Saudi, South Korean Interior Ministers Discuss Boosting Security Cooperation

Saudi Minister of Interior Prince Abdulaziz bin Saud bin Naif bin Abdulaziz receives South Korean Minister of Interior and Safety Lee Sang-min in Riyadh on Monday. (SPA)
Saudi Minister of Interior Prince Abdulaziz bin Saud bin Naif bin Abdulaziz receives South Korean Minister of Interior and Safety Lee Sang-min in Riyadh on Monday. (SPA)
TT

Saudi, South Korean Interior Ministers Discuss Boosting Security Cooperation

Saudi Minister of Interior Prince Abdulaziz bin Saud bin Naif bin Abdulaziz receives South Korean Minister of Interior and Safety Lee Sang-min in Riyadh on Monday. (SPA)
Saudi Minister of Interior Prince Abdulaziz bin Saud bin Naif bin Abdulaziz receives South Korean Minister of Interior and Safety Lee Sang-min in Riyadh on Monday. (SPA)

Saudi Minister of Interior Prince Abdulaziz bin Saud bin Naif bin Abdulaziz received South Korean Minister of Interior and Safety Lee Sang-min in Riyadh on Monday.

The officials discussed ways to boost existing security cooperation between their ministries.

They also tackled a number of issues of common interest.



Saudi Arabia's KSrelief Sends Two Relief Ships for People in Need in Palestine, Sudan

KSrelief sent on Monday two relief ships from Jeddah Islamic Port for the Palestinian and Sudanese people. (SPA)
KSrelief sent on Monday two relief ships from Jeddah Islamic Port for the Palestinian and Sudanese people. (SPA)
TT

Saudi Arabia's KSrelief Sends Two Relief Ships for People in Need in Palestine, Sudan

KSrelief sent on Monday two relief ships from Jeddah Islamic Port for the Palestinian and Sudanese people. (SPA)
KSrelief sent on Monday two relief ships from Jeddah Islamic Port for the Palestinian and Sudanese people. (SPA)

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSrelief) sent on Monday two relief ships from Jeddah Islamic Port for the Palestinian and Sudanese people.

The eighth relief ship for Palestinians carries food baskets, shelter materials, generators and heavy equipment such as bulldozers, water tankers and forklifts, and will head to El-Arish Port in Egypt.

So far, eight ships and 50 planes have delivered over 6,500 tons of aid to Palestinians in Gaza Strip.

The 31st relief ship for the Sudanese people carries food, shelter and medical supplies, and will head to the port of Suakin.

Thirty-one ships and 13 planes have so far delivered over 14 tons of aid to the Sudanese people.

In a statement, KSrelief Supervisor General Dr. Abdullah Al Rabeeah lauded the generous support provided by the Saudi leadership to humanitarian work around the world.

Saudi Arabia has always extended support to the Palestinian and Sudanese people, and to various other countries and peoples, in an effort to alleviate the suffering of the most vulnerable groups wherever they are, he stressed.

The assistance is in keeping with Saudi Arabia's historic role in supporting people in need in times of crisis, he added.


GCC, MWL Condemn Israeli Attack on Tents of Displaced Palestinians in Rafah

 Palestinians put out a fire at the site of an Israeli strike on an area designated for displaced people, in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, May 27, 2024. (Reuters)
Palestinians put out a fire at the site of an Israeli strike on an area designated for displaced people, in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, May 27, 2024. (Reuters)
TT

GCC, MWL Condemn Israeli Attack on Tents of Displaced Palestinians in Rafah

 Palestinians put out a fire at the site of an Israeli strike on an area designated for displaced people, in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, May 27, 2024. (Reuters)
Palestinians put out a fire at the site of an Israeli strike on an area designated for displaced people, in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, May 27, 2024. (Reuters)

Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Jasem Mohamed Albudaiwi strongly condemned on Monday Israel for bombing a United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) affiliated displaced persons camp in Rafah.

Albudaiwi stressed that the ongoing attacks on Palestinian civilians in Gaza and Rafah are war crimes.

“These attacks demonstrate the Israeli forces' disregard for the United Nations (UN) and international humanitarian laws and treaties,” he added, calling on the international community “to take prompt and decisive action to secure an immediate ceasefire, halt further Israeli military operations, and ensure that those responsible are held accountable.”

