Saudi-Pakistani Military Drill ‘Kaseh 1’ Wraps up

The drills of “Kaseh 1” exercise between the Saudi Royal Land Forces and its counterpart in the Pakistani army concluded on Thursday, reported the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) .

Its conclusion was attended by Major General Thafer bin Ali Al-Shehri, Commander of Corps of Engineers in Pakistan Army, Major General Mohammad Ajmal, Sneed Thaher Al-Muzaini.

The exercise’s commander from the Saudi side, Brigadier General Abdullah Manna Al-Amri, said that the “Kaseh 1” exercise was carried out to enhance the efficiency of engineers in unconventional warfare for both sides and to unify the concepts and fighting operations that come within framework of the friendly relations and military cooperation between the Saudi forces and the Pakistani army.

For his part, Commander of Corps of Engineers in Pakistan Army, Major General Mohammad Ajmal expressed his pride in participating in the exercise and said: “the Kingdom Saudi Arabia is our second home and we consider the Saudis as our brothers,” noting that the Pakistani army has taken successful steps in the fight against terrorism.

Crown Prince Donates SAR 6 Million to Support Charity Organizations in Madinah Region

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman

Riyadh- Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz personally donated on Wednesday SAR 6 million to charity organizations in Madinah region.

Coming out of the Crown Prince’s account, the donation was provided within the project of Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz for supporting charitable societies nationwide.

The Madinah Region is located on the country’s west side, along the Red Sea coast.

The total number of beneficiaries in Madinah is 4,849 males and females through 4 charitable societies including six segments of orphans, needy families, people with special needs, widows, divorcees and the elderly.

The charitable support from the Crown Prince within the project of Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz for supporting charitable societies in all regions of the Kingdom started in Riyadh Region with an amount of SR 23 million meeting the requirements of 11,680 beneficiaries through 14 charity organizations, Makkah region with an amount of SR 15 million for 14,914 beneficiaries through 10 charity organizations, the Eastern Region with an amount of SR 16 million for more than 41,000 beneficiaries through 10 charity organizations, and Qassim Region last week with an amount of SR 16 million benefiting 7296 persons through 12 charity organizations.

UNHCR’s Grandi Says KSRelief is the First to Send Team to Assess Rohingya Needs in Bangladesh

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman Relief and Humanitarian Aid Center, also known as KSRelief, signed on Wednesday a joint cooperation pact with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, UNHCR, said the Saudi state-owned press agency, SPA.

The agreement was co-signed by Dr. Abdullah bin Abdualziz Al-Rabiah, Consultant at the Royal Court and General Supervisor of KSRelief, and United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi.

For his part, Grandi stressed that KSRelief is the first center organization visiting the Rohingya camps to assess the situation there in addition to other examples in Yemen and Syria, pointing out to a cooperation between the two sides to support the Syrian refugees and displaced people in neighboring states.

This agreement aims to enhance strategic cooperation and partnership between the two organizations.

Following the signing ceremony, Dr. Al-Rabiah disclosed that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia supported the affected people in 38 countries through providing 232 relief and humanitarian programs in addition to hosting 561,911 Yemeni visitors (refugees), 262,573 Syrian visitors (refugees) and more than 300,000 Barmawis.

Saudi Arabia: Good Quality Education Is Core for Achieving Sustainable Development

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia gave emphasis to education as a basis to improving the lives of people, said the Kingdom’s permanent delegation to United Nations Abdullah bin Mohammed Al-Ghunaim on Wednesday.

In his speech, Ghunaim said that Saudi Arabia pays great attention to education and the provision of good quality of education for all as a basis for improving people’s lives and achieving sustainable development.

Ghunaim relayed the Kingdom’s speech before the Second Committee of the General Assembly of the United Nations at the 72nd session on education for sustainable development, said the Saudi state-owned news agency SPA.

On that note, in a statement published on SPA, the kingdom affirmed its keenness to preserve the rights of children, regardless of sex or race even before their birth, in addition to preserving their rights to life, protection, education, health and health.

The statement stressed that this attention and care for the rights of the child is not limited only to Saudi children, but through several projects and donations to children around the world, including Syrian, Palestinian and Yemeni children.

This came in the Kingdom’s speech Tuesday yesterday on article 68th of the promotion and protection of the rights of children within the work of Social, Human and Cultural Committee at the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly, delivered by the Second Secretary of the Permanent Delegation of the Kingdom to the United Nations, Taghreed Bint Fahd Al-Dulaim.

Saudi Arabia Launches Internet Quality Measurement Platform ‘Meqyas’

Meqyas instructions flowchart, Asharq Al-Awsat

Riyadh- In a move to increase the efficiency of Saudi internet services, the Saudi Communications and Information Technology Commission announced on Tuesday the launch of a measurement platform, ‘Meqyas.’

