King Salman receives speaker of Libyan House of Representatives

03/12/19

Aquila Saleh Issa, speaker of Libyan House of Representatives, on Monday called on King Salman in Riyadh.

During the meeting, they reviewed relations between the two countries and prospects of bilateral cooperation, especially between the Saudi Shoura Council and its Libyan counterpart. Issa also held a separate meeting with Saudi Shoura Council Speaker Dr. Abdullah Al-Asheikh, who commended deep-rooted ties between Saudi Arabia and Libya. Al-Asheikh expressed hope that this visit will contribute to the development of relations between the two countries and particularly between the Saudi Shoura Council and the Libyan House of Representatives.

They also discussed activating the role of parliamentary friendship committees in the two councils.

This article was first published in Arab News

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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 experts start work on Yemeni airport upgrade

Time: November 28, 2019 

The SDRPY team, headed by Ahmed Al-Medkhali, met with specialists to assess and study the extent of work required to upgrade the airport. (SPA)
  • Technical team visits Aden airport to study the extent of work required

ADEN: A team of Saudi technical experts on Tuesday visited Aden International Airport as part of a redevelopment initiative for the site.

The Saudi Development and Reconstruction Program for Yemen (SDRPY) team, headed by Ahmed Al-Medkhali, met with specialists to assess and study the extent of work required to upgrade the airport.

Al-Medkhali said an evaluation of the necessary technical and structural needs of the airport would include assessing buildings, facilities and the runway, in addition to inspecting lighting and runway equipment, existing navigation devices, and the arrival and departure lounges.

“We are here to assess the airport’s emergency requirements and reactivate it. We’re working to evaluate all requirements and needs, to study them, and recommend the necessary work to address those needs, as part of the work of the SDRPY to support the transport, airports and ports sector,” added Al-Medkhali.

HIGHLIGHT

The SDRPY helps to implement Yemeni airport safety plans by providing fully equipped ambulances, fire trucks fitted with the latest technology, in addition to ensuring compliance with the International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) airport safety and firefighting requirements.

The SDRPY recently completed the revamp of Al-Ghaida airport in Yemen’s Al-Mahra governorate and conducted successful air navigation systems tests and flight-testing procedures there in cooperation with internationally accredited companies.

The program helps to implement Yemeni airport safety plans by providing fully equipped ambulances and fire trucks fitted with the latest technology, in addition to ensuring compliance with the International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) airport safety and firefighting requirements.

Separately, on Tuesday, SDRPY officials signed a number of contracts relating to a development project at the Baqah border post linking the Saada governorate to the Kingdom. The program was also behind the delivery of generators to the director of the post, Khalid Al-Omaisi, with the aim of improving its operational capabilities.

The SDRPY, supervised by Mohammed bin Saeed Al-Jaber, the Saudi ambassador to Yemen, not only gives financial aid for development in Yemen but also provides educational training and resources.

The program was established almost a year ago to work alongside the Yemeni government to devise and implement development projects in all areas affecting the daily lives of the Yemeni people, to facilitate recovery, create job opportunities, provide basic services and support the economy.

This article was first published in Arab News

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Saudi Arabia elected to UNESCO’s world heritage committee

Time: November 28, 2019 

Madain Saleh became Saudi Arabia’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2008. (SPA)
  • The announcement comes a week after the Kingdom was elected to the UN heritage body’s executive board for 2019-2023
  • There are five sites in Saudi Arabia that are currently on UNESCO’s World Heritage List

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia was elected to UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee for the first time on Wednesday.
The announcement comes a week after the Kingdom was elected to the UN heritage body’s executive board for 2019-2023.

“After the executive board (election), the Kingdom wins UNESCO’s World Heritage membership for the first time,” Culture Minister Prince Badr bin Abdullah said in a tweet, adding: “Thank you to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and the Crown Prince for their continuous support to the cultural sector.

“This confirms the Kingdom’s international status and its role in building peace and contributing effectively to the establishment of the principles of culture and science.”

