US ambassador John Abizaid attends 75th anniversary of Saudi-US ties celebration in Riyadh

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US ambassador to Saudi Arabia John Abizaid made an address in Riyadh on Friday at a celebration of the 75th Anniversary of the meeting between President Franklin Roosevelt and King Abdulaziz on board the USS Quincy in 1945. (Supplied)
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US ambassador to Saudi Arabia John Abizaid made an address in Riyadh on Friday at a celebration of the 75th Anniversary of the meeting between President Franklin Roosevelt and King Abdulaziz on board the USS Quincy in 1945. (Supplied)
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US ambassador to Saudi Arabia John Abizaid made an address in Riyadh on Friday at a celebration of the 75th Anniversary of the meeting between President Franklin Roosevelt and King Abdulaziz on board the USS Quincy in 1945. (Supplied)
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Updated 15 February 2020

US ambassador John Abizaid attends 75th anniversary of Saudi-US ties celebration in Riyadh

  • Abizaid made an address in Riyadh on Friday at a celebration of the 75th anniversary of the meeting between President Franklin Roosevelt and King Abdulaziz

RIYADH: US ambassador to Saudi Arabia John Abizaid made an address in Riyadh on Friday at a celebration of the 75th anniversary of the meeting between President Franklin Roosevelt and King Abdulaziz on board the USS Quincy in 1945.

His remarks can be read below:

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“Thank you all for joining us this evening. Welcome to Quincy House. Exactly seventy-five years ago, two great leaders met aboard the USS. Quincy.
“President Franklin Roosevelt and King Abdulaziz met to chart the future of our bilateral ties. This first encounter between a US president and a Saudi King laid the foundation for the broad strategic partnership the United States and Saudi Arabia share today.
“Beyond partnership, President Roosevelt and King Abdulaziz forged a personal friendship that is at the heart of the strong ties our two countries share today.

“As we mark this important anniversary, I particularly want to welcome our guest of honor, the governor of Riyadh, His Royal Highness Prince Faisal bin Bandar bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud. Thank you, your highness, for joining us in our celebration today. Let me also welcome His Highness Prince Abdullah bin Faisal binTurki who served as Saudi Arabia’s ambassador in the United States. He was instrumental in strengthening our ties and advancing our mutual security and prosperity.
“I am also honored to welcome and recognize Mr. Hassan Yassin, who as a young boy was present onboard the USS. Quincy and witnessed the meeting between President Roosevelt and King Abdulaziz. His father, Yusuf Yassin, provided valuable counsel to KingAbdulaziz during this pivotal meeting and the early stages of our growing partnership. We are grateful that Hassan followed in his father’s footsteps and spent many years in the United States advancing our shared goals and building our friendship.

 


“It is also important to recognize the representatives of forty-four companies who have generously assisted to make this wonderful celebration possible.
“The historic meeting aboard the USS. Quincy launched a partnership that has brought our people together to deliver an unprecedented record of successes. Americans and Saudis built the global energy system that has been so crucial to the steady growth of the world’s economy. During the Cold War, we stood together against Communism and Soviet aggression.
“In 1991 our joint forces liberated Kuwait. We have stood shoulder to shoulder to oppose threats to the region, especially terrorism. Our citizens have learned from one another through a rich slate of exchange programs. Hundreds of thousands of Saudis have visited, studied, and worked in the United States.

 

“Similarly, hundreds of thousands of Americans have undertaken pilgrimage to Makkah and Medina and have worked in the Kingdom to build our strong business, educational, and security ties.
“And we continue to work together. American companies are working to ensure the success of Vision 2030. Our militaries work together to bring stability and security to the region, even as Iran continues its campaign of aggression.

 

 

“As many of you may have heard, we recently launched the Quincy College Preparatory Scholarship program to help young Saudis interested in pursuing college education in the United States. Thanks to Saudi Arabia’s new visa regulations, more Americans than ever are visiting Saudi Arabia as business representatives, thought leaders, tourists, scholars, artists, athletes, and competitors.
“I am confident that this is just the beginning. The future of our two great countries and our bilateral ties is indeed bright. Thank you for being our guests here tonight, and for your friendship. Please enjoy the evening and help us launch the next 75 years of the US-Saudi partnership.”


