Saudi FM Calls on Iran to Be Transparent about Its Nuclear Program

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan participates in the MENA Forum, hosted by the Middle East Institute and Think Research and Advisory, in New York on Friday. (Think Research and Advisory)
Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan participates in the MENA Forum, hosted by the Middle East Institute and Think Research and Advisory, in New York on Friday. (Think Research and Advisory)
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Saudi FM Calls on Iran to Be Transparent about Its Nuclear Program

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan participates in the MENA Forum, hosted by the Middle East Institute and Think Research and Advisory, in New York on Friday. (Think Research and Advisory)
Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan participates in the MENA Forum, hosted by the Middle East Institute and Think Research and Advisory, in New York on Friday. (Think Research and Advisory)

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan expressed his country’s concern over Iran’s acquiring a nuclear weapon, warning of the danger this could pose to the regional and international security.

The top Saudi diplomat said on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York: “We are concerned about the Iranian nuclear program. We are clear that Iran (acquiring) a nuclear weapon is a very dangerous matter. It is dangerous not only for security in the region, but also for the structure of international security.”

He continued: “We hear from the Iranians that their nuclear program is for civilian purposes. We hope this is true. And if that is the case, then I don’t understand the lack of transparency... We also have a nuclear program, we adhere to the highest standards of transparency, and we are working with our international partners to build the program so that everyone is fully aware of it...”

“So we hope that the Iranians will take the path of transparency to reassure everyone. And if they don’t, it will raise many questions about their intentions.”

Iran and the Houthis

The Saudi foreign minister was addressing New York’s MENA Forum, hosted by the Middle East Institute and Think Research and Advisory, on the sidelines of the 77th UN General Assembly on Friday.

He pointed to Iran’s continuous supply of drones to the Houthi militias in Yemen, saying that Saudi Arabia had managed to deter about 94 percent of the drone attacks against it.

Regarding the nationwide truce in Yemen, Prince Faisal said: “We see signs that the Houthis are not likely to accept the extension of the truce, and this would be a very unfortunate development because the truce has already achieved results for the Yemeni people.”

The truce went into effect in April and has since been renewed twice. It is set to expire on October 2.

Iraq

The foreign minister said the Kingdom “encourages Saudi companies to invest in Iraq,” stressing that promoting economic stability in the country would “limit the influence of players who do not care about the interests of the Iraqi people, but only about their political and ideological agendas.”

“We know that the situation there is currently difficult, but there are voices calling for change in the interest of the country and its economy. Iraq has a lot of capacities,” he emphasized.

Israel and Palestine

On relations with Israel, Prince Faisal affirmed that the Kingdom “is interested in peace,” but the only way for a stable region was to resolve the Palestinian crisis, which he said will only happen through the establishment of a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital.

“Negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians need to move in this direction,” he stated, stressing Saudi support for efforts in this context.

He added: “Any additional steps will not be sustainable. We need sustainable peace, and the only way to achieve that is through a solution.”

Russia and Ukraine

Commenting on the Russian-Ukrainian crisis, the Saudi FM said ending the conflict must go through negotiations.

Prince Faisal stressed that the Kingdom had expressed its willingness to mediate between the two sides since the beginning of the crisis.

In this regard, he noted that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman worked to facilitate a prisoner release, saying: “I am happy to announce that they are on their way to their country after arriving in the Kingdom two days ago.”

China

In addition, Prince Faisal stated that China was the largest trading partner of the Kingdom and the United States, adding: “We all have an interest in working with China, as it is the second largest economy in the world. So it is important that we have an ongoing dialogue.”

The minister pointed to an increasing trend towards the politics of marginalization, stressing that many countries around the world felt that they were not represented fairly, and that their interests were not being taken care of.

He said: “This is very dangerous, and if marginalization increases, we fear that the global economy and the international security structure will be shaken.”

“We, in the Kingdom, have decided to focus on a path to sustainable development and prosperity for our people. We don’t want politics to distract us. We want to talk about investment, cooperation and progress, and we hope our international partners will focus on that as well.”