He reiterated the GCC countries' unwavering support for the just Palestinian people and their commitment to protecting them from Israeli military oppression.

The Muslim World League (MWL) also strongly condemned the latest Israeli attack on Rafah.

In a statement issued by the Secretariat General, MWL Secretary General and chairman of the Association of Muslim Scholars Sheikh Dr Mohammed bin Abdulkarim Al-Issa slammed the ongoing Israeli violations of international and humanitarian resolutions, laws, and norms.

He called for “urgent intervention to halt these attacks and prevent the unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe that the Palestinian people are currently facing.”


Saudi Arabia Strongly Condemns Israeli Attack on Displaced Palestinians in Rafah 

Palestinians gather at the site of an Israeli strike on a camp for internally displaced people in Rafah on May 27, 2024, amid ongoing battles between Israel and the Palestinian Hamas group. (AFP)
Palestinians gather at the site of an Israeli strike on a camp for internally displaced people in Rafah on May 27, 2024, amid ongoing battles between Israel and the Palestinian Hamas group. (AFP)
TT

Saudi Arabia Strongly Condemns Israeli Attack on Displaced Palestinians in Rafah 

Palestinians gather at the site of an Israeli strike on a camp for internally displaced people in Rafah on May 27, 2024, amid ongoing battles between Israel and the Palestinian Hamas group. (AFP)
Palestinians gather at the site of an Israeli strike on a camp for internally displaced people in Rafah on May 27, 2024, amid ongoing battles between Israel and the Palestinian Hamas group. (AFP)

The Saudi Foreign Ministry strongly condemned on Monday the ongoing “massacres by Israeli forces and their continued targeting of innocent civilians in Gaza, the latest of which was the attack on displaced Palestinians” in northwestern Rafah.

It stressed the Kingdom’s “categorical rejection of the continued flagrant violations by Israeli forces of all international and humanitarian resolutions, laws and norms.”

It called on the international community to “intervene immediately to stop the massacres and prevent the unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe from deepening.”

Palestinian health and civil emergency service officials said on Sunday Israeli air strikes killed at least 35 Palestinians and wounded dozens in an area in Rafah designated for the displaced.


Saudi Hajj Ministry Targets Fraudulent Companies Globally

Undersecretary of Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Hajj and Umrah for Hajj Affairs Dr. Ayed Algwinm.
Undersecretary of Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Hajj and Umrah for Hajj Affairs Dr. Ayed Algwinm.
TT

Saudi Hajj Ministry Targets Fraudulent Companies Globally

Undersecretary of Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Hajj and Umrah for Hajj Affairs Dr. Ayed Algwinm.
Undersecretary of Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Hajj and Umrah for Hajj Affairs Dr. Ayed Algwinm.

Dr. Ayed Algwinm, Undersecretary of Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Hajj and Umrah for Hajj Affairs, described the fraud by fake Hajj companies as a “full-fledged crime” both at home and abroad.

He highlighted ongoing efforts with Pakistan, Egypt, Iraq, and other countries to tackle these Hajj-related scams, noting that authorities have already shut down many of these fraudulent operations.

Speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat, Algwinm detailed international efforts to track down fake companies, particularly in countries where these scams are common.

“We’ve been monitoring and taking action in these countries,” he said, noting that scammers know their victims can’t perform Hajj due to strict security measures in place in the Kingdom.

Domestically, Algwinm emphasized the national Hajj system’s readiness to fight these fraudulent practices.

“We are closely watching social media and have caught people trying to offer unauthorized Hajj services,” he affirmed.

Algwinm stressed the importance of using official channels for Hajj registration.

“We urge all prospective pilgrims to apply through the official Nusuk platform for domestic pilgrims, Hajj offices in Islamic countries, and the Nusuk Hajj platform for non-Islamic countries,” he said.

He welcomed those who have secured a spot for this year’s Hajj and warned that those without a permit face strict penalties, including fines up to SAR 10,000, deportation, and a ban on re-entry if caught trying to enter illegally.

Boosting services

Algwinm announced that regulations on service companies will be stricter for this year’s Hajj season. He emphasized zero tolerance for unauthorized entry into sacred sites, promising firm and deterrent measures.

Moreover, he expected more pilgrims to arrive in Saudi Arabia than last year and assured that the ministry and service providers are prepared to handle the increase.

Around 400 companies will be involved in providing services, transportation, and catering to ensure a smooth Hajj experience.

