Saudi National Kidnapped in Istanbul

A night view of Istanbul, Turkey. (Reuters)
A night view of Istanbul, Turkey. (Reuters)
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Saudi National Kidnapped in Istanbul

A night view of Istanbul, Turkey. (Reuters)
A night view of Istanbul, Turkey. (Reuters)

A Saudi woman was kidnapped in the Turkish city of Istanbul.

Sources told Asharq Al-Awsat that Abir was abducted near a hotel located in the Asian part of the city where she was staying with her family.

The victim was in Istanbul with her husband and family on vacation.

No contact has been possible with her after she disappeared. Neither the consulate nor police have been able to find out her whereabouts. They are working tirelessly to locate her.

Her husband appealed through Asharq Al-Awsat for authorities to find his wife.

According to surveillance cameras in the area, an individual carrying a small package sprayed a substance on the tourist, causing her to lose consciousness. He then abducted her, said the sources.

The development took place just days after two Saudi brothers were victims of armed robbery.

One of the brothers was shot during the attack and the assailants made away with their luggage.



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.


OIC to Hold Extraordinary Ministerial Meeting on Israeli Aggression

The OIC held an open-ended Executive Committee extraordinary meeting at the level of foreign ministers at its headquarters on October 18. Photo: OIC
The OIC held an open-ended Executive Committee extraordinary meeting at the level of foreign ministers at its headquarters on October 18. Photo: OIC
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OIC to Hold Extraordinary Ministerial Meeting on Israeli Aggression

The OIC held an open-ended Executive Committee extraordinary meeting at the level of foreign ministers at its headquarters on October 18. Photo: OIC
The OIC held an open-ended Executive Committee extraordinary meeting at the level of foreign ministers at its headquarters on October 18. Photo: OIC

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has said it will hold next week an extraordinary meeting of its Council of Foreign Ministers to discuss the ongoing Israeli aggression against the Palestinian people.

The session will be held at the headquarters of its General Secretariat in Jeddah on March 5.

OIC Secretary-General Hissein Brahim Taha is expected to address the opening session, which will be preceded by a preparatory senior officials' meeting (SOM) on Monday to discuss and adopt the draft agenda and work program and consider the draft resolution before submitting it to the Council of Foreign Ministers the following day.

On October 11, Saudi Arabia hosted the extraordinary Joint Arab and Islamic Summit in Riyadh, organized by the OIC and the Arab League. The conference adopted several decisions, in particular assigning a committee of foreign ministers of member states to tour world capitals and international organizations in an effort to stop the Israeli aggression against the Palestinian people.

As part of its continued efforts to stop the brutal Israeli aggression since October 7, the OIC held an open-ended Executive Committee extraordinary meeting at the level of foreign ministers at its headquarters on October 18.


11th Saudi Relief Plane Arrives in Poland to Deliver Aid to Ukrainian People

The 11th Saudi relief plane operated by the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSrelief) arrived in Poland in Friday ahead of heading to Ukraine. (SPA)
The 11th Saudi relief plane operated by the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSrelief) arrived in Poland in Friday ahead of heading to Ukraine. (SPA)
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11th Saudi Relief Plane Arrives in Poland to Deliver Aid to Ukrainian People

The 11th Saudi relief plane operated by the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSrelief) arrived in Poland in Friday ahead of heading to Ukraine. (SPA)
The 11th Saudi relief plane operated by the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSrelief) arrived in Poland in Friday ahead of heading to Ukraine. (SPA)

The 11th Saudi relief plane operated by the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSrelief) arrived in Poland in Friday ahead of heading to Ukraine.

The plane landed at the Poland’s Rzeszow Airport, located near the Ukrainian border, carrying 80 tons of relief aid supplies, including electric generators and appliances.

Saudi Ambassador to Poland Saad bin Saleh Al-Saleh and a logistic team affiliated with KSrelief were also on board the plane.

The aircraft will cross the Polish border into Ukraine as part of Saudi Arabia’s historic commitment to supporting people in need and those impacted by crises around the world.


