Emir of Qatar to Embark on State Visit to France to Discuss Gaza, Lebanon

Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani meets with French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris in 2019. (Qatar’s Amiri Diwan)
Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani meets with French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris in 2019. (Qatar’s Amiri Diwan)
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Emir of Qatar to Embark on State Visit to France to Discuss Gaza, Lebanon

Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani meets with French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris in 2019. (Qatar’s Amiri Diwan)
Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani meets with French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris in 2019. (Qatar’s Amiri Diwan)

Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani will kick off on Tuesday a two-day state visit to France where he will meet with French President Emmanuel Macron.

In a statement on Monday, the Elysee palace said the visit will be an opportunity to deepen bilateral relations in defense, security, investment and the economy.

They will also seek to bolster cultural relations and deepen cooperation in development.

Sheikh Tamim is traveling to France at the head of a large ministerial and economic delegation.

The statement also hailed the consultations between France and Qatar over regional and international affairs.

This will be Sheikh Tamim’s first state visit to France since he ascended the throne in 2013.

Sources at the Elysee said the developments in Gaza and the political deadlock in Lebanon will be one of the main focuses of the talks between Qatari and French officials.

The sources added that Paris recognizes Doha’s role in providing humanitarian aid to Gaza, releasing hostages held by Hamas and the “Islamic Jihad” and reaching a ceasefire in the conflict.

French sources said Paris is therefore keen on bolstering its relations with Qatar.

In addition, the crisis in Lebanon will also feature during Sheikh Tamim’s visit as Qatar and France are members of the Quintet on Lebanon that also includes Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the United States.

The committee is helping Lebanon end the deadlock over the election of a new president, which is growing more pressing as tensions mount between Hezbollah and Israel along the southern border.

Observers in Paris have said France will urge Doha to continue to provide financial support to the Lebanese army, whose commander has visited Doha on a number of occasions and is understood to have good ties with its authorities.

France believes the army is a major player who can de-escalate the tensions and avert a full-scale war between Hezbollah and Israel.



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.


Iranian Pilgrims Return to Madinah After 9-Year Hiatus

Iranian Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Alireza Enayati during the reception of the first batch of Iranian pilgrims at Madinah’s airport (Iranian Embassy)
Iranian Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Alireza Enayati during the reception of the first batch of Iranian pilgrims at Madinah’s airport (Iranian Embassy)
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Iranian Pilgrims Return to Madinah After 9-Year Hiatus

Iranian Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Alireza Enayati during the reception of the first batch of Iranian pilgrims at Madinah’s airport (Iranian Embassy)
Iranian Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Alireza Enayati during the reception of the first batch of Iranian pilgrims at Madinah’s airport (Iranian Embassy)

The first batch of Iranian pilgrims arrived at the Prince Mohammed bin Abdulaziz International Airport in Madinah on Monday after a hiatus of 9 years. The Iranian Ambassador to Saudi Arabia hailed this as a positive step in Iranian-Saudi relations.
Alireza Enayati, Iran's Ambassador to Riyadh, affirmed that the restart of Umrah trips for Iranians came after an agreement between both nations following the restoration of relations in March 2023, under China's sponsorship.
Speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat, Enayati stated that the first batch of Iranian pilgrims arrived in Madinah after a farewell by Saudi Arabia’s ambassador in Tehran, Abdullah Al-Anazi.
Enayati mentioned that these trips will continue until the Hajj season, thanking Saudi officials for facilitating the entry process for Iranian pilgrims and expressing the intent to sustain this effort beyond Hajj.
The Iranian Ambassador had immediately vowed to strengthen ties with Saudi Arabia upon taking office.
Last December, both countries confirmed their commitment to an agreement reached in March 2023, with China’s support.
They’ve since reopened their embassies and agreed to cooperate more, especially in security and economics.
In November, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince met with Iran’s President on the sidelines of a summit in Riyadh. The Iranian president thanked Saudi Arabia for hosting the summit to support the Palestinians amidst current challenges.
Enayati welcomed the Iranian pilgrims’ arrival in Madinah as a positive step for Iranian-Saudi relations. The pilgrims, who hadn't visited in nine years, landed this Monday.
The Iranian diplomat mentioned earlier agreements to ease pilgrimage trips.