The private sector is essential in the Hajj system, asserted Algwinm.

He noted the involvement of 35 service companies, 63 transportation firms, and 300 catering providers, making the private sector a key partner in delivering Hajj services.

He added that the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah is focused on improving service quality by empowering the private sector.

“We've boosted service classifications to prevent fraud and ensure high standards,” he said, ensuring that pilgrims receive the services they were promised.

Monitoring companies

He underscored stronger regulations for companies during this year’s Hajj season.

He highlighted the compliance (Emtithal) initiative that details penalties for service providers who don’t follow plans during Hajj.

Two companies were permanently suspended from operating last year, according to Algwinm.

He stated that several companies were slapped with heavy fines for violations.

Additionally, the ministry compensated pilgrims who didn’t receive some services promised to them, refunding money to both domestic and international pilgrims.


Saudi King Receives Written Message from Senegalese President

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. SPA
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. SPA
TT

Saudi King Receives Written Message from Senegalese President

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. SPA
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. SPA

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud has received a written message from Senegalese President Bassirou Diomaye Faye on the relations between the two countries.
On behalf of Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah, Deputy Foreign Minister Eng. Waleed El-Khereiji received the message during a meeting with the Ambassador of Senegal to the Kingdom, Mamoudou Sall.
The meeting covered Saudi-Senegalese relations and ways to enhance them in all fields, in addition to other topics of mutual interest.


Saudi FM: Two-State Solution Basis for Peace, Security in the Region 

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah addresses the joint press conference in Brussels on Sunday. (SPA)
Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah addresses the joint press conference in Brussels on Sunday. (SPA)
TT

Saudi FM: Two-State Solution Basis for Peace, Security in the Region 

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah addresses the joint press conference in Brussels on Sunday. (SPA)
Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah addresses the joint press conference in Brussels on Sunday. (SPA)

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah stressed on Sunday that the two-state solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict would form the foundation for permanent peace and security in the region.

The FM, along with foreign ministers and representatives from European countries, was in Brussels to attend a meeting of the Ministerial Committee assigned by the Joint Arab-Islamic Extraordinary Summit on Developments in the Gaza Strip.

The meeting stressed the urgent need to end the Gaza conflict and take necessary steps toward implementing a two-state solution.

Prince Faisal co-chaired the meeting with his Norwegian counterpart, Espen Barth Eide, in cooperation with the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell. The meeting was a follow up to a previous one for the committee held in Riyadh on April 29.

Speaking at a press conference with his Norwegian counterpart and Borrell, Prince Faisal said Saudi Arabia focused during the Riyadh and Brussels meetings on keeping the two-state solution alive.

The international community appears to be reaching a consensus over the solution that guarantees the security and rights of the Palestinian people, he remarked.

Prince Faisal warned that the situation in the Gaza Strip has become “critical”, demanding an immediate ceasefire.

The international community is in agreement on the need to reach a ceasefire and the release of hostage, he went on to say.

“The humanitarian situation in Gaza continues to deteriorate rapidly and this is completely unacceptable,” he added.

Furthermore, Prince Faisal praised Norway, Spain and Ireland for recognizing the State of Palestine, noting that some other European countries are also considering such a move.

In addition, he stressed the importance of bolstering state institutions within the Palestinian Authority, which would demonstrate that the Palestinian state has the ability to rise up to its responsibilities in guaranteeing the security of its neighbors.

Prince Faisal said that should the international community uphold international law, including humanitarian laws, then that would send an important signal to Israel that it cannot act with impunity and cannot undermine the Palestine state forever.

Ministers and representatives from Algeria, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Denmark, Egypt, Germany, Indonesia, Ireland, Jordan, Latvia, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Palestine, Sweden, Switzerland, Türkiye, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) attended the Brussels meeting.

It emphasized its support for efforts aimed at achieving an immediate ceasefire, releasing detainees and hostages, and ending the war in Gaza.

It also underscored the importance of addressing all illegal unilateral actions and violations in the occupied Palestinian territories, including control over the Rafah crossing, as well as tackling the catastrophic humanitarian crisis.

Prince Faisal also attended in Brussels a ministerial-level meeting with Arab countries and international partners to support the Palestinian Authority.

