Jubeir: Hezbollah is ‘First-class Terrorist Organization’

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir and his French counterpart. Asharq Al-Awsat
Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir and his French counterpart. Asharq Al-Awsat
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Jubeir: Hezbollah is ‘First-class Terrorist Organization’

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir and his French counterpart. Asharq Al-Awsat
Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir and his French counterpart. Asharq Al-Awsat

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir described Hezbollah on Thursday as a "first-class terrorist organization" that should lay down its arms and respect Lebanon's sovereignty.

"Hezbollah has kidnapped the Lebanese system," Jubeir told a joint news conference in Riyadh with French Foreign Minister Jean Yves Le Drian.

He accused Hezbollah of destabilising the region, and said "consultations and coordination between peace-loving countries and Lebanon-loving countries are underway to try to find a way that would restore sovereignty to Lebanon and reduce the negative action which Hezbollah is conducting in Lebanon.”

He said discussions with his French counterpart focused on several issues, mainly Iran’s meddling and combatting terrorism.

Jubeir also said accusations by Lebanese President Michel Aoun that resigned Prime Minister Saad Hariri is detained are "rejected and baseless."

He stressed it is up to Hariri to decide when to return home.

“Hariri lives in the kingdom by his own will and he resigned; regarding his return to Lebanon, it is up to him and his assessment to the security situation (in Lebanon)", Jubeir told the press conference.

As for Le Drian, he expressed concern over Iran’s meddling, saying he discussed with the Saudi FM Tehran’s interference in the region.

He also said discussions focused on the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers.



21st Saudi Relief Plane Arrives in Poland to Deliver Aid to Ukrainians

The shipment includes 43 tons of relief aid, including electric appliances. SPA
The shipment includes 43 tons of relief aid, including electric appliances. SPA
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21st Saudi Relief Plane Arrives in Poland to Deliver Aid to Ukrainians

The shipment includes 43 tons of relief aid, including electric appliances. SPA
The shipment includes 43 tons of relief aid, including electric appliances. SPA

Saudi Arabia has delivered its 21st shipment of relief aid to Ukraine.

The plane, operated by the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSrelief), landed on Tuesday in Poland near the Ukrainian border. The shipment includes 43 tons of relief aid, including electric appliances.

The aid reflects the Kingdom’s unwavering commitment to supporting needy people and those affected by crises and difficulties worldwide.


Saudi Crown Prince Discusses Regional Developments with UAE, Qatari Leaders

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud. SPA
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud. SPA
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Saudi Crown Prince Discusses Regional Developments with UAE, Qatari Leaders

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud. SPA
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud. SPA

Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, Saudi Crown Prince and Prime Minister, received a telephone call on Tuesday from UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

The two sides discussed the repercussions of the military escalation in the region, the threat it may pose to its security and stability, and the need to act to prevent the situation from worsening.

The Crown Prince also received a phone call from Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.

During the call, they discussed the developments in Gaza, the recent military escalation and its repercussions on the region’s stability, and the importance of making all efforts to spare the region the dangers of escalation.


OIC Secretary General Offers Condolences to Oman over Flood Victims

Flooding is seen in Oman. (ONA)
Flooding is seen in Oman. (ONA)
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OIC Secretary General Offers Condolences to Oman over Flood Victims

Flooding is seen in Oman. (ONA)
Flooding is seen in Oman. (ONA)

Secretary-General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Hissein Taha offered on Tuesday his condolences to the Sultanate of Oman for the tragic loss of life and injuries sustained by dozens of citizens due to the devastating floods that struck the state of Al-Mudhaibi.

Taha offered his sympathy to the families of the victims and wished a speedy recovery to the injured.

He emphasized the OIC's solidarity with the government and people of Oman.

Heavy rain has caused deadly floods and left dozens stranded in Oman.

A child's body was recovered on Tuesday, bringing the death toll to 18 with two people missing, emergency authorities told the official Oman News Agency.

Nine schoolchildren and three adults died when their vehicles were swept away in flash floods, the news agency reported on Sunday.


Pakistani President Receives Saudi Foreign Minister, High-Level Delegation in Islamabad

President of Pakistan Asif Ali Zardari receives Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah and his accompanying delegation in Islamabad. (SPA)
President of Pakistan Asif Ali Zardari receives Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah and his accompanying delegation in Islamabad. (SPA)
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Pakistani President Receives Saudi Foreign Minister, High-Level Delegation in Islamabad

President of Pakistan Asif Ali Zardari receives Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah and his accompanying delegation in Islamabad. (SPA)
President of Pakistan Asif Ali Zardari receives Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah and his accompanying delegation in Islamabad. (SPA)

President of Pakistan Asif Ali Zardari received on Tuesday Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah, who is on an official visit to the country.

