Saudi delegation to discuss key issues at global parliamentarians’ meet

Mon, 2017-04-03 04:29

RIYADH: A Saudi delegation is participating in a five-day world parliamentarians’ conference under the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), which kicked off Saturday in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the meeting, and called for global unity to fight terrorism and militancy.
“Humanity is facing new vices; terrorism and militancy are costing human lives, while peace is seriously impeded,” said the prime minister, while addressing the lawmakers present from all over the world including Gulf states.
Key sessions of the IPU Assembly began Sunday with a focus on terrorism, extremism and how to end political and economic inequality.
“An eight-member Shoura delegation, led by Yahya bin Abdullah Al-Samaan, the Shoura Council’s vice speaker, is taking part in the global parliamentarians’ forum,” said Bangladeshi Ambassador Golam Moshi Saturday.
Moshi, while speaking about the growing relations in the field of parliamentary affairs, said that Riyadh and Dhaka organized a joint parliamentary panel today.”
He expressed contentment over the Shoura delegation that is taking part in the conference. There are 687 members of 131 national parliaments of the world including the Shoura Council expected to join the five-day conference, organized jointly by the IPU and the Jatiya Sangsad (national Parliament of Bangladesh).
Participants also include 45 speakers, 37 deputy speakers and more than 200 women parliamentarians.
Referring to Saudi participation with special reference to the agenda of the IPU conference, a Saudi Press Agency (SPA) report said: “The meeting aims to discuss a number of issues pertaining to the parliaments’ roles in preventing foreign interference in the internal affairs of the sovereign states and ways of enhancing international cooperation to support goals of sustainable development.”
The report said the Shoura delegation will also participate in the meetings of Arab and Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) parliamentarians to be organized on the sidelines of the IPU conference. The move is mainly intended to “coordinate stances” on a range of regional and international issues that have hampered efforts to ensure peace, security and economic equality across the world.
It is important to mention that all members of the GCC including the Kingdom are members of the IPU.
Referring to the agenda of the IPU conference, Saber Hossain Chowdhury, IPU president, said: “redressing inequalities, delivering on dignity and wellbeing for all” is the prime theme of the assembly.
Nobel Peace Prize laureate Kailash Satyarthi of India also spoke at the conference Sunday.
Bangladesh is hosting the conference for the first time since it joined this global forum in 1972. The IPU has 171 member states today.

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New Saudi-Ukrainian airplane test-flown successfully

Mon, 2017-04-03 03:00

JEDDAH: The test flight of the new Saudi-Ukrainian light-weight multi-purpose airplane Antonov AN-132 took place on Saturday.
It was flown for an hour and 40 minutes over Ukrainian territory by retired Gen. Muhammad bin Saeed Aiyash, accompanied by Ukrainian pilots and technicians. The pilots were received by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko as the plane landed.
The craft can ascend to 28,000 feet with a load of up to 9.2 tons, and can fly more than 4,500 kilometers.
It uses twin Pratt & Whitney A-150 engines and an advanced electronic system.
The supervisor general of the Special Programs Department at King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST), Khaled Al-Hassan, said the plane will fly over the Kingdom soon.
“Work is progressing as planned. Success would be producing this plane as scheduled despite the challenges that face such aircraft technology-transfer projects,” Al-Hassan added.
He said KACST owns 50 percent of the project, and the plane is the first in a production line that will be set in Ukraine and Saudi Arabia with the participation of engineers and technicians from both countries.
The executive president of Taqnia Aeronautics, retired Gen. Ali bin Muhammad Al-Ghamdi, said Saudi Arabia will start manufacturing 35 percent of the plane and eventually reach 100 percent.
The company has signed three agreements with the KACST to take part in manufacturing a multi-purpose helicopter by US-based Sikorsky Aircraft.
It has also signed deals to manufacture drones, plane bodies and other components made of carbon and metal materials.

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Record 143,000 visitors in four days at heritage festival

Mon, 2017-04-03 03:00

JEDDAH: More than 143,000 people visited the Jeddah Heritage Festival in Balad through late Saturday since starting March 29.
The Saudi Tourism Information and Research Center MAS recorded 130,582 visitors through Friday night, then an additional 13,000 on Saturday.
Abdullah Saeed bin Dhawi, chairman of the executive committee of the Jeddah Heritage Festival, said the festival will continue for 10 days with entertainment activities supported by the General Authority for Entertainment.
He also said the festival is popular among families as they introduced a special service for children if they should get lost, which is one of the main problems faced by families during their involvement in recreational activities.
To address the difficulty, festival management put nametag bracelets on children’s wrists with the complete information and mobile number of the parents as soon as they enter the site.
Ahmed Hamid Al-Sharif, supervisor of the activities, said the team of 60 young men and women tour guides at the site are taking care of the professional guidance for visitors, in addition to the preservation of children from getting lost. Management issued more than 2,200 bracelets to children.
Bin Dhawi said the organizing committee of the festival was keen to provide thr latest entertainment and activities for visitors and focus on presenting historical heritage information in a fun and entertaining way.
The festival’s activities varied from popular artwork to different shows, traditional food and historic houses transformed into museums.
About 65 different activities for the historical festival are planned to entertain visitors, including a historical panorama screenplay where the 2,600-year history of the city to the period of King Abdulaziz Al-Saud became a popular attraction.
The festival is open daily from 5-11 p.m.