Meqyas is an initiative by The Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC) to establish Internet Quality of Experience Measurement Platform in order to provide internet users in Saudi Arabia with reliable and accurate data concerning broadband and mobile internet services.

The Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC) has partnered with SamKnows to implement and operate the measurement platform using world-class technologies and tools.

The CITC said that the aim of the initiative is to provide users with information pertaining to the quality of the Internet experience provided to them in a transparent manner, and to increase competition between service providers to improve quality.

These developments come at a time when Internet services in Saudi Arabia are the biggest driver of the telecom sector in the country. Local telecom operators are focusing on improving the quality of their services in this vital sector.

The CITC explained that the Internet measurement platform is influenced by several factors, such as the efficiency of the service provider’s network tower, the distance from the supplying modem, the router’s internal settings, and the number of users and devices tapping into the same point simultaneously.

It is noteworthy that ‘Meqyas’ is a different system of tools for users measure the quality of the internet provided them, and enables to follow the levels of quality at different time periods on a weekly basis, monthly, annually and according to international standards.

Meqyas aims to provide internet subscribers in Saudi Arabia with reliable and accurate data concerning broadband and mobile internet performance across the country.

More so, the CITC recently announced the number of mobile subscriptions in the country has reached 43.6 million, according to the latest statistics.

On the other hand, the communications commission had launched its electronic bulletin on monitoring the latest developments in the ICT sector in the Kingdom by the end of the second quarter of 2017.

The bulletin included the number of subscriptions to telecommunications services, which reached about 43.6 million– 3.75 million lines represent the number of fixed line lines, while subscriptions to broadband services through mobile networks with a total definition amounted to about 25.2 million subscriptions.

The number of subscriptions to broadband services over fixed telecommunication networks reached 3.2 million, including DSL, fixed wireless connections, fiber optics and other wired lines.

As for the number of Internet users in the Kingdom, CITC said in its bulletin that the number of Internet users in the country reached 24 million users.

Saudi telecoms listed on the local capital market posted a remarkable growth in profits for the first half of 2017, with earnings growth of about 13 per cent compared to the first half of last year.

Saudi Arabia Welcomes Palestinian Reconciliation, Hopes It Consecrates National Unity

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman chairs the Cabinet's session at Al-Yamamah Palace in Riyadh. Saudi Gazette

Riyadh- Saudi Cabinet stressed on Monday what Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud had said during his meetings with Russian officials regarding calling the international community to intensify efforts to combat extremism and terrorism and dry up their sources of funding.

The cabinet also reiterated the necessity to end the suffering of the Palestinians and the importance of maintaining stability and security in the Gulf and the Middle East to achieve global security and stability.

It also tackled the importance of the political settlement for the Yemeni crisis, the end of the crisis in Syria while maintaining its unity, protecting Iraq’s unity and territorial integrity and uniting its internal front to fight terrorism and calling upon the international community to shoulder its responsibilities with regard to Muslims in Rohingya.

This came during the cabinet session, which was held at Yamamah Palace in Riyadh on Tuesday under the chairmanship of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, who briefed the cabinet on the outcomes of his visit to Russia and his talks and meetings with President Vladimir Putin and prominent Russian officials.

He also talked about his meetings with Presidents of Tatarstan, Ingushetia, Chechnya, and Bashkiria during which they discussed bilateral relations to achieve the aspirations of the two countries and push them forward to broader, more comprehensive horizons.

He emphasized, during his meetings in Russia, on the Kingdom’s keenness to boost relations between Saudi Arabia and Russia and on the continuity of positive bilateral cooperation to achieve the stability of the world oil markets for the interest of the global economic growth.

Internally, the cabinet praised the achievements made by the State Security Presidency as it managed to dismantle an ISIS-linked terrorist cell along with raiding three sites affiliated to the cell and arresting five of its members in addition to 22 persons accused of inciting criminalized acts according to the Islamic Sharia and law and the country’s regulations.

Following the session, Minister of Culture and Information Dr. Awwad bin Saleh al-Awwad told SPA that the cabinet has commended the outcomes of King Salman’s visit to Russia, which contributed to strengthening and cementing bilateral relations, the exchange of agreements, memorandums of understanding and cooperation programs signed between the two countries.

The Cabinet expressed gratitude to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques for the royal decrees he had issued to meet the needs of the homeland and its citizens, including the establishment of the National Development Fund to carry out the general supervision, as organization, regulatory and operational of the funds and banks in order to improve their performance to achieve the desired goals of their establishment, reflecting the wise leadership’s interest in supporting the march of supporting development programs and projects that serve citizens directly.