Saudi Food and Drug Authority seizes 412 tons of shrimp, fake food labels in Jazan

Updated 29 July 2021

Saudi Food and Drug Authority seizes 412 tons of shrimp, fake food labels in Jazan

  • Inspectors found modifications of data and expiry dates of the shrimps repackaged in new containers

JAZAN: Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA) inspectors seized 412 tons of shrimp stocks after detecting fake food labels and product packages inside an illegal warehouse in Jazan region.

SFDA said that during the inspection and investigation operations, inspectors detected modifications of the data and the expiry dates of the product, which was repackaged in new containers.

The shrimp products, and packages and data labels were seized, in addition to another 500,000 labels bearing food data and cartons ready for packing.

As a result of the inspection, the authority closed the unlicensed warehouse and summoned those responsible for the facility to hear statements and complete the application of penalties and regulations against them.

According to food law and its executive regulations, the penalty for such violations can reach up to SR10 million ($2.6 million), in addition to a ban on the violator from practicing any food business for up to 180 days, as well as license suspensions and/or cancellations.

Violations of establishments under the supervision of the SFDA can be reported by calling the unified number (19999), or through its “Tameni” application available on the iOS and Android operating systems.

 

 


35,000 Saudi families benefit from Sakani housing scheme

Updated 29 July 2021

35,000 Saudi families benefit from Sakani housing scheme

  • Kingdom's Vision 2030 reform plan aims to raise the proportion of residential ownership to 70 percent

RIYADH: A total of 34,891 families benefited from subsidized mortgage loans through the Sakani self-construction program during the first half of this year.

Run by the Ministry of Municipal, Rural Affairs, and Housing and the Real Estate Development Fund (REDF), Sakani offers Saudis access to land and residential housing via financing solutions to help first-time homebuyers.

The Vision 2030 reform plan aims to raise the proportion of residential ownership in the Kingdom to 70 percent.

Sakani provided various residential products and financial solutions for 111,568 families in the first six months of the year, including 87,896 families that have already moved into new homes and its website and app are designed to simplify and speed up the purchasing process for readymade, off-plan, self-construction, and land products.

To qualify for a subsidized loan for self-construction, applicants must be entitled to residential support, own a residential land plot and have a valid building permit, have a fixed income, and must not have previously claimed housing support. Details are available at https://sakani.housing.sa/product/SC.

The scheme also provides an engineering design service with a range of high-quality, competitively priced options in partnership with experienced engineering offices. More than 36 distinctive and modern self-construction designs are available along with an approved contractor service.

The REDF offers more than 43 e-services for citizens as well as a real-estate adviser app and its online team provides around-the-clock support for those seeking subsidized funding.

Beneficiaries can call 199088 or contact the REDF on social media for information on housing and financial solutions, programs, and initiatives.


Saudi aviation authority issues update for citizens’ travel procedures abroad 

Updated 29 July 2021

Saudi aviation authority issues update for citizens’ travel procedures abroad 

  • New procedures will come into effect on Aug. 9

RIYADH: The Saudi General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) has issued a new circular to all airlines, both public and private, operating from the Kingdom’s airports updating the procedures for citizens’ travel outside Saudi Arabia.

The circular stipulates that airlines can carry citizens on international flights, provided that they have received all doses of one of the anti-coronavirus vaccines approved in the Kingdom, with the exception of passengers under the age of 12.

Travelers under the age of 12 are required to present an insurance document approved by the Saudi Central Bank that covers the risks of COVID-19 infection outside the Kingdom.

In addition, citizens who recovered from the virus less than 6 months ago and those who contracted corona more than 6 months ago and received a single dose of one of the approved vaccines in the Kingdom can travel abroad.

GACA said that these procedures will come into effect on Aug. 9.

The GACA continues to apply all preventive measures at the Kingdom’s airports, with the aim of providing an integrated health environment for travelers at Saudi airports.

The procedures also include obliging all concerned authorities and air transport companies operating at the Kingdom’s airports to comply with health safety requirements and preventive measures.


