Japan PM Shinzo Abe meets King Salman in Riyadh and crown prince in AlUla

12/01/20

King Salman shakes hands with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during his visit in Riyadh. (SPA)
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at AlUla. (SPA)
Masato Ohtaka said the meeting between the Japanese prime minister and Saudi crown prince was the meeting was full of substance, and included discussion on the regional situation. (Arab News photo by Sa’ad Al-Dossary)
  • The king expressed expectations that his country and Japan will deepen their strategic partnership
  • Abe also met Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at the ancient site of AlUla

RIYADH: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe met Saudi Arabia’s king and crown prince on Sunday, to discuss the situation in the region, during the first leg of his Middle East tour.

The prime minister was received by King Salman in Riyadh as Abe visited the region in the hope of easing tensions between the US and Iran.

He later met with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in AlUla, where they discussed regional developments, with prime minister Abe praising Saudi Arabia’s conduct during the recent heightening of tensions in the region.

“The meeting was full of substance,” said Masato Ohtaka, Japan’s foreign ministry director-general for press and public diplomacy, in a press briefing on Sunday. They exchanged views on the current situation and what needs to be done to defuse the tension, said Ohtaka.

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‘s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Japanese PM met at the ancient site of and discussed bilateral ties in the fields of economy, trade, investment and culture https://arab.news/wu3nz 

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During the meeting the prime minister told the crown prince that further escalation of the situation needs to be avoided and “he appreciates the fact that relevant countries such as Saudi Arabia are showing restraint”,  Ohtaka said.

“Abe mentioned that any military confrontation that might take place in the Middle east including Iran will have profound impact on the peace and stability of not only the region but also the world,” he added.

As for Japan’s mediation role with Iran, Ohtaka said, “This subject on Iran is extremely delicate. I hesitate to go into too much detail on this. We don’t necessarily characterize our efforts as mediation.” He underscored, however, that Japan is the only country in Asia that has been engaging on this issue.

The spokesman also highlighted how Japan can play a role, given the country’s close relationship with the US, and established ties with Iran.

“Japan is an ally of the USA, and also has a long-standing relationship with Iran, and based on those relationships has been engaged in playing a role in those contexts,” Ohtaka said.

Prime Minister Abe and Crown Prince Mohammed also discussed other bilateral issues, as the Japanese leader was received with traditional Saudi hospitality inside a Bedouin tent.

Their meeting, which lasted about an hour, included a 20 minute private discussion, said Ohtaka.

Prime Minister Abe said that he highly appreciated the reform efforts taking place within the Kingdom, and said the reforms were not only important for Saudi Arabia, but the region and ultimately the world as well.

Abe promised that Japan will fully support Prince Mohammed’s reform efforts through the Saudi-Japan vision 2030, a cooperation framework that has been around since 2016. The two nations are working on a broad range of areas and have already concluded four ministerial level meetings and identified 69 areas of cooperation.

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PM ⁦@AbeShinzo⁩ enjoying with Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman in traditional Bedouin tent in true Saudi hospitality

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In their meeting in Riyadh, Abe and King Salman confirmed their cooperation toward the successes of the Group of 20 meetings to be hosted by Saudi Arabia this year and the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics. In their 40-minute talk, the king expressed expectations that his country and Japan will deepen their strategic partnership in various fields, not only in the area of energy.

The day’s session was the fifth meeting between the two leaders since the start of Abe’s current administration in December 2012. At that time, King Salman was crown prince.

In his discussion with Crown Prince Mohammed, Abe said that Japan would support Saudi Arabia towards the success of the next G20 summit, which will be in Riyadh. The crown prince in turn pledged Saudi Arabia will follow up on the outcomes of the last G20 meeting in Osaka.

As the Japanese leader arrived in AlUla, his delegation were received by Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan, Minister of Culture and the Governor of the Royal Commission for AlUla.

AlUla, the last stop in Abe’s visit to the Kingdom before he continues his journey to the UAE and Oman, is full of archaeological treasures nestling amid beautiful desert landscapes.

Saudi Arabia’s move to open up Hegra city and the AlUla Valley is restoring a missing chapter in the history of the Arabian Peninsula and the entire world.

