GCC hits out at Iran for meddling in Saudi affairs

GCC hits out at Iran for meddling in Saudi affairs
Updated 11 January 2016

GCC hits out at Iran for meddling in Saudi affairs

GCC hits out at Iran for meddling in Saudi affairs

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia may take more deterrent measures against Iran to check its foreign policy behavior and to contain its growing interference in the affairs of Arab states, Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir said on Saturday.
“The Kingdom is looking at additional measures to be taken, if Iran continues with its belligerent policies,” said Al-Jubeir.
He made these remarks after chairing a meeting of the foreign ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in Riyadh.
The GCC foreign ministers, in a statement released after their meeting, lent their full support to any measure against Iran to halt Tehran’s “terrorist acts” and to ensure that it refrains from “meddling in the affairs of Arab nations.”
Riyadh also urged the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to convene an emergency meeting to discuss the Iranian attacks on the Saudi Embassy in Tehran, said Al-Jubeir.
The foreign minister lambasted Iran, saying that “we cannot deal with a country that attacks and burns embassies, whether those embassies are British or American, or for that matter Saudi.”
He said Iran has to make a decision whether it stands and behaves like a civilized nation.
“If it is a nation state, it should act like a responsible state. If not, it will be further isolated,” said the minister.
Al-Jubeir said that the Kingdom would welcome the time and the opportunity to see Iran “act like a normal country” in the comity of nations.
“It is entirely in the hands of Iran, whether it wants to be a good neighbor or it prefers to remain in a hostile environment within the region,” said the foreign minister, while referring to the war of words stepped up by Tehran violating all diplomatic norms.
Addressing a joint press conference with GCC chief Abdullateef Al-Zayani after the GCC ministerial meeting, Al-Jubeir said that “the escalation is coming from Iran, not from the Kingdom or the GCC, and we are currently evaluating nefarious Iranian activities and taking strong steps to counter them.”
The GCC, as a bloc, also strongly condemns Iran’s meddling in the internal affairs of the Kingdom and the GCC.
The GCC called on the international community to take serious measures against Iran to prevent repetition of such attacks on diplomatic missions in the future.
The GCC welcomes the strong rejection of Iran’s actions against Saudi Arabia from neighboring Arab and Islamic countries, said Al-Zayani, while speaking alongside Al-Jubeir.
He said that the GCC stands with Riyadh’s decisions and the measures taken by the Kingdom against Iran.
The GCC said that it forcefully condemns the attacks on Saudi diplomatic missions in Iran.
The statement, following the extraordinary GCC ministerial meeting, criticized “blatant Iranian interference in Saudi affairs, which directly incited the aggressions targeting Saudi missions in two Iranian cities.”
The joint statement said the GCC totally supports decisions taken by Saudi Arabia to combat terrorism and it has total confidence in the independence and integrity of Saudi justice system.
The GCC countries also urged Iran to “respect the principle of good neighborliness in words and actions” and “stop activities that cause instability and insecurity in the region.”
Al-Jubeir said that Saudi Arabia and GCC countries are also working on a UN resolution that would condemn Iran’s aggressive acts.
Saudi Arabia previously cut its diplomatic ties with Iran in 1988 after protesters attacked the Saudi Embassy, injuring a diplomat, who later died of his wounds at the time. Relations were restored in 1991, but Iran continued with its policies of aggression and interference.
It is still fighting proxy wars in several Arab countries, while helping terrorists and terrorism besiege the whole Arab world including Yemen.
Saudi Arabia, which received overwhelming support from the GCC foreign ministers on Saturday, is all set to oust Iran from the Arab League forum on Sunday.
An Arab League official said that the Iranian attacks on Saudi diplomatic missions is the only item on the agenda of the Arab League meeting.
It is almost certain that Arab League members will condemn the attack and support Saudi Arabia except for one or two countries. This 42nd extraordinary meeting was chaired by Al-Jubeir here.
The meeting was attended by Oman’s Minister Responsible for Foreign Affairs Yusuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah; UAE Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed Al-Nahyan; Kuwait’s First Deputy Premier & Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah bin Khalid Al-Hamad Al-Sabah; Qatar’s Foreign Minister Khalid bin Mohammad Al-Attiyah; and Bahrain’s Foreign Minister Khalid bin Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Khalifa.


