Saudi Arabia, Britain Discuss Developing Joint Security Cooperation

The Saudi and British ministers sign the agreements during their meeting in London. (SPA)
The Saudi and British ministers sign the agreements during their meeting in London. (SPA)
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Saudi Arabia, Britain Discuss Developing Joint Security Cooperation

The Saudi and British ministers sign the agreements during their meeting in London. (SPA)
The Saudi and British ministers sign the agreements during their meeting in London. (SPA)

Saudi Interior Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Saud bin Naif held official talks with British Secretary of State for the Home Department Suella Braverman in London on Tuesday.

Their discussions focused on ways to bolster and develop security cooperation between Riyadh and London.

They underscored the strategic partnership between their ministries and the positive results that have been achieved from it.

Prince Abdulaziz expressed his gratitude to Braverman for hosting the meeting, which he said reflects the joint desire to boost the strategic and historic relations that bind their countries.

The Saudi government values and appreciates the ongoing security cooperation, he stressed.

The meeting witnessed the signing of several agreements covering security, development and training between the Saudi and British interior ministries.

The meeting was attended by Prince Khaled bin Bandar bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz, Saudi Ambassador to the United Kingdom, Undersecretary of the Saudi Ministry of Interior Dr. Hisham bin Abdulrahman Al-Falih, and a number of Saudi and British officials.



12th Saudi Relief Plane Arrives in Sudan

The aid is part of the Saudi relief airlift operated by KSrelief to help the Sudanese people. SPA
The aid is part of the Saudi relief airlift operated by KSrelief to help the Sudanese people. SPA
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12th Saudi Relief Plane Arrives in Sudan

The aid is part of the Saudi relief airlift operated by KSrelief to help the Sudanese people. SPA
The aid is part of the Saudi relief airlift operated by KSrelief to help the Sudanese people. SPA

The 12th Saudi relief plane arrived at Port Sudan International Airport on Sunday carrying 30 tons of foodstuff and medical supplies.

The aid is part of the Saudi relief airlift operated by the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSrelief) to help the Sudanese people, in implementation of the directives of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz and Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, the Crown Prince and Prime Minister.


Saudi Arabia, US Call on Sudan Army and RSF to Agree on New Ceasefire

People board a bus to leave Khartoum, Sudan, Saturday, June 3, 2023, as fighting between the Sudanese Army and Rapid Support Forces intensified. (AP Photo)
People board a bus to leave Khartoum, Sudan, Saturday, June 3, 2023, as fighting between the Sudanese Army and Rapid Support Forces intensified. (AP Photo)
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Saudi Arabia, US Call on Sudan Army and RSF to Agree on New Ceasefire

People board a bus to leave Khartoum, Sudan, Saturday, June 3, 2023, as fighting between the Sudanese Army and Rapid Support Forces intensified. (AP Photo)
People board a bus to leave Khartoum, Sudan, Saturday, June 3, 2023, as fighting between the Sudanese Army and Rapid Support Forces intensified. (AP Photo)

The delegations from the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) remain in Jeddah despite the formal pause in the Jeddah talks and the expiration on June 3 of the five-day ceasefire agreement, Saudi Arabia and the US said in a joint statement on Sunday.

The facilitators “remain steadfast in their commitment to the people of Sudan and call upon the parties to agree to and effectively implement a new ceasefire, with the aim of arriving at a permanent cessation of hostilities,” said the statement.

The Kingdom and the United States continue to facilitate talks between the two parties daily, it said.
Those discussions are focused on facilitating humanitarian assistance and reaching an agreement on near-term steps the parties must take before the Jeddah talks resume, it added.

‏Saudi Arabia and the US expressed readiness to help resume formal talks between the warring Sudanese sides and reminded the parties that they must implement their obligations under the May 11 Jeddah Declaration of Commitment to Protect the Civilians of Sudan.


