Iraq to Resume Mediation between Saudi Arabia, Iran ahead of Jeddah Summit

A handout picture released by the Saudi Royal Palace on June 26, 2022, shows Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (R), receiving Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi, in the Saudi city of Jeddah. (Saudi Royal Palace)
A handout picture released by the Saudi Royal Palace on June 26, 2022, shows Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (R), receiving Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi, in the Saudi city of Jeddah. (Saudi Royal Palace)
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Iraq to Resume Mediation between Saudi Arabia, Iran ahead of Jeddah Summit

A handout picture released by the Saudi Royal Palace on June 26, 2022, shows Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (R), receiving Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi, in the Saudi city of Jeddah. (Saudi Royal Palace)
A handout picture released by the Saudi Royal Palace on June 26, 2022, shows Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (R), receiving Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi, in the Saudi city of Jeddah. (Saudi Royal Palace)

Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi will resume his mediation between Saudi Arabia and Iran before the Gulf-Arab-American summit in Jeddah later this month, revealed an informed Iraqi source on Sunday.

The declaration of the restoration of relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran is expected to be announced in Baghdad, it told Asharq Al-Awsat.

The declaration will be made in the presence of Saudi and Iranian officials, Kadhimi and Iraqi Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein, it added, without specifying if the announcement will be made before the Jeddah summit. The ties were severed in 2016.

Moreover, the source remarked that Kadhimi had made progress over several pending files between Saudi Arabia and Iran during his visits to Jeddah and Tehran last week.

This will help ease overall tensions in the region, he stressed.

Asked if Saudi officials will visit Baghdad before the Jeddah summit, the source said such a trip requires arrangements between Riyadh, Baghdad and Tehran.

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian had announced from Damascus on Sunday that Tehran welcomes the restoration of relations with Riyadh, the reopening of embassies and the launch of political dialogue.

On reports that talks between Egypt, Jordan and Iran would be held in Baghdad, he said there are no direct negotiations with Egypt over restoring ties at the moment.

Efforts are underway however, to set them back on the right path as part of the joint cooperation between the two countries, he added.

Amirabdollahian made his remarks days after Iraqi FM Hussein revealed for the first time that Baghdad was sponsoring dialogue between Iran and Jordan, and Iran and Egypt.

Meanwhile, aide to Kadhimi, Dr. Hussein Allawi told Asharq Al-Awsat that the PM’s efforts aim to establish a period of regional stability, peace, cooperation and development.

Kadhimi kicked off the mediation in April 2021 and, in spite of the crises and media tensions, he has succeeded in holding four other rounds of dialogue between Saudi Arabia and Iran, Allawi went on to say.

"We can say that Iraq has managed in shifting Saudi-Iranian ties towards a period of understanding and the exchange of views over several regional issues,” he said.

They have set the path towards solutions and strategic initiatives to issues at hand, he added.

“Iraq is keen on establishing stability in the region because it is approaching economic changes through major projects tackling transportation, energy, electricity, food security, water shortages and climate change,” he continued.

The success of these projects demands constant partnership and cooperation between the countries of the region, he explained.



MWL Expresses Regret over Ceasefire Veto at UN Security Council on Israel’s Gaza War

MWL
MWL
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MWL Expresses Regret over Ceasefire Veto at UN Security Council on Israel’s Gaza War

MWL
MWL

The Muslim World League (MWL) has expressed its discontent and regret over the veto of a draft UN Security Council resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, which was submitted by the Republic of Algeria to protect the lives and property of Palestinians in the strip, SPA said on Wednesday.
MWL Secretary-General and Chairman of the Organization of Muslim Scholars Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulkarim Al-Issa reiterated in a statement his call on the international community to assume its responsibility to protect civilians, maintain international peace and security, and end the humanitarian disaster in Gaza.
This war is a flagrant violation of all international laws, and also shakes the confidence of the world community in the international order, the statement added.


OIC Regrets UN Security Council’s Failure to Adopt Resolution on Gaza

OIC regrets UN Security Council’s failure to adopt resolution on Gaza. (SPA)
OIC regrets UN Security Council’s failure to adopt resolution on Gaza. (SPA)
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OIC Regrets UN Security Council’s Failure to Adopt Resolution on Gaza

OIC regrets UN Security Council’s failure to adopt resolution on Gaza. (SPA)
OIC regrets UN Security Council’s failure to adopt resolution on Gaza. (SPA)

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) expressed deep regret over the UN Security Council’s failure to adopt the draft resolution to end the brutal Israeli aggression in Gaza Strip, SPA said on Wednesday.
OIC also said that it deeply regrets the United States’ use of veto on the draft resolution, describing it as a negative reflection of the Security Council’s role in maintaining international peace and security, protecting civilians and ensuring the delivery of humanitarian aid to Gaza Strip.
OIC renewed its call on the international community, particularly the Security Council, to assume its responsibility and take urgent measures to stop the genocide facing the Palestinian people in Gaza Strip.


