Members of Arab Peace Initiative Committee Meet in New York

The roundtable meeting was convened at the invitation of Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah and Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit.  (SPA)
The roundtable meeting was convened at the invitation of Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah and Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit. (SPA)
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Members of Arab Peace Initiative Committee Meet in New York

The roundtable meeting was convened at the invitation of Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah and Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit.  (SPA)
The roundtable meeting was convened at the invitation of Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah and Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit. (SPA)

Members of the Arab Peace Initiative Committee met in New York on Tuesday on the sidelines of the 77th United Nations General Assembly.

The roundtable meeting was convened at the invitation of Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah and Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit.

It marked the 20th anniversary of Saudi Arabia’s launch of the initiative during the 2002 Arab summit that was held in Beirut.

Since then, the initiative has remained the basis for Palestinian, Arab and Islamic calls for peace and resolving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

Tuesday’s meeting underscored the importance of the initiative. The gatherers noted that the prospects of a political solution remain dim.

They expressed alarm at the deteriorating humanitarian situation in the Palestinian Territories, mounting threats and growing illegal Israeli settlement expansion.

They voiced concern over the possible eruption of a new wave of violence that would threaten the Palestinian people and jeopardize the region.

The meeting with international and regional partners sought to highlight the plight of the Palestinian people amid the stalled political process. It sought to urge them to take tangible steps that would support the resumption of dialogue based on the 2002 initiative and relevant UN resolutions.

The roundtable was attended by members of the initiative committee: Jordan, Egypt, Bahrain, Tunisia, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Iraq, Palestine, Qatar, Lebanon, Marocco and Yemen.

Also present were European state sponsors of peace in the Middle East: Spain, Sweden and France.

Present were heads of the Gulf Cooperation Council and Organization for Islamic Cooperation, European Union foreign policy chief, and the EU and UN peace envoys.



Saudi Arabia: Unauthorized Hajj Pilgrims Die from Heat Stress after Walking in Scorching Heat 

The authorities exerted great efforts to raise awareness about heat stress and emphasize the need to follow preventive measures. (SPA)
The authorities exerted great efforts to raise awareness about heat stress and emphasize the need to follow preventive measures. (SPA)
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Saudi Arabia: Unauthorized Hajj Pilgrims Die from Heat Stress after Walking in Scorching Heat 

The authorities exerted great efforts to raise awareness about heat stress and emphasize the need to follow preventive measures. (SPA)
The authorities exerted great efforts to raise awareness about heat stress and emphasize the need to follow preventive measures. (SPA)

Saudi Arabia stressed on Sunday that it treated several cases of heat stress during this year’s Hajj pilgrimage. Some pilgrims are still receiving care.

A total of 1,301 fatalities from heat stress were reported, with 83 percent of the cases being among pilgrims without permits, announced Minister of Health Fahd Al-Jalajel in televised remarks.

The unauthorized pilgrims walked long distances under the scorching sun, without shelter or comfort, and many among them were elderly and suffering from chronic illnesses, he explained.

Over 1.8 million pilgrims performed the Hajj with complete ease and safety, amid an integrated advanced system of services, he added.

Al-Jalajel highlighted the strenuous efforts carried out by the concerned authorities to ensure that the pilgrims, regardless of their race or nationality, have a smooth journey, which led to the success of the pilgrimage in spite the massive numbers that were present and the various challenges posed by the souring temperatures.

The authorities exerted great efforts to raise awareness about heat stress and emphasize the need to follow preventive measures, he went on to say.

All relatives of the deceased have been contacted and the deceased have been identified – a process which took some time because they did not carry the necessary identification, the minister remarked. They have been buried in the holy city of Makkah and their death certificates have been issued.

Moreover, Al-Jalajel said no diseases or epidemics were reported at the Hajj. The health system provided over 465,000 specialized treatment services, including 141,000 to individuals who did not obtain official authorization to perform the Hajj, he revealed, stressing that the leadership prioritizes human health above all else.

The services offered included open-heart surgeries, cardiac catheterization, dialysis, and emergency care.