US, UAE Presidents Discuss Investment Partnership in Clean Energy

The virtual meeting between Emirati President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and US President Joe Biden on Wednesday (WAM)
The virtual meeting between Emirati President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and US President Joe Biden on Wednesday (WAM)
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US, UAE Presidents Discuss Investment Partnership in Clean Energy

The virtual meeting between Emirati President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and US President Joe Biden on Wednesday (WAM)
The virtual meeting between Emirati President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and US President Joe Biden on Wednesday (WAM)

UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and US President Joe Biden reaffirmed on Wednesday the depth of the US-Emirati strategic relationship and addressed global challenges including energy security.

In a virtual meeting, the two leaders discussed the comprehensive UAE-US initiative announced on Thursday to accelerate investment in clean energy, advance shared climate goals and strengthen global energy security.

The partnership between both countries will mobilize $100 billion in funding and investment to deploy 100 new gigawatts of clean energy in the US, UAE, and emerging economies around the world by 2035.

The two Presidents welcomed the initiative and reaffirmed their shared commitment to enhancing climate ambition and climate action, in line with their net zero 2050 goals and ahead of COP27 in Egypt later this month and of COP28 in the UAE next year, according to Emirates News Agency, WAM.

They also noted the importance of a rapid and well-managed energy transition and its potential to create expanded economic opportunities and drive more sustainable growth.

Both leaders then shared their common interests in stabilizing the global energy market and in increasing their investments in renewable energy and pledged to deepen their close cooperation.

Meanwhile, Sheikh Mohamed outlined the UAE’s significant ongoing investments to lower carbon impact on the energy sectors of both conventional and renewable energy.

He then expressed his country’s long-standing concern about the impacts of global warming, and noted the UAE’s leading role in the energy transition, expanding its own renewable energy capacity 200-fold over the last ten years which included building three of the largest and lowest-cost solar projects in the world.

The Emirati President briefed his US counterpart on the UAE’s funding and assistance for clean energy projects on six continents, including in 31 small island developing states in the Caribbean and the Pacific Ocean as well as a growing number of projects across the US.

On Wednesday, Mohamed bin Zayed had witnessed the signing of a comprehensive strategic partnership between the UAE and the US to invest in clean energy.



Saudi Citizen Account Program Deposits SAR3.4 Billion to Beneficiaries in December

A general view of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (SPA)
A general view of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (SPA)
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Saudi Citizen Account Program Deposits SAR3.4 Billion to Beneficiaries in December

A general view of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (SPA)
A general view of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (SPA)

Up to SAR3.4 billion was given to 10.8 million beneficiaries based on the Citizen Account Program. This includes those whose applications for December 2023 were completed, according to SPA.

The program's Director General of Communications Abdullah Al-Hajri said that assistance granted to beneficiaries since the launch of the program amounts to SAR185 billion.

Al-Hajri underlined that 75% of beneficiaries received support during December, adding that the average amount per family stands at SAR1,481.

He said that 2.1 million heads of households benefited from the program in the same month, representing 74% of the total beneficiaries, while the number of dependents stands at 7.9 million.


GCC Secretary-General Urges Immediate Gaza Ceasefire

GCC Secretary-General Jasem al-Budaiwi - Reuters
GCC Secretary-General Jasem al-Budaiwi - Reuters
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GCC Secretary-General Urges Immediate Gaza Ceasefire

GCC Secretary-General Jasem al-Budaiwi - Reuters
GCC Secretary-General Jasem al-Budaiwi - Reuters

Secretary-General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Jasem Mohammed Albudaiwi emphasized the imperative to escalate humanitarian efforts and provide increased support to the Palestinian people.

This affirmation was made during a meeting in Doha between the GCC Secretary-General and Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, Daniel Benaim, held on the sidelines of his participation in the 21st edition of the Doha Forum.

The GCC Secretary-General also reiterated the unwavering commitment of GCC countries to exert every possible effort to alleviate the suffering in Gaza. He emphasized the urgent necessity for a ceasefire to facilitate the entry and improvement of relief and humanitarian assistance, SPA reported.

He also underscored the significance of adhering to international humanitarian standards and holding those accountable for the heinous Israeli crimes during this crisis. Moreover, he emphasized the negative repercussions these crimes have caused on all aspects in the Gaza Strip and the wider region.


Doha Forum Kicks Off, with Gaza at the Forefront of Talks

The 21st edition of the Doha Forum kicked off on Sunday.
The 21st edition of the Doha Forum kicked off on Sunday.
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Doha Forum Kicks Off, with Gaza at the Forefront of Talks

The 21st edition of the Doha Forum kicked off on Sunday.
The 21st edition of the Doha Forum kicked off on Sunday.

