Interior Ministry to receive 4 Yemeni detainees from Guantanamo

Author: 
Arab News
Fri, 2017-01-06
ID: 
1483642105242130900

JEDDAH: The Interior Ministry on Thursday said King Salman has issued a directive to the relevant authorities to receive four Yemeni detainees from Guantanamo, who arrived in the Kingdom on Thursday.
The four prisoners were transferred from the Guantanamo Bay military prison in President Barack Obama’s final push to shrink the inmate population there despite pressure from President-elect Donald Trump to halt such releases.
In a statement, the Interior Ministry said the King’s directive was in addition to previous royal gesture in response to a request by Yemen President Abed Rabu Mansour Hadi to host nine Yemeni detainees from Guantanamo, whose families are residents of the Kingdom.
The families requested Saudi Arabia to host the prisoners, citing the ongoing war in Yemen.
The ministry added that they have informed the detainees’ families and will facilitate a meeting bringing them together, adding that the prisoners will be subject to the kingdom’s governing laws and regulations and will undergo rehabilitation programs at Mohammed Bin Naif Center for Advice, Counseling and Care.
The US government has also sent some prisoners to Italy, Oman and the United Arab Emirates in a final flurry of transfers before Donald Trump is sworn in on as president on Jan. 20.
If the final transfers go according to plan, only about 40 prisoners will remain at Guantanamo, despite Obama’s pledge to close the controversial facility at the US naval base in Cuba.
The Republican president-elect has vowed, however, to keep the Guantanamo military prison open and “load it up with some bad dudes.”
The Obama administration notified Congress last month of its intention to make the additional transfers, Reuters has reported. Those being transferred make up the bulk of the 23 prisoners declared in parole-style hearings to be safe for repatriation or resettlement in other countries.

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Interior Ministry to receive 4 Yemeni detainees from Guantanamo

Author: 
Arab News
Fri, 2017-01-06
ID: 
1483642105242130900

JEDDAH: The Interior Ministry on Thursday said King Salman has issued a directive to the relevant authorities to receive four Yemeni detainees from Guantanamo, who arrived in the Kingdom on Thursday.
The four prisoners were transferred from the Guantanamo Bay military prison in President Barack Obama’s final push to shrink the inmate population there despite pressure from President-elect Donald Trump to halt such releases.
In a statement, the Interior Ministry said the King’s directive was in addition to previous royal gesture in response to a request by Yemen President Abed Rabu Mansour Hadi to host nine Yemeni detainees from Guantanamo, whose families are residents of the Kingdom.
The families requested Saudi Arabia to host the prisoners, citing the ongoing war in Yemen.
The ministry added that they have informed the detainees’ families and will facilitate a meeting bringing them together, adding that the prisoners will be subject to the kingdom’s governing laws and regulations and will undergo rehabilitation programs at Mohammed Bin Naif Center for Advice, Counseling and Care.
The US government has also sent some prisoners to Italy, Oman and the United Arab Emirates in a final flurry of transfers before Donald Trump is sworn in on as president on Jan. 20.
If the final transfers go according to plan, only about 40 prisoners will remain at Guantanamo, despite Obama’s pledge to close the controversial facility at the US naval base in Cuba.
The Republican president-elect has vowed, however, to keep the Guantanamo military prison open and “load it up with some bad dudes.”
The Obama administration notified Congress last month of its intention to make the additional transfers, Reuters has reported. Those being transferred make up the bulk of the 23 prisoners declared in parole-style hearings to be safe for repatriation or resettlement in other countries.

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Michel Aoun’s visit marks a new era in KSA-Lebanon ties

Author: 
RASHID HASSAN & NAJIA HOUSSARI
Thu, 2017-01-05
ID: 
1483572553623297500

RIYADH/BEIRUT: Lebanese President Michel Aoun is set to visit Saudi Arabia on Monday, marking his first overseas trip since taking office two months ago.
Aoun will visit the Kingdom Jan. 9-10 at the invitation of King Salman, before heading to Qatar for a two-day visit.
“President Aoun will meet Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and the Deputy Crown Prince, Second Deputy Premier and Minister of Defence Mohammed bin Salman,” Rafiq Shalala, Lebanese presidential media adviser, told Arab News.
President Aoun, who will be accompanied by a large ministerial delegation, had earlier promised to visit Saudi Arabia when King Salman’s envoy Prince Khaled Al-Faisal visited Lebanon to congratulate him on winning the presidential election.
During the meeting with Prince Khaled, the president underscored his keenness to enhance ties with the Kingdom.
The delegation accompanying President Aoun includes seven key ministers covering finance, defense, information, economy, interior affairs, foreign affairs and education.
“The timing of the visit asserts the attention given by President Aoun to Lebanon’s relations with the Kingdom,” Shalala pointed out.
He also noted that a Lebanese delegation preparing for the visit has already arrived in the Kingdom to work on the final program of the visit of President Aoun.
Aoun “will undertake his first foreign visit (since taking office in October) with a trip to Riyadh, and will attend a reception hosted by the Lebanese Embassy here on Tuesday,” where he will meet media figures, said Lebanese Ambassador Abdel Sattar Issa in Riyadh.
In February last year, the Kingdom stopped funding a program to rearm Lebanon’s military because of hostile Lebanese positions due to Hezbollah’s stranglehold on the state.
Under the Saudi-funded “Donas” program, France was to provide military equipment to Lebanon to ensure stability in the divided country. The program was to ship vehicles, helicopters, drones, cannons and other equipment.
The increased influence of Iran-backed Hezbollah in the official affairs of Lebanon had apparently undermined Saudi-Lebanese ties, an official source told SPA at the time.
Ex-army chief Aoun was elected president on Oct. 31, ending a two-year political vacuum at the heart of Lebanese politics.
Aoun had long eyed the presidency, and his candidacy was supported by Hezbollah, his ally since a surprise rapprochement in 2006.
Following the election Iran welcomed Aoun’s win as a victory for Hezbollah, Tehran’s ally in Lebanon.