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UN calls on Gulf countries to do more to help Syrian refugees

A senior United Nations refugee official on Sunday called on Gulf Arab states to give more to help Syrians displaced by six years of civil war, saying she saw little sign that the crisis would end any time soon. Speaking during a visit to Kuwait to sign a $10 million aid agreement for Syrian refugees in Iraq, Kelly T. Clements, deputy commissioner for the United Nations High Commision for Refugees (UNHCR), also said the UN body lamented the “sad” fact that the number of refugees fleeing Syria’s civil war had passed the 5 million mark. “For us at UNHCR, we don’t celebrate these milestones. We in fact try not to bring a lot of attention to it because it is […]

Houthis threaten to send former defence minister to Iran

The Yemeni tribal leader, Sheikh Rashas Al-Otari, has said that the Houthi leaders informed him that they will send the former defence minister Maj. Gen. Mahmoud Al-Subaihi to Iran if the legitimate government did not discuss the demands to release him and others, Al-Arabiya reported on Sunday. Al-Otari, from Lahj province, has called for an immediate action, stressing that he made lots of efforts to activate negotiations regarding the Yemeni leaders held by the Houthis. He said, however, that there has been no response. Houthi militias have been holding Subaihi, Nasser Mansour Hadi, the Yemeni president’s brother, and military commander Faisal Rajab since the war erupted in 2015. Meanwhile, the Arab coalition air force has destroyed a warehouse for the […]

أهم الأحداث الاقتصادية هذا الأسبوع 3 الى 7 أبريل

ستتوجه أنظار أسواق المال نحو محضر اجتماع البنك الاحتياطى الفيدرالى الأخير الذى عقد فى منتصف آذار/مارس المنصرم، ومن المتوقع أن يحتوى المحضر على دلائل لمستقبل السياسة النقدية الأمريكية، هذا إلى جانب صدور مجموعة من البيانات الاقتصادية الهامة فى…

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Effat University students awarded at Saudi Film Festival

Mon, 2017-04-03 01:31

DHAHRAN: Effat University students received an award for their film “Bus” in the student film category at the fourth edition of the Saudi Film Festival last week in Dhahran.
The film is about four girls from conservative families, and their daily interaction with the school bus driver.
The girls behind the project, Noor Al-Mowald and Norah Al-Amir, were ecstatic to have received the prize. “This is a dream come true,” said Al-Amir. “And the hard work doesn’t stop here.”
When they enrolled in the filmmaking program at the university, their parents voiced concerns that there may be no future for women in this field in the Kingdom.
So the girls decided they needed to work hard and prove to everyone that “we have a place in the industry.”
Mohamed Ghazala, chair of the visual and digital production department at the university, said: “These young women are fighting to prove themselves, telling their stories to everyone.”
This achievement celebrates a new generation of storytellers with a rich culture, heritage and art, he added.
“They’re the best storytellers, telling everyone their stories by themselves, with no stereotypes to hinder them.”
This is the third time students from Effat University have participated in the Saudi Film Festival, and the second time they took home an award.
Other accolades
The best of the 59 Saudi films screened at the six-day festival were recognized and celebrated at an award ceremony following the festival, in the narrative, student, documentary and script (non-produced) categories
“Departures” by Abdulaziz Al-Shlahei won first place in the narrative category. Mohammed Al-Holayil’s “300 kilometers” received a prize in the student category.
For best documentary it was “Jaleed” by Abdulrahman Sandokji, and “Building 20” by Abdulaziz Al-Furaih.
Best screenplay film went to “Adam’s Tongue” by Hasan Al-Hajili, and “Color of the Soul” by Fahd Al-Esta’a and “Salem Al-Abd” by Ali Rabie. A special jury prize was awarded to “Tongue,” by Mohamed Al-Salman.
Al-Holayil, who is studying law at King Faisal University, said he hopes to make more movies while practicing a fulltime career in law.
On winning an award, he said he was thankful to his family, crew and festival-goers for making his dream come true.
Upon winning an award on his first-time entry, Rabie said: “Finally, people who write are being recognized for their efforts.”
With this accreditation to their name, Rabie and his director, Fehmi Farhat, will start sourcing funds for their script and are optimistic about the venture.
Best cinematographer was awarded to Al-Furaih for “Building 20,” and best director to Sandokji for “Jaleed.”
Best movie poster title was awarded to Al-Shlahei for “Departures,” and “Humanization of Cities” by Faisal Al-Otaibi was recognized for being a film about a Saudi city.

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3,322 cross-border infiltrators captured in March

Arab News
Mon, 2017-04-03 01:33

RIYADH: Saudi border guards arrested 3,322 infiltrators trying to enter the Kingdom in five regions in March, a 114 percent increase from February, local media reported.
The border area in Jazan accounted for 89 percent of infiltration attempts, or 2,954 foreigners, Al-Eqtisadiyah daily reported.
Najran was second with 356 foreigners, followed by the Eastern Province with 10, and Asir and Jouf with one each, the daily said, citing a report.
Border guards also foiled attempts by some infiltrators to plant land mines on the border.
Meanwhile, the General Directorate of Border Guard said it is shifting its border services to electronic and smart transactions in line with the highest security and quality standards, and in line with the concept of e-government.
The last quarter of 2017 will see the completion of the directorate’s e-services portal, which will represent the first stage in serving government and private sectors dealing with Saudi ports, providing them with e-services such as port entry permits, boarding passes and ship notifications.
The second stage of the portal will include e-services related to regular visitors by sea for hunting and picnic purposes, the directorate said.

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