Bearing the name Mada’in Salih in the post- Islamic era, the lost city of Hegra was built by the Nabataeans, like its famous twin Petra in Jordan. They controlled the profitable trade routes that crossed the Arabian Peninsula from east to west and north to south from about the fourth century BC to 106 AD.

The Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s tour of AlUla during his visit to Saudi Arabia casts a spotlight on the ancient Nabataean site as it prepares to open its doors to the public later this year.

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Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan arrives in Saudi Arabia, meets crown prince

15/12/19

 

 

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan arrived in Riyadh on Saturday, on a trip during which he met with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. (Twitter: @KSAMOFA)

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King Salman: Five years of remarkable achievements

01/12/19

  • Yesterday marked the fifth anniversary of King Salman’s ascension to the throne.

The Kingdom has made remarkable and unprecedented political, social, economic and developmental achievements since King Salman started his rule on Jan. 23, 2015.

These achievements, which are mainly the pillars of the Vision 2030 reform program, have demonstrated that the Saudi leadership is committed to its pledge to build a state for the future and to cement its position in the G20.

Under his leadership, King Salman — supported by his crown prince and a young management team — has overseen noticeable and speedy evolution in key sectors including finance, tourism, entertainment, housing and energy, among others.

The restructuring of the Public Investment Fund (PIF) was one of the most notable achievements in the country’s finances.

By changing its mandate from a local investment vehicle focusing on conservative instruments within the money market asset class, the PIF has gone through major transformation to become a significant sovereign wealth fund powerhouse targeting quality, long-term, trophy and strategic investments worldwide.

As for tourism, Saudi Arabia inaugurated several major projects, such as the King Salman Park, Sports Boulevard, Green Riyadh, Riyadh Art and Diriyah Gate Project (DGP).

With the e-visa initiative, tourism will witness a speedy growth coupled with cross-country festivals throughout the year in cooperation with newly created government agencies for activities in sports, entertainment and culture.

The unique DGP was unearthed to be a cultural and lifestyle tourism destination, especially after it gained UNESCO’s certification as World Heritage Site. Starting from next year, the Kingdom is expected to witness the highest growth rate in tourism until 2030.

Obviously, the most remarkable and impactful achievement during King Salman’s rule was the gradual preparation for Saudi Aramco’s initial public offering. It started in 2016 when Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman announced that the Kingdom will sell less than 5 percent of Aramco’s shares by offering it to the public. As of last Thursday, the retail tranche has been oversubscribed by 1.7 times with received bids for its shares totaling $44.3 billion. The institutional tranche will be concluded on Dec. 4.

Since the start of his rule, King Salman has applied a leadership style known in our corporate textbooks as “management by objectives.” His era was guided by a roadmap called Vision 2030, which specified these objectives with target dates for their achievements. Not only has his era paved the way for economic prosperity benefiting national and international investors, but it will also give the future generations national and international entrepreneurs.

• Basil M.K. Al-Ghalayini is the Chairman and CEO of BMG Financial Group.

Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not necessarily reflect Arab News’ point-of-view

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UAE, Saudi Arabia using culture as a cohesive force

Time: November 29, 2019

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (left) gets a warm welcome Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan (R) upon his arrival in Abu Dhabi. (SPA)

Relations between the UAE and Saudi Arabia are cemented in a long history of mutual understanding and shared vision. This week’s visit of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman further consolidates the brotherly ties between the leadership of both countries and strengthens cross-border exchange.

The spirit of a shared common history is clearly reflected in the Saudi-Emirati Coordination Council’s vision, where the national strategies of both countries — Saudi Vision 2030 and UAE Vision 2021 — are aligned.

Our unique model of cooperation is looked upon with great admiration as our bond reflects the vision and determination of our founding fathers. This solid foundation has brought our ancestors together through a shared history, language and traditions. Keeping these relations strong was a priority for Sheikh Zayed, who continuously worked with Saudi Arabia to support and bolster the two countries’ relations.

With the constantly evolving UAE-Saudi bilateral ties, culture remains a focal point for the two countries. There is a common understanding that unity paves the way for and achieves a better future for our people through security and prosperity. Our visionary leaders are committed to playing a pivotal role in investing in cultural initiatives and reviving features of authentic and shared Arab identity. During the last decade, cultural relations between the UAE and Saudi Arabia have taken a quantum leap forward, strengthening the ties in various fields relating to the arts, literature and heritage.

