UAE, Russian Presidents Discuss Strategic Partnership and Developments in Gaza

UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan receiving Russian President Vladimir Putin (WAM)
UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan receiving Russian President Vladimir Putin (WAM)
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UAE, Russian Presidents Discuss Strategic Partnership and Developments in Gaza

UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan receiving Russian President Vladimir Putin (WAM)
UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan receiving Russian President Vladimir Putin (WAM)

UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Russian President Vladimir Putin have discussed the bilateral ties between the UAE and Russia and explored prospects to enhance relations within the context of the strategic partnership.

Wednesday’s talks addressed various regional and international issues of mutual interest.

Sheikh Mohammed received Putin, who arrived on a state visit at Qasr al-Watan in Abu Dhabi.

The two leaders exchanged views on various issues of mutual interest, focusing on the "developments in Palestine, emphasizing the need for international action to reach a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, protect civilians, and ensure the safe, unimpeded, and sustained delivery of humanitarian aid."

Both sides underscored the importance of "working towards a clear horizon for a lasting and comprehensive peace in the region based on the two-state solution."

The meeting also addressed recent developments in Ukraine.

The Emirati President emphasized that the UAE is committed to resolving conflicts worldwide through diplomacy and dialogue, asserting that it comes within UAE's "established policy of promoting peace, cooperation, and stability regionally and globally to enhance international peace and security."

The meeting touched upon the ongoing UN Climate Change Conference (COP28) held at Expo City Dubai.

The Russian President hoped the conference would "yield outcomes that contribute to finding constructive solutions to climate challenges and enhancing international climate action for the benefit of all of humanity."

Sheikh Mohamed affirmed the "UAE's commitment to building bridges of cooperation with various countries to support initiatives that promote global stability and prosperity for all."

Putin commended the UAE's role at the international level, mainly through its membership in the UN Security Council, as well as its efforts to foster global stability, according to the official Emirates News Agency (WAM).



47th Saudi Relief Plane with Aid for Palestinians in Gaza Arrives in Egypt

The plane carried medical and shelter supplies to be transported to the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip. SPA
The plane carried medical and shelter supplies to be transported to the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip. SPA
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47th Saudi Relief Plane with Aid for Palestinians in Gaza Arrives in Egypt

The plane carried medical and shelter supplies to be transported to the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip. SPA
The plane carried medical and shelter supplies to be transported to the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip. SPA

The 47th Saudi relief plane, operated by the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSrelief) in coordination with the Ministry of Defense, arrived in Egypt carrying medical and shelter supplies to be transported to the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip.

The assistance is in keeping with Saudi Arabia's historic role in supporting the Palestinian people in times of crisis.


Saudi Arabia Implements Second Phase of Human Trafficking Protection Agreements

Hala bint Mazyad Al-Tuwaijri, President of the Saudi Human Rights Commission, interviewed by the editor-in-chief of Independent Arabia in a seminar on combating human trafficking (SPA)
Hala bint Mazyad Al-Tuwaijri, President of the Saudi Human Rights Commission, interviewed by the editor-in-chief of Independent Arabia in a seminar on combating human trafficking (SPA)
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Saudi Arabia Implements Second Phase of Human Trafficking Protection Agreements

Hala bint Mazyad Al-Tuwaijri, President of the Saudi Human Rights Commission, interviewed by the editor-in-chief of Independent Arabia in a seminar on combating human trafficking (SPA)
Hala bint Mazyad Al-Tuwaijri, President of the Saudi Human Rights Commission, interviewed by the editor-in-chief of Independent Arabia in a seminar on combating human trafficking (SPA)

Saudi Arabia has started putting into action the second phase agreements of its project to boost efforts in protecting victims of human trafficking.

This initiative is in partnership with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

The announcement came from Hala bint Mazyad Al-Tuwaijri, President of the Saudi Human Rights Commission and Chair of the Committee to Combat Trafficking in Persons, during a seminar in Riyadh.

The seminar, focused on enhancing cooperation in combating human trafficking, gathered local and international experts to discuss challenges and global best practices in fighting these crimes.

It’s part of Saudi Arabia’s efforts, with government and international organization participation, to find better ways to combat and prevent human trafficking.

The seminar looked at laws and institutions, both nationally and internationally, designed to fight human trafficking. It also discussed regional and global agreements that set standards for fighting these crimes.

The goal was to raise awareness about common patterns of trafficking, recent developments, best ways to protect against it, and how to learn from successful global efforts to combat it.