Saudi Arabia Appoints Faisal al-Mujfel Ambassador to Syria

Saudi Arabia's new Ambassador to Syria Dr. Faisal Al-Mujfel. (SPA)
Saudi Arabia's new Ambassador to Syria Dr. Faisal Al-Mujfel. (SPA)
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Saudi Arabia Appoints Faisal al-Mujfel Ambassador to Syria

Saudi Arabia's new Ambassador to Syria Dr. Faisal Al-Mujfel. (SPA)
Saudi Arabia's new Ambassador to Syria Dr. Faisal Al-Mujfel. (SPA)

Saudi Arabia appointed a new ambassador to Syria on Sunday, reported the Saudi Press Agency.

Dr. Faisal Al-Mujfel will be the Kingdom's first envoy to Damascus since the closure of the Saudi embassy there in 2012 during the Syrian civil war.

Dr. Faisal expressed his gratitude to Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz and Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Crown Prince and Prime Minister, for entrusting him with this duty.

Saudi Arabia reopened its embassy in Syria earlier this year after the two countries cut diplomatic ties more than a decade ago.

Syria reopened its embassy in Riyadh last year and appointed a new ambassador in December.


Dar Tantora: A Sustainable Oasis Steeped in AlUla's Rich History

This innovative project is testament to AlUla's commitment to preserving its rich heritage while embracing a sustainable tourism future. (SPA)
This innovative project is testament to AlUla's commitment to preserving its rich heritage while embracing a sustainable tourism future. (SPA)
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Dar Tantora: A Sustainable Oasis Steeped in AlUla's Rich History

This innovative project is testament to AlUla's commitment to preserving its rich heritage while embracing a sustainable tourism future. (SPA)
This innovative project is testament to AlUla's commitment to preserving its rich heritage while embracing a sustainable tourism future. (SPA)

Dar Tantora, a name synonymous with the historic sundial that once graced its entrance, has unveiled its eco-friendly luxury hotel facilities, reported the Saudi Press Agency on Sunday.

This unique property, also known as "The House Hotel", boasts 30 guest rooms meticulously built using traditional AlUla construction methods. Skilled artisans employed time-honored tools and seamlessly blended them with modern engineering techniques for a truly immersive experience.

Stepping inside Dar Tantora is like stepping back in time. The corridors bathed in warm candlelight emanate serenity, while the restaurant, café, and health club seamlessly integrate in the traditional home lifestyle of AlUla old town.

Sustainability is at the heart of Dar Tantora's philosophy. The hotel utilizes specially designed irrigation and ventilation systems to minimize energy consumption and environmental impact. The hotel's design, echoing the changing seasons and temperature fluctuations, reflects a deep respect for the natural world.

This innovative project is testament to AlUla's commitment to preserving its rich heritage while embracing a sustainable tourism future.


WHO Praises Saudi Arabia's Healthcare Aid, Signs New Agreements with KSrelief

King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSrelief) Supervisor General Dr. Abdullah Al Rabeeah speaks at the panel in Geneva. (SPA)
King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSrelief) Supervisor General Dr. Abdullah Al Rabeeah speaks at the panel in Geneva. (SPA)
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WHO Praises Saudi Arabia's Healthcare Aid, Signs New Agreements with KSrelief

King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSrelief) Supervisor General Dr. Abdullah Al Rabeeah speaks at the panel in Geneva. (SPA)
King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSrelief) Supervisor General Dr. Abdullah Al Rabeeah speaks at the panel in Geneva. (SPA)

The World Health Organization (WHO) announced from Geneva on Saturday a new agreement with King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSrelief), which provides over $19 million in funding to WHO programs in three countries: Yemen ($9.5 million), Sudan ($5 million), and Syria ($4.75 million).

WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus expressed great appreciation for Saudi Arabia's generous support over the past five years. These contributions, he noted, have been instrumental in tackling malnutrition, cholera, and malaria, while also aiding in the rehabilitation of healthcare systems in crisis zones, and have had a positive impact on vulnerable populations.

The WHO applauded Saudi Arabia, with which it has a strong partnership, and highlighted the Kingdom's crucial role in alleviating health challenges across the globe, including its vital support to Sudan, Gaza Strip in Palestine, Yemen, Somalia, Ukraine, and Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh.

