GCC, EU Denounce Houthi Attacks on Saudi Arabia, UAE

GCC and EU officials during the 26th EU-GCC Joint Council and Ministerial Meeting on Monday.(SPA)
GCC and EU officials during the 26th EU-GCC Joint Council and Ministerial Meeting on Monday.(SPA)
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GCC, EU Denounce Houthi Attacks on Saudi Arabia, UAE

GCC and EU officials during the 26th EU-GCC Joint Council and Ministerial Meeting on Monday.(SPA)
GCC and EU officials during the 26th EU-GCC Joint Council and Ministerial Meeting on Monday.(SPA)

The European Council and Gulf Countries Council (GCC) condemned the Houthi attacks on Saudi Arabia and the UAE, stressing the importance of boosting relations and enhancing cooperation. This came at the end of their 26th EU-GCC Joint Council and Ministerial Meeting on Monday.

The EU and GCC share an interest in addressing global challenges such as green and digital transition, climate change, and counter-terrorism.

The meeting resumed high-level institutional engagement between the two organizations and discussed concrete ways to strengthen dialogue and cooperation on regional and global challenges.

EU’s Vice President and High Representative and Vice President Josep Borrell chaired the European delegation, and Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan chaired the Gulf delegation.

The meeting was attended by EU and GCC foreign ministers and GCC Sec-Gen Nayef al-Hajraf.

It was held in Brussels on Feb. 21 and addressed regional issues of mutual concern and explored ways to step up EU-GCC cooperation.

The attendees exchanged views on issues of common interest, including the peace process in the Middle East, Yemen, Iran, Libya, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, and Afghanistan.

The ministers stressed the urgent need to improve the humanitarian situation in Yemen, calling for an unconditional ceasefire. They strongly condemned the Houthi attacks against Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

The ministers reiterated their concern over the lack of progress in resolving the dispute between the UAE and Iran over the three islands, Abu Musa Greater and Lesser Tunbs.

They supported the peaceful settlement of this conflict under international law and condemned the proliferation of ballistic missiles and drone systems used in hundreds of attacks against civilians, civilian infrastructure, and the Global Coalition Against ISIS.

The ministers agreed on continuing joint international efforts to enhance stability and prosperity in Iraq.

The meeting addressed the humanitarian and economic crisis in Afghanistan and the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Syria.

The top officials agreed to provide essential aid in all Syrian regions as part of implementing a plan United Nations humanitarian response.

The ministers urged the Lebanese government to take quick and effective decisions to initiate the much-needed reforms to enable a quick conclusion of the agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

They stressed the importance of holding free, fair, and transparent parliamentary elections in May 2022.

On the Middle East peace process, the ministers reaffirmed their commitment to a two-state solution that meets the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people, based on the 1967 lines and UN Security Council Resolutions 242, 338, 2334, and other relevant UN resolutions.

They called for ending escalations in Jerusalem, noting that the city should be recognized as the capital of Palestine and Israel.

Regarding the situation in Libya, the ministers reaffirmed their support for the UN efforts to hold free, fair, inclusive, and credible presidential and parliamentary elections.

After the meeting, the GCC and EU officials agreed to hold their next meeting in 2023 in the Gulf region.



Saudi Arabia, Qatar Discuss Military, Security Coordination

The Saudi and Qatari delegations meet in Riyadh on Monday. (SPA)
The Saudi and Qatari delegations meet in Riyadh on Monday. (SPA)
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Saudi Arabia, Qatar Discuss Military, Security Coordination

The Saudi and Qatari delegations meet in Riyadh on Monday. (SPA)
The Saudi and Qatari delegations meet in Riyadh on Monday. (SPA)

Saudi Minister of Interior Prince Abdulaziz bin Saud bin Naif bin Abdulaziz met with Qatar's Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State for Defense Affairs Khalid bin Mohamed Al-Attiyah in Riyadh on Monday.

The ministers co-chaired the second meeting of the security and military committee established by the Saudi-Qatari Coordination Council.

Prince Abdulaziz bin Saud stressed that the meeting aims to strengthen security cooperation between the two countries, in accordance with the directives 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 of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The interior minister emphasized the deep historical and fraternal relations between Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

He noted that the committee meets periodically to discuss ways to boost security cooperation and coordinate positions on security fields of mutual concern. These efforts, he stated, seek to fulfill the aspirations of the leaderships and peoples of both countries for increased security, stability, and prosperity.

The meeting was attended by a number of Saudi and Qatari senior officials.


Saudi FM Discusses Ties with Japanese Counterpart

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah. (AFP)
Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah. (AFP)
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Saudi FM Discusses Ties with Japanese Counterpart

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah. (AFP)
Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah. (AFP)

The Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs, Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah, made a phone call on Monday to Japanese Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa.
During the call, they discussed relations between the two countries and issues of common interest.