Speakers stressed the need to work together to fight human trafficking and find new ways beyond the usual methods. They talked about the importance of having better ways to identify trafficking and help victims quickly, while also protecting their dignity.

They pointed out that trafficking crosses borders, violates human rights, and takes away freedom and dignity.

They said it’s crucial to have policies that focus on human rights, treat victims equally, and provide them with the care and support they need to integrate back into society.

They also talked about the importance of addressing the reasons behind trafficking and fixing gaps that let traffickers escape punishment, leaving victims without justice.


Muslim World League Discusses Islamic Unity, Gaza and Sudan Wars, Islamophobia

The 46th session of the Supreme Council of the Muslim World League is chaired by Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia and Chairman of Council of ‎Senior ‎Scholars Sheikh Abdulaziz bin Abdullah Al-Sheikh. (Asharq Al-Awsat)
The 46th session of the Supreme Council of the Muslim World League is chaired by Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia and Chairman of Council of ‎Senior ‎Scholars Sheikh Abdulaziz bin Abdullah Al-Sheikh. (Asharq Al-Awsat)
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Muslim World League Discusses Islamic Unity, Gaza and Sudan Wars, Islamophobia

The 46th session of the Supreme Council of the Muslim World League is chaired by Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia and Chairman of Council of ‎Senior ‎Scholars Sheikh Abdulaziz bin Abdullah Al-Sheikh. (Asharq Al-Awsat)
The 46th session of the Supreme Council of the Muslim World League is chaired by Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia and Chairman of Council of ‎Senior ‎Scholars Sheikh Abdulaziz bin Abdullah Al-Sheikh. (Asharq Al-Awsat)

The 46th session of the Supreme Council of the Muslim World League (MWL) is examining seven urgent issues on its agenda, including the unity of the Islamic nation, Palestine, the Gaza war, the disruption of navigation in the Red Sea, in addition to the situation in Sudan, Islamophobia, and desecration of religious symbols.

The session, which began on Wednesday, is chaired by Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia and Chairman of Council of Senior Scholars Sheikh Abdulaziz bin Abdullah Al-Sheikh.

“The Kingdom has shouldered a great responsibility towards Muslims, being at the forefront of caring for their issues, tending to their affairs, seeking to address their problems, extending a helping hand and providing relief to them,” the Grand Mufti said.

“It has become our duty to stand with them, Muslim people, in their crises and sufferings and to defend them in regional and international forums,” he added.

The Grand Mufti highlighted Saudi Arabia’s efforts to mend rifts and resolve disputes among Muslims, while striving to bridge their differences and urging them to come together and achieve consensus and harmony.

“The Kingdom has established several bodies, councils, and institutions concerned with Muslim affairs, supporting their causes and resolving their crises,” he underlined.

Secretary-General of the MWL and Chairman of the Organization of Muslim Scholars Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulkarim Al-Issa praised the commendable efforts undertaken by the Supreme Council.

Those include important decisions such as updating the bylaws to align with the MWL’s status as an international organization.

President of Religious Affairs of the Grand Mosque and the Prophet’s Mosque, Sheikh Abdulrahman Al-Sudais, noted that the Supreme Council meeting has reflected the aspirations of the Islamic nation for peace and harmony to prevail throughout the world.

Al-Sudais also emphasized the need to enhance dialogue among monotheistic religions, civilizations, and cultures to serve the noble message of the true and tolerant Islam.

He stressed that the Kingdom has spared no effort in advocating for the issues of the Islamic world in all international forums, supporting awareness programs, and promoting the principles of moderation and balance.

In turn, Egypt’s Minister of Awqaf and President of the Egyptian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs Muhammad Mukhtar Gomaa Mabrouk, praised the role of the MWL and its Secretary-General in their efforts to achieve global and humanitarian peace.

President of Religious Affairs in Türkiye Ali Erbas expressed gratitude to the Kingdom and its leadership for hosting the meeting and for their dedication to Islam and Muslims.

The Supreme Council is the highest authority in the MWL and is responsible for approving all the plans adopted by the League’s General Secretariat. It consists of 65 distinguished Islamic figures representing Muslim peoples and minorities.


