King Salman to Citizens: Doors, Ears Open

King Salman was briefed on the New Taif projects by Advisor to Governor of Makkah Region Dr. Saad Mohammad Mareq. (SPA)
King Salman was briefed on the New Taif projects by Advisor to Governor of Makkah Region Dr. Saad Mohammad Mareq. (SPA)
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King Salman to Citizens: Doors, Ears Open

King Salman was briefed on the New Taif projects by Advisor to Governor of Makkah Region Dr. Saad Mohammad Mareq. (SPA)
King Salman was briefed on the New Taif projects by Advisor to Governor of Makkah Region Dr. Saad Mohammad Mareq. (SPA)

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz launched the new projects of the New Taif at Salam Palace on Sunday by saying that “Our doors, our phones, and our ears are open for every citizen.”

“With the blessing of Allah, we endorse in principle and in accordance to the capacities available and accredited fiscal funds, praying Almighty to grace these projects with munificence and good returns,” he said.

The King was briefed on the New Taif projects by Advisor to Governor of Makkah Region Dr. Saad Mohammad Mareq who pointed out that the New Taif is located north-east of the current city of Taif on an area of about 1250 square kilometers and its total costs are estimated at about SR 11 billion.

The ceremony was attended by Prince Khaled Al-Faisal, Adviser to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, Governor of Makkah Region and Chairman of Taif Development Supreme Committee; Prince Sultan bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, President of the National Commission for Tourism and National Heritage, Prince Dr. Turki bin Saud bin Mohammed, President of King Abdul Aziz City for Science and Technology (KACST); Prince Abdulaziz bin Saud bin Naif bin Abdulaziz, Minister of Interior; Prince Abdullah bin Bandar bin Abdulaziz, Deputy Governor of Makkah Region, and a number of ministers.

The General Authority for Civil Aviation has signed a contract to develop and operate the new Taif International Airport with a group of companies including Asiad, the Contractors Association Co. and Munich Airports Co.

The airport will be built on a 48 million square meter site 40 km from Taif and 117 km from Makkah and is expected to be operational by 2020. The touristic project will create 4,400 jobs and is expected to attract more than 260,000 visitors a year.

A consortium of global companies has been selected to design a business park called the Oasis of Technology, a joint venture between King Abdul Aziz City for Science and Technology and the Morganti Group. The 35 million square meter site will accommodate projects to assemble and manufacture Antonov aircraft, make solar panels and develop solar energy.

A new Industrial City, the first in Taif Province, will be built on an 11 million square meter site 55km from the city center and 29km from the airport. The first phase will include light, medium and heavy industries, and a vocational training center.

The new university will be built at Sysid National Park. It is composed of 16 separate projects over an area of 16.344.000 square meters.



Saudi Crown Prince Congratulates Shehbaz Sharif on Taking Constitutional Oath as PM of Pakistan

Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, Crown Prince and Prime Minister of Saudi Arabia. (SPA)
Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, Crown Prince and Prime Minister of Saudi Arabia. (SPA)
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Saudi Crown Prince Congratulates Shehbaz Sharif on Taking Constitutional Oath as PM of Pakistan

Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, Crown Prince and Prime Minister of Saudi Arabia. (SPA)
Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, Crown Prince and Prime Minister of Saudi Arabia. (SPA)

Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, Crown Prince and Prime Minister of Saudi Arabia, sent on Monday a cable of congratulations to Prime Minister of Pakistan Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif on taking the constitutional oath.

The Crown Prince wished Sharif success and the people of Pakistan steady progress and prosperity.


Saudi FM Meets with President of France-Gulf States Inter-Parliamentary Friendship Group

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah meets with Vice-President of the Foreign Affairs, Defense and Armed Forces Committee and the President of the France-Gulf States Inter-Parliamentary Friendship Group of the French Senate Olivier Cadic in Riyadh on Monday. (SPA)
Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah meets with Vice-President of the Foreign Affairs, Defense and Armed Forces Committee and the President of the France-Gulf States Inter-Parliamentary Friendship Group of the French Senate Olivier Cadic in Riyadh on Monday. (SPA)
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Saudi FM Meets with President of France-Gulf States Inter-Parliamentary Friendship Group

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah meets with Vice-President of the Foreign Affairs, Defense and Armed Forces Committee and the President of the France-Gulf States Inter-Parliamentary Friendship Group of the French Senate Olivier Cadic in Riyadh on Monday. (SPA)
Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah meets with Vice-President of the Foreign Affairs, Defense and Armed Forces Committee and the President of the France-Gulf States Inter-Parliamentary Friendship Group of the French Senate Olivier Cadic in Riyadh on Monday. (SPA)

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah held talks in Riyadh on Monday with Vice-President of the Foreign Affairs, Defense and Armed Forces Committee and the President of the France-Gulf States Inter-Parliamentary Friendship Group of the French Senate Olivier Cadic.