The UAE’s own national ambitions align closely with those of Saudi Arabia, as both nations strive to build a framework that is founded in support and cultural diplomacy to combat violence and disruption in society

Noura Al-Kaabi

This cross-cultural exchange was further strengthened through participation in major events such as Janadriyah, Souq Okaz, the Misk Art exhibition, Riyadh International Book Fair and, more recently, Al-Burda Exhibition, which reflects on the importance of preserving and documenting heritage and promoting dialogue and knowledge exchange. We believe in the power of culture to act as a cohesive force and a diplomatic tool to promote inclusivity, spread positive change, and cultivate a peaceful environment for future generations.

The UAE’s own national ambitions align closely with those of Saudi Arabia, as both nations strive to build a framework that is founded in support and cultural diplomacy to combat violence and disruption in society.

It is in these two countries where culture exchange happens in the social spaces of the majlises over the aromatic smell of Arabic coffee. In a landmark victory at the UNESCO Executive Board last week, Saudi Arabia and the UAE earned a platform to showcase the living heritage of falconry, generosity, and understanding that is present in the Gulf. This shared moment of success reflects the wide acknowledgement of our prominent efforts in the fields of culture, science and education.

This achievement will enable us to press on our joint efforts aimed at promoting our cultural agendas and supporting our respective organizations’ mandate. What further brings us together is our sense of responsibility to shape the future for our next generations, both locally and internationally, through relevant platforms.

This significant accomplishment adds further impetus with the Saudi delegation’s visit. The exchange of memorandums of understanding with Saudi Culture Minister Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan is a continuation of the path that our ancestors have laid since the establishment of our diplomatic ties. We are committed to continuing to establish, support and safeguard global cultural heritage, while ensuring the preservation of the unique and authentic Arab traditions and values.

• Noura Al-Kaabi is the UAE’s minister of culture and knowledge development.

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Saudi flag emblazoned on world’s tallest tower to honor Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman UAE visit

Time: November 28, 2019 

Stand at 829 meters high, Burj Khalifa was light in the colours of the green Saudi flag with the white Arabic calligraphic and sword. (Dubai Media Office)
  • Opened in 2010, the tower is one of Dubai’s iconic landmarks and is usually lit up to celebrate various occasions

DUBAI: The Saudi flag was emblazoned on the world’s tallest tower to celebrate the official visit of Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman to the United Arab Emirates on Wednesday.

Stand at 829 meters high, Burj Khalifa was light in the colours of the green Saudi flag with the white Arabic calligraphic and sword.

Opened in 2010, the tower is one of Dubai’s iconic landmarks and is usually lit up to celebrate various occasions. Earlier this week the tower was lit in orange to mark “Elimination of Violence Against Women Day.”

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Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman sparks online style storm with Barbour jacket

24/11/19

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman attended the E-Formula in Riyadh wearing a Barbour jacket. (SPA)
  • Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman wore a Barbour jacket that effectively sent the Internet into overdrive
  • The outerwear item by the British heritage house even sparked its own Twitter hashtag

DUBAI: Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was photographed attending the Formula E races in Riyadh on Friday and for the occasion donned a navy-colored Barbour jacket worn over a crisp white thobe that immediately sent the internet into overdrive.

The outerwear item by British heritage brand Barbour sparked its own Arabic hashtag on Twitter — that translated to “Crown Prince’s jacket”— with many taking to the social media platform to admire the look.

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“What a magnificent jacket,” wrote one user on Twitter.  Another chimed in, “Really the biggest advertisement you could ever have.” Indeed, a royal co-sign from the crown prince of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is not to be understated.

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In fact, some people even went as far as purchasing the same quilted jacket just 24-hours after it was spotted on the royal, posting screenshots of receipts of their purchase on their Twitter accounts.

One user shared a photograph of the jacket, simply writing “Got it.”

MBS accessorized the Barbour Chelsea sports jacket with a pair of Tom Ford aviator sunglasses and black Adidas Yeezy Boost 350 trainers that further lent an athletic twist to the otherwise casual ensemble.

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Saudi crown prince meets S. Korean defense minister

Time: November 21, 2019 

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman receives South Korea’s National Defense Minister Jeong Kyeong-doo in Riyadh on Wednesday. (SPA)

RIYADH: Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman received South Korea’s National Defense Minister Jeong Kyeong-doo in Riyadh.