Saudi Arabia Establishes Center to Protect Whistleblowers, Witnesses

Saudi Attorney General Sheikh Saud bin Abdullah Al-Mujib (SPA)
Saudi Attorney General Sheikh Saud bin Abdullah Al-Mujib (SPA)
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Saudi Arabia Establishes Center to Protect Whistleblowers, Witnesses

Saudi Attorney General Sheikh Saud bin Abdullah Al-Mujib (SPA)
Saudi Attorney General Sheikh Saud bin Abdullah Al-Mujib (SPA)

Saudi Attorney General Sheikh Saud bin Abdullah Al-Mujib gave the green light on Wednesday to set up a center for protecting whistleblowers, witnesses, experts, and victims.
This move comes in implementation of Article Four of the Law for the Protection of Whistleblowers, Witnesses, Experts, and Victims.
The law, which was approved by the Council of Ministers on Feb. 13, aims at providing security to individuals who may come under threat for giving evidence in court cases.
Article Four specifies establishing a special program within the Public Prosecution to safeguard whistleblowers, witnesses, experts, and victims. It details the program's structure, management, tasks, authorities, and funding.
Sheikh Al-Mujib sees this as a significant step in providing legal protection for those involved in legal proceedings. He emphasized that this protection covers all necessary measures to safeguard these individuals and their relatives from harm.
He believes implementing such measures will encourage a culture of reporting and strengthen national responsibility.
The center aims to provide various forms of protection outlined in Article 14 of the system, including security, data privacy, relocation assistance, legal and psychological support, and financial aid.
The Public Prosecution stated it works closely with regulatory, investigative, and judicial bodies for cases under the system’s provisions. This involves taking necessary steps like protecting the identities and addresses of whistleblowers, witnesses, experts, and victims in documents to ensure their safety.
Speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat, Public Prosecution Spokesperson Mohannad Al-Majlid explained that this collaboration includes drafting regulations with relevant ministries and authorities.
Al-Majlid explained that the center will be based in Riyadh and emphasized that the protection system applies to everyone, whether they are citizens or residents, based on the jurisdiction of the authorities enforcing the system.
The center will take steps to ensure the physical safety, health, and social adjustment of those under protection. Their rights will be respected, with restrictions imposed only when necessary.
Individuals under protection can request help according to set procedures and conditions. The system also allows protection without consent if there's an immediate threat.
It imposes penalties, including up to three years in jail and fines up to SAR 5 million, for any actions that harm those under protection.


Saudi-American Parliamentary Friendship Committee Meets with US Congress Delegation

The Saudi-American Parliamentary Friendship Committee meets with a delegation of senior advisors and assistants to US Congress members at the Shura Council headquarters in Riyadh. (SPA)
The Saudi-American Parliamentary Friendship Committee meets with a delegation of senior advisors and assistants to US Congress members at the Shura Council headquarters in Riyadh. (SPA)
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Saudi-American Parliamentary Friendship Committee Meets with US Congress Delegation

The Saudi-American Parliamentary Friendship Committee meets with a delegation of senior advisors and assistants to US Congress members at the Shura Council headquarters in Riyadh. (SPA)
The Saudi-American Parliamentary Friendship Committee meets with a delegation of senior advisors and assistants to US Congress members at the Shura Council headquarters in Riyadh. (SPA)

The Saudi-American Parliamentary Friendship Committee, headed by Dr. Ibrahim bin Mahmoud Al-Nahas, met with a delegation of senior advisors and assistants to US Congress members at the Shura Council headquarters in Riyadh.

The meeting aimed to boost parliamentary relations between the two nations in order to promote their common interests. It also involved discussions on various subjects and matters of mutual concern, reported the Saudi Press Agency on Wednesday.

Senior officials from Saudi Arabia attended the meeting.

Earlier, Assistant Speaker of the Shura Council Dr. Hanan Al-Ahmadi met with the US delegation.

She briefed about the Shura Council, its mechanisms, specialized committees, legislative and oversight roles, and active membership in continental and international unions.

She also highlighted the significant development underway in the Kingdom across all sectors, at the level of laws and regulations, in line with the Saudi Vision 2030.

The meeting covered relations between the two countries and several issues of mutual interest, especially at the parliamentary level.


Saudi King Leaves Hospital After Routine Checkup

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz. (SPA)
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz. (SPA)
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Saudi King Leaves Hospital After Routine Checkup

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz. (SPA)
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz. (SPA)

The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, left King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center (KFSH&RC) in Jeddah on Wednesday after completing a routine medical checkup, the Royal Court said in a statement.

In an earlier statement, the Court had said that King Salman was admitted to the hospital for a routine checkup for a few hours.
 