Over 400 KSrelief Trucks Cross into Gaza Strip

The trucks are carrying food, medical supplies and shelter aid. (SPA)
The trucks are carrying food, medical supplies and shelter aid. (SPA)
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Over 400 KSrelief Trucks Cross into Gaza Strip

The trucks are carrying food, medical supplies and shelter aid. (SPA)
The trucks are carrying food, medical supplies and shelter aid. (SPA)

Over 400 relief trucks provided by the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSrelief) crossed the Rafah border crossing on Friday and headed for the Gaza Strip.

The trucks are carrying food, medical supplies and shelter aid, part of a Saudi campaign aimed at providing relief to the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip. The effort is being coordinated with the Palestinian Red Crescent.

Last week, 22 relief trucks crossed Rafah, bringing the total number of relief trucks to over 400, all carrying various forms of relief aid.

The initiative is part of Saudi Arabia's ongoing support for the Palestinian people, particularly during times of crisis and hardship.


Riyadh to Host Gulf-Arab Talks on Sunday

Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Jassem Al-Budaiwi (GCC)
Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Jassem Al-Budaiwi (GCC)
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Riyadh to Host Gulf-Arab Talks on Sunday

Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Jassem Al-Budaiwi (GCC)
Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Jassem Al-Budaiwi (GCC)

Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Jassem Al-Budaiwi affirmed on Thursday that the council’s 159th ministerial session would be held on Sunday in Riyadh in addition to separate meetings with foreign ministers of Jordan, Egypt and Morocco.

The GCC secretary-general said in a statement that the ministerial meeting would be chaired by Qatari Foreign Minister Mohammad Al-Thani, the president of the GCC ministerial council’s current session, and the conferees would discuss reports concerning follow-up on implementing resolutions of the GCC Supreme Council, issued at the 44th summit, held in Qatar in December.

He added that they would also discuss memos and reports submitted by the ministerial and technical committees as well as the GCC Secretariat General with respect to dialogue and strategic relations with states and international coalitions, in addition to regional and international affairs.

He noted that Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry would hold the talks with the GCC on the sidelines of the session, while Jordan and Morocco would be engaged in identical and separate talks by the two countries’ foreign ministers, respectively Ayman Al-Safadi and Nasser Bourita.

The meetings between the GCC and the Jordanian and Moroccan sides would be part of the distinctive relationship and partnerships.


GCC Secretary-General: Targeting Gaza Civilians while Receiving Aid is Another Israeli Crime

Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Secretary General Jasem Mohamed Albudaiwi denounced Israel's brutal targeting of innocent Palestinian civilians in northern Gaza. (SPA)
Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Secretary General Jasem Mohamed Albudaiwi denounced Israel's brutal targeting of innocent Palestinian civilians in northern Gaza. (SPA)
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GCC Secretary-General: Targeting Gaza Civilians while Receiving Aid is Another Israeli Crime

Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Secretary General Jasem Mohamed Albudaiwi denounced Israel's brutal targeting of innocent Palestinian civilians in northern Gaza. (SPA)
Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Secretary General Jasem Mohamed Albudaiwi denounced Israel's brutal targeting of innocent Palestinian civilians in northern Gaza. (SPA)

Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Secretary General Jasem Mohamed Albudaiwi denounced and condemned the Israeli occupation forces’ brutal targeting of innocent Palestinian civilians in northern Gaza while they were waiting for humanitarian and relief assistance, SPA said on Friday.
Albudaiwi described the brutal act as another crime of the Israeli occupation forces against the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip.
He called for swift international action to stop these crimes and dangerous violations against the brotherly Palestinians, an immediate ceasefire, and to allow the entry of all humanitarian aid into Gaza.


Saudi Arabia Strongly Condemns Targeting of Defenseless Civilians in Northern Gaza

A woman sits among Palestinians at Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City after they were injured in an early morning incident when Israeli forces opened fire on crowds rushing at an aid distribution point on February 29, 2024. (Photo by AFP)
A woman sits among Palestinians at Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City after they were injured in an early morning incident when Israeli forces opened fire on crowds rushing at an aid distribution point on February 29, 2024. (Photo by AFP)
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Saudi Arabia Strongly Condemns Targeting of Defenseless Civilians in Northern Gaza

A woman sits among Palestinians at Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City after they were injured in an early morning incident when Israeli forces opened fire on crowds rushing at an aid distribution point on February 29, 2024. (Photo by AFP)
A woman sits among Palestinians at Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City after they were injured in an early morning incident when Israeli forces opened fire on crowds rushing at an aid distribution point on February 29, 2024. (Photo by AFP)

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed Saudi Arabia's strong condemnation of the targeting of defenseless civilians in northern Gaza, which resulted in hundreds of casualties after Israeli troops opened fire on a large crowd of Palestinians racing to receive aid.

