Jan 092018
Pakistan condemns ballistic missile attack on Najran in Saudi Arabia

Islamabad, January 09, 2018 (PPI-OT):The Government of Pakistan condemns the ballistic missile attack by Houthi militia on the city of Najran in Saudi Arabia on 05 January 2018. Pakistan commends the Government of Saudi Arabia for destroying the missile before it caused any civilian casualties. It is however concerned at reports that there was some damage to property. The Government reiterates its full support and solidarity with the leadership, the Government and people of Saudi Arabia against any threats to its territorial integrity and threats against Harmain Sharifain. For more information, contact: Spokesman Ministry of Foreign Affairs Government of Pakistan Tell: +92-51-9205494 Fax: +92-51-9204202 Cell: +92-336-5644459 Website: www.mofa.gov.pk Click for detailed story

Nov 042017

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia on Saturday intercepted and destroyed a “ballistic missile” northeast of the capital Riyadh after it was launched from Yemen, state media reported. “Saudi Air Defense intercepts ballistic missile northeast of Riyadh,” Saudi state TV said. State-run news channel Al-Ekhbariya said the missile “was of limited size (and) no injuries or damage” were reported. Yemeni rebel missile shot down near Makkah The missile was destroyed near Riyadh’s King Khaled international airport, which was functioning normally, it added. Yemen’s Iran-backed Huthi rebels claimed they had fired the missile, targeting the airport, the Huthis’ Al-Masirah television said. Saudi Arabia’s southern neighbour Yemen has been torn apart by a war between the Saudi-backed government of President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi and Huthi rebels backed by Iran. Saudi Arabia agrees to buy Russian S-400 air defence system A Saudi-led coalition intervened in 2015 to prop up Hadi’s government after the Huthis seized the capital Sanaa. The rebels continue to hold much of the country. United Nations-backed talks have failed to broker a political settlement to end the fighting, which has left more than 8,600 people dead since the coalition intervened. Saudi Arabia says 3 civilians killed by missile fired from Yemen A cholera outbreak has claimed more than 2,100 lives in Yemen since April as hospitals struggle to secure supplies amid a coalition air and sea blockade. The United Nations has warned Yemen now stands on the brink of famine. The post Saudis intercept ‘ballistic missile’ fired by Huthi rebels near Riyadh appeared first [Read More…]

Nov 032017

HONG KONG: Global turmoil after seismic events such as Brexit and the election of President Donald Trump may push readers away from dystopian crime fiction to novels with a more comforting message, best-selling author Ian Rankin says. The Scottish writer has made millions penning dark tales of serial killers and murderous gangsters, but thinks the current bleak outlook for world affairs may be a catalyst for a shift in what readers look for in fiction. “I think this may happen – a move away from serial killers and bleak dystopian crime fiction towards something with a more comforting message,” Rankin tells AFP. Saudi Arabia pulls ‘indecent’ novel from bookstores “Maybe good will be seen to triumph and ordinary people will overcome crises in psychological crime novels,” he adds. It has been 30 years since Rankin first introduced his famous protagonist John Rebus in Knots & Crosses, where he is a Detective Sergeant investigating the Edinburgh Strangler, a serial killer who has been abducting young girls. As the brooding Rebus probed case after case involving shootings, prostitution, junkies and hit-and-runs, his books surged in popularity – and are now bestsellers on several continents. But Rankin believes troubled times in the real world could lead consumers to search for more light relief in fiction, pointing to the success of British writer Alexander McCall Smith, whose traditional mysteries set in Zimbabwe became popular after the 9/11 attacks in America. Ibne Khaldun Corner opens at NBF Rejecting gruesome crime in favour of exploring everyday problems, [Read More…]

Oct 272017
Saudi Arabia to establish factory turning palm, date waste into new products

