An 8 member Saudi Shoura delegation, led by the Shoura Council’s vice speaker, is participating in a fiveday world parliamentarian’s conference, organized jointly by the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and the Jatiya Sangsad (national Parliament of Bangladesh), in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The conference was about global unity to fight terrorism and militancy, which are costing human lives, and how to end political and economic inequality. Among the participants of the conference there are 687 members of 131 national parliaments of the world, 45 speakers, 37 deputy speakers and more than 200 women parlamentarians. Moreover a Saudi Press Agency report said “the meeting aims to discuss a number of issues pertaining to the parliament’s role in preventing foreign interference in the internal affairs of the sovereign states” and that the Saudi delegation will also participate in the meetings of Arab and Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) to implement cooperation on regional and international issues and to ensure peace, security and economic equality across the world.
The Saudi Royal Navy special units have been trained in different conditions and climates, such as mountainous terrain and deep in the valleys, cold winter months and hot summer, to fully prepared soldiers and officers. These kind of training develop extensive skills to carry out military operations with high precision. Moreover the Commander of the College of Command and Staff at the Saudi Armed Forces Al-Dhahri said the units currently operating with the coalition forces to support the legitimacy in Yemen are among the most trained combat units. These special navy units have advanced boats and special equipment and unmanned aerial vehicles and the members undergo intese training programs inside and outside the Kingdom and are involved in joint annual exercises with forces from allied countries. Just last week it was carried out an operation in which naval mines were identified and deactivated in the see of Yemen.
Saudi Arabia approved a new tax regime for oil and natural gas producers on Monday. Under the new regime hydrocarbon companies will be taxed depending on their capital, therefore companies with capital of more than SR375 billion will pay 50 percent income tax, those with capital between SR300 billion and SR375 billion will pay 65 percent tax, those with capital between SR225 billion and SR300 billion will pay 75 percent of tax and those with capital below SR225 billion 85 percent of tax. The consequence will be a boost of Saudi Aramco’s valuation and it will see its income tax fall from 85 percent to 50 percent. The new rates will also put the company in line with international benchmarks and the new rate is effective retroactively from Jan. 1. Moreover future investrors interested in buying Saudi Aramco shares will see more clash flow. In fine the government will not lose income due to the fact that any reduction in tax is replaced by stable dividend payments.
The coalition Command to Support the Legitimacy in Yemen said today in a statement that Saudi border cities were targeted by Houthi militias with smuggled rockets through the port of Al-Hodeidah. The Command added that the Coalition air forces targeted immediately the launching sites and that the Royal Saudi air force intercepted four ballistic missiles launched towards the cities of KhamisMushayt and Abha and they destroyed them without causing any damage. In fine the coalition said these actions are the strongest evidence of the continued smuggling of weapons to Yemen especially from the port of Hodeidah.
During the Cabinet session at Yamaha Palace King Salman expressed his hope on the Arab Summit, that will be held in Jordan on Monday, and on the cooperation and solidarity that the summit will encreas in the Arab countries. Moreover on the latest development on the global level the Cabinet expressed its comdannation of the terror attack in London, welcomed the ministerial statement about the role of the global coalition to defeat Daesh and expressed ita appreciation on the Saudi donation to the international fund for the protection of cultural heritage compromised during armed conflicts. The Cabinet also authorized the Minister of Foreign Affairs to discuss with Norway a general agreement for cooperation between the Saudi and Norwegian governments and approved the establishment of diplomatic relations between Saudi Arabia and Guatemala.
The spokesman for the Saudi-led coalition, Maj. Gen. Al-Assiri, told Arab News on Saturday that the Saudi Navy is constantly engaged in mine-sweeping on Yemeni shores planted by Houthi militias. Many naval mines were found near the southwestern port city of Mokha and were there to target the international shipping boats and for that reason the Saudi-led coalition warned the international maritime movements. Moreover few days ago there were an incident, a fishing boat hit a mine off the Yemeni shores and seven fishermen were killed. In fine since January forces allied with the national Yemeni government have controlled the strategic port near Mokha and the US Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) warned of the risk of mines in the strait of Bab al-Mandab.
Amnesty International condemned the United States and Britain for transferring arms to Saudi Arabia to use in its war in Yemen, Western media reported. The London-based watchdog described the arms transfers as a “shameful contradiction” of aid efforts by the United States and Britain. ‘These governments have continued to authorize such arms transfers at the same time as providing aid to alleviate the very crisis they have helped to create,’ said Lynn Maalouf, Amnesty’s deputy director of research for the Middle East and North Africa. Iran has repeatedly condemned crimes committed against the oppressed people of Yemen by the Saudi-led coalition including demolishing infrastructures in Yemen and killing defenseless civilians in almost two years of devastating war against that country. In March 2015, a so-called Saudi-led coalition began a major aggression on Yemen in a bid to reinstate the country’s fugitive president Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.
Iraq’s Ambassador to Kuwait Alaa al-Hashimi said on Thursday that his country is ready to mediate between Iran and Saudi Arabia. Al-Hashemi made the remarks while speaking in an interview with the Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Jarida. Given its good relations with all regional countries, Iraq is ready to step in and help bring closer the views of Tehran and Riyadh, the ambassador said. He said that any measure by Iraq to help improve Iran-Saudi Arabia relations would not be a difficult one because there exists the required determination and good will on both sides.
The Saudi-led Arab coalition’s request to supervise the Yemeni port of Hodeida was rejected by the UN on
Monday. The UN spokesman Farhan Haq said the protection of civilian infrastructures and civilians are obligations
of the warring sides in Yemen. Moreover the coalition spokesman Maj. Gen. Al-Assiri, who asked the UN to
supervise the port not to protect it, said the UN was asked to appoint international observers to ensure the port
is managed in a manner that facilitates the arrival of humanitarian assistance to civilians and is not exploited by
the Houthi militias.
The US Department of Transportation issued a ban against passengers travelling on nonstop flights to the US from Saudi Arabia and seven other Middle Eastern and North African countries, who are banned from carrying electronic devices on board. The ban targets 10 international airports such as King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah and King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh, where Saudi Airlines operates nonstop US-bounds flights and which received the information from the General Authority of Civil Aviation. In these new procedures on US-bound flights laptops, iPads and Kindles can only be accepted as part of checked-in luggage. The reason behind the ban is probably the terrorists’ ongoing interest in targeting commercial aviation, including transportation hubs over the past two years and the US Government concern about it. Moreover the UK is also due to announce a ban on laptops and other electronics on certain flights as the BBC reported.