He said that the Cabinet reviewed a number of reports on latest regional and international developments, welcoming the development of the Palestinian reconciliation efforts and expressed the Kingdom’s hope that the efforts of the Government of Reconciliation will contribute to the consolidation of national unity and the unity of Palestinian ranks to meet the ambitions of the brotherly Palestinian people.

Saudi King Salman Receives UAE Ambassador at End of his Tenure


Riyadh – Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz received on Tuesday outgoing United Arab Emirates Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Mohammed bin Saeed Al-Dhaheri.

The UAE Ambassador bade farewell to King Salman on the occasion of the end of his term as ambassador of his country to the Kingdom.

The audience at the Yamamah Palace in Riyadh was attended by Minister of Interior Prince Abdulaziz bin Saud bin Naif bin Abdulaziz, Ministers of State Dr. Musaad bin Mohammed Al-Aiban and Dr. Ibrahim bin Abdulaziz Al-Assaf and Foreign Minister Adel bin Ahmed al-Jubeir.

Also at the Yamamah Palace on Tuesday, new Minister of Civil Service Dr. Sulaiman bin Abdullah Al-Hamdan and Minister of Transport Dr. Nabil bin Mohammed Al-Amoudi were sworn in before King Salman in a ceremony attended by several officials.

New Hawk Jets Platforms Manufactured by Saudi Arabia


Dammam – Saudi International Petrochemical Company (Sipchem) announced on Monday that it finished the manufacturing of 18 platforms for Hawk jets, alongside its ground equipment.

The manufacturing was carried out by the Riyadh-based Sipchem subsidiary, the Saudi Specialized Products Company (WAHAJ).

Sipchem stated that the Hawk platforms project is the first cooperation with the Saudi BAE Systems, adding that all the platforms were shipped from Riyadh to the United Kingdom to complete their usage measures.

The Hawk platforms were completely manufactured by Saudi hands at WAHAJ’s headquarters in Riyadh’s Second Industrial City.

The company pointed out that the platforms’ manufacturing went through many stages that relied on the latest German technology used in the three-dimensional designs, before the verification of the products’ efficiency and compatibility with specifications and quality standards.

Abdulrahman Al Saif, chairman of WAHAJ, said: “Such a step emphasizes the company’s determination to contribute to the enhancement of the local production of military industries in the Kingdom as part of its ambitious Vision 2030.”

Sipchem owns 75 percent of WAHAJ, which was established in 2013 as part of supporting manufacturing projects in the Kingdom through the Riyadh Metal Parts Factory and the thin-film solar panel factory in Hail.

After the completion of commercial operation of WAHAJ in Riyadh in 2016, the company began focusing a significant part of its operations on the military and defense-supporting industries.

Official Says Saudi Arabia to Offer Nuclear Reactor Construction Project in 2018

Saudi Arabia plans to award a construction contract for its first nuclear reactors by the end
of 2018, a senior government official said on Tuesday.

“With sponsorship from the highest levels in the state, the contract will be signed by the end of 2018,” Maher al Odan, the chief atomic energy officer of King Abdullah City for Atomic and
Renewable Energy, told a news conference in the capital Riyadh.

On that note, TASS reported last week that Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom has sent its proposals to the Saudi party for the construction of a nuclear power plant in Saudi Arabia, head of Rosatom Alexei Likhachev.

“Of course, we have sent it,” he said, when answering the relevant question.

“I hope that we will reach an agreement on cooperation in peaceful atom and other areas, such as mobile sources of nuclear energy, small and medium-sized power sources, scientific research,” he noted.

“Saudi Arabia has got down to creating its own nuclear power industry. The first step has been taken – a request was sent for a parade of vendors prepared to build a major nuclear power plant,” he said.

Likhachyov said Rosatom hoped for cooperation with Saudi Arabia in building nuclear power plants and in creating mobile power sources.

Saudi Arabia’s population has grown from 4 million in 1960 to almost 30 million in 2014. It is is the main electricity producer and consumer in the Gulf States, with 312 TWh gross production in 2014, 152 TWh from oil and 160 TWh from gas – a 32% increase over the previous two years.

Houthi Militias Target Saudi School in Jizan Region

Yemen’s Houthi armed militias fired a ground-to-ground missile targeting a school in the Saudi Governorate of Samta in Jizan region, an official source at the Command of Coalition Forces to restore legitimacy in Yemen told the state-owned Saudi Press Agency.

The missile caused damage to the school located in the village of Al-Jaradiyah and its yard as well as to some properties of citizens.

The source confirmed that Houthi armed militias do not hesitate to target schools and civilian facilities, which is a clear violation of the international humanitarian law.

The Saudi-led Arab military coalition intervened in Yemen in 2015 to support the government of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi after the Houthis forced him into exile.

The United Nations has listed Yemen as the world’s number one humanitarian crisis, with seven million Yemenis on the brink of famine and cholera, causing more than 2,000 deaths.