Shoura Council: Riyadh summits confirm resolve to confront extremism, violence

The Shoura Council holds its regular session in this file photo.
Updated 25 May 2017

Shoura Council: Riyadh summits confirm resolve to confront extremism, violence

RIYADH: Zuhair Al-Harthy, chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Shoura Council, described US President Donald Trump’s visit to the Kingdom as extraordinary and successful.
“Whoever followed the statement of the recent Arab-Islamic-American Summit knows the success of this visit and the success of its vision because it has formed a roadmap for the Middle East region to enjoy peace and to focus on economic development, diplomacy and economic cooperation,” he said.
Al-Harthy pointed out that the relationship between the two countries is historical, and that there is a qualitative shift in the content of this relationship that will be witnessed in the coming months.
He also predicted that the strategic partnership will benefit both parties and will open the door to understandings and dialogue between the Arab and Islamic worlds, on the one hand, and the West, on the other.
“It will also contribute to reducing the West’s hatred and confusion about Islam, will open channels of dialogue and understanding, and will generate a new climate in the region and the world.”
He said that the Gulf-US Summit or the Saudi-US Summit set timetables, established committees and goals and came up with programs. He added that the visit shows the two countries’ determination to work together to confront extremism and violence in the region by strengthening cooperation to create a strategic vision for regional security.
The chairman pointed out that Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman conveyed the true image and reality of the region and the reality of the situation, including the challenges and dangers the Gulf countries are facing.
The Gulf Arab countries are traditional allies of Washington.
“The visit points to the US desire to reconsider its policy in the region. This contributed to the formation of a new perception, and US president felt the urgency of the risks and challenges in the region. He also felt that mistakes were made by the previous administration,” Al-Harthy said.
“On the one hand, he corrects the mistakes, and on the other, both the US and the countries of the region benefit from this relationship and partnership,” he added.

World leaders call for courage as virus death toll nears 70,000

Updated 06 April 2020

World leaders call for courage as virus death toll nears 70,000

  • Be strong, Pope Francis says
  • US faces ‘Pearl Harbor moment’

JEDDAH: World leaders urged people on Sunday to show courage and strength in fighting the coronavirus pandemic as the global death toll approached 70,000 from more than 1.25 million cases of infection.

Pope Francis described the outbreak as a tragedy, Queen Elizabeth of the UK offered her personal thanks to frontline health workers, and Americans were warned that they faced the “hardest and the saddest week” of their lives.

Saudi Arabia reported five more deaths from the virus, bringing the total to 34. The number of confirmed cases rose by 206 to 2,385, the highest among Gulf Arab states.

The Foreign Ministry will register requests this week from Saudis abroad who want to return home, with priority given to the elderly, pregnant women and people in countries most affected by the pandemic. Those who return are subject to a 14-day quarantine, and about 11,000 hotel rooms have been set aside for them.

The Health Ministry warned that too many people were ignoring advice to stay at home. “Unfortunately, there is still more than 40 percent mobility in shopping and outdoor activities. This is a very alarming percentage,”ministry spokesman Dr. Mohammed Al-Abd Al-Aly said.

“We are all in this boat together, and those who risk their own lives by going out for no urgent need are risking everybody else’s lives too.”

The six Gulf states have reported 6,757 cases of infection and 54 deaths from the coronavirus. The UAE, where 1,505 people have been infected and 10 have died, will increase its stockpile of strategic goods and waive residency visa fines for the rest of the year, said the prime minister, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum.

In Rome, on Palm Sunday, a Christian religious festival, Pope Francis celebrated mass by live stream with St.Peter’s Square empty of the usual huge crowds.

“Today, in the tragedy of a pandemic, in the face of the many false securities that have now crumbled, in the face of so many hopes betrayed, in the sense of abandonment that weighs upon our hearts, Jesus says to each one of us: ‘Courage, open your heart to my love’,” he said.

Queen Elizabeth gave a rare special address to the British people, only the fourth in her 68-year reign. She praised frontline health workers and more than 750,000 people who volunteered to help the state-run National Health Service.

“I hope in the years to come everyone will be able to take pride in how they responded to this challenge, and those who come after us will say that the Britons of this generation were as strong as any,” she said.

In the US, as the death toll approached 10,000, US Surgeon General Jerome Adams said: “This is going to be the hardest and the saddest week of most Americans’ lives … our Pearl Harbor moment, our 9/11 moment.”