Saudi and Jordanian naval forces conclude 5-day joint military exercise – Arab News
RIYADH: The Royal Saudi Naval Forces concluded a joint maritime exercise with their counterparts from the Jordanian Armed Forces, the Saudi Ministry of Defense said on Thursday. 
Safe Beach 5, which began on Sunday, took place in the Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Fleet.
Maj. Gen. Ali bin Saeed Al-Shehri, commander of the participating forces, thanked the participants from the Royal Jordanian Naval Forces for their cooperation and said the fifth staging of the joint exercise had been completed with a high degree of skill.
The exercise is designed to boost military cooperation, coordination and the exchange of expertise between the nations’ forces, authorities said. A number of operations took place with the aim of raising levels of readiness and enhancing combat capabilities.
Col. Khalid bin Mohammed Al-Balawi, the director of the exercise, said that the participants in Safe Beach 5 successfully completed all of its stages, theoretical and operational, with high levels of skill and proficiency, which reflected the quality of the preparation, coordination and implementation.
“The goals set for this exercise were achieved with all seriousness and in the spirit of unified joint action,” he said.
اختتام مناورات تمرين #الشط_الآمن_5 بالاسطول الشرقي في الجبيل بمشاركة #القوات_البحرية_الملكية_السعودية والقوات البحرية والزوارق الملكية من القوات المسلحة الأردنية.
— وزارة الدفاع (@modgovksa) January 13, 2022
Meanwhile, security forces from Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and Oman arrived in the Kingdom ahead of Arab Gulf Security 3. The joint tactical exercise, involving security agencies from Gulf Cooperation Council member states, will take place this month in Dammam in the Eastern Province. Forces from the UAE arrived on Wednesday.
Commanders reported that the participants are prepared for the exercise, which aims to enhance coordination and field cooperation, and develop capabilities for dealing with crises and emergencies.
RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan and the Secretary General of the Digital Cooperation Organization Deemah Al-Yahya signed an agreement to establish the organization’s official headquarters in Riyadh on Thursday.
They also discussed aspects of cooperation between the Kingdom and the DCO in various fields during a meeting.
The organization was established by a group of founding countries that share an interest in collaborating to realize their collective digital potential. Member states include Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Jordan, Morocco, Pakistan, and Nigeria.
It aims to drive greater collaboration and cooperation across entrepreneurship, innovation, business growth, and employment in a shared digital economy.
Prince Faisal welcomed the establishment of the organization’s headquarters in Riyadh and stressed the importance of strengthening joint work with DCO member states to contribute to the development of countries through the optimal use of digital technologies to achieve growth and prosperity.
The foreign minister added that the Kingdom is keen to support all DCO initiatives, especially those that contribute to supporting innovation, youth, women, and entrepreneurs, and encourage investment in the digital economy in line with Saudi Vision 2030.The DCO said it was proud to establish its headquarters in Riyadh and looked forward to supporting “a digital economy to enable digital prosperity for all.”
“The decision to establish the headquarters of the DCO in Riyadh is an affirmation of the Kingdom’s regional and international position as a hub connecting Africa, Asia, and Europe, and its status as one of the fastest growing G-20 economies and a leading regional center in technology,” Al-Yahya said.
The secretary general praised digital acceleration in the Kingdom and the fact that technology is driving many aspects of Saudi Arabia’s economic and social expansion.
DHARAN: After nearly eight decades, the US Consulate in Dhahran is moving from its well-known spot near the King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals to another state-of-the-art compound a short drive away.
The new location is on the corner of Salah Addin Al-Ayoubi Road and Abu l’baba Al-Aslami Street, just off King Saud bin Abdulaziz Road.
On Sept. 14, the American flag that flew over the original US Consulate in Dhahran was slowly lowered by white-gloved marines and immaculately folded into a triangle. That was then handed to the US consul general in Dhahran, David Edginton, and the charge d’affaires, Martina Strong, who came from Riyadh for the occasion.