Pakistan keen on greater economic interaction with Saudi Arabia: Pakistan president

Pakistan keen on greater economic interaction with Saudi Arabia: Pakistan president
Updated 38 min 3 sec ago

Pakistan keen on greater economic interaction with Saudi Arabia: Pakistan president

Pakistan keen on greater economic interaction with Saudi Arabia: Pakistan president
  • Strong relationship gains its strength from common religious and cultural values

Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have always enjoyed cordial relations.
This strong relationship has been nurtured by successive generations of leadership on both sides and gains its strength from common religious and cultural values and a shared desire for international peace and global development.
Saudi Arabia is held in great reverence by the people of Pakistan and there exists a deep affiliation with the Kingdom, as it is the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques.
There also exists a complete synergy for shared development between the two countries. Pakistani engineers, construction experts and labor have played a leading role in building the infrastructure of modern Saudi Arabia.
Similarly, Pakistani doctors, bankers, entrepreneurs, academics and financial experts have played a premier role in developing the institutional infrastructure of Saudi Arabia.
The visit of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to Pakistan in early 2019 ushered in a new area of economic cooperation.
We wish to have greater economic interaction with Saudi Arabia and also look for enhanced trade between the two countries. I am sure the visit of Prime Minister Imran Khan to Saudi Arabia will open further avenues of mutual cooperation and broaden understanding on issues of mutual interest.
Pakistan looks forward to the further strengthening of strategic cooperation, trade and investment.
It also looks for cooperation against the COVID-19 pandemic, which has become a major challenge for the world including Muslim countries.
Long live the Pakistan-Saudi friendship!

• Dr. Arif Alvi is the president of Pakistan.


Pakistan and Saudi Arabia together ‘can play key role in countering Islamophobia globally’

Pakistan and Saudi Arabia together ‘can play key role in countering Islamophobia globally’
Updated 34 min 56 sec ago

Pakistan and Saudi Arabia together ‘can play key role in countering Islamophobia globally’

Pakistan and Saudi Arabia together ‘can play key role in countering Islamophobia globally’

Saudi Arabia and Pakistan enjoy strong fraternal relations, rooted in shared Islamic heritage and traditions.
Pakistanis have a special regard for the Kingdom due to its position as the custodian of Islam’s holiest places, whilst political, economic and military ties are also robust.
Islamabad supports Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s Vision 2030, which is a strategic framework to harness the strengths and potential of the Kingdom for a great future.
The Saudi Green Initiative is an important initiative aligned with our mutual pledge to counter climate change.
Pakistan would be happy to share experience, knowledge, and lessons from our own Clean Green Pakistan initiative, which is a notable success story.
Both countries share a common desire to uphold and promote Islamic solidarity and I am confident that Pakistan and Saudi Arabia together can play a significant role in countering the rising menace of Islamophobia.
Pakistan looks forward to further strengthening and diversifying our ties in mutually beneficial areas, especially in the media, as it is an important tool to promote our shared cultural and societal values.


• Fawad Chaudhry is federal minister of information and broadcasting.


Saudi Arabia and Pakistan to sign climate deal during Imran Khan’s visit

Saudi Arabia and Pakistan to sign climate deal during Imran Khan’s visit
Updated 46 min 23 sec ago

Saudi Arabia and Pakistan to sign climate deal during Imran Khan’s visit

Saudi Arabia and Pakistan to sign climate deal during Imran Khan’s visit
  • Khan said that Pakistan would be happy to share its knowledge and experience of climate change initiatives with the Kingdom