Meanwhile, IRNA reported that a group of Iranian pilgrims flew directly from Tehran to Madinah. Farewell ceremonies took place at the Imam Khomeini International Airport, attended by officials including the Saudi Ambassador to Tehran.


UAE Rejects Allegations of Destabilizing Sudan

Members of the Rapid Support Forces in Khartoum. Reuters file photo
Members of the Rapid Support Forces in Khartoum. Reuters file photo
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UAE Rejects Allegations of Destabilizing Sudan

Members of the Rapid Support Forces in Khartoum. Reuters file photo
Members of the Rapid Support Forces in Khartoum. Reuters file photo

In a letter addressed to the Security Council, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has categorical rejected the false allegations made by the Permanent Representative of Sudan, affirming that these claims are baseless.

“The UAE submitted a letter to the UNSC on April 21st, through which the country stressed that the dissemination of disinformation and false narratives after a year of conflict aims to deflect responsibility and undermine international efforts to address the humanitarian crisis in Sudan,” Lana Zaki Nusseibeh, Assistant Foreign Minister, said on Monday.

Nusseibeh affirmed the UAE’s categorical rejection of the false allegations made by the Permanent Representative of Sudan, affirming that these claims are baseless, according to the Emirati news agency, WAM.

The Sudan Tribune newspaper had earlier reported that Sudan's Permanent Mission to the UN has called on the Security Council to officially condemn the UAE and force it to immediately cease supporting the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) with weapons in their year-long war against the Sudanese army.

On March 29, Sudan filed an official complaint with the Security Council against the UAE, accusing it of planning to ignite the war and supporting the RSF with assistance from Chad.

In its letter to the Council, the UAE said it "remains committed to continuing to engage with all stakeholders to support any process that aims to set Sudan on a political path to reach a lasting settlement and to achieve a national consensus for forming a civilian-led government."


Oman’s Sultan in UAE to Strengthen Bilateral Relations, Cooperation

UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan receives Oman’s Sultan Haitham bin Tariq at the Presidential Airport in Abu Dhabi (Reuters)
UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan receives Oman’s Sultan Haitham bin Tariq at the Presidential Airport in Abu Dhabi (Reuters)
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Oman’s Sultan in UAE to Strengthen Bilateral Relations, Cooperation

UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan receives Oman’s Sultan Haitham bin Tariq at the Presidential Airport in Abu Dhabi (Reuters)
UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan receives Oman’s Sultan Haitham bin Tariq at the Presidential Airport in Abu Dhabi (Reuters)

Oman’s Sultan Haitham bin Tariq and UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan discussed on Monday strengthening bilateral relations and cooperation to serve mutual interests and meet the aspirations of their peoples for development and prosperity.
The Sultan of Oman has arrived in the UAE on a state visit. He was received by Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed at the Presidential Airport in Abu Dhabi.
The two leaders then headed to Qasr Al Watan, where they reviewed regional and international issues of common interest.
The two sides tackled relations between the two countries, mainly economic investments and trade areas, which have witnessed significant advancement in recent years.
They also addressed joint Gulf action in light of the challenges the region is witnessing and highlighted its importance in achieving the mutual interests of Gulf Cooperation Council countries and their peoples while bolstering regional security and stability.
At the meeting, the two leaders then discussed several regional and international issues of common interest, most notably the developments in the Middle East and the efforts to contain tensions and prevent escalation.
They addressed the need for self-restraint to spare the region from new crises that affect all and hinder cooperation and development for the benefit of its peoples.
“Relations between the UAE and Oman are historical and characterized by a unique social and cultural fabric distinguished by close family ties, good neighborliness, and effective cooperation and integration,” Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed said.
“I ask God Almighty to have mercy on the late Sheikh Zayed and the late Sultan Qaboos, who established an original approach in building strong fraternal relations fortified by goodwill and wisdom,” the Emirati President said.
He underscored his confidence that social cohesion between the UAE and Oman represents a firm foundation upon which the two countries can continue to build exemplary relations.
Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed noted that economic relations are an important and supportive path for bilateral cooperation and have witnessed continuous development over the years, culminating in various economic and strategic partnerships in many fields.
“The UAE and Oman maintain ambitions to continue exploring and developing economic opportunities for the benefit of the two countries and peoples,” he added.
The President then stressed that joint Gulf action will remain an impenetrable fortress in the face of regional and global developments and challenges.
He said the UAE believes in the principle of collective action and solidarity in a way that preserves the interests of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, enhances its regional and international role, meets the aspirations of its peoples for continued progress and prosperity, and supports regional and global peace and stability.
For his part, Sultan Haitham bin Tariq expressed his satisfaction with the constructive strategic partnership between Oman and the UAE, which represents a new and promising chapter for strategic investment projects and close cooperation in various fields.
He praised the role of both countries’ officials in achieving a shared vision of cooperation on the ground by beginning to implement joint projects in strategic sectors, especially in the field of renewable energy, and launching a railway project to connect the Sultanate of Oman to the UAE train network, in addition to strengthening electrical interconnectivity, among other initiatives.
During their meeting, the two leaders witnessed the signing of several memorandums of understanding and agreements which span a wide range of sectors, including investment, renewable energy, sustainability, railways, technology, and education.