The organization also welcomed the continued support KSrelief lends it to address global health emergencies, and acknowledged Saudi Arabia's position as one of WHO's top contributors in recent years.

WHO Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean Dr. Hanan Balkhi emphasized the significant role these funds will play in the region, supporting vulnerable communities facing multiple emergencies.

Meanwhile, KSrelief Supervisor General Dr. Abdullah Al Rabeeah called for finding innovative ways to boost the partnership with the WHO to improve and coordinate response efforts, ensure that all resources are allocated efficiently, and enable communities to become more resilient and independent.

Speaking at a panel discussion, "From Crisis to Opportunity: Health in the Eastern Mediterranean Region", at the 77th World Health Assembly in Geneva, Al Rabeeah thanked the WHO on its efforts to address the humanitarian crises in the Eastern Mediterranean region, including conflicts, migration and economic instability.

He said the Saudi leadership made intensive and generous efforts to alleviate the suffering of millions of people in need in the region and around the world, particularly children, women and other vulnerable groups.

Total humanitarian assistance provided by Saudi Arabia to the WHO Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean exceeded $1.4 billion, he revealed.

Al Rabeeah said KSrelief provides comprehensive health treatment and support services in humanitarian emergencies.

KSrelief, he added, implemented various volunteer programs in the medical sector, as part of its relief and humanitarian work, including 298 projects worth over $46 million in the Eastern Mediterranean region.

Moreover, he urged all parties in conflict areas to ensure that relief aid providers are allowed to deliver aid in a safe and effective manner.

When aid delivery is prevented and attacks on humanitarian workers and hospital staff are allowed, those in need of the aid suffer even more. The situations in Gaza Strip and Sudan are clear example of this, he said.

Al Rabeeah said KSrelief works closely with its partners to overcome challenges and ensure the safe delivery of aid even under the most difficult circumstances.  

For instance, during the siege of Taiz, Yemen, the center used airdrops to deliver assistance and even resorted to camels to deliver medical supplies, oxygen cylinders and other urgent items to remote mountain locations where health services were either very limited or unavailable, he said.

In Gaza, the center succeeded in providing assistance despite the current challenges.

"Restricted access to Gaza has led to severe shortages of food, water, medical supplies and other much-needed items," he noted, urging that restrictions be addressed to save lives, especially those of children, women and the elderly.

Al Rabeeah called on the international community to take decisive action to protect health facilities and humanitarian workers, and all authorities to abide by international humanitarian law. He also called for involving healthcare workers in policy-making processes to ensure that their expertise and experience are used to shape effective healthcare strategies.

He emphasized the crucial role of international collaboration in ensuring that all people in need have access to humanitarian assistance and medical care.


First Flight of ‘Makkah Route Initiative’ Beneficiaries from Morocco Arrives in Kingdom

First Flight of ‘Makkah Route Initiative’ Beneficiaries from Morocco Arrives in Kingdom
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First Flight of ‘Makkah Route Initiative’ Beneficiaries from Morocco Arrives in Kingdom

First Flight of ‘Makkah Route Initiative’ Beneficiaries from Morocco Arrives in Kingdom

The first flight of beneficiaries from the “Makkah Route Initiative” from the Kingdom of Morocco arrived on Saturday at Prince Mohammad bin Abdulaziz International Airport in Madinah.
The flight came to the Kingdom through the initiative's terminal at Mohammed V International Airport.
The Makkah Route Initiative is one of the Ministry of Interior’s initiatives under the Pilgrim Experience Program, a part of Saudi Vision 2030, SPA reported.
The initiative aims to complete the procedures for pilgrims in their home countries, starting with the electronic issuance of visas and capturing biometric data, followed by completing passport procedures at the departure airport after verifying health requirements.
Additionally, it includes tagging and sorting luggage according to transportation and accommodation arrangements in the Kingdom.
Upon arrival, pilgrims are transported directly by buses to their accommodations in Makkah and Madinah via designated routes, while service agencies handle the delivery of their luggage to their residences.