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Daesh supporter jailed for 13 years

Author: Mohammed Al-SulamiThu, 2017-01-05ID: 1483571463773215100JEDDAH: The Specialized Criminal Court in Riyadh has sentenced a Saudi national to 13 years in jail, after finding him guilty of supporting Daesh. He was found guilty of rejectin…

Research groups join talks on Haj strategy

Author: 
Fouzia Khan
Thu, 2017-01-05
ID: 
1483571463793215400

JEDDAH: Crowd management at the Grand Mosque was the focus of a recent discussion at The Haj Research Institute of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Umm Al-Qura University.
Hamza Ghulman, the university’s dean, said that the meeting strengthened the relationship between research institutions and agencies working in the field of crowd management at the Grand Mosque and surrounding areas.
The participants discussed ways of developing mechanisms to control the movement of crowds and providing better services to guests during their stay in Saudi Arabia.
Ghulman said that several proposals, derived from observations made during the past Umrah and Haj seasons, were explored at the meeting.
Operational strategies to manage the flow of pilgrims in key areas were also activated, he said. The strategies focused on the safety of pilgrims’ on the roads leading to the Grand Mosque, inside the mosque, at entrances and gates.
Modern techniques in crowd management and ways of boosting coordination between teams on the field were also discussed the meeting, said the dean.
He called for effective cooperation between relevant authorities in enabling the research teams to monitor and analyze the crowd movement inside and outside the Grand Mosque and at the holy sites.

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US envoy congratulates King Salman

Author: 
ARAB NEWS
Thu, 2017-01-05
ID: 
1483571463813215700

RIYADH: US Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Joseph Westphal expressed his best wishes to King Salman on the second anniversary of his ascension to the throne.
“I would like to express my warmest congratulations and best wishes to King Salman on the second anniversary of his ascension to the throne,” he said.
“It gives me great pleasure to congratulate King Salman and the Saudi people on this occasion.”
He said the US commends his leadership in launching Vision 2030 and “we will extend our fullest cooperation toward achieving its goals.”
“Your Majesty, under your leadership the US and Saudi Arabia have continued to enjoy a strong and deepening strategic partnership. We look forward to working with you and your government to further enhance our cooperation for the benefit of both the American and Saudi people,” Westphal added.

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Warm welcome at Madinah airport for pilgrims

Author: 
Arab News
Thu, 2017-01-05
ID: 
1483571463823216000

MADINAH: The first pilgrims hosted this year by King Salman’s Program for Umrah and Visit arrived in Madinah on Wednesday.
The first batch of guests includes 185 pilgrims, and the second is scheduled to arrive on Thursday, completing the first group of 220.
The pilgrims are from 15 countries in Asia and Africa including Nigeria, Kazakhstan, Senegal, Mali, Malaysia, Pakistan, India and Uzbekistan.
The program is implemented and supervised by the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Call and Guidance.
The program’s officials welcomed the guests at the Prince Mohammed bin Abdul Aziz International Airport in Madinah. 
The guests paid tribute to King Salman for hosting them within this program to perform Umrah and stay for several days in Madinah.
They stressed that the program comes in the context of the venerable and good efforts exerted by Saudi Arabia and its leaders in serving Islam, providing support for Muslims, and creating ways that enable them to perform Haj and Umrah.
They hailed the importance of this program in achieving continuous communication with Muslims around the world.
Abdullah bin Mudlij Al-Medlej, executive director of the Program for Umrah and Visit, welcomed the guests.
“An itenary was designed for the guests in Madinah and Makkah to acquaint them with the Kingdom’s care of the Two Holy Mosques and serving the Holy Qur’an,” Al-Medlej said in a statement.

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SPA and Nebras sign deal to fight drug menace

Author: 
Arab News
Thu, 2017-01-05
ID: 
1483569694873087800

RIYADH: The Saudi Press Agency (SPA) and the National Committee for Combating Drugs (Nebras) have signed a cooperation agreement to help fight narcotic abuse in the Kingdom.
The deal will strengthen Nebras’ drive to support the government’s efforts in protecting Saudi youth from drug abuse.
Abdullah bin Fahd Al-Hussein, president of the Saudi Press Agency, and Abdulilah bin Mohammed Al-Sharif, secretary-general of Nebras and chairman of the National Commission for Narcotics Control (NCNC), signed the agreement on Wednesday.
The deal facilitates coordination and media partnerships between the SPA and Nebras in promoting social responsibility with the aim of increasing awareness on the harmful impact of drugs on society.
Under the deal, the two institutions will focus on designing and implementing awareness programs to prevent drug abuse.
The SPA president said that the agreement is part of several projects planned by the agency to promote the media’s role in raising the level of community awareness on drug abuse.
“SPA feels a great responsibility toward this cause and is working with all possible tools to eliminate the drug menace,” he said.
The Nebras secretary-general said that the cooperation agreement is one of several preventive measures being taken to eliminate the problem.
Nebras seeks to create a drug-free environment by spreading positive values through various media agencies, he said.

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