 

 


Saudi, British Defense Ministers Discuss Military Escalation in the Region

Saudi Minister of Defense Prince Khalid bin Salman bin Abdulaziz. SPA
Saudi Minister of Defense Prince Khalid bin Salman bin Abdulaziz. SPA
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Saudi, British Defense Ministers Discuss Military Escalation in the Region

Saudi Minister of Defense Prince Khalid bin Salman bin Abdulaziz. SPA
Saudi Minister of Defense Prince Khalid bin Salman bin Abdulaziz. SPA

Saudi Minister of Defense Prince Khalid bin Salman bin Abdulaziz received a telephone call on Monday from British Secretary of State for Defense Grant Shapps.

The two officials reviewed strategic relations between the two countries and discussed areas of defense cooperation.

They also assessed the developments in military escalation in the region and the danger of its repercussions, and discussed efforts to contain the situation to achieve security and stability in the region and the world.


Saudi FM Discusses Gaza with Spanish, Polish Counterparts in Luxembourg

Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah meets with his Spanish counterpart Jose Manuel Albares in Luxembourg on Monday. (SPA)
Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah meets with his Spanish counterpart Jose Manuel Albares in Luxembourg on Monday. (SPA)
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Saudi FM Discusses Gaza with Spanish, Polish Counterparts in Luxembourg

Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah meets with his Spanish counterpart Jose Manuel Albares in Luxembourg on Monday. (SPA)
Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah meets with his Spanish counterpart Jose Manuel Albares in Luxembourg on Monday. (SPA)

Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah held talks in Luxembourg on Monday with his Spanish counterpart Jose Manuel Albares.

They discussed mutual relations between their countries and regional and international issues of common interest.

They also tackled the developments in the Gaza Strip and the efforts exerted to address the crisis there.

The officials met on the sidelines of the High-Level Forum on Security and Regional Cooperation between the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and the European Union (EU).

Prince Faisal also held talks with Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski.

They focused on ways to boost ties between their countries across different fields.

They also reviewed latest developments in regional and international arenas, with a particular focus on the crisis in the Gaza Strip and its surrounding areas.


KSrelief Supervisor General Meets with UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Yemen

Advisor at the Saudi Royal Court and Supervisor General of King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSrelief) Dr. Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Rabeeah meets with United Nations Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator in Yemen Julien Harneis in Riyadh on Monday.
Advisor at the Saudi Royal Court and Supervisor General of King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSrelief) Dr. Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Rabeeah meets with United Nations Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator in Yemen Julien Harneis in Riyadh on Monday.
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KSrelief Supervisor General Meets with UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Yemen

Advisor at the Saudi Royal Court and Supervisor General of King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSrelief) Dr. Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Rabeeah meets with United Nations Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator in Yemen Julien Harneis in Riyadh on Monday.
Advisor at the Saudi Royal Court and Supervisor General of King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSrelief) Dr. Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Rabeeah meets with United Nations Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator in Yemen Julien Harneis in Riyadh on Monday.

Advisor at the Saudi Royal Court and Supervisor General of King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSrelief) Dr. Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Rabeeah held talks in Riyadh on Monday with United Nations Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator in Yemen Julien Harneis.

The officials discussed issues of common interest related to aid and relief affairs and the latest humanitarian development in Yemen.

Harneis praised KSrelief’s efforts in helping the Yemeni people during their humanitarian crisis.