Islamic Fiqh Council Condemns Abuse, Violations against Muslims

Senior clerics and scholars are seen at the Islamic Fiqh Council in Riyadh. (MWL)
Senior clerics and scholars are seen at the Islamic Fiqh Council in Riyadh. (MWL)
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Islamic Fiqh Council Condemns Abuse, Violations against Muslims

Senior clerics and scholars are seen at the Islamic Fiqh Council in Riyadh. (MWL)
Senior clerics and scholars are seen at the Islamic Fiqh Council in Riyadh. (MWL)

The Islamic Fiqh Council condemned on Tuesday abuse and violations against Muslims.

The 23rd edition of the Council, which is affiliated with the Muslim World League (MWL), convened in the Saudi capital Riyadh for three days of meetings that tackled latest developments and emerging issues.

The event brought together senior clerics and scholars from across the Islamic world and non-Muslim countries.

In its concluding statement, the Council condemned the abuses against Muslims and their sanctities that it viewed as a fight against Islam.

It also underscored the right to woman to an education. It explained that Islam is the religion of education and civilization.

God Almighty made it a duty to all Muslims to earn an education within the means at their disposal and according to their needs as individuals and the need of their societies, and this includes men and women, it went on to say.

It recommended that Muslims across the globe empower women to earn an education and not to deprive them from it so that they can play their role in service of their societies and nations.

In addition, it called on non-Muslim countries to recognize Islamic occasions, namely Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha, to allow Muslims to enjoy these days as holidays. Such a step would reflect positively on society, demonstrate equality between religions and consolidate coexistence and social cohesion.

The Council also focused on official charity electronic platforms in Saudi Arabia, urging Saudi citizens and residents of the Kingdom to pay their Zakat through these trusted government-recognized portals.

On homosexuality, the council said it was following with “deep pain” campaigns in some countries that “advocate the legalization of sexual aberrations and attempts to impose these views on peoples and nations under the pretext of personal freedoms.”

It condemned such campaigns “that aim to promote this heinous crime that violates human and moral values and the teachings of all prophets.”

“It is the duty of countries to confront and combat this phenomenon and stand against its approval no matter the justifications for it,” it declared.

“It called on officials at educational institutions and various media outlets and platforms to carry out their duties in protecting the youth against these dangerous perversions,” it added.

Secretary-General of the MWL and Vice President of the Islamic Fiqh Council Dr. Mohammed Al-Issa expressed his great gratitude to the Muslim scholars, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz and Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Crown Prince and Prime Minister of Saudi Arabia, for their efforts in service of Muslims and Islam.

He also hailed the efforts of various grand muftis, senior scholars and researchers in ensuring the success of the latest edition of the Council.

The Islamic Fiqh Council is focused on clarifying legal rulings faced by Muslims. It aims to highlight the creativity of Islamic jurisprudence, disseminate Islamic jurisprudential heritage, and clarify its terminology in modern language.


Emir of Kuwait Visits Jordan, Leaders Stress Common Stances on Major Issues

Jordan's King Abdullah II welcomes Kuwait's Emir Sheikh Mishal al-Ahmad al-Jaber Al-Sabah upon his arrival at Marka military airport, in Amman, Jordan April 23, 2024. (Reuters)
Jordan's King Abdullah II welcomes Kuwait's Emir Sheikh Mishal al-Ahmad al-Jaber Al-Sabah upon his arrival at Marka military airport, in Amman, Jordan April 23, 2024. (Reuters)
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Emir of Kuwait Visits Jordan, Leaders Stress Common Stances on Major Issues

Jordan's King Abdullah II welcomes Kuwait's Emir Sheikh Mishal al-Ahmad al-Jaber Al-Sabah upon his arrival at Marka military airport, in Amman, Jordan April 23, 2024. (Reuters)
Jordan's King Abdullah II welcomes Kuwait's Emir Sheikh Mishal al-Ahmad al-Jaber Al-Sabah upon his arrival at Marka military airport, in Amman, Jordan April 23, 2024. (Reuters)

Jordan’s King Abdullah II warned on Tuesday of the danger of the latest escalation in the region that may lead it towards instability and insecurity.

He made his remarks during official talks with Emir of Kuwait Sheikh Mishal al-Ahmad al-Jaber Al-Sabah, who kicked off on Tuesday an official two-day visit to Jordan.

King Abdullah reiterated the need to intensify efforts to reach an immediate and lasting ceasefire in Gaza and to unify Arab efforts to address the catastrophic humanitarian situation in the Palestinian enclave.

Moreover, he underscored the need “to reach a political horizon to the Palestinian cause based on the two-state solution that ensures the Palestinian brothers obtain their full legitimate rights and the establishment of their independent state based on the June 4, 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.”

