Saudi Border Guard seize 320kg of qat in Jazan

Saudi Border Guard seize 320kg of qat in Jazan
Saudi Border Guard seize 320kg of qat in Jazan

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Jeddah - Yasmine El Tohamy - Saudi ministers reiterate call for immediate Gaza ceasefire as Israel intensifies raids

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Cabinet on Tuesday said that Kingdom reiterated the importance of exerting all efforts to reach an immediate ceasefire in the Gaza Strip and its surroundings, during its participation in the meetings of the European Council on Foreign Relations.

Saudi Arabia underscored the necessity of working to achieve just and lasting peace, and enable the Palestinian people to obtain their legitimate rights to establish an independent, internationally recognized state.

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan called on Tuesday for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and “a renewed commitment to dialogue and negotiation guided by the principles of justice, equality, and mutual respect.”

Addressing the Gulf Research Meeting 2024 virtually, Prince Faisal said: “The ongoing violence and bloodshed in Gaza serves as a stark reminder of the human cost of conflict and the urgent need for a durable solution that upholds the rights and dignity of all parties involved.”

He said the urgent need to find a pathway to the establishment of a viable and sovereign Palestinian state was central to the Kingdom’s vision for a just and peaceful world.

Separately, ministers discussed the overall programs and initiatives being implemented locally, including enhancing infrastructure, the quality of services provided to citizens and residents, developing promising sectors, communications technologies, attracting investments, and stimulating national industries.

During the meeting chaired by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Jeddah, the Cabinet commended efforts aimed at reducing the unemployment rate, which is close to the target of the Saudi Vision 2030 of 7 percent.

Saudi Arabia’s overall unemployment rate stabilized at 3.5 percent in the first quarter of 2024, marking a yearly decrease of 0.8 percentage points, the latest data showed. 

According to the Labor Force Survey conducted by the General Authority for Statistics, the unemployment rate for Saudi nationals reached 7.6 percent in the first quarter, a slight decrease of 0.2 percentage points from the previous quarter and a yearly drop of 1.1 percentage points compared to the first quarter of 2023. 

This figure, derived from population estimates of the Saudi Census 2022, highlights the positive trend in the Kingdom’s labor market.

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