The Ministry affirmed the Kingdom's categorical rejection of violations of international humanitarian law by any party and under any pretext.

The Kingdom also renewed its call on the international community to take a firm stance by forcing Israel to respect international humanitarian law, immediately open safe humanitarian corridors, allow the evacuation of the injured, and enable the delivery of aid and medical equipment without restrictions to mitigate the humanitarian catastrophe and prevent its aggravation.

It emphasized the necessity of reaching an immediate ceasefire to prevent further civilian casualties.


Saudi Crown Prince, Macron Discuss Regional and Int'l Issues

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, Macron Discuss Regional and Int'l Issues

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

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud has received a phone call from French President Emmanuel Macron.

During the telephone conversation on Wednesday, both sides reviewed the bilateral relations and discussed ways to enhance cooperation in various fields, in addition to addressing several issues of mutual interest.

They also exchanged views on a number of regional and international issues and their repercussions, as well as the efforts made to achieve security and stability.


Emir of Qatar Discusses with Macron Future of Palestinian Cause

Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, left, shakes hands with French President Emmanuel Macron during a state dinner at the Elysee Palace in Paris, Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2024. (AP)
Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, left, shakes hands with French President Emmanuel Macron during a state dinner at the Elysee Palace in Paris, Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2024. (AP)
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Emir of Qatar Discusses with Macron Future of Palestinian Cause

Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, left, shakes hands with French President Emmanuel Macron during a state dinner at the Elysee Palace in Paris, Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2024. (AP)
Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, left, shakes hands with French President Emmanuel Macron during a state dinner at the Elysee Palace in Paris, Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2024. (AP)

Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani said on Tuesday he discussed with French President Emmanuel Macron the future of the Palestinian cause, saying it was the “cornerstone of Qatar's international and regional concerns.”

The leaders met in Paris during Sheikh Tamim’s two-day official state visit to France.

In a post on his official X account, Sheikh Tamim said he held “fruitful talks” with Macron on strengthening “our strategic partnership in accordance with a comprehensive bilateral cooperation that elevates our common aspirations.”

“We discussed the future of the Palestinian cause as it is the cornerstone of Qatar's international and regional concerns, and we are exerting every effort to stop the war in Gaza and deliver aid to our brothers,” he added, according to the Qatari state news agency (QNA).

“The world sees a genocide of the Palestinian people. Hunger, forced displacement, savage bombardments are used as weapons. And the international community still hasn't managed to adopt a unified position to end the war in Gaza and provide the strict minimum of protection for children, women and civilians,” he later added at a dinner banquet thrown by Macron in his honor.

Sheikh Tamim had arrived in Paris on Tuesday to meet senior officials and bolster cooperation between Qatar and France and tackle regional and international issues of interest.


Kuwait Cabinet Sets April 4 to Hold Parliamentary Election

A Kuwaiti casts his vote in previous elections for the National Assembly. (KUNA)
A Kuwaiti casts his vote in previous elections for the National Assembly. (KUNA)
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Kuwait Cabinet Sets April 4 to Hold Parliamentary Election

A Kuwaiti casts his vote in previous elections for the National Assembly. (KUNA)
A Kuwaiti casts his vote in previous elections for the National Assembly. (KUNA)

The Kuwaiti Cabinet on Tuesday approved a draft decree inviting voters to elect National Assembly (parliament) members on April 4, 2024, and referred it to Emir Sheikh Meshal al-Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah, said the government spokesman.

The spokesman made the statement following a cabinet meeting.

Last Wednesday, the government issued a decree law suspending the election commission law until the beginning of October.

On Feb. 15, Kuwait’s Emir dissolved the parliament after it declined to remove remarks made by a lawmaker that were deemed disrespectful to the ruling authority.

The Emiri decree cited the Assembly’s breach of constitutional principles, particularly regarding the disrespect of esteemed positions and the deliberate use of disrespectful and offensive language by the parliament’s members.