin Mohammed Al-Rashed, assistant undersecretary for planning sectors at 14th rank in the Ministry of Economy and Planning.
• Imad bin Mohammed bin Hamed Al-Ghamdi, director general of minister’s office at 14th rank in the Ministry of Economy and Planning.
• Saleh bin Jalawi bin Abdulaziz Al-Masood, economic adviser at 14th rank in the Ministry of Economy and Planning.
• Sami bin Mohammed bin Ibrahim bin Jadeed, administrative adviser at 14th rank in Council of Administrative Judiciary of Board of Grievances.
• Yousef bin Abdullatif bin Saleh Al-Thunayan, office’s director general at 14th rank at Supreme Administrative Court of Board of Grievances.
The Cabinet was briefed on a number of topics, including the annual report of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage for the previous financial year, and the G20 meeting in Beijing.

Saudi Arabia’s AlUla provides a perfect ‘Corner of the Earth’ for Jamiroquai to shine

Updated 25 January 2020

Saudi Arabia’s AlUla provides a perfect ‘Corner of the Earth’ for Jamiroquai to shine

  • “I was transported into a completely different world”: Jay Kay

ALULA: British band Jamiroquai thrilled a delighted audience at Maraya Concert Hall in Saudi Arabia on Friday night during a show packed with hits.

In a first for a venue more used to hosting opera and classical concerts, the British funk/acid jazz outfit had fans dancing along to the music.

The show, at the distinctive, mirror-covered concert hall in historic AlUla, was part of the second Winter at Tantora festival. It opened with “Shake It On,” followed by the hit singles “Little L,” “Alright,” and “Space Cowboy.” By this time the crowd was well and truly warmed up, and “Use the Force” got them on their feet.

“The song seemed to resonate with everyone” Jay Kay told Arab News in an exclusive interview after the show.

During the gig, Kay dedicated the 2002 song “Corner of the Earth” to AlUla, which he described as a “magical and wonderful place, which is absolutely stunning.” The opportunity to perform there was “an honor and privilege” he added. He also thanked “Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman for his vision, and Prince Badr for making this happen and the great hospitality.”

After a further selection of singles and album tracks, the show ended on a high with a quartet of hits — “Cosmic Girl,” “Virtual Insanity,” “Canned Heat” and “Lovefoolosophy.”

Kay praised the Maraya Concert Hall as “a brilliant place to play.” He admitted that initially he was a little worried when he saw it because he was under the impression it would be an outdoor venue. However, any concerns he had were gone by the time the first sound check was done.

“I was transported into a completely different world; the acoustics were unbelievable, like being in a German concert hall,” he said. “It is obviously very well thought out and that’s what makes it so good. The sound was fabulous — I never looked at my sound guy once.”

Jamiroquai’s music videos often feature Kay in super cars, of which he owns many, and he revealed that he would love to shoot such a promo in AlUla.

“In reality, I’m desperate to get in one of the dune buggies, and would kill to have a (Ariel) Nomad and have a go in one in AlUla, where it’s supposed to be driven, for a day or five and dune bash, which is such a rare thing for us in England,” he said.

The singer also said he wants to bring his family to AlUla, which has become a hub for culture and creativity in Saudi Arabia.

“I would like to come out with my family and my youngest, who is called Talula, so hopefully we can have Talula come to AlUla, which would be wonderful,” said Kay.

He added that he was looking forward to exploring the area on Saturday, before leaving the country, but added: “I’m sure you can never have enough time to see everything there is to see.”