During the meeting, the two sides reviewed ways of enhancing cooperation between the Kingdom and South Korea in the field of defense.

They affirmed the importance of cooperation between the two countries in serving international and regional security and stability.

The meeting was attended by Saudi Deputy Defense Minister Prince Khalid bin Salman, as well as a number of senior Saudi and South Korean officials.

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Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince organizes flights to carry Al-Hilal fans to Japan for Champions League final

Time: November 14, 2019

Al-Hilal secured a 1-0 win over the Japanese club in the first leg on Saturday in Riyadh. (Supplied)
  • Al-Hilal secured a 1-0 win over the Japanese club in the first leg on Saturday in Riyadh
  • The crown prince’s decision comes as a result of his support for Saudi Arabian football in the AFC championship

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman has ordered four planes to transport Al-Hilal fans to Japan to support the club in their AFC Champions League final second leg match against the Urawa Red Diamonds.

Al-Hilal secured a 1-0 win over the Japanese club in the first leg on Saturday in Riyadh. The return leg is in Saitama, near Tokyo on Nov. 24.

The Saudi Press Agency said the crown prince’s decision comes as a result of his support for Saudi Arabian football in the AFC championship and to boost the morale of the team to seal the title.

The Saudi General Sport Authority have begun to coordinate with Al-Hilal’s administration to arrange for transporting fans to Japan.

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Riyadh Agreement between Yemen sides draws international praise

Time: November 07, 2019

Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed al-Nahyan (C-L) walking alongside Yemen’s President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi (C) and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (C-R) as they attend a peace-signing ceremony between the Saudi-backed Yemeni government and the southern separatists in the capital Riyadh. (AFP)
  • The US ambassador commended King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman for their role in bringing the parties together

DUBAI: World leaders and diplomats welcomed the signing of the Riyadh Agreement between the Yemeni government and the Southern Transitional Council (STC) that was signed earlier this week.

The new arrangement – signed in Saudi Arabia – calls for an equal number of ministries between each of the STC and supporters of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.

The negotiations began in August in the Saudi city of Jeddah after infighting threatened the unity of a coalition comprising STC forces and Hadi loyalists, which for years had been battling the Iran-allied Houthi militias.

“We are hopeful that the parties will use this critical opportunity to work together to end the conflict and to achieve the peace and stability that Yemen’s people deserve,” US Ambassador John Abizaid to Saudi Arabia said in a statement on Thursday.

The US ambassador commended King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman for their role in bringing the parties together “to restore unity in shared efforts to end Yemen’s long and destructive conflict.”

British Ambassador Michael Aron also praised the Mohammad bin Salman, calling the signing of the agreement a “significant achievement secured by the efforts of the Crown Prince.”

“It is also a big step towards a comprehensive political settlement in Yemen. We welcome it and urge both parties to implement it in the timescales stipulated,” the UK envoy added.

Yemen’s UN envoy Martin Griffiths also described the deal as an “important step” for collective efforts to advance a peaceful settlement to Yemen’s conflict.

“Listening to southern stakeholders is important to the political efforts to achieve peace in the country,” he said in an online statement.

“I am grateful to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for mediating successfully this agreement and for their strenuous diplomatic efforts,” Griffiths said.

Saudi Deputy Defence Minister, Prince Khalid Bin Salman, praised the efforts of the warring sides to end their dispute.

“They have put the Yemeni people’s interests over any other consideration,” Prince Khaled tweeted.

Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohammad Al-Nahyan praised Saudi Arabia’s role in “in bringing about the Riyadh Agreement,”

“We sincerely wish that peace and prosperity prevail and that Yemenis enjoy security, stability and development,” the crown prince said.

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Saudi crown prince meets Indian PM Narendra Modi

Time: October 30, 2019 

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi signed an agreement on Tuesday. (SPA)

RIYADH:  Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman met Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Riyadh on Tuesday.

They reviewed the distinguished, friendly relationship between the two countries and looked at ways in which it can be further developed. They also discussed recent regional and international developments, and how the reactions and policies of the two nations might be coordinated.

At the end of the meeting, the crown prince and the prime minister signed an agreement to establish a Saudi-Indian Strategic Partnership Council.

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