US removes Saudi from sanctions list after 13 years

Updated 04 December 2014

US removes Saudi from sanctions list after 13 years

A leading Saudi businessman and philanthropist has been removed by the US Treasury Department from its Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) list.
This development marks the conclusion of Sheikh Yassin Kadi’s challenge to the restrictive measures after a 13-year battle, which started with the imposition of sanctions in October 2001. Kadi had already been de-listed in 2012 by the United Nations Security Council and the European Union. He was the successful applicant in the well-known Kadi litigation of 2008 and 2013 in the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg. Kadi had always denied that he has ever supported any terrorist group. He was informed in a press release that his assets had been frozen. Two days later, his assets were frozen in Europe, again without giving him any reasons.
Kadi claimed he was entitled to none of the usual legal protections, such as right of access to an independent court or tribunal or the right to know the evidence against him, which protect defendants who are the subject of criminal proceedings.
An English judge hearing Kadi’s challenge described the system of sanctions as “draconian.” Echoing these words the General Court in Luxembourg stated: “It is no exaggeration to say that persons designated in this way are effectively ‘prisoners’ of the State; their freedom of movement is severely restricted without access to their funds and the effect of the freeze on both them and their families can be devastating”.

Saudi transport forum puts global spotlight on Kingdom’s booming rail sector

Updated 3 min 49 sec ago

Saudi transport forum puts global spotlight on Kingdom’s booming rail sector

  • The Railway Forum sought to enhance strategic partnerships between the public and private sectors

RIYADH: An international conference highlighting the development and growth of the Saudi railway sector on Tuesday opened in Riyadh.

The two-day Railway Forum, organized by the Saudi Railway Co. (SAR) under the patronage of King Salman, is being held at the capital’s Ritz-Carlton hotel with the title, “Joining Tracks for a Closer Future.”

The gathering aims to create an international platform in the Middle East for the active exchange of knowledge and expertise between local and international rail industry experts and stakeholders while promoting the growth potential of the sector in the Kingdom and regionally.

Speaking at the forum’s opening session, Saudi Minister of Transport Saleh bin Nasser Al-Jasser, said the global railway industry was witnessing strong growth with increased investment.

He pointed out that an aggressive rate of industrialization was expected to develop the international market even further while the need for fast, reliable, risk-limited and affordable means of transportation was becoming a necessity.

The sector was working to keep pace with population growth and increased world demand for transportation in general and railways in particular, which were faster, cheaper and safer, the minister added.

Al-Jasser told delegates that the Kingdom was undergoing bold developments in all sectors to realize the Saudi Vision 2030, and the railways, in which Saudi Arabia was investing heavily, were expected to play a key role in turning the country into a global logistics hub.

The Railway Forum sought to enhance strategic partnerships between the public and private sectors, he added.

Bashar Al-Malik, CEO of the SAR, said he hoped the event would generate new ideas to help further boost the Saudi railway sector.

He pointed out that SAR now had huge fleets connecting various cities and more than 47 million tons of minerals had been transported to date, taking around 4 million truckloads off the roads.

Inaugurated by King Salman in September 2018, the Kingdom’s Haramain high-speed railway was one of the most modern and fastest means of transport in the Middle East, added Al-Malik.

It was the first electric train of its kind in the region covering more than 450 km and connecting five stations in Makkah, Jeddah, King Abdul Aziz International Airport, King Abdullah Economic City, and Madinah.

All the stations included facilities such as lounges for business-class travelers, a center for public transport, helicopter landing sites, parking lots, civil defense stations, mosques and commercial spaces to meet passenger requirements.

The forum will be divided into sessions discussing the global vision toward 2030, urban rail, logistic railway benefits, safety and security, and future rail.

It will also offer a unique and active stage for industry stakeholders to share knowledge and expertise, discover new trends and find potential investment opportunities.