Riyadh (OIC-UNA) � Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture, the National Center for Palms and Dates, and the Saudi Technology Development and Investment Company (TAQNIA), studied plans to establish the biggest regional factory to benefit from palm, date and agriculture waste.This came during a meeting presided over by Ahmed bin Saleh Ayada, undersecretary for the ministry; Sulaiman Al-Khateeb, chairman of vegetable resources at the ministry; and Mohammed Al-Nueiran, president of the center, to study the establishment of the first regional factory to turn waste from palms and dates into products of economic value. According to Nueiran, it is planned to establish the factory near the Qassim region, the second largest main region producing palm and date waste in the Kingdom.The factory’s productive capacity is estimated at 300,000 tons per year of the transformed products that require 500,000 tons of palms, dates and agriculture product waste. He said that based on the study, the project is expected to create 2,000 direct and indirect new job opportunities across other production regions in Riyadh, Madinah, Al-Ahsa and other cities. The agriculture sector in the Kingdom produces over 1.7 million tons per year of palm, date and agricultural waste.Source: International Islamic News Agency Click for detailed story

Oct 212017
Tillerson Promotes Closer Iraq-Saudi Ties

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Sunday promoted improving ties between Saudi Arabia and Iraq as a way to counter Iran’s growing military assertiveness in the region.Tillerson, participating in the initial meeting of the Saudi Arabia-Iraq Coordination Committee in Riyadh, told Saudi King Salman and Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi that their improving links showed “great potential.” He cited the August reopening of a major border crossing between the two countries and the resumption of direct flights between Baghdad and Riyadh.“Both represent the beginning of what we hope will be a series of even more tangible actions to improve relations and strengthen cooperation on a host of issues,” Tillerson said. “Your growing relationship between the kingdom and Iraq is vital to bolstering our collective security and prosperity and we take great interest in it.”The top U.S. diplomat said the United States is “grateful for this progress and urge you to expand this vital relationship for the stability of the region. The United States stands ready to support continued cooperation between Saudi Arabia and Iraq and we congratulate you.”Salman said, “We are facing in our region serious challenges in the form of extremism, terrorism as well as attempts to destabilize our countries. These attempts require our full attention. … We reaffirm our support for the unity and stability of our brother country of Iraq.”Abadi voiced his approval of “the thriving relations between our two brotherly countries. We are open and we want to move away from the past. The region [Read More…]

Oct 202017

WASHINGTON DC: US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will pay his maiden visit to Pakistan this month during which he would discuss joint efforts against terrorism and expanding economic ties between the two countries, a State Department spokesperson announced on Thursday. The visit to Pakistan is part of Secretary Tillerson’s first visit to Asia, which will also take him to India, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Geneva, Spokesman Heather Nauert told a briefing at the State Department. “The secretary will meet with senior Pakistani leaders to discuss our continued bilateral cooperation, Pakistan’s critical role in the success of our South Asia strategy, and the expanding economic ties between our two countries,” the spokesperson said. She said the secretary was due to meet with the prime minister, foreign minister, and senior military officials to discuss joint efforts between Pakistan and the United States to fight terrorist groups that threaten regional peace and stability and how “Pakistan can support our effort to reach a peaceful solution in Afghanistan”. Secretary Tillerson’s visit to Islamabad follows the visit by Foreign Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif to Washington this month during which he met high US officials to discuss the US-Pakistan relations and the new South Asia strategy announced by President Trump in August. Responding to a question about the US-India ties and whether Washington would take side in issues between Pakistan and India like the cross-border firing across the Line of Control, the spokesperson said that the US had always been very cautious about addressing those issues, [Read More…]

Oct 062017

Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz is on a four-day state visit to Russia along with his entourage of 1,500 people, a golden escalator and his own carpets, a person familiar with the matter said. On Wednesday, the 81-year-old king of the kingdom exited his plane out onto his golden escalator which malfunctioned halfway down and forced him to walk down rest of the way where his cavalcade of cars waited for him along with Russian police escorts. This is the first visit to Russia by a Saudi monarch and both the countries have already struck a deal on weapons’ sale and how to stabilise the oil market. Saudi Arabia lifts ban on internet phone calls Around 800 kilogrammes of food has been flown in by a Saudi plane that is travelling daily between Riyadh and Moscow to transport supplies, according to the person. “Members of the royal entourage also replaced some of the hotel staff with their own personnel, who know exactly how they like their coffee made,” he further added. King Salman even brought his own furniture along to the luxury hotels booked by the Saudi government for the visit. Other guests were asked to cancel their reservations and people who lived there permanently even moved out. Embassy statement: Saudis rejects ‘poor Haj arrangements’ claim “The entire hotel is booked through October 8 and isn’t open to the public,” said a doorman dressed in red livery. Even US presidents travel with large entourages that include a bullet proof limousine and [Read More…]

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