The 21st edition of the Doha Forum, which is held under the patronage of the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, kicked off on Sunday, in the presence of opinion leaders, senior policymakers, foreign and defense officials, and a large number of businessmen.
Held under the slogan, “Together towards building a bright tomorrow,” the two-day forum is a global platform that seeks to discuss solutions to the world’s crises.
In addition to political, security, and energy files, the Doha Forum discusses a number of topics, including economic development, environmental sustainability, food security, and artificial intelligence.
Sunday’s first conference addresses the situation in the Middle East, and features discussions by Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdul Rahman Al Thani, the Qatari Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh, Jordanian Foreign Affairs Minister Ayman Al-Safadi, and Dennis Francis, President of the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly.
The tragic situation in the Gaza Strip is at the forefront of the discussions.
Another conference will be held under the title: “Palestine has become a global crisis; Does it have a global solution?” It will be attended by Ambassador of the Palestinian Mission to the United Kingdom Hossam Zomlot, Minister of State at the Qatari Ministry of Foreign Affairs Dr. Mohammed bin Abdulaziz Al-Khulaifi, and Daniel Levy, Head of the US/Middle East Project and the former Israeli negotiator at Taba and Oslo.
The forum sees an important discussion, entitled “Humanitarian Diplomacy in a World Full of Challenges... An Overview of Global Humanitarian Action 2024”, with the participation of Martin Griffiths, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator.
The forum will also witness a closed session to discuss the situation in Yemen, under the title, “Local, regional and international dynamics in Yemen.”


Qatar PM: We Will Continue to Pressure Israel and Hamas for a Truce

Qatari PM Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani. (AFP)
Qatari PM Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani. (AFP)
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Qatar PM: We Will Continue to Pressure Israel and Hamas for a Truce

Qatari PM Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani. (AFP)
Qatari PM Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani. (AFP)

Qatar's prime minister said on Sunday Doha will continue to pressure Israel and Hamas for a truce despite "narrowing" chances.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani added that hostages were released from Gaza because of negotiations and not because of Israeli military actions, Reuters reported.
He was speaking at the Doha Forum conference in Qatar. 
He added that an entire generation in the Middle East is at risk of becoming radicalized because of the Gaza war.
Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh told the gathering that the United States should also be held responsible for Israeli attacks on Gaza and the loss of Palestinian lives.
For his part, Jordan's foreign minister Ayman Safadi said that Israel was implementing a systematic policy of pushing Palestinians out of Gaza by a war that has killed thousands of civilians.
Safadi, whose country borders the West Bank and had absorbed the bulk of Palestinians after Israel's creation in 1948, also said Israel had created an "amount of hatred " that would "haunt the region" and "define generations to come", reported Reuters.


Saudi Ksrelief Delivers Humanitarian Aid in Lebanon, Syria's Aleppo

These projects come within the humanitarian and relief efforts provided by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia through the KSrelief, to assist those in need and those affected worldwide - SPA
These projects come within the humanitarian and relief efforts provided by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia through the KSrelief, to assist those in need and those affected worldwide - SPA
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Saudi Ksrelief Delivers Humanitarian Aid in Lebanon, Syria's Aleppo

These projects come within the humanitarian and relief efforts provided by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia through the KSrelief, to assist those in need and those affected worldwide - SPA
These projects come within the humanitarian and relief efforts provided by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia through the KSrelief, to assist those in need and those affected worldwide - SPA

The King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSrelief) distributed 1,076 shopping vouchers that enable the beneficiaries from the neediest families of Syrian refugees and the host community in several Lebanese regions to purchase winter clothing as part of the second phase of the winter clothing distribution project (Kanaf) for 2023.

These projects come within the humanitarian and relief efforts provided by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia through the KSrelief.

The Riyadh-based center has also executed the fourth stage of the Al-Amal Charitable Bakery project for the year 2023, in several Lebanese Governorates.
Last week, the project distributed 150,000 bundles of bread daily to needy Syrians and Palestinians families, and the host community living in northern Lebanon, benefiting 125,000 individuals

Also, a total of 316 families, among the most in need, who were affected by the earthquake in Aleppo governorate, Syrian Arab Republic, benefited from winter aid distributions.
This initiative is part of a project to distribute vouchers for winter clothing to families affected by the earthquake in northern and western Syria.


OIC Expresses Dismay at Security Council’s Failure to Reach Ceasefire in Gaza

Smoke rises over Khan Yunis following Israeli airstrikes in the southern Gaza Strip, 9 December 2023.  EPA/HAITHAM IMAD
Smoke rises over Khan Yunis following Israeli airstrikes in the southern Gaza Strip, 9 December 2023. EPA/HAITHAM IMAD
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OIC Expresses Dismay at Security Council’s Failure to Reach Ceasefire in Gaza

Smoke rises over Khan Yunis following Israeli airstrikes in the southern Gaza Strip, 9 December 2023.  EPA/HAITHAM IMAD
Smoke rises over Khan Yunis following Israeli airstrikes in the southern Gaza Strip, 9 December 2023. EPA/HAITHAM IMAD

Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Hissein Ibrahim Taha, expressed dismay on Saturday after the UN Security Council failed to adopt a crucial ceasefire resolution on the Gaza Strip.