Kuwaiti Women Account for About 52% of Voters, Less than 7% of Candidates

Female participation in previous elections in Kuwait (KUNA)
Female participation in previous elections in Kuwait (KUNA)
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Kuwaiti Women Account for About 52% of Voters, Less than 7% of Candidates

Female participation in previous elections in Kuwait (KUNA)
Female participation in previous elections in Kuwait (KUNA)

In the forthcoming parliamentary elections for the National Assembly, scheduled for June 6, Kuwaiti women assume a crucial role. With women accounting for around 52% of the overall electorate in Kuwait, their participation holds significant influence.

It is uncertain whether the female vote will exclusively favor female candidates, especially amidst fervent efforts by both men and women contenders to capitalize on the female vote.

Many women are often influenced by men in voting processes. In a country where tribal customs prevail, the religious aspect also exerts an influence.

After nearly 17 years since women first participated in National Assembly (parliament) elections following the establishment of political rights, the political journey for women remains fraught with risks.

According to the Central Statistics Bureau in Kuwait, the country’s population reached approximately 4.46 million people as of the beginning of 2020, with women accounting for around 51% of the total Kuwaiti citizens, which amounts to 1.365 million individuals.

The number of eligible voters in the upcoming elections is 793,646, including 386,751 men and 406,895 women, highlighting the increasing influence of the female vote in Kuwait.

Despite the significant electoral strength of women in Kuwait, their participation in political work has remained hindered.

Currently, 15 female candidates are running for parliamentary elections in 2023, out of a total of 207 candidates. In the previous elections in 2022, there were 27 female candidates out of 376 candidates.

The lack of participation is not limited to female candidates alone. Typically, the votes of female voters tend to favor male candidates in a country dominated by tribal and religious customs.

Despite the active participation of women in the 2022 elections, supported by laws that limit the influence of dominant tribal forces, prevent the impact of political money, and require voter registration based on civil ID cards, thus effectively discouraging vote-buying and vote-transfers, the results fell short of expectations.

Only two women, Aaliyah Al-Khaled and former minister Janan Boushahri, were able to achieve the desired success in reaching the parliamentary dome out of 27 female candidates.

“Kuwaiti women have reclaimed their long-denied political rights, but unfortunately, they have not achieved a representation befitting their status in the National Assembly for various reasons,” Kuwaiti academic Abdullah Sohar, Professor of International Relations at Kuwait University, told Asharq Al-Awsat.

The Kuwaiti academic listed “the dominance of men in social communication processes, and the traditional aspects associated with society” as reasons limiting female candidates from winning representation at the National Assembly.


Iran Lawmaker: Some Disagreements Should Not Hinder Diplomatic Path with Saudi Arabia

Iranian lawmaker Abbas Gurlu during his meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian (Iranian Foreign Ministry)
Iranian lawmaker Abbas Gurlu during his meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian (Iranian Foreign Ministry)
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Iran Lawmaker: Some Disagreements Should Not Hinder Diplomatic Path with Saudi Arabia

Iranian lawmaker Abbas Gurlu during his meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian (Iranian Foreign Ministry)
Iranian lawmaker Abbas Gurlu during his meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian (Iranian Foreign Ministry)

Iranian lawmaker Abbas Gurlu has said that "some differences" between Saudi Arabia and Iran on regional issues should not hinder the diplomatic path between the two countries.

He reiterated that improved bilateral relations would help reduce regional tension.

Gulru, also a parliamentary foreign and national security committee member, said that Saudi- Iranian relations are key to resolving regional problems.

The deputy asserted that differences between the two nations remain on some regional issues, but that should not lead to ending diplomatic tracks.

He reiterated the importance of cooperation between Tehran and Riyadh in reducing tensions in the Islamic world, preventing foreigners from exploiting them, and boosting the development and progress of the Islamic nation.

Earlier, Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan met his Iranian counterpart, Hossein Amirabdollahian, on the sidelines of a foreign ministerial BRICS summit and a 'Friends of BRICS' meeting in Cape Town, South Africa.

