UAE Source: Sheikh Abdullah bin Ali Guest in UAE, Free to Move

Sheikh Abdullah bin Ali Al Thani. Asharq Al-Awsat
Sheikh Abdullah bin Ali Al Thani. Asharq Al-Awsat
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UAE Source: Sheikh Abdullah bin Ali Guest in UAE, Free to Move

Sheikh Abdullah bin Ali Al Thani. Asharq Al-Awsat
Sheikh Abdullah bin Ali Al Thani. Asharq Al-Awsat

Qatar's Sheikh Abdullah bin Ali Al Thani has come as a guest to the UAE, at his own behest, said an official source at the UAE Foreign Ministry.

"Sheikh Abdullah enjoyed the warm welcome and gracious hospitality during his stay in the UAE after he was harassed by the Qatari government,” the source said, adding that Sheikh Abdullah has had unrestrained mobility and freedom of movement during his stay in the UAE.

Subsequently Sheikh Abdullah had expressed his desire to leave the UAE following which all measures were taken to honor his desire without any reservations.

The source in a statement expressed regret over the fabrication of facts, which is symptomatic of the general trend in which the State of Qatar continues to fabricate lies and half truths.

For his part, Chairman of the Department of Education and Knowledge Dr. Ali Rashid Al Nuaimi said that Sheikh Abdullah had asked to move to the Emirates for his “own safety.”

“For the record, a trusted source confirmed that Sheikh Abdullah bin Ali Al Thani is free to leave the United Arab Emirates as he likes and to whatever destination he likes,” Nuaimi tweeted.

He added that during his stay in the UAE, Sheikh Abdullah was honored and kept away from lights upon his request and fear for his safety.

Sheikh Abdullah has repeatedly referred to the threats against him through implicated and clear messages by his country’s regime as a result of his stance against the regime during the crisis, Nuaimi stressed.

Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt and Bahrain severed diplomatic and trade ties with Qatar in June over Doha’s support to extremists and its close ties to regional rival Iran.



Saudi Citizen Abducted in Beirut, Kidnappers Demand $400,00 Ransom

A general view of Beirut. (AFP)
A general view of Beirut. (AFP)
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Saudi Citizen Abducted in Beirut, Kidnappers Demand $400,00 Ransom

A general view of Beirut. (AFP)
A general view of Beirut. (AFP)

A Saudi citizen was kidnapped in the Lebanese capital Beirut overnight on Saturday.

The kidnappers have demanded a ransom of $400,000, while caretaker Interior Minister Bassam Mawlawi has vowed that they will be severely punished for their crime.

The Saudi embassy in Beirut confirmed the kidnapping from the victim’s relatives, who said they had lost contact with him early on Sunday.

The Lebanese authorities are carrying out contacts on the highest levels to uncover his whereabouts.

The man works for Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia).

A Saudi diplomatic source in Beirut described the development as “very dangerous”. The Saudi embassy is closely working with local authorities to find him.

Initial reports said the man was kidnapped on the airport road in Beirut, while Lebanese security sources told Asharq Al-Awsat that he was abducted in a central district of the capital.

Saudi state-run Al Ekhbariya television said he was nabbed after he left a restaurant in the waterfront Zaituna Bay area.

The kidnappers had followed him in their vehicles and were wearing military outfits. They took him to Beirut’s southern suburbs of Dahieh, a Hezbollah stronghold, it added.

In a phone message, the kidnappers demanded a ransom of $400,000.

Mawlawi said the Internal Security Forces’ intelligence bureau was probing the case and that authorities were in close contact with Saudi Ambassador Waleed Bukhari.

“What happened harms Lebanon’s relations with its brothers,” he added. “The perpetrators will be harshly punished.”

In remarks to Al Arabiya television, the minister revealed that the Saudi national’s telephone could be traced to various locations in Beirut and that he was “well”.

Grand Jaafari Mufti Sheikh Ahmad Kabalan strongly condemned the kidnapping and “all other abductions that have targeted Arabs, especially Saudi brothers.”

He called on Lebanese authorities to strike with an iron fist and put an end to “this dangerous game.”