“He sees this failure as a detrimental reflection on the Council's vital role in upholding global peace, safeguarding civilians, and halting the deteriorating humanitarian crisis caused by relentless Israeli aggression against Palestinians in Gaza,” the Saudi Press Agency reported.

“Taha cautioned that the Security Council's inaction allows the Israeli occupation to persist in and intensify its assaults on the Palestinian population,” SPA said.

He praised the nations that supported the draft resolution and stressed the necessity of ongoing efforts to secure an immediate ceasefire, ensure the delivery of humanitarian aid to the besieged enclave, and provide international protection for Palestinians.


Saudi FM, Blinken Discuss Developments in Gaza

The Saudi Foreign Minister and Blinken
The Saudi Foreign Minister and Blinken
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Saudi FM, Blinken Discuss Developments in Gaza

The Saudi Foreign Minister and Blinken
The Saudi Foreign Minister and Blinken

Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah met in Washington on Saturday with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken to discuss bilateral relations, developments in the Gaza Strip, and several other regional issues of common concern.
Prince Faisal stressed the need to take urgent steps to reach a ceasefire in Gaza, and make all possible efforts to de-escalate the situation and ensure that the violence does not expand with dangerous repercussions on international peace and security.
He also stressed the need to create conditions for the return of stability and to restore the path of peace, to ensure that the Palestinian people obtain their legitimate rights, as well as to exert more efforts to secure relief corridors to deliver urgently needed humanitarian, food and medical aid to Gaza Strip.

The meeting was attended by Saudi Ambassador to the US Princess Reema bint Bandar bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz and Director General of the Foreign Minister's Office Abdulrahman Al-Dawood.


Saudi Arabia Provides Additional $8 Mn to Mitigate Threat Posed by Safer Tanker

KSrelief official and UNDP representative signing the deal for an additional $8 million (SPA)
KSrelief official and UNDP representative signing the deal for an additional $8 million (SPA)
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Saudi Arabia Provides Additional $8 Mn to Mitigate Threat Posed by Safer Tanker

KSrelief official and UNDP representative signing the deal for an additional $8 million (SPA)
KSrelief official and UNDP representative signing the deal for an additional $8 million (SPA)

Saudi Arabia provided an additional financial contribution of $8 million to the UN Development Program (UNDP) to address the threat of the Safer oil tanker anchored off the coast of Yemen.

The Assistant General Supervisor of the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSrelief) for Operations and Programs, AhmedaAl-Baiz, and UNDP Assistant Secretary-General and Regional Director for Arab Countries Abdullah al-Dardari signed the memorandum of the additional financial contribution submitted by the Kingdom.

The additional aid comes as an extension of the efforts provided by Saudi Arabia through KSrelief to address the environmental and economic threat associated with the Safer tanker on the Yemeni coast and neutralize its potential dangers.

Dardari stressed that Saudi Arabia's contribution is a step towards solving the Safer problem that threatens the Red Sea environment.

He noted that the oil was transferred from the corroded and leaking tanker to a new oil vessel, indicating that the meeting addressed the best solution for treating the remaining oil in the new tank and using its revenues.

Dardari lauded Riyadh's efforts in addressing the problem of the Safer oil tanker, which allowed the UNDP to achieve positive results.

The official also thanked Saudi Arabia, represented by the KSrelief, for stressing the depth of the strategic relations between the Program and the Center, highlighting its essential and extensive partnership worldwide, not only in the Arab region.

He asserted that the two programs work together in the Arab region, especially in conflict areas, describing it as a solid partnership with a promising future that benefits all.


Saudi FM, Borrell Discuss Developments in Gaza

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 FM, Borrell Discuss Developments in Gaza

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

Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah received a telephone call on Friday from European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell.
The two officials discussed developments in the Gaza Strip and its surroundings, and the efforts exerted to reach an immediate ceasefire in Gaza. They also discussed the consequences of the current crisis, especially at the humanitarian level.


Saudi Defense Minister Receives Telephone Call from US Secretary of Defense

Saudi Minister of Defense Prince Khalid bin Salman bin Abdulaziz. (SPA).
Saudi Minister of Defense Prince Khalid bin Salman bin Abdulaziz. (SPA).
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Saudi Defense Minister Receives Telephone Call from US Secretary of Defense

Saudi Minister of Defense Prince Khalid bin Salman bin Abdulaziz. (SPA).
Saudi Minister of Defense Prince Khalid bin Salman bin Abdulaziz. (SPA).

Saudi Minister of Defense, Prince Khalid bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, received a telephone call from US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, SPA said on Thursday.
During the call, the two men discussed ways to strengthen bilateral relations in the defense field.
They also discussed the current international and regional situations and the efforts being made in that direction.