DGDA, Saudi Botanical Society sign MoU to turn historic Diriyah green

Updated 29 July 2021

DGDA, Saudi Botanical Society sign MoU to turn historic Diriyah green

  • Partnership between Diriyah Gate Development Authority and Saudi Botanical Society reflects both sides’ concern to protect and preserve local plants
  • First phase of the development project covers the restoration of more than 2 square kilometers of Wadi Hanifa and old farms in the region

RIYADH: The historic city of Diriyah is about to get greener.

The Diriyah Gate Development Authority (DGDA) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Saudi Botanical Society (SBS) to cooperate in private projects in the area of plants and trees in Diriyah.

The MoU also includes spreading awareness about the importance of plants and green spaces and developing the first national garden for local plants in Diriyah, within the projects implemented by the DGDA.

The first phase of the development project covers the restoration of more than two square kilometers of Wadi Hanifa and old farms in the region. It will also establish new hiking trails and parks to make the valley an open space so tourists and visitors can enjoy natural sceneries and outdoor space.

Developing the plants and green space in Diriyah was also addressed in the MoU, along with providing scientific and technical research in the field. The project is in line with the Diriyah Gate Project, Wadi Hanifa Project, and Wadi Safar Project as all associated parties will exchange expertise, information, data, and knowledge sources.

The partnership between DGDA and SBS reflects both sides’ concern to protect and preserve local plants in Diriyah.

SBS, the first nonprofit organization specialized in the protection of wild and local plants in the Middle East, was established after Saudi leadership launched a number of initiatives, such as Green Saudi Arabia, Green Middle East, and a scheme to plant 50 billion trees in the Kingdom.


Ignore false COVID-19 claims and get vaccinated, Saudi health authorities urge public

Updated 29 July 2021

Ignore false COVID-19 claims and get vaccinated, Saudi health authorities urge public

  • Health Ministry reports 1,334 new cases, 1,079 recoveries, 11 deaths

JEDDAH: The Saudi Health Ministry has warned residents against false claims about COVID-19 persistently circulating on social media and for the unvaccinated to get out and get inoculated from the disease.

Dr. Abdullah Asiri, Assistant Deputy Minister for Preventive Medicine, also urged the public to continue following health safety protocols to avoid getting hit by the highly contagious delta variant of the virus.

In a recent message posted on Twitter, he  said that all medications must be taken in accordance with instructions, including antibiotics, but that most do not interfere with COVID-19 vaccinations.

The timing of vaccinations might need to be adjusted for people taking immunosuppressive drugs, such as rheumatism and cancer medications, to ensure the best response to the vaccines, he explained.

As of Wednesday, more than 25.7 million doses of vaccines have been administered in the Kingdom, at a current rate of 326,727 a day. More than 18.4 million people have received at least one dose and more than 7 million have received two, meaning more than 73.8 percent of the population has had at least one jab.

INNUMBERS

522,108 - Total number of COVID-19 cases in the Kingdom

502,528 - Number of recoveries 8,200 Deaths

8,200 - Number of COVID-related deaths

The Ministry of Health repeated its call for all eligible citizens and residents to register for the vaccine given the continuing spread of variants, and reiterated that people who are fully vaccinated are much less likely to become infected, or to suffer severe symptoms if they are.

Authorities reported 1,334 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, bringing the total in the country to 522,108. The number of active cases has risen to 11,380, and 1,409 patients are receiving critical care, 13 fewer than 24 hours earlier.

The Eastern Province recorded the highest number of new cases, with 271, followed by Riyadh with 260, Makkah with 239, Asir with 127, and Jouf with 12.

An additional 1,079 people have recovered from the disease, raising the total number of recoveries to 502,528, a recovery rate in the Kingdom of 96.2 percent.

An additional 11 people died as a result of conditions related to COVID-19, raising the death toll to 8,200.

Meanwhile, the Saudi Center for Disease Prevention and Control (Weqaya) announced that fully vaccinated travelers are exempt from quarantine requirements upon arrival in the Kingdom. Expatriates returning to the Saudi Arabia are also exempt if their health status is recorded as “recovered” on the Ministry of Health’s approved app, Tawakkalna.

The Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development said it conducted 1,689 field inspections in Tabuk, during which it identified 83 violations of precautionary health measures in workplaces.