He praised the wise positions of Kuwait towards Arab causes, starting with the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and in supporting the Palestinian people, and its constant efforts in pursuit of regional security and stability.

Jordanian Minister of Government Communications and government spokesperson Muhannad Mubaidin noted that Sheikh Mishal’s visit coincides with the launch of Jordanian and Arab efforts to reach a ceasefire in Gaza and ensure the delivery of aid to the enclave and West Bank.

In exclusive remarks to Asharq Al-Awsat, he stressed that Sheikh Mishal’s visit to Jordan, his first to the country, underscores the partnership between Kuwait and Amman and the bilateral cooperation in various regional and Arab issues, leading with their demand for an immediate ceasefire in the war Israel is waging on Gaza.

Jordan and Kuwait share common stances on several issues, he went on to say, adding that their relations have deepened in recent years.

Kuwait supports Jordan’s economy in its capacity as the greatest investor in vital sectors in the kingdom, he stressed.

Kuwait’s investments in Jordan are estimated to be worth around 20 billion dollars dinars.


Saudi Arabia Underlines its Firm Stance on Achieving Regional, Int’l Peace

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud chairs the cabinet meeting in Jeddah. (SPA)
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud chairs the cabinet meeting in Jeddah. (SPA)
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Saudi Arabia Underlines its Firm Stance on Achieving Regional, Int’l Peace

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud chairs the cabinet meeting in Jeddah. (SPA)
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud chairs the cabinet meeting in Jeddah. (SPA)

The Saudi government underscored on Tuesday its firm stance on achieving security and stability in the region and world, reiterating its call on the international community to assume its responsibilities towards stopping Israeli violations against the people of Gaza.

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud chaired the cabinet meeting that was held in Jeddah.

The cabinet also renewed the Kingdom’s stance on the right of the Palestinian people to determine their own fate and establish their own independent state according to the 1967 borders with east Jerusalem as its capital.

The ministers reviewed the contacts and talks held between the Kingdom and several friendly countries over the past week that focused on bilateral relations, regional affairs and global developments.

Minister of Media Salman Al-Dossary said the cabinet praised the outcome of the second ministerial meeting of the GCC-Central Asia Strategic Dialogue. It stressed the Kingdom's commitment to fostering stronger communication channels with various nations around the world, and to promoting coordination, including within multilateral frameworks.

The cabinet welcomed the participants in the upcoming special meeting of the World Economic Forum taking place in Riyadh on April 28 and 29, which underscores the Kingdom's commitment to strengthening international cooperation and addressing global challenges.

The cabinet also welcomed the World Bank's decision to designate Saudi Arabia as a knowledge center for disseminating global economic reform practices, a recognition that reflects the Kingdom's significant progress in global competitiveness indicators.

Moreover, the cabinet highlighted the achievement of five Saudi cities that secured high rankings in the 2024 International Institute for Management Development's Smart Cities Index. It said the accomplishment is a testimony to the ongoing development and prosperity the Kingdom is experiencing in various sectors.


Saudi Foreign Minister Participates in Opening of EU-GCC Regional Security Meeting

The Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs participated on Monday in the opening of the High-Level Forum on Regional Security and Cooperation between the EU and the GCC in Luxembourg. SPA
The Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs participated on Monday in the opening of the High-Level Forum on Regional Security and Cooperation between the EU and the GCC in Luxembourg. SPA
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Saudi Foreign Minister Participates in Opening of EU-GCC Regional Security Meeting

The Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs participated on Monday in the opening of the High-Level Forum on Regional Security and Cooperation between the EU and the GCC in Luxembourg. SPA
The Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs participated on Monday in the opening of the High-Level Forum on Regional Security and Cooperation between the EU and the GCC in Luxembourg. SPA

Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah participated on Monday in the opening of the High-Level Forum on Regional Security and Cooperation between the European Union (EU) and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in Luxembourg.

The forum discussed security and strategic cooperation between the GCC and EU countries as well as ways to enhance joint diplomatic efforts to promote peace, security, and sustainable development.

Additionally, participants discussed the situation in Gaza and its surrounding areas, underlining the importance of achieving an immediate ceasefire and providing increased humanitarian and relief assistance to the Palestinian people.

The forum also highlighted the necessity of resuming the peace process to implement the two-state solution and establish stability and security in the region.

Saudi Ambassador to the EU Haifa Al-Jedea and Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs advisor Manal Radwan took part in the meeting.