Global reactions welcome Saudi king’s Iraq aid package

Photo: Global reactions welcome Saudi king’s Iraq aid package
 / Arab World

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday welcomed the Saudi king's decision to donate $500 million to Iraqis affected by the recent turmoil, Al Arabiya reported.

Ban expressed gratitude to Saudi Arabia the aid package that will be distributed through U.N. organizations for life-saving humanitarian assistance to people in Iraq.

"The secretary-general expresses deep gratitude to Saudi Arabia for their generosity in contributing $500 million to the U.N. for life-saving humanitarian assistance to people in Iraq," a statement issued by Ban's spokesperson said.

It added that the secretary-general "welcomes the timely funding, which will enable the U.N. and its partners to support the millions of Iraqi men, women and children whose lives have been torn apart by the conflict".

Saudi King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz on Tuesday ordered the humanitarian aid for the Iraqi people affected by recent violence.

Iraq's Grand Mufti Sheikh Rafea al-Rifai also commended the king's donation and said it reflects the king's concern over the Iraqi people who are going through difficult circumstances and who were left alone to confront sectarian fighting and murder.

Rifai said the Iraqi people are living through an unprecedented tragedy, adding that Saudi support is tantamount to panacea to them.

The mufti also said that the king's decision to distribute aid to all those in need regardless of their sect and ethnicity must be highly-commended, adding that this timely Saudi support embodies the kingdom's vision to the unity of the entire people of Iraq.

He added that King Abdullah has proven that he's a skillful political leader who's concerned over the Iraqi people whom their own leaders failed.

"The Saudi kingdom has always supported the Iraqi people. The financial donation which the king ordered is resumption of the king's concern over the interest of the Iraqi people," Rifai added.

Several Iraqi experts also applauded the king's donation, the daily Okaz reported. Moataz Muhieddine, head of the republican center for security research, told the daily that the donation was not surprising as the king has always supported the Iraqi people.

"The king's donation reflects the Saudi leadership's concern to stand by the Iraqi people. It's an initiative that shows the kingdom's support of the [Iraqi] people...to build a strong Iraq," Muhieddine added.

Iraqi opposition figure Abdelemir al-Rokabi told Okaz that the Saudi kingdom's leadership has always proven its concern over the Iraqi people by standing by them during difficult circumstances.

"King Abdullah has proven he's a skillful political leader who's has concern for the Iraqi people. [He's also proven] that the kingdom supports the Iraqi people who are going through difficult circumstances and who need support to overcome their crisis," Rokabi added.

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