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April EN

 

KSA Mission Newsletter April 2017

Read the April edition of Saudi Arabia in Focus, the regular update from the Saudi mission to the EU for updates on

  • The Kingdom’s additional support to its Yemeni brothers with a donation of €138m
  • Recent Saudi Arabia – Russia exchanges on the situation in Syria
  • Saudi-US ties in the fight against terrorism
  • Saudi women in the spotlight
  • Progress on Vision 2030

An official source at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s strong support for the military operations carried out by the U.S. on military targets in Syria, which came in response to the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime against innocent civilians that caused the deaths of scores of people, including women and children, and is part of the ongoing horrible crimes committed by this regime over many years against the Syrian brotherly people.

The official source places the responsibility for these military operations squarely on the Syrian regime.

The source praised this courageous decision by U.S. President Donald Trump to respond to the regime’s crimes against its people in light of the failure of the international community to stop the regime from brutalizing its people.

The Saudi ambassador to Belgium and Luxembourg and the head of the Mission to the EU, H.E. Mr Abdulrahman S. Alahmed, today represented the Kingdom at the international conference for the future of Syria and the surrounding region.

Hoping for a productive exchange, Ambassador Alahmed reasserted the Kingdom’s position that the unity and territorial integrity of Syria, its security and military institutions must be preserved.

The government of my country has, since the beginning of the conflict, sought to forge the peaceful solutions necessary for Syria’s future, and has cooperated with other partners and allies to avoid the human tragedy we are currently witnessing.”

Mr Alahmed recalled the success of the 2015 conference in Riyadh where the Syrian Supreme Commission of Revolutionary and Opposition Forces – the representative body entrusted with negotiating in the name of the Syrian Opposition – was established. The body, welcomed both regionally and internationally “has since served as a negotiation reference in all rounds held since that date. The body still participates in negotiations, and has demonstrated genuine efforts to be cooperative and flexible, as witnessed by all parties-“ This is in spite of the intransigence of the Assad regime and its allies, who have exploited the negotiations in order to carry out further crimes against the Syrian people.

The Ambassador underlined the Kingdom’s support for the efforts of the Special Envoy of the United Nations General Secretary Mr Staffan De Mistura and his efforts to find a political and peaceful solution that excludes Bashar al Assad. “The Kingdom supports his efforts to advance the negotiation process between the Syrian parties in Geneva and progress towards solutions based upon the first Geneva Convention, UN resolution 2254 and the other international resolutions.” He called on all parties to abide by international law and agreement on respecting ceasefires, delivering humanitarian aid and releasing detainees and abductees held by the regime and its militias.

Mr Alahmed renewed Saudi Arabia’s calls on the international community to stand firmly against the interference of Iranian militia and their efforts to impose demographic change, sectarianism and ethnic cleansing in Syria, including the forced displacement of people in the pursuit of such in some areas of the country.

Saudi Arabia, he said “affirms the importance of imposing sanctions on the perpetrators of war crimes in Syria, and in this regard, praises the UN General Assembly’s resolution 2332 issued on 22 December 2016, calling for the establishment of a retribution mechanism for war crimes in Syria, which should be activated promptly.”

The Saudi Ambassador referred to the Kingdom’s efforts to alleviate the suffering of Syrians both through substantial humanitarian aid and relief, as well as welcoming 2.5 million Syrian refugees as Saudi citizens with access to medical and educational services and the ability to take up jobs.

Substantial humanitarian aid and relief were offered either through donor’s conferences, or by national campaign programs to support our brothers in Syria, or through the “King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre.” Many of these programs are still active both in Syria and in the neighbouring countries (Turkey – Jordan – Lebanon). The total value of Saudi humanitarian aid and relief has reached over 780 million US Dollars in addition to the commitments taken through donors’ conferences.”

Ambassador Alahmed

H.E. the Ambassador concluded that “It is wrong to downplay the Syrian crisis in terms of its human suffering. The extent of pain, grief and tragedy is unprecedented. Yet, perhaps the ugliest aspect of the war is the survival of the Syrian regime and its persistence in its criminal approach. Indeed, only hours ago, the news circulated that the regime was using Sarin gas in the countryside of Idlib in a new criminal move showing the indifference of this regime to international decisions and demands.”

March KSA In Focus

KSA Mission Newsletter March 2017

The month’s issue provides an update on Saudi’s contribution to a new fund to protect cultural heritage from destruction by extremist groups, the situation in Yemen and Saudi Arabia’s appeal for peace in the country, the potential for greater cooperation between the EU and the Kingdom on counter-terrorism and HRH Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman’s promising visit to President Donald Trump in Washington.

La newsletter est également disponible en français: Focus Arabie Saoudite Mars 2017

Speaking in Paris on Monday 16 January 2017, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir expressed support for the efforts being made to advance the peace process in Syria. Mr Al-Jubeir met with French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault on the sidelines of the Middle East Peace Conference that took place in the French capital over the weekend. At the conference it was announced that the EU will host a conference on Syria and the region in Brussels in Spring 2017 focussing on the political process towards a transition. The aims of the conference are to take stock of the state of play of UN talks in Geneva; humanitarian work and support for resilience and stabilisation, to assess progress in implementing commitments made at last year’s conference in London and to identify possible gaps and how to address them, and possible support to post-conflict reconstruction and reconciliation once a credible political transition is firmly underway.

Minister Al-Jubeir’s comments were also reflected in the UN Security Council meeting of 17 January, where the Permanent Representative of Saudi Arabia to the United Nations Abdallah Y. Al-Mouallimi said the Kingdom would continue to participate in all international efforts towards achieving a peaceful resolution to the Syrian crisis. He expressed support for Council resolution 2336 (2016), which had called for a peaceful transition for Syria, as well as several General Assembly resolutions, including one which had called for the establishment of a mechanism to gather and document evidence and hold to account those responsible for war crimes or crimes against humanity. He underlined that the oppression by the Syrian regime, with the support of the Russian Federation, Iran, Hezbollah and other community militias, must come to an end, and the people of Syria must be able to determine their own political future.

Russia, Iran and Turkey’s proposed talks in the Kazakh capital Astana next week aim to reach a cease-fire in Syria. Mr Al-Jubeir said that these talks were worth testing, but should not be construed as Riyadh abandoning moderate opposition groups fighting to topple President Bashar Assad. “The objective is to arrive at a cease-fire and move on to the political process. Let us test it. So far it has not succeeded,” he said. “If it does, then we go down the political path, but that does not mean we abandon the moderate opposition.”

Dr Abdullah Al Rabeeah, Supervisor General of The King Salman Humanitarian Aid & Relief Centre (KSRelief) presented the details of the Kingdom’s aid program in Brussels. Following meetings with EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid Christos Stylianides, Dr Al Rabeeah also took the time to explain the valuable work conducted by KSRelief as part of Saudi Arabia’s role as one of the world’s leading humanitarian donors.

The aims of the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre

KSRelief’s main achievements since its foundation in 2015

Key current areas of focus for KSRelief

The main challenges ahead for the Centre

KSRelief’s priorities for 2017

A medical background at the heart of KSRelief’s leadership

Support for refugees in the Middle East

Forging ties with the EU

Dr Al Rabeeah’s takeways from his trip to Brussels

How KSRelief and the EU’s DG ECHO can learn from each other