Arab Leaders Congratulate Saudi Arabia's King on Founding Day

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz. (SPA)
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz. (SPA)
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Arab Leaders Congratulate Saudi Arabia's King on Founding Day

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz. (SPA)
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz. (SPA)

Arab leaders on Wednesday congratulated Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz on the occasion of the Kingdom’s Founding Day, which falls on Thursday.
Sultan Haitham bin Tarik of Oman has sent a cable of congratulations to the Saudi King on the occasion.
The Sultan of Oman wished the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques good health, happiness and a long life.
Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani also sent a cable of congratulations to King Salman on the occasion.
Deputy Emir of Qatar Sheikh Abdullah bin Hamad Al Thani and Qatari Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani also sent cables of congratulation to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques on the occasion.

King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa of the Kingdom of Bahrain wished the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques continued health, and Saudi Arabia and its people further progress and prosperity on the occasion.
He praised Saudi Arabia’s civilizational and developmental achievements, and praised the longstanding Bahraini-Saudi relations.
Saudi Arabia celebrates the anniversary of its Founding Day observed annually on February 22.


KSrelief Provides Health Care Services to Syrian Refugees and Host Community in Lebanon

KSrelief continued implementing a project aimed at improving health care services for Syrian refugees and host communities in Bebnine, Akkar Governorate, Lebanon. (SPA)
KSrelief continued implementing a project aimed at improving health care services for Syrian refugees and host communities in Bebnine, Akkar Governorate, Lebanon. (SPA)
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KSrelief Provides Health Care Services to Syrian Refugees and Host Community in Lebanon

KSrelief continued implementing a project aimed at improving health care services for Syrian refugees and host communities in Bebnine, Akkar Governorate, Lebanon. (SPA)
KSrelief continued implementing a project aimed at improving health care services for Syrian refugees and host communities in Bebnine, Akkar Governorate, Lebanon. (SPA)

The King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSrelief) continued implementing a project aimed at improving health care services for Syrian refugees and host communities in Bebnine, Akkar Governorate, Lebanon, SPA said on Wednesday.
In January 2024, a total of 2,749 patients were received at the Akkar-Bebnine Health Care Center and were provided with 6,580 health care services, part of the pharmacy, laboratory, nursing, and community and psychological health programs. Of the patients, 38% were men and 62% women, 66% refugees, and 34% locals.
The aid underscores Saudi Arabia's commitment, represented by KSrelief, to offer humanitarian assistance to those in need, particularly Syrian refugees. The support covers various sectors, and aims to alleviate the refugees’ suffering amidst the ongoing humanitarian crisis.


Kuwait, Qatar to Bolster Defense Cooperation

Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani welcomes on Tuesday Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Meshal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah who is visiting Doha (Qatari News Agency, QNA)
Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani welcomes on Tuesday Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Meshal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah who is visiting Doha (Qatari News Agency, QNA)
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Kuwait, Qatar to Bolster Defense Cooperation

Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani welcomes on Tuesday Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Meshal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah who is visiting Doha (Qatari News Agency, QNA)
Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani welcomes on Tuesday Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Meshal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah who is visiting Doha (Qatari News Agency, QNA)