It is the second meeting between the two ministers since Saudi Arabia, and Iran agreed to resume diplomatic relations last March.

Gurlu revealed he met with the head of the Egyptian interest section office in Tehran, adding that the foreign relations committee is seeking low-level parliamentary consultations with countries with diplomatic relations with Iran.

He met ambassadors of Egypt and Jordan and invited their two parliamentary groups to visit Tehran, according to Tasnim news agency affiliated with the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

Gurlu addressed reports about the possibility of reviving relations between Tehran and Cairo, explaining that the two countries' direct foreign relations, and ties with Egypt have been defined at the level of interest.

He indicated that both sides had presented diplomatic representatives at the level of ambassadors, noting that developing relations with neighbors is one of the government's top priorities.

The resumption of relations between Iran and Egypt will be important in various fields, including security and economy, which can be the primary basis for relations between the two countries, said the lawmaker.

He indicated that it could also reduce regional tensions at the security level and develop tourism, oil, gas, and agriculture.


Abdullah bin Zayed Holds Talks with US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate

The meeting was attended by Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, the UAE Special Envoy for Climate Change and COP28 President-Designate. - WAM
The meeting was attended by Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, the UAE Special Envoy for Climate Change and COP28 President-Designate. - WAM
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Abdullah bin Zayed Holds Talks with US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate

The meeting was attended by Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, the UAE Special Envoy for Climate Change and COP28 President-Designate. - WAM
The meeting was attended by Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, the UAE Special Envoy for Climate Change and COP28 President-Designate. - WAM

UAE's Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Chairman of the Higher Committee Responsible for Overseeing Preparations for the 28th Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC (COP28 UAE), met with the US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, John Kerry.

The two sides reviewed the strategic relations between the two countries and the existing partnership on different levels, with a special emphasis on climate-related issues.

The talks touched on the details of the UAE's response to climate change as well as ways of enhancing global cooperation and multilateral action in this field, in light of the country's hosting of COP28 later this year in Expo City Dubai, state news agency SPA reported.

Sheikh Abdullah and Kerry reviewed the joint initiatives undertaken by the two countries in the field of climate action.

During the meeting, Sheikh Abdullah emphasized on the UAE's firm approach to building bridges of communication and cooperation with the world and strengthening multilateral action in facing climate change-related challenges.

He added that the existing UAE-US climate action partnership, which includes a number of initiatives and projects, is a pioneering paradigm for collaborative action for a climate-safe future with sustainable development and economic prosperity..

“While hosting the COP28, the UAE is determined to lead global efforts in addressing climate change, and to transition these initiatives from the stage of making commitments to the stage of putting into practice specific actions in this area,” Sheikh Abdullah stressed.


Saudi Leadership Sends Cables of Condolences to India, Kuwait

Saudi Arabia's King Salman - SPA
Saudi Arabia's King Salman - SPA
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Saudi Leadership Sends Cables of Condolences to India, Kuwait

Saudi Arabia's King Salman - SPA
Saudi Arabia's King Salman - SPA

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud sent a cable of condolences to Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Emir of Kuwait, on the death of Sheikh Mohammad Sabah Mohammad Sabah Al-Salman Al-Sabah.

In his cable, the King said: "We have been informed of the news of the death of Sheikh Mohammad Sabah Mohammad Sabah Al-Salman Al-Sabah and as we send to Your Highness and the family of the deceased our deepest condolences and sincere sympathy, we pray to Allah the Almighty to bestow His mercy and forgiveness on him".

For his part, Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, the Saudi Crown Prince and Prime Minister, also sent a cable of condolences to Kuwait's Crown Prince Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, on the death of Sheikh Mohammed Sabah Mohammed Sabah Al-Salman Al-Sabah.

Also, the Saudi leadership sent separate cables of condolences and sympathy to President Droupadi Murmu of the Republic of India following the tragic collision of multiple trains in the state of Odisha, located in the eastern part of India.