Meeting at the Pakistani Presidential Palace in Islamabad, Prince Faisal conveyed the greetings of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud and Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, Crown Prince and Prime Minister, to the Pakistani president and their wishes for the Pakistani people further development and prosperity.

The officials reviewed the strong brotherly relations between Saudi Arabia and Pakistan and ways to boost them in various fields.

They also discussed means to improve economic and development cooperation and push it towards broader horizons to achieve aspirations of more prosperity and development.

Prince Faisal was accompanied by a high-level delegation that includes Minister of Environment, Water, and Agriculture Abdulrahman Al-Fadley, Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources Bandar Al-Khorayef, Advisor to the Royal Court Mohammad Al-Tuwaijri, Assistant Minister of Investment Ibrahim Al-Mubarak, Saudi Ambassador to Pakistan Nawaf bin Saeed Al-Maliki, as well as a number of senior officials from the ministries of foreign affairs and energy, Public Investment Fund, and the Saudi Fund for Development.

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif later received Prince Faisal and the accompanying delegation.

They held talks on bilateral relations and joint cooperation and ways to boost them in all fields. They underlined the need to intensify bilateral and multilateral coordination on issues of common concern.

The officials also discussed economic and development cooperation, as well as international developments.

Prince Faisal also met with his Pakistani counterpart Mohammad Ishaq Dar at the Foreign Ministry headquarters in Islamabad.

They reviewed the brotherly relations between the two countries and ways to bolster them.  

They discussed the development in the Middle East, especially in the Gaza Strip and its neighboring areas, efforts to reach a ceasefire, and the provision of more urgent humanitarian aid.


KSrelief, WFP Sign Agreement to Provide Food Aid in South Sudan

The agreement was signed by Advisor at the Royal Court and Supervisor General of the KSrelief Dr. Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Rabeeah and World Food Program Executive Director Cindy McCain. (SPA)
The agreement was signed by Advisor at the Royal Court and Supervisor General of the KSrelief Dr. Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Rabeeah and World Food Program Executive Director Cindy McCain. (SPA)
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KSrelief, WFP Sign Agreement to Provide Food Aid in South Sudan

The agreement was signed by Advisor at the Royal Court and Supervisor General of the KSrelief Dr. Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Rabeeah and World Food Program Executive Director Cindy McCain. (SPA)
The agreement was signed by Advisor at the Royal Court and Supervisor General of the KSrelief Dr. Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Rabeeah and World Food Program Executive Director Cindy McCain. (SPA)

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSrelief) signed on Monday a joint cooperation agreement with the World Food Program to provide emergency food aid in South Sudan.

The signing ceremony took place in Paris on the sidelines of the international conference for Sudan and neighboring countries organized by France and the European Union.

The agreement was signed by Advisor at the Royal Court and Supervisor General of the KSrelief Dr. Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Rabeeah and World Food Program Executive Director Cindy McCain.

The primary objective of the agreement is to prevent malnutrition among children under the age of two and pregnant and breastfeeding mothers by providing access to food and health assistance. The initiative will benefit 6,265 people.

KSrelief and the WFP also signed another agreement on preventing moderate acute malnutrition for children under five and pregnant and nursing women in Sudan.

It will provide food aid and distribute 132.4 tons of nutritional supplements that will benefit 29,423 people.

This effort is an extension of the humanitarian and relief projects implemented by the Kingdom through the Center to support needy and affected people and promote food security in various parts of the world in collaboration with specialized UN agencies.


Royal Saudi Air Force to Participate in Desert Flag Air Exercise in UAE Next Week

The Royal Saudi Air Force will participate next week in the multinational air exercise at Al Dhafra Air Base in the UAE. - SPA
The Royal Saudi Air Force will participate next week in the multinational air exercise at Al Dhafra Air Base in the UAE. - SPA
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Royal Saudi Air Force to Participate in Desert Flag Air Exercise in UAE Next Week

The Royal Saudi Air Force will participate next week in the multinational air exercise at Al Dhafra Air Base in the UAE. - SPA
The Royal Saudi Air Force will participate next week in the multinational air exercise at Al Dhafra Air Base in the UAE. - SPA

The Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF) will participate next week in the multinational air exercise “Desert Flag”, at Al Dhafra Air Base in the UAE.
RSAF Commander Lt. Gen. Prince Turki bin Bandar bin Abdulaziz Al Saud saw off, at King Faisal Air Base in the northern sector, the Saudi team participating in the drill, according to SPA.
He was briefed by the commander of the air force team on the readiness of the team and equipment, met with the members of the team and urged them to exercise utmost effort to fully benefit from the exercise, to do honor to RSAF and to strive to maintain the air force distinction in all forums, highlighting the importance of commitment to safety standards.
The RSAF Commander stressed that the “Desert Flag” is one of the important exercises in the region, adding that RSAF will participate in the exercise with the F-15SA aircraft, with all its air, technical and support crews, and that the participation will enable exchange of military experience, boost readiness and combat efficiency, and strengthen relations with the participating forces.