He warned that gangs and mafias were seeking to destabilize the country for petty goals.


Saudi Arabia Executes 2 Bahraini Men over Terrorist Activities

The Saudi Interior Ministry in Riyadh. (Asharq Al-Awsat)
The Saudi Interior Ministry in Riyadh. (Asharq Al-Awsat)
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Saudi Arabia Executes 2 Bahraini Men over Terrorist Activities

The Saudi Interior Ministry in Riyadh. (Asharq Al-Awsat)
The Saudi Interior Ministry in Riyadh. (Asharq Al-Awsat)

Saudi Arabia said it executed two Bahraini men in the Eastern Province on Monday after being convicted of belonging to a terrorist group wanting to destabilize the two kingdoms.

The Saudi Interior Ministry's announcement, carried by the state-run Saudi Press Agency, identified the men as Jaafar Sultan and Sadeq Thamer.

The statement said that the Specialized Criminal Court convicted the two men of belonging to a terrorist cell spreading chaos and smuggling explosives to be used inside Saudi Arabia.

They also communicated with other terrorists in Saudi Arabia and supported them to carry out terrorist acts.

They smuggled material used to build explosives. They concealed the material in sandy areas before later delivering them to the leader of the cell, a man wanted by Bahrani authorities, it added.

The Interior Ministry underscored the government’s keenness on consolidating security and achieving justice.


Saudi, British FMs Discuss Means to Support Political Solution in Sudan

17 May 2023, Saudi Arabia, Jeddah: Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah attends Arab league's foreign ministers meeting ahead of the Arab League summit on 19 May in Saudi Arabia. (SPA)
17 May 2023, Saudi Arabia, Jeddah: Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah attends Arab league's foreign ministers meeting ahead of the Arab League summit on 19 May in Saudi Arabia. (SPA)
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Saudi, British FMs Discuss Means to Support Political Solution in Sudan

17 May 2023, Saudi Arabia, Jeddah: Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah attends Arab league's foreign ministers meeting ahead of the Arab League summit on 19 May in Saudi Arabia. (SPA)
17 May 2023, Saudi Arabia, Jeddah: Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah attends Arab league's foreign ministers meeting ahead of the Arab League summit on 19 May in Saudi Arabia. (SPA)

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah received on Monday a telephone call from his British counterpart James Cleverly.

The officials discussed Saudi Arabia’s efforts to support political solutions to the conflict in Sudan.

They tackled the Kingdom’s intense efforts to bridge the divide between the warring Sudanese parties, as demonstrated by its hosting of the Jeddah negotiations earlier this month.

The parties in Jeddah agreed to a temporary ceasefire and delivery of humanitarian aid.

Prince Faisal and Cleverly also discussed bilateral relations and coordination between Riyadh and London and means to bolster them.


Iran’s Khamenei Welcomes Better Ties with Egypt

Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei meets with Oman's Sultan Haitham bin Tariq in Tehran, Iran May 29, 2023. (Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader/WANA (West Asia News Agency) via Reuters
Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei meets with Oman's Sultan Haitham bin Tariq in Tehran, Iran May 29, 2023. (Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader/WANA (West Asia News Agency) via Reuters
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Iran’s Khamenei Welcomes Better Ties with Egypt

Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei meets with Oman's Sultan Haitham bin Tariq in Tehran, Iran May 29, 2023. (Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader/WANA (West Asia News Agency) via Reuters
Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei meets with Oman's Sultan Haitham bin Tariq in Tehran, Iran May 29, 2023. (Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader/WANA (West Asia News Agency) via Reuters

Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei said in a meeting with Oman's Sultan Haitham bin Tariq that Tehran welcomes better diplomatic relations with Egypt, Iranian state media reported on Monday.

Relations between Egypt and Iran have often been fraught in recent decades although the two countries have maintained diplomatic contacts.

Khamenei's comments came as Middle Eastern countries including Egypt are taking steps to ease regional tensions. In March, Saudi Arabia and Iran agreed to restore diplomatic relations under a China-mediated deal.

Sultan Haitham had arrived in Iran on a two-day visit on Sunday.

He met with President Ebrahim Raisi upon his arrival.