GCC Secretary-General Condoles Iranian Govt., People on Raisi Death

Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council Jasem Mohamed Albudaiwi. GCC
Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council Jasem Mohamed Albudaiwi. GCC
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GCC Secretary-General Condoles Iranian Govt., People on Raisi Death

Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council Jasem Mohamed Albudaiwi. GCC
Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council Jasem Mohamed Albudaiwi. GCC

Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Jasem Mohamed Albudaiwi condoled the Iranian government and people on the death of President Ebrahim Raisi and his accompanying delegation in an helicopter crash.
Albudaiwi emphasized the council's solidarity with the Iranian government and people in these hard times.


Saudi Leadership Extends Condolences over Death of Iranian President

The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz and Saudi Crown Prince and Prime Minister, Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz.
The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz and Saudi Crown Prince and Prime Minister, Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz.
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Saudi Leadership Extends Condolences over Death of Iranian President

The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz and Saudi Crown Prince and Prime Minister, Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz.
The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz and Saudi Crown Prince and Prime Minister, Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz.

The Saudi leadership on Monday offered condolences over the death of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and other Iranian officials in a helicopter crash.
The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz and Saudi Crown Prince and Prime Minister, Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, sent separate cables of condolences to Iran’s First Vice President Mohammad Mokhber over Raisi’s death.
They extended deep sympathy to Mokhber and to the Iranian people over the death of Raisi and his companions.
“We extend to you and to the people of the Islamic Republic of Iran our deepest sympathy asking Allah almighty to bestow the deceased with his mercy and forgiveness”, King Salman said in his cable.
The Crown Prince said that the news of Raisi and his companions’ death was received with “deep sorrow”, expressing “deepest condolences and sympathy”.
Raisi and the country’s foreign minister and others have been found dead at the site of a helicopter crash Monday after an hourslong search through a foggy, mountainous region of the country’s northwest, state media reported. Raisi was 63.


Deal to Transport 12,000 Yemeni Pilgrims Via 5 Airports Including Sanaa

A previous flight of Yemenia Airways at Al-Ghaydah International Airport during its reopening by the Saudi Program for the Development and Reconstruction of Yemen (Asharq Al-Awsat)
A previous flight of Yemenia Airways at Al-Ghaydah International Airport during its reopening by the Saudi Program for the Development and Reconstruction of Yemen (Asharq Al-Awsat)
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Deal to Transport 12,000 Yemeni Pilgrims Via 5 Airports Including Sanaa

A previous flight of Yemenia Airways at Al-Ghaydah International Airport during its reopening by the Saudi Program for the Development and Reconstruction of Yemen (Asharq Al-Awsat)
A previous flight of Yemenia Airways at Al-Ghaydah International Airport during its reopening by the Saudi Program for the Development and Reconstruction of Yemen (Asharq Al-Awsat)

Yemen’s Ministry of Endowments and Guidance has teamed up with Yemenia Airways to fly Yemeni pilgrims from five airports, including Sanaa International airport, for this year’s Hajj season.

The agreement comes after coordination with Saudi Arabia.

Dr. Mukhtar Al-Rabash, a deputy from the ministry, highlighted the cooperation between Yemen and Saudi Arabia in facilitating flights from Aden, Seiyun, Al Rayyan, Al Ghaydah, and Sanaa to the holy sites in the Kingdom.

Al-Rabash pointed out that this step will ease the suffering of pilgrims, sparing them the hardship of long travels due to the ongoing closure of routes between provinces by Houthi militias, backed by Iran.

He expressed gratitude for Saudi cooperation in facilitating flights from Yemen’s airports, including Sanaa, to the holy sites, aiming to make the pilgrimage easier for them.

“The ministry will oversee all stages of issuing air tickets for pilgrims through specialized committees at all airports,” added Al-Rabash.

Mohsen Haidarah, Deputy Managing Director for Commercial Affairs at Yemenia Airways, stressed the importance of the cooperation agreement with the Ministry of Endowments to transport around 12,400 pilgrims via Yemenia Airways.

Haidarah emphasized the need for continued coordination to ensure smooth transportation and the best services for pilgrims.

According to the Yemeni Ministry of Endowments, this year’s Yemeni pilgrims number 24,255.

Early preparations were made through coordination with relevant Saudi authorities and the signing of several agreements to serve Yemeni pilgrims in Makkah, Madinah, and the holy sites.

Speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat, Al-Rabash described Saudi efforts for this year’s Hajj and Umrah season as “blessed and commendable,” operating in an organized and developmental manner, reflecting the insightful vision of the Kingdom’s leadership in serving the pilgrims.

A delegation from the Saudi General Authority of Civil Aviation visited Al-Ghaydah International Airport in Al-Mahra Governorate last week to prepare for international flights, including those for Yemeni pilgrims for this year's Hajj season.

The Saudi Program for the Development and Reconstruction of Yemen rehabilitated and equipped the airport, with flights resuming in July 2023, enhancing transportation services in Yemen.