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s climate minister on Thursday said his country and Saudi Arabia will sign a landmark climate deal on Friday during the visit of Prime Minister Imran Khan to the Kingdom.
Khan will embark on a three-day visit to Saudi Arabia on Friday at the invitation of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
In meetings with the Saudi leadership, Khan will cover all areas of bilateral cooperation including economics, trade, investment, environment, energy, job opportunities for the Pakistani workforce, and the welfare of the diaspora in the Kingdom.
In a letter to the crown prince in March, Khan said while Pakistan and Saudi Arabia already maintain close cooperation on climate-change issues at multilateral forums, “a meaningful and structured bilateral engagement can help advance our shared vision and create mutually beneficial opportunities for partnership.”
Khan added that Pakistan would be happy to share its knowledge and experience of climate change initiatives with the Kingdom.
“Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are all set to sign a landmark green deal which will lay the grounds for a sustained collaboration,” Pakistan’s Minister for Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam told Arab News from Riyadh.
“The memorandum of understanding (MoU) to be signed in the presence of Prime Minister Imran Khan and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman will actually be a marriage of two overlapping green visions put forward separately by the two leaders which represent the aspirations of a young populace across the two friendly countries.”
The crown prince last month called the leaders of Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Iraq and Sudan to discuss a massive regional tree-planting project.
The Saudi Green Initiative is part of the crown prince’s Vision 2030 plan to reduce its reliance on oil revenues and improve quality of life.
The ambitious initiative, unveiled at the end of March, will see Saudi Arabia planting 10 billion trees in the coming decades and working with other Arab states to plant another 40 billion, reduce carbon emissions, and combat pollution and land degradation.
According to a copy of the Pakistani-Saudi green agreement seen by Arab News, its aim is to help the two nations “meet their aspirations to consolidate the basis of the joint work in the various fields of environmental protection and preservation and control of its pollution, so as to meet the needs of present and future generations, in order to achieve sustainable development in both countries.”
The two nations will exchange opinions, information, experiences, documents, studies and publications in the fields that fall within the framework of the MoU.
Aslam said the deal will include setting future targets for the use of clean, renewable energy, and the expansion of national parks and protected areas, with the employment of young people in a National Parks Service.
The agreement said the countries will, according to available resources, bear the financial costs of implementing their respective obligations mentioned in the MoU unless otherwise agreed.
“The duration of this MoU is five years, automatically renewable for similar periods unless one party notifies the other, in writing and through diplomatic channels, of its intention not to renew or terminate the MoU,” the draft said. “Such notice should be given at least six months before the date the MoU ends.”
During Khan’s Saudi visit, “the two sides will also exchange views on regional and international issues of mutual interest,” Pakistan’s Foreign office said in a statement. “A number of bilateral agreements / MoUs are expected to be signed during the visit.”
Khan will also meet the secretary-general of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, the secretary-general of the World Muslim League, and the imams of the Two Holy Mosques in Makkah and Madinah. Khan “will also interact with the Pakistani diaspora in Jeddah,” the Foreign Office said.
Pakistani Army Chief Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa is already in Riyadh. On Wednesday, he discussed defense cooperation with Lt. Gen. Fayyad bin Hamed Al-Ruwaili, the Saudi military chief of staff.
During the meeting with Al-Ruwaili, Bajwa emphasized the need to further enhance military cooperation between the two nations in the interests of regional peace and security.


Saudi Arabia’s deputy defense minister receives Pakistan army chief

Saudi Arabia’s deputy defense minister receives Pakistan army chief
Updated 07 May 2021

Saudi Arabia’s deputy defense minister receives Pakistan army chief

Saudi Arabia’s deputy defense minister receives Pakistan army chief

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s deputy defense minister, Prince Khalid bin Salman, received Pakistan’s Chief of the Army Staff, General Qamar Javed Bajwa.
Prince Khalid said in a Tweet, early on Friday, that the pair had discussed “defense relations and affirm our two countries’ goal to preserve regional peace and stability.”

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan will begin a three-day visit to the Kingdom on Friday.
Saudi Arabia and Pakistan are expected to sign a landmark climate deal during the visit, according to Pakistan’s climate minister.
In meetings with the Saudi leadership, Khan will cover all areas of bilateral cooperation including economics, trade, investment, environment, energy, job opportunities for the Pakistani workforce, and the welfare of the diaspora in the Kingdom.


Hundreds of volunteers serve worshippers at Makkah’s Grand Mosque as Ramadan nears end

Hundreds of volunteers serve worshippers at Makkah’s Grand Mosque as Ramadan nears end
Updated 07 May 2021

Hundreds of volunteers serve worshippers at Makkah’s Grand Mosque as Ramadan nears end

Hundreds of volunteers serve worshippers at Makkah’s Grand Mosque as Ramadan nears end

JEDDAH: The culture of volunteer work is an important part of Muslim society throughout the year but especially during Ramadan. This is a time of deep faith during which positive behavior and selfless acts are encouraged.

Nowhere is this more evident during the holy month than in the halls of the Grand Mosque in Makkah, where volunteers from the public and private sectors and charities work tirelessly to maintain it and serve pilgrims from around the world.

The General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques, represented by the General Administration for the Coordination of Voluntary Work, said it has been working to recruit these volunteers and provide them and staff at the mosque with the training they need to ensure that their work is carried out in accordance with all the precautions that are in place protect the health and safety of pilgrims.

It has made efforts to spread the culture of volunteer work, improve its effectiveness and increase volunteer opportunities by adopting the latest methods and best supportive practices. By the beginning of Ramadan, 132 volunteers were working at the mosque each day.

The presidency said that some of the most important volunteer activities include helping elderly and disabled people to move through the mosque, organizing prayer rooms and corridors, monitoring security cameras at the entrances, and ensuring that social distancing rules are followed.

The Saudi Red Crescent Authority has also stepped up its voluntary activities during Ramadan, and has deployed throughout the mosque medical and emergency teams equipped with the latest medical equipment and supplies.

The authority revealed that 500 of its volunteers are working at the mosque during Ramadan, and added that during the last 10 days of the holy month it aims to increase the number of hours of voluntary work. It also provides buses to transport volunteers from Jeddah and within Makkah to the Grand Mosque.