Qatar and Kuwait on Tuesday affirmed their keenness to strengthen defense cooperation in all fields and develop strategic relations and partnerships to protect the security and stability of the two countries and the region.
In a joint statement on the occasion of the visit of Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Meshal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah to Doha where he held talks with Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, the two sides stressed the importance of Iraq's commitment to the agreement regulating maritime navigation in the Khor Abdullah waterway.
They also stressed that the Durra field is entirely located within Kuwait's marine borders and that the natural resources in the submerged area adjacent to the Kuwaiti-Saudi divided zone, including the entire Durra field, are jointly owned by only Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, categorically rejecting any claims (Iranian) that a third party has rights to these resources.
At the Palestinian level, the two sides expressed their deep concern over the humanitarian catastrophe in the Gaza Strip, and the brutal war that claimed thousands of defenseless civilians and destroyed vital facilities, places of worship and infrastructure as a result of the blatant attacks by Israel, the occupying power.
Kuwait and Qatar therefore called for pressure on Israel to stop its aggression and prevent attempts to impose forced displacement on Palestinians from the Gaza Strip.
Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Meshal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah had left Doha on Tuesday afternoon, following a short trip to Qatar where he held talks with Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani.
The joint statement issued following the visit said a session of official talks was held at the Amiri Diwan during which the two Emirs discussed bilateral relations between the two brotherly countries and ways to further develop them in all fields.
The two sides praised the growth of trade relations and bilateral investments between the two countries as the volume of trade exchange between Qatar and Kuwait reached $1.94 billion until October 2023.
They stressed the importance of expanding the horizons of cooperation and economic partnership, achieving integration between the opportunities available in both countries, and exploring and developing economic opportunities in light of Qatar Vision 2030 and Kuwait Vision 2035.
Both countries welcomed Qatari and Kuwaiti investors and companies' expansion of their business in the two countries and taking advantage of the opportunities available in the giant projects in all sectors.
They also expressed their aspiration to the convening of the 6th session of the Qatar-Kuwait Joint Higher Cooperation Committee scheduled to be held this year in Doha, and to working on implementing the agreements, memorandums of understanding and joint programs that were agreed upon.
The two sides noted the close cooperation between them in political, military, security, economic, cultural, scientific and sports fields, and other areas of joint cooperation.
On the defense and security side, they affirmed their keenness to strengthen defense cooperation in all fields and develop strategic relations and partnerships to protect the security and stability of the two countries and the region.
Kuwait and Qatar then stressed their desire to enhance cooperation in topics of common interest, including: combating crimes in all its forms, combating drugs, promoting border security, combating extremism, hate speech and terrorism, and spreading a culture of moderation and tolerance in order to achieve security and stability in the two brotherly countries.
The two sides discussed the progress of joint GCC cooperation and the outstanding achievements to meet the aspirations of the citizens of the GCC countries towards greater interconnection, cooperation and integration.
They stressed the importance of maintaining cohesion, solidarity and unity of the GCC countries and intensifying efforts to complete the components of economic unity and the joint defense and security systems.
Kuwait and Qatar tackled the latest regional developments and their repercussions on inter-Arab relations, regional security and stability.

They also stressed the importance of Iraq's respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the State of Kuwait and adherence to bilateral and international pledges and agreements and all relevant UN resolutions, especially Security Council Resolution 833 (1993) on the demarcation of the land and sea borders between Kuwait and Iraq, and the importance of completing the demarcation of the maritime borders between the two countries beyond maritime mark 162.
The Kuwait-Iraq agreement regulating maritime navigation in the Khor Abdullah waterway was signed on April 29, 2012, before being ratified by both countries to take effect on Dec. 5, 2013, and jointly deposited with the UN on Dec. 18. 2013.
Both sides rejected Iraq's unilateral cancellation of the 2008 security swap protocol and its map approved in the joint plan to ensure the safety of navigation in Khor Abdullah signed between the two sides on Dec. 28, 2014, which included a clear and specific mechanism for amendment and cancellation.
The two countries also renewed support for Security Council Resolution 2107 (2013), which requests the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) to strengthen, support, and facilitate efforts related to searching for missing Kuwaitis and third-country nationals and determining their fate.

 

 


Saudi Arabia Reiterates Need to End Humanitarian Catastrophe in Gaza

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz chairs the cabinet meeting in Riyadh. (SPA)
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz chairs the cabinet meeting in Riyadh. (SPA)
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Saudi Arabia Reiterates Need to End Humanitarian Catastrophe in Gaza

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz chairs the cabinet meeting in Riyadh. (SPA)
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz chairs the cabinet meeting in Riyadh. (SPA)

The Saudi government reiterated on Tuesday the need to end the humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza.

The Kingdom had declared that position at the Munich Security Conference.

It had called for prioritizing the need to reach a ceasefire in Gaza and for the withdrawal of Israeli forces from the enclave. Efforts must be exerted to deliver more humanitarian aid to the Palestinian people, it added.

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz chaired the cabinet meeting that was held in Riyadh.

The cabinet expressed immense pride in the Kingdom's remarkable three-century legacy on the eve of Founding Day, which is celebrated on February 22.

