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High Commissioner's mission to the Arabian Peninsula

Briefing notes

High Commissioner's mission to the Arabian Peninsula

11 October 2002

High Commissioner Ruud Lubbers travels to Saudi Arabia today at the start of his first mission to the Arabian Peninsula. While visiting the region he plans to meet officials and relief agency heads and review UNHCR's work and explore possible avenues for further cooperation and assistance from governments.

While in Riyadh this weekend, the High Commissioner plans to meet First Deputy Prime Minister Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz, Second Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz, Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Saud Al-Faisal, Interior Minister Prince Naif bin Abdul Aziz, Minister of Finance and National Economy Dr. Ibrahim Al Assaf, Governor of Riyadh Prince Salman bin Abul Aziz and Secretary General of the Gulf Coordination Council Abdulrahman Al Attayah, along with other officials, heads of relief organizations and UNHCR staff.

On Monday, the High Commissioner will visit Rafha refugee camp, which shelters some 5,200 Iraqi refugees. Afterwards he will fly to Jeddah to meet officials heading several non-government agencies.

On Wednesday, Mr. Lubbers arrives in Doha, Qatar, for meetings with Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, Emir of Qatar, Foreign Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem bin Jabr Al Thani and Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, President of the Qatari Charitable Society.

Following his meetings in Qatar, Mr. Lubbers will travel to Yemen for meetings Thursday with President Ali Abdullah Salah, Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr. Abu Bakr Al Qirbi, Minister of State for Human Rights Dr. Waheeba Fare-e al Fakih, Minister of Interior Dr. Rashid Al-Alimi and other officials before travelling to Aden.

On Friday, Mr. Lubbers will visit Yemen's Al Kharaz refugee camp, which shelters some 10,000 mainly Somali and Ethiopian refugees. He will also tour the Basateen urban refugee settlement in Aden and meet with government officials and UNHCR staff. Yemen shelters the region's largest non-Palestinian refugee population, with more than 65,000 refugees.