Saudi Relief Arm, WHO Sign Executive Programs Worth $19ML for Yemen, Sudan, Syria

The five agreements were signed by Advisor at the Royal Court and KSrelief Supervisor General Dr. Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Rabeeah and WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, in the presence of Saudi Arabia's Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva Ambassador Abdulmohsen bin Khothaila - SPA
The five agreements were signed by Advisor at the Royal Court and KSrelief Supervisor General Dr. Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Rabeeah and WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, in the presence of Saudi Arabia's Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva Ambassador Abdulmohsen bin Khothaila - SPA
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Saudi Relief Arm, WHO Sign Executive Programs Worth $19ML for Yemen, Sudan, Syria

The five agreements were signed by Advisor at the Royal Court and KSrelief Supervisor General Dr. Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Rabeeah and WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, in the presence of Saudi Arabia's Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva Ambassador Abdulmohsen bin Khothaila - SPA
The five agreements were signed by Advisor at the Royal Court and KSrelief Supervisor General Dr. Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Rabeeah and WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, in the presence of Saudi Arabia's Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva Ambassador Abdulmohsen bin Khothaila - SPA

The King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSrelief) signed five executive programs with the World Health Organization (WHO) for Yemen, Sudan, and Syria, with a total value of $19,496,000.

The agreements were signed on the sidelines of the 77th session of the World Health Assembly in Geneva, SPA reported.
The first agreement aims to address the severe shortage of kidney dialysis supplies in Sudan to reduce mortality among kidney failure patients across various Sudanese states by providing dialysis supplies sufficient for some 235,000 dialysis sessions, securing 100 dialysis machines, and paying the salaries of medical staff in 77 dialysis centers, with a value of $5 million.
The second agreement entails providing medical assistance to earthquake victims in Syria, with a total cost of $4,746,000.
The third agreement focuses on combating the spread of measles among children under five in Yemen, with a total cost of $3 million.
The fourth agreement aims to improve water and sanitation services in healthcare facilities, ensuring sustainable water supplies to serve the neediest populations in Yemen, valued at $3,750,000. The agreement includes drilling solar-powered wells in 10 healthcare facilities.
The fifth agreement aims to reduce the spread of cholera across Yemen, with a value of $3 million.
These agreements are part of the humanitarian and relief efforts provided by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, through KSrelief, to support the health sectors in needy countries, enhance their capabilities, and provide them with essential medical needs.


Saudi Leadership Congratulate King of Jordan on Independence Day

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud and Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Crown Prince and Prime Minister. (SPA)
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud and Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Crown Prince and Prime Minister. (SPA)
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Saudi Leadership Congratulate King of Jordan on Independence Day

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud and Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Crown Prince and Prime Minister. (SPA)
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud and Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Crown Prince and Prime Minister. (SPA)

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud has sent a cable of congratulations to King Abdullah II bin Al Hussein of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan on the anniversary of his country's Independence Day.
The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques wished King Abdullah continued good health and happiness, and the government and people of Jordan further progress and prosperity.

For his part, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud also sent a similar cable of congratulations to King Abdullah.

The Crown Prince wished King Abdullah continued good health and happiness, and the government and people of Jordan further progress and prosperity.


Saudi Arabia Welcomes World Court Decision Ordering Israel to Stop Military Offensive in Rafah

International Court of Justice (ICJ) President Nawaf Salam (C) stands during an ICJ ruling over the situation in Rafah, southern Gaza Strip, in the Hague, Netherlands, 24 May 2024. EPA/Koen van Weel
International Court of Justice (ICJ) President Nawaf Salam (C) stands during an ICJ ruling over the situation in Rafah, southern Gaza Strip, in the Hague, Netherlands, 24 May 2024. EPA/Koen van Weel
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Saudi Arabia Welcomes World Court Decision Ordering Israel to Stop Military Offensive in Rafah

International Court of Justice (ICJ) President Nawaf Salam (C) stands during an ICJ ruling over the situation in Rafah, southern Gaza Strip, in the Hague, Netherlands, 24 May 2024. EPA/Koen van Weel
International Court of Justice (ICJ) President Nawaf Salam (C) stands during an ICJ ruling over the situation in Rafah, southern Gaza Strip, in the Hague, Netherlands, 24 May 2024. EPA/Koen van Weel

The Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs has said the Kingdom welcomed the decision of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ordering Israel to immediately stop military attacks or any other offensive actions in the southern Gaza city of Rafah, based on the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.