The flag ceremony was held in front of Edginton’s official residence, the home which the consul general, know locally as Abu Yaqoob, has lived in since he took on the role in 2021. Before then, the home has been continuously occupied as the residence for US consul generals in Dhahran for 78 years and is a gathering spot for important discussions and occasions. It is the oldest diplomatic facility of any country in the Gulf region.
During the flag ceremony, Edginton was emotional and hopeful as it was lowered for the final time at the historic landmark. He mentioned that the consulate was not just a building — it was not about the bricks and mortar that hold the structure together or the address itself, but what the location symbolized. Anyone who has ever had to renew a US passport or apply for a visa or seek support or help from the US Consulate in the last few decades has walked those same grounds and opened those same doors.
Edginton described the move as a new chapter in the relations between the US and Saudi Arabia.
“For almost 80 years, the US Consulate in Dhahran has served as a bridge between our two countries, forging a relationship of mutual respect that has fostered rich commercial, diplomatic, educational, and cultural ties between the US and Saudi Arabia.
“While we honor the past of the historic facility we leave behind, and those who passed through its doors, the new consulate will dramatically expand our capabilities to engage our Saudi partners on emerging issues such as clean energy and climate change, and will support the dynamic social and cultural transformation occurring under Vision 2030. The consulate is a symbol of our enduring commitment to the Kingdom and the strength of the bilateral relationship,” Edginton said.
The original consulate opened on Sept. 2, 1944 on the Aramco compound as the first permanent US diplomatic facility on the Arabian Peninsula. Since then, the consulate has been a steady presence in the Eastern Province, forging ties within the local community and providing consular services to Saudis and Americans.
A short drive away, the new $380 million facility saw the American flag raised in another symbolic gesture. Flapping in the hot sun, it was witnessed by the marines, who were responsible for the flag, and by deployed US Army and US Navy members as well as the staff of the consulate.
The new location will open on Sept. 26, by appointment. The west side of the building will be dedicated to all consular services, including visas and passports.
Visit their official website for more information on the new location.
RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s King Salman and Britain’s King Charles spoke on the phone on Thursday, Saudi Press Agency reported.
King Salman expressed his sincere condolences to King Charles, the British royal family, and the British public on the death of Queen Elizabeth II.
The Kingdom’s monarch also congratulated Charles on ascending the throne and wished him success in serving the interests of the British people.
King Salman said he looked forward to strengthening relations between Saudi Arabia and the UK.
King Charles expressed his thanks and deep gratitude to King Salman for his noble sentiments, stressing his keenness and interest in strengthening relations between their countries.
Queen Elizabeth II died at her Balmoral Estate in Scotland after 70 years on the throne last Thursday and funeral for the much-loved monarch will be held on Monday.
In London, thousands of mourners waited hours in line for the chance to spend a few minutes filing past the queen’s coffin while it lay in state at Britain’s Parliament on Thursday, as King Charles III spent the day in private.
RIYADH: The King Abdulaziz Public Library has converted a number of its children’s publications into braille in collaboration with the Visual Impairment Association in Riyadh, according to the Saudi Press Agency.
The collection includes children’s stories written for those aged 5-10 years that are rich in Saudi culture, traditions, and values.
The library is also converting new collections of books for various age groups into braille.
The initiative is part of its objective to make itself more accessible to all members of society.
KAPL’s children’s libraries also hope to expand their educational media options.
Dr. Bandar Al-Mubarak, KAPL director general, explained that such social initiatives are in line with the library’s social and cultural responsibility to reach this segment of readers.
The children’s library has previously collaborated with other government agencies and organizations to broaden its reach. For example, it provides 100 publications for disabled children and 100 publications for orphaned children each year.
RIYADH: The King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center’s (KSrelief) Masam project has dismantled more than 1,000 mines planted by the Houthi militia across Yemen during the second week of September, Saudi Press Agency reported Thursday.
The extraction of the 1,030 mines included 26 anti-personnel mines, 123 anti-tank mines, 880 non-explosive ordinances and four explosive devices, bringing the total number of mines removed during the month to 1,764.
Since it was launched in 2018, the project has successfully removed as many as 357,788 mines, which often claim the lives of children, women and the elderly.


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