Palestinian Prime Minister Dr. Mohammad Mustafa and representatives from the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the Office of the Quartet regarding Palestine presented a reform plan and assessed the deteriorating economic conditions and humanitarian situation in the Palestinian territories.

The meeting welcomed the reform plan, with Prince Faisal reiterating the Kingdom’s support for the Palestinian government. He emphasized the importance of removing all obstacles, including those imposed by Israel, and called for lifting the seizure of Palestinian funds and refraining from any measures that hinder the work of the Palestinian government.


Saudi Arabia Appoints Faisal al-Mujfel Ambassador to Syria

Saudi Arabia's new Ambassador to Syria Dr. Faisal Al-Mujfel. (SPA)
Saudi Arabia's new Ambassador to Syria Dr. Faisal Al-Mujfel. (SPA)
TT

Saudi Arabia Appoints Faisal al-Mujfel Ambassador to Syria

Saudi Arabia's new Ambassador to Syria Dr. Faisal Al-Mujfel. (SPA)
Saudi Arabia's new Ambassador to Syria Dr. Faisal Al-Mujfel. (SPA)

Saudi Arabia appointed a new ambassador to Syria on Sunday, reported the Saudi Press Agency.

Dr. Faisal Al-Mujfel will be the Kingdom's first envoy to Damascus since the closure of the Saudi embassy there in 2012 during the Syrian civil war.

Dr. Faisal expressed his gratitude to Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz and Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Crown Prince and Prime Minister, for entrusting him with this duty.

Saudi Arabia reopened its embassy in Syria earlier this year after the two countries cut diplomatic ties more than a decade ago.

Syria reopened its embassy in Riyadh last year and appointed a new ambassador in December.


Dar Tantora: A Sustainable Oasis Steeped in AlUla's Rich History

This innovative project is testament to AlUla's commitment to preserving its rich heritage while embracing a sustainable tourism future. (SPA)
This innovative project is testament to AlUla's commitment to preserving its rich heritage while embracing a sustainable tourism future. (SPA)
TT

Dar Tantora: A Sustainable Oasis Steeped in AlUla's Rich History

This innovative project is testament to AlUla's commitment to preserving its rich heritage while embracing a sustainable tourism future. (SPA)
This innovative project is testament to AlUla's commitment to preserving its rich heritage while embracing a sustainable tourism future. (SPA)

Dar Tantora, a name synonymous with the historic sundial that once graced its entrance, has unveiled its eco-friendly luxury hotel facilities, reported the Saudi Press Agency on Sunday.

This unique property, also known as "The House Hotel", boasts 30 guest rooms meticulously built using traditional AlUla construction methods. Skilled artisans employed time-honored tools and seamlessly blended them with modern engineering techniques for a truly immersive experience.

Stepping inside Dar Tantora is like stepping back in time. The corridors bathed in warm candlelight emanate serenity, while the restaurant, café, and health club seamlessly integrate in the traditional home lifestyle of AlUla old town.

Sustainability is at the heart of Dar Tantora's philosophy. The hotel utilizes specially designed irrigation and ventilation systems to minimize energy consumption and environmental impact. The hotel's design, echoing the changing seasons and temperature fluctuations, reflects a deep respect for the natural world.

This innovative project is testament to AlUla's commitment to preserving its rich heritage while embracing a sustainable tourism future.


WHO Praises Saudi Arabia's Healthcare Aid, Signs New Agreements with KSrelief

King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSrelief) Supervisor General Dr. Abdullah Al Rabeeah speaks at the panel in Geneva. (SPA)
King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSrelief) Supervisor General Dr. Abdullah Al Rabeeah speaks at the panel in Geneva. (SPA)
TT

WHO Praises Saudi Arabia's Healthcare Aid, Signs New Agreements with KSrelief

King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSrelief) Supervisor General Dr. Abdullah Al Rabeeah speaks at the panel in Geneva. (SPA)
King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSrelief) Supervisor General Dr. Abdullah Al Rabeeah speaks at the panel in Geneva. (SPA)

The World Health Organization (WHO) announced from Geneva on Saturday a new agreement with King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSrelief), which provides over $19 million in funding to WHO programs in three countries: Yemen ($9.5 million), Sudan ($5 million), and Syria ($4.75 million).

WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus expressed great appreciation for Saudi Arabia's generous support over the past five years. These contributions, he noted, have been instrumental in tackling malnutrition, cholera, and malaria, while also aiding in the rehabilitation of healthcare systems in crisis zones, and have had a positive impact on vulnerable populations.