In their cables, the King and Crown Prince said: "We have received the news about a collision of several trains in the state of Odisha, and the resulting deaths and injuries, and as we share with your Excellency the pain of this affliction, we send you and the families of the deceased and your friendly people our warmest condolences and sincere sympathy, wishing the injured a speedy recovery."


Egypt, Qatar Cooperate over Humanitarian Relief in Sudan

Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi meet in Doha in September. (Amiri Diwan on Twitter)
Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi meet in Doha in September. (Amiri Diwan on Twitter)
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Egypt, Qatar Cooperate over Humanitarian Relief in Sudan

Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi meet in Doha in September. (Amiri Diwan on Twitter)
Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi meet in Doha in September. (Amiri Diwan on Twitter)

Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani held telephone talks on Friday with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

They discussed bilateral relations between their countries and ways of boosting them. They also tackled the latest regional and international developments, most notably the conflict in Sudan, reported the Qatari state news agency (QNA).

The leaders underscored the need to facilitate the flow of aid to those affected by the fighting in Sudan, and spare civilians the impact of the war.

They agreed to intensify joint coordination to provide support and assistance to the Sudanese people and mitigate the impact of the crisis, especially on Sudanese refugees.

They urged the need for concerned teams and committees in Egypt and Qatar to start developing mechanisms and plans to ensure that assistance reaches the deserving people in Sudan.


UAE FM Meets Russian, Iranian Counterparts on Sidelines of BRICS Meeting

The UAE and Russian FMs meet in Cape Town on Friday. (WAM)
The UAE and Russian FMs meet in Cape Town on Friday. (WAM)
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UAE FM Meets Russian, Iranian Counterparts on Sidelines of BRICS Meeting

The UAE and Russian FMs meet in Cape Town on Friday. (WAM)
The UAE and Russian FMs meet in Cape Town on Friday. (WAM)

United Arab Emirates Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on the sidelines of the Friends of BRICS meeting in South Africa's city of Cape Town.

The top diplomats discussed ways of strengthening relations of friendship and strategic partnership between the UAE and Russia. They also reviewed an array of latest regional and international developments and exchanged views on them, reported the UAE’s state news agency (WAM).

Agenda items of the Friends of BRICS meeting were also covered during the meeting.

Sheikh Abdullah stressed that Emirati-Russian relations were based on solid foundations of mutual understanding and respect as well as on constructive cooperation.

The bilateral relations have been witnessing rapid growth, particularly following the signing of the strategic partnership agreement in 2018, he added.

The two countries were determined to take bilateral relations and cooperation to new heights in various fields to serve the mutual interests of their people, he stressed.

The UAE was looking forward to boosting cooperation with the BRICS group (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) and support multilateral action to achieve development in communities and preserve international peace and security and build a promising future for next generations, he stated.

Sheikh Abdullah also met with his Iranian counterpart Hossein Amir-Abdollahian in Cape Town.

The discussed ways of driving UAE-Iran relations forward and boosting their cooperation to serve their common interests and support security, stability and prosperity in the region.

They exchanged views on a number of regional and global developments and issues of common concern, as well as the situation in the region.

Sheikh Abdullah stressed that the UAE's is a firm believer in the importance of establishing constructive dialogue and cooperation with other countries in the region and promoting good neighborliness with the aim of achieving peace, maintaining stability and realizing further development and prosperity for the peoples of the region.


Blinken to Visit Saudi Arabia from June 6 –8

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken delivers his speech at the Helsinki City Hall, Finland Friday, June 2, 2023. (AP)
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken delivers his speech at the Helsinki City Hall, Finland Friday, June 2, 2023. (AP)
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Blinken to Visit Saudi Arabia from June 6 –8

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken delivers his speech at the Helsinki City Hall, Finland Friday, June 2, 2023. (AP)
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken delivers his speech at the Helsinki City Hall, Finland Friday, June 2, 2023. (AP)

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will pay a visit to Saudi Arabia from June 6 to 8.

He is scheduled to co-host a June 8 meeting with Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah on combating the ISIS militant group, said a US State Department Statement.