“The Kingdom appreciates the ICJ decision, which is a positive step towards the moral and legal right of the Palestinian people,” it said in a statement on Friday.

The Kingdom reiterated its call on the international community to shoulder its responsibilities to stop all forms of aggression against the Palestinian people.


Saudi, French FMs Discuss Developments in Gaza

Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah has met with French Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs Stéphane Séjourné in Paris. SPA
Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah has met with French Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs Stéphane Séjourné in Paris. SPA
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Saudi, French FMs Discuss Developments in Gaza

Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah has met with French Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs Stéphane Séjourné in Paris. SPA
Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah has met with French Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs Stéphane Séjourné in Paris. SPA

Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah has met with French Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs Stéphane Séjourné in Paris.

During the meeting, the two ministers discussed Saudi-French relations and ways to enhance them in all fields and to improve coordination on various issues of mutual concern.

The two ministers also discussed the situation in Gaza and its surroundings and the need to deliver humanitarian assistance to the civilians in the enclave.

The meeting was attended by Saudi Ambassador to France Fahd bin Mayouf Al-Ruwaili, Foreign Minister's Office Director General Abdulrahman Al-Dawood, and Ministry of Foreign Affairs Advisor Dr. Manal Radwan.


Saudi Crown Prince Offers Condolences to Iran’s Interim President for Late President Raisi

Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Crown Prince and Prime Minister of Saudi Arabia. (SPA)
Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Crown Prince and Prime Minister of Saudi Arabia. (SPA)
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Saudi Crown Prince Offers Condolences to Iran’s Interim President for Late President Raisi

Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Crown Prince and Prime Minister of Saudi Arabia. (SPA)
Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Crown Prince and Prime Minister of Saudi Arabia. (SPA)

Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Crown Prince and Prime Minister of Saudi Arabia, held telephone talks on Friday with Iran’s interim President Mohamed Mokhber to offer his condolences over the death of President Ebrahim Raisi, Foreign Minister Hossein Amid-Abdollahian and their entourage.

Mokhber expressed his gratitude to Crown Prince Mohammed for his gesture.

The officials hailed the progress achieved in bilateral relations between their countries on various levels.

They underscored the importance of continuing to bolster cooperation in various fields.


King of Bahrain Says No Reason to Delay Normalizing Ties with Iran

King of Bahrain Sheikh Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa and Russian President Vladimir Putin meet in Moscow on Thursday. (AFP)
King of Bahrain Sheikh Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa and Russian President Vladimir Putin meet in Moscow on Thursday. (AFP)
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King of Bahrain Says No Reason to Delay Normalizing Ties with Iran

King of Bahrain Sheikh Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa and Russian President Vladimir Putin meet in Moscow on Thursday. (AFP)
King of Bahrain Sheikh Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa and Russian President Vladimir Putin meet in Moscow on Thursday. (AFP)

King of Bahrain Sheikh Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa extended on Thursday an invitation to Russia’s President Vladimir Putin to attend a Middle East peace conference that will be hosted by the kingdom.

King Hamad is on an official visit to Russia where he held talks with Putin at the Kremlin. The leaders discussed several issues, including expanding trade between their countries.

On the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, King Hamad said: “Arab countries are in agreement over the need to hold a peace conference to resolve the problem of the Middle East.”

“Russia is the first country we are turning to to support this conference because it has the greatest international influence,” he went on to say.

King Hamad also said Bahrain supports normalizing ties with Iran.

“We had problems with Iran, but not anymore,” he remarked. “We see no reason to delay the normalization of relations with it.”

He underlined the principle of good neighborliness, adding: “We are trying to establish normal diplomatic, trade and cultural relations with it.”

King Hamad had kicked off his official visit to Russia on Wednesday at the invitation of Putin.