Sultan Haitham headed a large delegation including the ministers of defense, foreign affairs, economy and investment.

Oman and Iran agreed to prepare a document on strategic cooperation that covers all fields, said a statement at the conclusion of the royal’s visit on Monday.

They also signed four economic cooperation and investment agreements.


KSrelief Provides New Health Care Services to Syrian Refugees, Host Communities in Lebanon's Akkar

KSrelief Provides New Health Care Services to Syrian Refugees, Host Communities in Lebanon's Akkar
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KSrelief Provides New Health Care Services to Syrian Refugees, Host Communities in Lebanon's Akkar

KSrelief Provides New Health Care Services to Syrian Refugees, Host Communities in Lebanon's Akkar

The King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSrelief) continued implementing a project to enhance health care services for Syrian refugees and the host communities in Akkar Governorate, Lebanon.

During April 2023, as many as 822 patients were received, and 1,464 services were provided in different clinics.

This aid comes within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's keenness, represented by the KSrelief, to provide humanitarian assistance to the needy and Syrian refugees in all fields to alleviate their suffering.


Ninth Saudi Relief Plane Arrives in Sudan

Ninth Saudi Relief Plane Arrives in Sudan
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Ninth Saudi Relief Plane Arrives in Sudan

Ninth Saudi Relief Plane Arrives in Sudan

The ninth Saudi relief plane arrived at Port Sudan International Airport on Sunday.

The aid included 30 tons of foodstuff and medical supplies, as part of the Saudi relief airlift operated by the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSrelief) to help the Sudanese people.

This comes in implementation of the directives of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz and Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, the Crown Prince and Prime Minister of Saudi Arabia.

Delivering aid is a reflection of the noble humanitarian role played by the Kingdom through KSrelief in all countries in need.


Saudi Leadership Congratulates Erdogan on His Reelection as President of Türkiye

Turkish President and People's Alliance's presidential candidate Recep Tayyip Erdogan gestures to supporters at the presidential palace, in Ankara, Türkiye, Sunday, May 28, 2023. (AP)
Turkish President and People's Alliance's presidential candidate Recep Tayyip Erdogan gestures to supporters at the presidential palace, in Ankara, Türkiye, Sunday, May 28, 2023. (AP)
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Saudi Leadership Congratulates Erdogan on His Reelection as President of Türkiye

Turkish President and People's Alliance's presidential candidate Recep Tayyip Erdogan gestures to supporters at the presidential palace, in Ankara, Türkiye, Sunday, May 28, 2023. (AP)
Turkish President and People's Alliance's presidential candidate Recep Tayyip Erdogan gestures to supporters at the presidential palace, in Ankara, Türkiye, Sunday, May 28, 2023. (AP)

The Saudi leadership congratulated on Sunday Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on his reelection for a new tern.

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz sent a cable of congratulations to the leader, wishing him and the brotherly Turkish people further progress and prosperity.

He hailed the “brotherly relations that bind our countries and peoples that we are seeking to bolster and develop in all fields.”

Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Crown Prince and Prime Minister, dispatched a similar cable to Erdogan.


Oman’s Sultan Arrives in Iran for Two-Day Visit, Meetings with Iranian President and Top Officials

In this photo released by the office of the Iranian Presidency, Oman's Sultan Haitham bin Tariq, front right, is welcomed by Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, front left, during an official welcoming ceremony at the Saadabad Palace in Tehran, Iran, Sunday, May 28, 2023. (Iranian Presidency Office via AP)
In this photo released by the office of the Iranian Presidency, Oman's Sultan Haitham bin Tariq, front right, is welcomed by Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, front left, during an official welcoming ceremony at the Saadabad Palace in Tehran, Iran, Sunday, May 28, 2023. (Iranian Presidency Office via AP)
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Oman’s Sultan Arrives in Iran for Two-Day Visit, Meetings with Iranian President and Top Officials

In this photo released by the office of the Iranian Presidency, Oman's Sultan Haitham bin Tariq, front right, is welcomed by Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, front left, during an official welcoming ceremony at the Saadabad Palace in Tehran, Iran, Sunday, May 28, 2023. (Iranian Presidency Office via AP)
In this photo released by the office of the Iranian Presidency, Oman's Sultan Haitham bin Tariq, front right, is welcomed by Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, front left, during an official welcoming ceremony at the Saadabad Palace in Tehran, Iran, Sunday, May 28, 2023. (Iranian Presidency Office via AP)

Oman's ruler arrived Sunday in Tehran for talks with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and other top officials, state television reported.