Arab Parliament Condemns Escalation of Settlers' Crimes in the West Bank

Arab Parliament Condemns Escalation of Settlers' Crimes in the West Bank
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Arab Parliament Condemns Escalation of Settlers' Crimes in the West Bank

Arab Parliament Condemns Escalation of Settlers' Crimes in the West Bank

The Arab Parliament condemned the escalating crimes and violations by settlers against unarmed Palestinians in villages, towns, camps, and cities in the West Bank.
The Arab Parliament, in a statement, held the Israeli occupation entity and the extremist right-wing government fully and directly responsible for the inciting calls and the subsequent crimes and violations that violate international law and all legitimate international resolutions.
These actions lead to escalating tensions and undermine the prospects for a two-state solution, the parliament said, SPA reported.
The Arab Parliament also called on the international community and the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to provide international protection for the Palestinian people and urgently intervene to compel the Israeli occupation to cease all its colonial activities and immediately stop the Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.


Saudi King, Crown Prince Offer Condolences to Sultan of Oman for Victims of Floods

Civil defense and ambulance teams managed to rescue 1,200 people from a school in the Wilayat of Al-Mudhaibi after their school was flooded (Omani News Agency).
Civil defense and ambulance teams managed to rescue 1,200 people from a school in the Wilayat of Al-Mudhaibi after their school was flooded (Omani News Agency).
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Saudi King, Crown Prince Offer Condolences to Sultan of Oman for Victims of Floods

Civil defense and ambulance teams managed to rescue 1,200 people from a school in the Wilayat of Al-Mudhaibi after their school was flooded (Omani News Agency).
Civil defense and ambulance teams managed to rescue 1,200 people from a school in the Wilayat of Al-Mudhaibi after their school was flooded (Omani News Agency).

The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, sent a cable of condolences and sympathy to Sultan Haitham bin Tariq of the Sultanate of Oman for the victims of floods and rains that have affected parts of his country.

In his cable, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques extended to the Omani Sultan, the families of the deceased, and the Omani people his deepest condolences and sincere sympathy.

For his part, Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, Crown Prince and Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, also sent a similar cable of condolences and sympathy over the incident.

In his cable, the Crown Prince expressed his deepest condolences and sincere sympathy to the Omani Sultan and the families of the deceased.


Pakistani PM Affirms Saudi Role in Leading Islamic World

Pakistani Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif speaks at the closing ceremony in Islamabad, to honor winners of the annual Quran competition Al-Maher (Asharq Al-Awsat)
Pakistani Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif speaks at the closing ceremony in Islamabad, to honor winners of the annual Quran competition Al-Maher (Asharq Al-Awsat)
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Pakistani PM Affirms Saudi Role in Leading Islamic World

Pakistani Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif speaks at the closing ceremony in Islamabad, to honor winners of the annual Quran competition Al-Maher (Asharq Al-Awsat)
Pakistani Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif speaks at the closing ceremony in Islamabad, to honor winners of the annual Quran competition Al-Maher (Asharq Al-Awsat)

Pakistani Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif referred on Monday to the Kingdom's status among the Pakistani people, its influence, its leadership of the Islamic world, and its great efforts in serving humanity in general.

Sharif and Secretary-General of the Muslim World League (MWL) and Chairman of the Organization of Muslim Scholars Sheikh Dr. Mohammad bin Abdulkarim Al-Issa attended in Islamabad the closing ceremony to honor winners of the annual Quran competition Al-Maher (proficient) in the Holy Quran for young memorizers under the age of 10.

The two men also attended a ceremony to lay the foundation stone for the project of a branch of the Museum of the Prophet's Biography and Islamic Civilization, whose main branch is in Madinah.

The ceremony was attended by several senior scholars and ministers of Pakistan, including Foreign Minister Mohammad Ishaq Dar, Religious Affairs Minister Salik Hussain, and Saudi Ambassador to Pakistan Nawaf bin Saeed Al-Malki, in addition to university professors and students, and memorizers of the Holy Quran and their families.

The Pakistani prime minister expressed his gratitude to MWL for its pioneering and Islamic role, its efforts in caring for memorizers of the Holy Quran, and its endeavours to spread the Islamic religion's true values.

He also commended the league's presence and influential global role, referring to the Kingdom's status among the Pakistani people, its influence, its leadership of the Islamic world, and its great efforts in serving humanity in general.