The WHO applauded Saudi Arabia, with which it has a strong partnership, and highlighted the Kingdom's crucial role in alleviating health challenges across the globe, including its vital support to Sudan, Gaza Strip in Palestine, Yemen, Somalia, Ukraine, and Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh.

The organization also welcomed the continued support KSrelief lends it to address global health emergencies, and acknowledged Saudi Arabia's position as one of WHO's top contributors in recent years.

WHO Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean Dr. Hanan Balkhi emphasized the significant role these funds will play in the region, supporting vulnerable communities facing multiple emergencies.

Meanwhile, KSrelief Supervisor General Dr. Abdullah Al Rabeeah called for finding innovative ways to boost the partnership with the WHO to improve and coordinate response efforts, ensure that all resources are allocated efficiently, and enable communities to become more resilient and independent.

Speaking at a panel discussion, "From Crisis to Opportunity: Health in the Eastern Mediterranean Region", at the 77th World Health Assembly in Geneva, Al Rabeeah thanked the WHO on its efforts to address the humanitarian crises in the Eastern Mediterranean region, including conflicts, migration and economic instability.

He said the Saudi leadership made intensive and generous efforts to alleviate the suffering of millions of people in need in the region and around the world, particularly children, women and other vulnerable groups.

Total humanitarian assistance provided by Saudi Arabia to the WHO Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean exceeded $1.4 billion, he revealed.

Al Rabeeah said KSrelief provides comprehensive health treatment and support services in humanitarian emergencies.

KSrelief, he added, implemented various volunteer programs in the medical sector, as part of its relief and humanitarian work, including 298 projects worth over $46 million in the Eastern Mediterranean region.

Moreover, he urged all parties in conflict areas to ensure that relief aid providers are allowed to deliver aid in a safe and effective manner.

When aid delivery is prevented and attacks on humanitarian workers and hospital staff are allowed, those in need of the aid suffer even more. The situations in Gaza Strip and Sudan are clear example of this, he said.

Al Rabeeah said KSrelief works closely with its partners to overcome challenges and ensure the safe delivery of aid even under the most difficult circumstances.  

For instance, during the siege of Taiz, Yemen, the center used airdrops to deliver assistance and even resorted to camels to deliver medical supplies, oxygen cylinders and other urgent items to remote mountain locations where health services were either very limited or unavailable, he said.

In Gaza, the center succeeded in providing assistance despite the current challenges.

"Restricted access to Gaza has led to severe shortages of food, water, medical supplies and other much-needed items," he noted, urging that restrictions be addressed to save lives, especially those of children, women and the elderly.

Al Rabeeah called on the international community to take decisive action to protect health facilities and humanitarian workers, and all authorities to abide by international humanitarian law. He also called for involving healthcare workers in policy-making processes to ensure that their expertise and experience are used to shape effective healthcare strategies.

He emphasized the crucial role of international collaboration in ensuring that all people in need have access to humanitarian assistance and medical care.


First Flight of ‘Makkah Route Initiative’ Beneficiaries from Morocco Arrives in Kingdom

First Flight of ‘Makkah Route Initiative’ Beneficiaries from Morocco Arrives in Kingdom
TT

First Flight of ‘Makkah Route Initiative’ Beneficiaries from Morocco Arrives in Kingdom

First Flight of ‘Makkah Route Initiative’ Beneficiaries from Morocco Arrives in Kingdom

The first flight of beneficiaries from the “Makkah Route Initiative” from the Kingdom of Morocco arrived on Saturday at Prince Mohammad bin Abdulaziz International Airport in Madinah.
The flight came to the Kingdom through the initiative's terminal at Mohammed V International Airport.
The Makkah Route Initiative is one of the Ministry of Interior’s initiatives under the Pilgrim Experience Program, a part of Saudi Vision 2030, SPA reported.
The initiative aims to complete the procedures for pilgrims in their home countries, starting with the electronic issuance of visas and capturing biometric data, followed by completing passport procedures at the departure airport after verifying health requirements.
Additionally, it includes tagging and sorting luggage according to transportation and accommodation arrangements in the Kingdom.
Upon arrival, pilgrims are transported directly by buses to their accommodations in Makkah and Madinah via designated routes, while service agencies handle the delivery of their luggage to their residences.