Sultan Haitham bin Tariq was officially welcomed by Raisi at the capital's Saadabad Palace, state media said.

The sultan's visit followed an official invitation by the Iranian president. It is his first visit to Iran since he ascended the throne.

Iranian television said Sultan Haitham headed a large delegation including the ministers of defense, foreign affairs, economy and investment.

State-run IRNA news agency said investment, oil and gas issues will be discussed during the Omani’s ruler's stay in the Iranian capital.


Pope, MWL Secretary-General Discuss Means to Confront Religious Extremism

Pope Francis and Secretary-General of the Muslim World League (MWL) Sheikh Dr. Mohammed bin Abdulkarim Al-Issa meet at the Vatican. (MWL)
Pope Francis and Secretary-General of the Muslim World League (MWL) Sheikh Dr. Mohammed bin Abdulkarim Al-Issa meet at the Vatican. (MWL)
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Pope, MWL Secretary-General Discuss Means to Confront Religious Extremism

Pope Francis and Secretary-General of the Muslim World League (MWL) Sheikh Dr. Mohammed bin Abdulkarim Al-Issa meet at the Vatican. (MWL)
Pope Francis and Secretary-General of the Muslim World League (MWL) Sheikh Dr. Mohammed bin Abdulkarim Al-Issa meet at the Vatican. (MWL)

Pope Francis received in the Vatican on Sunday Secretary-General of the Muslim World League (MWL) Sheikh Dr. Mohammed bin Abdulkarim Al-Issa.

The extraordinary meeting reflects the efforts carried out by the MWL in bolstering effective dialogue, understanding and positive cooperation between followers of different religions, faiths and cultures.

The meeting was held at the Pope’s private residence at Domus Sanctae Marthae.

Pope Francis and Sheikh Al-Issa exchanged views on several international issues, most notably building bridges between civilizations and efforts to combat religious and ideological extremism, hatred, marginalization and discrimination.


Oman’s FM to Asharq Al-Awsat: Sultan Haitham’s Visit to Iran Will Positively Impact Region

Sultan of Oman Haitham bin Tariq and Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi in Muscat. (ONA file photo)
Sultan of Oman Haitham bin Tariq and Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi in Muscat. (ONA file photo)
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Oman’s FM to Asharq Al-Awsat: Sultan Haitham’s Visit to Iran Will Positively Impact Region

Sultan of Oman Haitham bin Tariq and Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi in Muscat. (ONA file photo)
Sultan of Oman Haitham bin Tariq and Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi in Muscat. (ONA file photo)

Sultan of Oman Haitham bin Tariq will kick off on Sunday an official two-day visit to Iran, his first since ascending the throne in 2020.

He is set to meet with President Ebrahim Raisi and a number of senior officials.

The Sultan is traveling at the head of a large delegation that includes the ministers of defense, foreign affairs, economy and investment.

The visit is taking place amid a wave of regional reconciliations, the most recent of which was the reinstatement of Syria’s membership in the Arab League and the announcement in March that Saudi Arabia and Iran were reestablishing diplomatic ties.

Foreign Minister Badr bin Hamad Al Busaidi told Asharq Al-Awsat that the region is embarking on a new positive phase in regional relations.

Cooperation and consultations must be deepened in several files and issues to consolidate the new phase, which will no doubt be at the heart of discussions between the leaders, he remarked.

He noted that Oman and Iran enjoy historic fraternal relations based on firm principles of trust and mutual respect. The visit stems from the importance the leaderships of both countries place on cooperation and consultations on various regional and international issues.

“In Oman, we are hoping that this historic visit will reflect positively on the stability and security of the region and on relations between the region’s neighbors,” the FM stressed.

“We will work on ensuring that its outcomes will be felt on the regional and international levels,” he went on to say.