The officials reviewed the relations and cooperation between Saudi Arabia and France in various fields.

They also discussed international developments and efforts exerted towards them.


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)
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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.


GCC Ministerial Council Demands Int’l Protection for Palestinian People

The GCC foreign ministers meet in Riyadh on Sunday. (SPA)
The GCC foreign ministers meet in Riyadh on Sunday. (SPA)
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GCC Ministerial Council Demands Int’l Protection for Palestinian People

The GCC foreign ministers meet in Riyadh on Sunday. (SPA)
The GCC foreign ministers meet in Riyadh on Sunday. (SPA)

The foreign ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) demanded on Sunday an immediate ceasefire and end to Israeli military operations in the Gaza Strip.

Speaking at the 159th GCC Ministerial Council in Riyadh on Sunday, the FMs also called for ensuring the delivery of aid to the Palestinian people, calling for providing international protection for them.

The closing statement of the meeting urged the international community to take a decisive stance to implement a ceasefire and protect civilians.

The necessary measures must be taken in line with international law to counter the Israeli government’s practices and collective punishment against the people of Gaza.

The ministers hailed efforts exerted by several countries and organizations to stop the Israeli assault, while expressing their disappointment with the veto of the ceasefire draft proposal that was submitted at the United Nations Security Council. The draft was submitted by Algeria on behalf of Arab countries.

The FMs rejected any Israeli justifications to continue the attack on Gaza, condemning the ongoing targeting of civilians and civilian infrastructure, such as camps and hospitals.

Moreover, they underscored their support for the Palestinian people in remaining on their land, rejecting Israeli measures aimed at the forced displacement of the residents of Gaza.

The statement praised the outcomes of the consultative meeting hosted by Saudi Arabia in February to discuss the war on Gaza.

It also expressed support for Qatar and Egypt’s efforts to reach a humanitarian ceasefire in the enclave.

It hoped these efforts would succeed so that the siege could be lifted off Gaza. Furthermore, it urged the international community to assume its responsibility towards the Palestinian-Israeli conflict without double standards.

The FMs praised South Africa for filing a genocide complaint against Israel before the International Court of Justice, welcoming the preliminary ruling that held Israeli legally responsible before the international community for its violations against innocent civilians.

They condemned the statements made by extremist Israeli ministers about the forced displacement of the Palestinian people from Gaza and their support for the re-occupation of the enclave.

They reiterated that the Palestinian cause and ending the Israeli occupation remain at the heart of Arab affairs. They renewed the GCC’s support for the establishment of an independent Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders with east Jerusalem as its capital.


Saudi FM Takes Part in GCC Ministerial Meetings Related to Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Japan

Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah takes part in the GCC and Egypt ministerial meeting in Riyadh. (SPA)
Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah takes part in the GCC and Egypt ministerial meeting in Riyadh. (SPA)
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Saudi FM Takes Part in GCC Ministerial Meetings Related to Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Japan

Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah takes part in the GCC and Egypt ministerial meeting in Riyadh. (SPA)
Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah takes part in the GCC and Egypt ministerial meeting in Riyadh. (SPA)

Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah participated on Sunday in the joint Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states and Egypt ministerial meeting, held at the GCC General Secretariat in Riyadh.

The meeting, chaired by Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the State of Qatar Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, president of the current session of the Ministerial Council, reviewed the strong cooperation between the GCC and Egypt, and ways to enhance and develop them.

Participants discussed the serious developments in Gaza Strip and the city of Rafah, the Israeli military escalation against unarmed civilians, and the importance of an immediate ceasefire to ensure the return of security and stability to Gaza Strip.

They tackled joint action to create conditions to arrive at a comprehensive and just peace in a way that preserves the rights of the Palestinian people and establishes a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital.

The GCC also held similar separate ministerial meetings related to Jordan, Morocco and Japan.


Saudi King, Crown Prince Congratulate Bulgarian President on National Day

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz (AAWSAT)
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz (AAWSAT)
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Saudi King, Crown Prince Congratulate Bulgarian President on National Day

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz (AAWSAT)
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz (AAWSAT)

The Saudi leadership sent cables of congratulations to Bulgarian President Rumen Radev on the occasion of his country’s National Day, SPA said on Sunday.
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud sent a cable wishing Radev continued good health and happiness, and the government and people of Bulgaria steady progress and prosperity.
Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, Crown Prince and Prime Minister, congratulated Radev on the occasion sending well-wishes to him, to the government and people of Bulgaria.