The trip will also include a June 7 US-Gulf Cooperation Council ministerial meeting on Middle East security and integration, it added.

Deputy Assistant Secretary for Arabian Peninsula Affairs Daniel Benaim told a press briefing that the US cooperates with the GCC on a range of issues to promote regional security, stability, de-escalation, and integration in the Gulf, Middle East, and beyond.

Blinken will also consult with Saudi leaders on a range of bilateral, regional, and global priorities.

“Blinken and others in our government have been engaged intensively of late with Saudi counterparts on Sudan, among other issues, because of Saudi Arabia’s important role in the diplomacy there and in humanitarian and evacuation efforts,” added Benaim.

“More broadly, Saudi Arabia has been our strategic partner for eight decades across US administrations. We continue to consult and collaborate on a wide range of issues. We have a great deal of work to do together. That includes ending the war in Yemen, where US and Saudi support for UN-led peace efforts have helped facilitate now 14 months of dramatically reduced violence, increased humanitarian access, and the quietest period since the conflict began more than eight years ago,” he remarked.

“That includes Saudi Arabia’s support for Ukraine, which has included $410 million in critical assistance and high-profile bilateral visits from leaders of both countries. We also have newer areas of cooperation like tech and telecom, including Open RAN, our cutting-edge collaboration on 5G/6G technologies, green energy cooperation, and space,” he went on to say.

“The presence of a female Saudi astronaut – the first Muslim woman to visit space – launched in partnership with the United States, speaks to our shared ambition to broaden our work together into new areas, all of which, if successful, can deliver benefits that extend beyond our two countries,” stressed Benaim.

“We’re redoubling our emphasis on regional integration and structure, as National Security Advisor Sullivan recently explained, and whether through the Negev process or the GCC Interconnector linking Iraq with the Gulf and the rest of the region, or otherwise. We’re looking for ways to capitalize on the current moment, which is full of dialogue, newfound ties, mended ties, to encourage our neighbors’ efforts to connect to each other and the region’s efforts to connect to the wider world in important new ways,” he continued.

“We’re working to deepen business partnerships that benefit hundreds of thousands of American workers. The Boeing deal with Saudi Arabia announced in March, valued at nearly $37 billion, will support over 140,000 jobs across the United States,” he said.

“Our defense cooperation remains strong; our security relationship with Saudi Arabia remains a bedrock of our approach to regional defense and security and protecting the more than 80,000 US citizens living and working in the Kingdom.”

“I would also note that hundreds of thousands of Saudis have studied in – at US universities over the past few decades. These educational and people-to-people ties are among the most important investments that we can make together in the future, and we will look to build on them.”


Saudi, Iranian FMs Discuss Means to Boost Relations

The Saudi and Iranian FMs meet on the sidelines of the Ministerial Meeting of Friends of BRICS Group in Cape Town, South Africa on Friday. (SPA)
The Saudi and Iranian FMs meet on the sidelines of the Ministerial Meeting of Friends of BRICS Group in Cape Town, South Africa on Friday. (SPA)
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Saudi, Iranian FMs Discuss Means to Boost Relations

The Saudi and Iranian FMs meet on the sidelines of the Ministerial Meeting of Friends of BRICS Group in Cape Town, South Africa on Friday. (SPA)
The Saudi and Iranian FMs meet on the sidelines of the Ministerial Meeting of Friends of BRICS Group in Cape Town, South Africa on Friday. (SPA)

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah held talks with his Iranian counterpart Hossein Amir-Abdollahian on the sidelines of the Ministerial Meeting of Friends of BRICS Group in Cape Town, South Africa on Friday.

The officials discussed means to bolster bilateral relations in several fields.

They followed up on the China-brokered agreement that was signed between Saudi Arabia and Iran to restore diplomatic relations.

The FMs said they look forward to intensifying their consultative meetings and to looking into further cooperation to strengthen their ties to serve the interests of their countries and peoples.