Al-Jubeir: Measures against Qatar painful but necessary

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir
Updated 03 July 2017

Al-Jubeir: Measures against Qatar painful but necessary

WASHINGTON: Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir said measures taken against Qatar were painful considering its status as a brotherly and neighboring country, but were warranted due to its support for terrorist and extremist organizations, as well as its interference in the internal affairs of other countries.
In an interview with journalists at the Saudi Embassy in Washington, he said such interference was rejected not only by countries boycotting Qatar, but by all countries. He expressed hope that wisdom will prevail in Doha to put an end to such interventionism.
“We presented our list of demands to Qatar and clarified our position and took our decision, and the list of demands is non-negotiable and must be fully enforced,” said Al-Jubeir.
During his visit to the US, he participated in meetings with 30 members of the Senate and House of Representatives in Congress, and with heads of committees from the House of Representatives.
Meanwhile, Saudi Ambassador to the UN Abdullah Al-Mouallimi said Qatar insisted on destabilizing Saudi and regional security, and supporting terrorism that threatens the whole world.
Doha is participating with Tehran in creating regional chaos, and Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt have taken a sovereign decision to boycott Qatar in order to maintain security and press it to stop supporting terrorism, he added.
Qatar has chosen to be an ally of Iran, and for 20 years has supported terrorist groups with knowledge of their plots against countries in the region, Al-Mouallimi said. This has made Qatar a primary haven for terrorists, who are allowed to conspire against other countries, he added.
Doha was given several opportunities to stop supporting terrorism and interfering in the internal affairs of other countries, most recently in 2013 and 2014, but it did not comply, he said.

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.”