The PM underscored Pakistan’s embrace of the forthcoming Museum of the Prophet’s Biography, recognizing its potential to advance Islamic principles worldwide and deepen understanding of Prophet Mohammad’s life.

“This museum will serve as a pilgrimage destination not just for Pakistanis, but for people worldwide,” Sharif said, affirming that the Pakistani people would deeply appreciate the museum, a gift from Saudi Arabia.

In his address to the young Quran memorizers, Al-Issa said, “Today, we are delighted to meet with the young memorizers of the Holy Quran, under the patronage and presence of the prime minister of Pakistan, within the framework of the Islamic duties of his government, which attaches great importance to preserving the Holy Quran.”

He said that Quranic schools and institutions throughout the Islamic world should not focus merely on memorization but also on imparting understanding and insight into its meanings.

“Islam came as a middle ground between exaggeration and laxity. It came as good tidings, not repulsion, a facilitator, not a hardship. It came to call to following the straight path of God with wisdom and good preaching, calling for repel evil with that which is good, and guiding for what is most upright,” Al-Issa said.

Later, prizes were distributed to the outstanding winners in the annual Quranic competition, which lasted for a year across Pakistan, under the supervision of specialized arbitration committees. The attendees then watched a visual presentation about the International Museum of the Prophet’s Biography and Islamic Civilization.


GCC, Central Asian Countries Seek Sustainable Partnership

Meeting in Tashkent, the gatherers stressed the need to promote trade and investment exchanges between their regions. (GCC)
Meeting in Tashkent, the gatherers stressed the need to promote trade and investment exchanges between their regions. (GCC)
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GCC, Central Asian Countries Seek Sustainable Partnership

Meeting in Tashkent, the gatherers stressed the need to promote trade and investment exchanges between their regions. (GCC)
Meeting in Tashkent, the gatherers stressed the need to promote trade and investment exchanges between their regions. (GCC)

The GCC-Central Asia Strategic Dialogue second ministerial meeting underscored on Monday the joint commitment to forming a sustainable and forward-looking partnership based on common values and mutual interests.

Meeting in Tashkent, the gatherers stressed the need to promote trade and investment exchanges between the two regions, noting the importance of cooperation to ensure sustainable supply chains, transport and transit connection, food, energy and water resources.

In a statement, they underlined the importance of implementing joint investment projects, developing clean energy, addressing environmental problems and sharing best practices in education and health.

They took note of proposals for investment promotion mechanisms from participating countries, including proposals by Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, and encouraged investment officials from both sides to study these proposals and explore effective mechanisms to promote investment between the two regions.

The parties, who are the Members States of the Islamic Organization for Food Security, emphasized the importance of supporting and boosting the activities of this Organization in food security issues.

They congratulated Saudi Arabia for hosting Expo2030 in Riyadh and expressed their readiness to spare no effort in supporting it in organizing the event successfully, and ensuring their effective participation, which will help promote economic and cultural exchanges between the countries of the GCC and Central Asia.

They exchanged views on regional and international issues and highlighted the importance of coordinating their positions through the mechanisms of the Strategic Dialogue.

They called on Israel to fulfill its obligations under international humanitarian law for the unimpeded provision of all humanitarian aid and basic needs to the population in Gaza.

They called on the international community to take a serious and firm stance for an immediate and sustainable ceasefire and providing protection for civilians in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.

They re-emphasized the international nature of Palestinian issue and the need to resolve it through political means, with the establishment of an independent and viable Palestinian state along the 1967 lines, including East Jerusalem, in line with international law and all the relevant United Nations resolutions.

They expressed their hope to intensify cooperation between the GCC and Central Asia in security and border control, as well as in the joint fight against terrorism, transnational organized crime, human trafficking, illicit trafficking of narcotic substances, cyber security threats, money laundering and terrorism financing, while acting in line with the commitments to universal human rights and the rule of law.

They agreed on the importance of preserving the multilateral system and intensifying efforts to achieve peace, security, stability and prosperity around the world, giving priority to securing international peace and security through mutual respect and cooperation between countries to achieve development and progress.

They stressed the principles of good neighborliness, respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of states, non-interference in their internal affairs, refraining from the use of force or threats, and maintaining the international order based on adherence to the principles of international law and the UN Charter.

Uzbekistan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Bakhtiyor Saidov chaired the meeting.

The participants were Qatari Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chairman of the current session of the GCC Ministerial Council, and head of the GCC delegation Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani and the FMs of Uzbekistan, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyz Republic and Tajikistan. The foreign minister of Azerbaijan was invited as a guest of honor.

Also present were the minister of energy and industry of United Arab Emirates, the deputy minister of foreign affairs of Kazakhstan and the GCC secretary general.