Kuwait to Hold Parliamentary Elections on April 4

 Kuwaiti military helicopters perform during an airshow to mark country's 63rd Independence Day celebrations in Kuwait City on February 26, 2024. (AFP)
Kuwaiti military helicopters perform during an airshow to mark country's 63rd Independence Day celebrations in Kuwait City on February 26, 2024. (AFP)
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Kuwait to Hold Parliamentary Elections on April 4

 Kuwaiti military helicopters perform during an airshow to mark country's 63rd Independence Day celebrations in Kuwait City on February 26, 2024. (AFP)
Kuwaiti military helicopters perform during an airshow to mark country's 63rd Independence Day celebrations in Kuwait City on February 26, 2024. (AFP)

Kuwait said Saturday it will hold elections for its national assembly on April 4.

The state-run KUNA news agency made the announcement, citing a decree published by the oil-rich country's official gazette.

In February, Kuwait’s emir dissolved parliament.

Domestic political disputes have been gripping Kuwait for years. That has left it with little in its coffers to pay bloated public sector salaries, despite generating immense wealth from its oil reserves.

Parliament has been repeatedly dissolved after failing to move forward, with Kuwait’s Constitutional Court in 2023 annulling a 2022 decree overturning another such annulment. The country’s late emir then annulled that parliament again and held an election for a new parliament, which was annulled with the February decision.


Kuwait Bans Unauthorized Gatherings

Kuwait flag
Kuwait flag
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Kuwait Bans Unauthorized Gatherings

Kuwait flag
Kuwait flag

Kuwait's Interior Ministry said it banned all "unauthorized assembly" after calls voiced by Kuwaiti activists to stage sit-ins on Saturday in support of Gaza.
The Ministry said the decision came upon the directives of Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Defense and Acting Minister of Interior Fahd al-Yousef al-Sabah.
The Minister banned all forms of unauthorized gatherings and marches except in accordance with the established laws and regulations.
The Ministry also banned publishing any unauthorized calls for gatherings on social media platforms.
On the other hand, al-Sabah announced a study of plans that will be taken soon to combat and prosecute fake accounts on social media that spread fake news threatening the country’s security .


GCC Secretary-General Welcomes Statement of Palestinian Factions

Secretary-General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Jasem Mohammed Albudaiwi
Secretary-General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Jasem Mohammed Albudaiwi
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GCC Secretary-General Welcomes Statement of Palestinian Factions

Secretary-General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Jasem Mohammed Albudaiwi
Secretary-General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Jasem Mohammed Albudaiwi

Secretary-General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Jasem Mohammed Albudaiwi welcomed the statement issued by the Palestinian factions that met in Moscow.

"The meeting statement outcome is a positive start to beginning unified political action, conform with the aspiration of the Palestinian forces and factions participating in the meeting, to form a government that includes all segments of the Palestinian people ... in light of the critical circumstances," Albudaiwi said.

He stressed that the GCC countries support all results and solutions that serve the Palestinian cause and guarantee the national rights of the Palestinian people.


Kuwait Top Court Criminalizes Lebanon’s Hezbollah

Palace of Justice in Kuwait (KUNA)
Palace of Justice in Kuwait (KUNA)
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Kuwait Top Court Criminalizes Lebanon’s Hezbollah

Palace of Justice in Kuwait (KUNA)
Palace of Justice in Kuwait (KUNA)

Kuwait’s Court of Cassation has labeled Lebanon’s Hezbollah as a “forbidden and criminal group” under national law.

The court accused Hezbollah of planning to destabilize Kuwait to establish an Iranian-style republic there.

This decision clarifies the legal status of Hezbollah, which individuals accused of spying for the group had disputed.

The final decision of the Court of Cassation came in the context of convicting three Kuwaiti citizens of espionage for Hezbollah, overturning their acquittal.

However, the court opted not to pronounce a punishment, instead obligating them to “good conduct,” a legal term indicating they must refrain from involvement in similar cases.

Nevertheless, the court clarified that joining Hezbollah and cooperating with it constitutes a “crime punishable by law.”

The case, involving the three Kuwaitis and a Lebanese national, revolves around accusations brought forth by the State Security apparatus regarding their involvement in funding Hezbollah-affiliated entities, sending funds and donations to them.

The case was initially heard in the Court of Appeals late in 2023, where three defendants were acquitted.

However, following appeals against the appellate court’s verdict, the case was reheard by the Court of Cassation, which on Thursday issued a final ruling overturning the acquittal of the Lebanese and Kuwaitis, convicting them again.