Saudi Commander of Joint Forces Meets with Chief of General Staff of Yemeni Armed Forces

A previous meeting between Saudi and Yemeni military officials in Riyadh. (SPA)
A previous meeting between Saudi and Yemeni military officials in Riyadh. (SPA)
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Saudi Commander of Joint Forces Meets with Chief of General Staff of Yemeni Armed Forces

A previous meeting between Saudi and Yemeni military officials in Riyadh. (SPA)
A previous meeting between Saudi and Yemeni military officials in Riyadh. (SPA)

The Saudi Commander of the Joint Forces and Deputy Chief of the General Staff, First Lieutenant General Mutlaq bin Salem Al-Azima, met with the Chief of the General Staff of the Yemeni Armed Forces, Lieutenant General Sagheer Hammoud Aziz, in his office at the Joint Forces Command on Sunday.
The visit is part of ongoing coordination and continuous support from the coalition countries, led by the Kingdom, to achieve the desired goals and aspirations of the Yemeni people and their legitimate leadership.

It also reflects the Kingdom's role in achieving security and stability in the sisterly Republic of Yemen.


Saudi Armed Forces Participate in Eager Lion 2024 Exercise in Jordan

The armed forces participating in the exercise carried out field maneuvers alongside troops from 32 countries. - SPA
The armed forces participating in the exercise carried out field maneuvers alongside troops from 32 countries. - SPA
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Saudi Armed Forces Participate in Eager Lion 2024 Exercise in Jordan

The armed forces participating in the exercise carried out field maneuvers alongside troops from 32 countries. - SPA
The armed forces participating in the exercise carried out field maneuvers alongside troops from 32 countries. - SPA

Units from the Saudi Armed Forces continue their participation in the Eager Lion 2024 exercise held in Jordan, SPA reported.

The armed forces participating in the exercise carried out field maneuvers alongside troops from 32 countries.
The field exercises involved joint targeting operations, missile air defense, and counter-terrorism operations in populated areas, in addition to hostage-liberation operations, defense and attack operations with vehicles and tanks, cyber operations, information operations, and strategic communications.
The exercise aims to exchange experiences and train on planning and implementing joint and missile defense operations, in addition to carrying out anti-terrorism and maritime security operations to confront regional threats.

It also intends to train the participating forces on border security operations and develop the capabilities of military units to confront and manage crises.


King Salman to Undergo Treatment Program at Al-Salam Palace

Saudi Flag fluttering - File Photo/Reuters
Saudi Flag fluttering - File Photo/Reuters
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King Salman to Undergo Treatment Program at Al-Salam Palace

Saudi Flag fluttering - File Photo/Reuters
Saudi Flag fluttering - File Photo/Reuters

The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, completed medical examinations on Sunday at the Royal Clinics of Al-Salam Palace in Jeddah.
According to a statement by the Royal Court, it was revealed that King Salman has lung inflammation, and will undergo a treatment program consisting of antibiotics at Al-Salam Palace in Jeddah until the inflammation clears.


Saudi Arabia Says Following Reports About Raisi Helicopter with ‘Great Concern’

Rescue vehicles are seen following a crash of a helicopter carrying Iran's President Ebrahim Raisi, in Varzaqan, East Azerbaijan Province, Iran, May 19, 2024. Azin Haghighi/Moj News Agency/WANA (West Asia News Agency) via REUTERS
Rescue vehicles are seen following a crash of a helicopter carrying Iran's President Ebrahim Raisi, in Varzaqan, East Azerbaijan Province, Iran, May 19, 2024. Azin Haghighi/Moj News Agency/WANA (West Asia News Agency) via REUTERS
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Saudi Arabia Says Following Reports About Raisi Helicopter with ‘Great Concern’

Rescue vehicles are seen following a crash of a helicopter carrying Iran's President Ebrahim Raisi, in Varzaqan, East Azerbaijan Province, Iran, May 19, 2024. Azin Haghighi/Moj News Agency/WANA (West Asia News Agency) via REUTERS
Rescue vehicles are seen following a crash of a helicopter carrying Iran's President Ebrahim Raisi, in Varzaqan, East Azerbaijan Province, Iran, May 19, 2024. Azin Haghighi/Moj News Agency/WANA (West Asia News Agency) via REUTERS

Saudi Arabia expressed its support for Iran and said it was ready to provide any assistance required after a helicopter carrying Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi crashed on Sunday.

The Saudi Foreign Ministry also said the Kingdom was following reports about the crash with "great concern,” according to the Saudi state news agency.


Saudi Foreign Minister Makes Phone Call to Pakistan’s Deputy PM and FM

Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah. SPA
Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah. SPA
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Saudi Foreign Minister Makes Phone Call to Pakistan’s Deputy PM and FM

Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah. SPA
Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah. SPA

The Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs, Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah, made a phone call on Sunday to Pakistan’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ishaq Dar.

During the call, they reviewed relations between the two countries, opportunities for developing them in various fields, and discussed preliminary arrangements for the visit of the Crown Prince and Prime Minister to Pakistan, which will be scheduled at a later date through agreement between the two sides.

They also discussed the dangerous developments in the Gaza Strip and its surroundings, as well as the latest regional and international developments.