Sunday, September 6, 2015

Saudi King’s extravagance amid refugee tragedy

According to a report by Amnesty International, “six gulf countries— Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Bahrain – have offered zero resettlement places to Syrian refugees.”
It is pertinent to note that none of these countries are signatories of the United Nations' 1951 Refugee Convention, which outlines refugee rights and defines the duties of signatory states to safeguard them.
The image of a drowned Syrian toddler, his dead body lying unattended on a Turkish beach last week highlighted the chilling plight of the Syrian refugees fleeing a relentless civil war.
Washington - Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz booked the entire Four Seasons Hotel, Geogtown, during his visit to Washington DC. Reports highlighted the profligacy citing Saudi Arabia’s apathy to the Syrian refugee crisis.
The famed Saudi profligacy is nothing new. Just last month, the monarch reserved an entire beach in the French Riviera to accommodate a 1000-member party during the King's vacation, according to reports.
The installation of an elevator from the Mirandole beach to the villa reportedly miffed some beach-going residents who objected to allowing King Salman this royal privilege.
And the king shortened the planned three-week vacation following criticism against “the temporary privatization of public land.”
With the Syrian refugee crisis hogging media headlines, the profligate waste of wealth is being questioned, expectations that Saudi Arabia and the wealthy Arab states in the Persian Gulf should do much more to help their neighbor.

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