Northern Borders governor inaugurates health projects worth SR50m

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Updated 13 January 2021

Northern Borders governor inaugurates health projects worth SR50m

ARAR: Prince Faisal bin Khalid bin Sultan, governor of the Kingdom’s Northern Borders region, on Wednesday inaugurated a number of health projects in the region for the year 2021.

The projects, which will cost a total of SR50 million ($13.3 million), cover the human resources building at the Arar Central Hospital; the development of the work environment at the Prince Abdul Aziz bin Musaed Dental Center; the development of the Prince Abdullah bin Musaed Cardiac Center, a health center south of Al-Faisaliah; the establishment of health centers in the Rafha governorate; and the development of the work environment in Rafha’s Northern Health Center and Diabetes and Endocrinology Center.

Prince Faisal expressed his thanks to the leadership for continuously supporting the health sector since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, implementing all necessary preventive measures and ensuring the provision of the best health services for all.

He also praised Minister of Health Tawfiq Al-Rabiah for his essential role and interest in the development of the health sector across the Kingdom.

During the inauguration ceremony at Rafha Central Hospital, Al-Rabiah commended the government’s support of the health sector during the pandemic, which has led to a decrease in the number of recorded cases in the Kingdom, noting that the new projects “will represent a qualitative leap for the health services provided to advanced cases in the region.”

Attendees watched a visual presentation showcasing the region’s health projects for the year 2021.

In the presence of Al-Rabiah, Prince Faisal also inaugurated the project aimed at developing the work environment at Rafha’s Northern Health Center, which includes expansion of the center and restoration of the main building’s work environment.

He also launched the “Know Your Numbers” initiative, which seeks to decrease the rate of chronic diseases by raising awareness regarding the importance of regular medical examinations that monitor blood pressure and body mass index, among other health parameters.

Saudi Arabia ‘sending right message to region,’ says Cyprus FM

Updated 34 min 48 sec ago

Saudi Arabia ‘sending right message to region,’ says Cyprus FM

  • Ties between Saudi Arabia and Cyprus have strengthened since the two countries reopened embassies in their respective capitals four years ago

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s growing role in resolving regional issues has been praised by Cypriot Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides during a visit to Riyadh.

“More and more countries are coming to understand that no solution can be found in the region without Saudi Arabia playing a leading role in the efforts,” Christodoulides told Arab News on Tuesday.

“It was something we believed in from the very beginning, and we are glad that more countries are understanding this reality,” he said.

Ties between Saudi Arabia and Cyprus have strengthened since the two countries reopened embassies in their respective capitals four years ago.

Christodoulides said that working together on the bilateral, regional and EU level, a “vast number of achievements” have taken place during that time.

An updating of agreements on air traffic was a major development, he said.

The foreign minister also called for greater discussion and mediation to promote the interests of the region.

“Cyprus is a member of the EU, but at the same time we are a country of the region and what we want to do is to raise awareness in Brussels about the region and especially about Saudi Arabia. A lot of times I feel that the Europeans don’t know the region — they talk about the region, but they don’t really know it,” he said.

Discussions on regional security were among the highlights of his visit, which included meetings with his Saudi counterpart Faisal bin Farhan.

“We looked at how we can enhance our cooperation because security is an issue of concern for all of us,” Christodoulides said.

“We discussed ways to enhance regional cooperation, not just with the UAE and Saudi Arabia but also with Egypt and Greece,” he said, adding that like-minded countries in the region are coming together in order to face the challenges “and to discuss the economic and investment opportunities that we have.”

“What I want out of this visit (to the UAE and Saudi Arabia) is to present the right narrative and the right picture to my colleagues in Brussels. Sometimes during our discussions in the EU and in Brussels, I get the impression that they don’t know the region.”

Christodoulides said that it was also important to “send a common message” to the new Biden administration in the US.

“We have common challenges, common threats, but at the same time our region is not the same as it used to be during the Obama administration. We see a lot of people from the Obama administration coming back to key positions. So we need to send them the same message in order to avoid the mistakes of the past.”

Speaking of the changes taking place in Saudi Arabia, Christodoulides said: “I can see it on the faces of the people and, for me, this is most important. I am amazed by the changes in the country.”

The foreign minister also accused Turkey of “promoting its interests through gunboat diplomacy” with its energy exploration off the coast of Cyprus.

“When President (Recep Tayyip) Erdogan was first elected, Turkey’s relations with other countries were very different. Turkey had no problems with its neighbors,” he said.

“How quickly things have changed in the past eight years. We end up today with (Turkey) having problems with all its neighbors. At the same time, we can’t change geography. We can’t change our neighbors. But we are in a position and we are ready to discuss all issues at the negotiation table.”

He said that Cyprus had signed a maritime borders agreement with Egypt, Lebanon and Israel based on international law and 1982 UN convention on the law of the sea, but when the country asked Turkey to talk and agree on maritime zones, Ankara refused.

“I’m wondering if Turkey feels so comfortable with its position. Why do they refuse to discuss with Cyprus, a member of the EU and the UN?” he asked.