It highlighted the unity, security and stability enjoyed for generations, which led to constant progress and development. It commended the state's unwavering commitment and steadfastness, and acknowledged the march forward toward a brighter future for the country.

The cabinet was briefed on recent government activities, and highlighted the efforts exerted toward deepening ties with various countries, in pursuit of shared goals and stronger cooperation in diverse fields.

The cabinet praised the successful visit by Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte to the Kingdom where he held talks with Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, Crown Prince and Prime Minister.

The cabinet stressed that the Kingdom's successful bid to host the 11th session of the World Water Forum in 2027 solidifies its leading role in addressing water issues both regionally and internationally. It reflects the nation's ongoing commitment to achieving sustainable development goals.

The cabinet lauded the outcomes of the World Smart Cities Forum (WSCF) that was held in Riyadh, highlighting the successful launches and signing of memoranda of understanding. The initiatives aim to boost sustainability and improve the quality of life in Saudi cities, aligning with the Kingdom's objective of having at least ten of its cities ranked among the top 50 globally.

The ministers reviewed on the inclusion of three new Saudi cities into the UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities, attaining the highest growth rate among major tourist destinations worldwide, and leading the Electronic Government Services Index in the Middle East and North Africa.

The achievements underscore the Kingdom's unwavering interest and support for all sectors, aspiring to establish the country as an exemplary model on multiple fronts.


8th Saudi Relief Plane Arrives in Poland to Deliver Aid to Ukrainians

The plane is carrying 78 tons of relief supplies. SPA
The plane is carrying 78 tons of relief supplies. SPA
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8th Saudi Relief Plane Arrives in Poland to Deliver Aid to Ukrainians

The plane is carrying 78 tons of relief supplies. SPA
The plane is carrying 78 tons of relief supplies. SPA

The eighth Saudi relief aircraft operated by the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSrelief) landed on Tuesday at the Polish Rzeszow Airport, near the Ukrainian border.

The aircraft will cross the Polish border into Ukraine as part of the Kingdom's ongoing efforts to offer humanitarian assistance to the Ukrainian people.

The plane is carrying 78 tons of relief supplies, including electric generators and appliances.

This humanitarian aid is testament to Saudi Arabia's historical commitment to assisting people facing adversities and crises across the globe.


Saudi Leadership Congratulates President of Nepal on Democracy Day

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. (SPA)
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. (SPA)
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Saudi Leadership Congratulates President of Nepal on Democracy Day

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. (SPA)
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. (SPA)

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud sent on Monday a cable of congratulations to President of Nepal Ramchandra Paudel on his country's Democracy Day.

He wished him continued good health and happiness, and the government and people of Nepal steady progress and prosperity.

Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, Crown Prince and Prime Minister, sent the Nepalese leader a similar cable on the occasion.


GCC Secretary-General, EU’s Borrell Urge Gaza Ceasefire

Secretary-General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Jassem Mohamed Albudaiwi.
Secretary-General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Jassem Mohamed Albudaiwi.
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GCC Secretary-General, EU’s Borrell Urge Gaza Ceasefire

Secretary-General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Jassem Mohamed Albudaiwi.
Secretary-General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Jassem Mohamed Albudaiwi.

Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Jassem Mohamed Albudaiwi met held talks in Munich on Sunday with High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell.

They highlighted the gravity of the situation in Gaza and its profound impact it is having on the lives of the Palestinian people.

They stressed the need for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and the swift provision of humanitarian aid and relief to the affected people.

They emphasized the crucial role of collective international action in addressing the significant challenges and consequences arising from various conflicts and crises at both the international and regional levels.

Albudaiwi and Borrell met on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference in Germany.

They discussed issues of mutual interest and means to strengthen collaboration across various fields.

They underlined the historic partnership between the GCC and the European Union and reviewed the agreements reached at the 27th Joint Ministerial Council meeting, which took place in Muscat in October 2023.


Saudi Leadership Congratulates Gambian President on Independence Day

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. (SPA)
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. (SPA)
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Saudi Leadership Congratulates Gambian President on Independence Day

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. (SPA)
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. (SPA)

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud sent on Sunday a cable of congratulations to Gambian President Adama Barrow on his country's Independence Day.

He wished him continued good health and happiness, and the government and people of the Gambia steady progress and prosperity.

Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, Crown Prince and Prime Minister, sent the Gambian a similar cable on the occasion.