‘Restoration of Yemen govt a must to defeat Al-Qaeda’

Updated 03 April 2016

‘Restoration of Yemen govt a must to defeat Al-Qaeda’

RARIS: Brig. Gen. Ahmad Al-Assiri, spokesman of the Arab coalition forces in Operation Decisive Storm and adviser to Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, said during his visit to France that the cease-fire in Yemen will take effect on April 10.

He said Europe has downgraded the problem in Yemen to one about Al-Qaeda, which is “not right.” He said the organization fled Saudi Arabia to take shelter in Yemen, where there is no authority to oppose it. Any intention to defeat the terrorists requires strengthening Yemen's legitimate government.
He said terrorist groups grow where there is no stability or state, noting that Daesh controls places in Syria and Iraq because the two countries are currently weak, as is the case in Yemen. He said working on stabilizing Yemen will take time and will not succeed if imposed from outside. The Yemenis themselves should do this job through a capable state.
Al-Assiri cited the case of Afghanistan, which is still unstable because foreign powers have not yet succeeded after 11 years to secure stability and eliminate the Taliban.
He said the situation in Yemen has improved in comparison to last year, when the Yemeni president was imprisoned and planes bombed his palace. But today there is a political path supported by UN Envoy Ismail Oeld Cheikh and Security Council Resolution 2216.
He said that former President Ali Abdullah Saleh is “breaching the law,” which requires that the international community work on implementing the resolution to prosecute and try him.
Regarding Iranian interference in Yemen, Al-Assiri said that Iran has established a new model in the region through use of militias in Syria and Iraq, as exemplified by its use of Hezbollah in Lebanon. “The war is not a football game, but rather aims to build an internationally recognized state and government,” he said.
He said the cease-fire will take effect on April 10, and 80 percent of Yemeni territory is under the control of the legitimate government, while there are military operations that hit specific areas because the military objective is to achieve political solution and stability.
As for the Yemeni negotiations in Kuwait, he said: “Oeld Cheikh confirmed today that the militants will go to Kuwait, and if they agreed to Security Council Resolution 2216, this will be a step forward.” He said militants must provide a program for the implementation of the Security Council resolution, withdraw, hand in their weapons to the legitimate government and release all political prisoners.

Saudi Arabia will ease COVID-19 lockdown from Thursday

Updated 25 May 2020

Saudi Arabia will ease COVID-19 lockdown from Thursday

  • Health Minister Tawfiq Al-Rabiah said the easing will take place in phases
  • Al-Rabiah said the people of the Kingdom had shown a “high amount of responsibility"

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia will begin to ease its COVID-19 lockdown from Thursday.

Health Minister Tawfiq Al-Rabiah said the easing will be done in phases and will depend on reports on the spread of the virus. 

The first phase will begin with expanding capacity to serve "critical patients" and the second phase will include intensifying COVID-19 tests and early detection .

Speaking in a press conference on Monday, the Health Minister said the people of the Kingdom had shown a “high amount of responsibility in practicing social distancing.” 

"After five months since this pandemic have started, where the global health systems faced great difficulties in dealing with it, the society has become today more aware of this virus and implementing the measures of the social distancing, as it is a new experience for all of us," he said in remarks quoted by the Saudi Press Agency. 


READ MORE: Saudi crown prince says COVID-19 will pass

Saudi Arabia reports 9 new COVID-19 deaths


Rabiah said imposing the precautionary measures during an early phase of the pandemic had put the Kingdom in more control of the virus spread.

"We are proud of the Saudi experts in this field who are internationally recognized, and we rely on their experiences in dealing with that virus," he added.  

The minister said that people should continue taking precautionary measures while leaving their homes by using facemasks and hand gloves.

The Health Ministry recorded nine new fatalities and 2,235 new cases of coronavirus in the Kingdom on Monday. The new deaths have increased the virus-related toll in Saudi Arabia to 399 and the total number of confirmed cases to 74,795. 

It also said the number of recoveries has risen to 2,148, raising the total number of recovered cases 45,668.