The World Heritage Committee meets once a year, and consists of representatives from 21 member states to the convention elected by the general assembly.
The committee has the final say on whether a property is added to the World Heritage List. It also examines rthe state of conservation at listed sites asks member states to take action when they are not being properly managed.
There are five sites in Saudi Arabia that are currently on UNESCO’s World Heritage List: Al-Ahsa Oasis, Al-Hijr Archaeological Site (Madain Saleh) in AlUla, Al-Turaif district in Diriyah, Historic Jeddah, and rock art in the Hail region.

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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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Arab coalition releases 200 Houthi prisoners to support peace deal

Time: November 27, 2019

The Arab coalition said on Tuesday it had released 200 Houthi prisoners to support peace efforts aimed at ending the nearly five-year war in Yemen. (AFP/File Photo)
  • Aim is to support a UN-brokered deal aimed at ending the nearly five-year war in Yemen

RIYADH: The Arab coalition supporting Yemen’s internationally recognized government has released 200 Houthi prisoners, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Tuesday, citing coalition spokesman Col. Turki Al-Maliki.

Its aim is to support a UN-brokered deal aimed at ending the nearly five-year war in Yemen, said a statement, adding that the purpose is to pave the way for a larger and long-delayed prisoner swap agreed upon last year.

The coalition is also conducting flights in cooperation with the World Health Organization to transport patients from Sanaa to countries where they can receive appropriate medical treatment, he added.

The coalition has been battling the Iran-backed Houthis on behalf of Yemen’s internationally recognized government since 2015.

The two sides signed a UN peace deal in Sweden last December but have yet to implement it.

The prisoner swap was part of a UN-negotiated agreement reached in Sweden last December. The agreement involved a cease-fire in the port of Hodeida.

Yemeni government officials were quoted by The Associated Press as saying the release of prisoners was a trust-building measure aimed at encouraging the Houthis to negotiate with the coalition to end the war.

This article was first published in Arab News

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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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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.

This article was first published in Arab News

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King Salman receives greeting from Malaysia PM

Time: November 04, 2019 

King Salman meets Dr. Maszlee Malik, Malaysia’s education minister and the prime minister’s special envoy, in Riyadh on Sunday. (SPA)
  • The message was conveyed to the king during his meeting with Dr. Maszlee Malik

RIYADH: King Salman received greetings from Malaysian Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir Mohamad.
The message was conveyed to the king during his meeting with Dr. Maszlee Malik, Malaysia’s education minister and the prime minister’s special envoy, in Riyadh on Sunday. The king sent greetings back.
On the Saudi side, the meeting was attended by State Minister Prince Turki bin Mohammed bin Fahd bin Abdul Aziz, Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah, Minister of State Dr. Musaed bin Mohammed Al-Aiban and Saudi Ambassador to Malaysia Mahmoud bin Hussein Qattan, among other officials from both countries.

This article was first published in Arab News

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Bolsonaro’s visit ‘a major step in bolstering KSA-Brazil relations’

02/11/19

Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz (R) welcomes Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro in Riyadh on Oct. 30, 2019. (SPA)

  • Bolsonaro and his delegation arrived in Riyadh on Monday night and was a guest of honor at the Future Investments Initiative (FII)

RIYADH: Arab-Brazilian Chamber of Commerce President Rubens Hannun described Brazillian President Jair Bolsonaro’s visit to Saudi Arabia as “extremely important,” claiming it was a major step in bolstering ties between the two nations.

In an interview with Arab News at the Saudi-Brazilian Business Forum, attended by Bolsonaro and Saudi Minister of Commerce and Investment Majed Al-Qasabi, Hannun said: “The visit by the president to Saudi Arabia is extremely important because it includes the president. The leadership from two sides should talk to each other, so it’s really important from my point of view, what happened in these two days.”

Bolsonaro arrived in Riyadh on Monday night with a delegation of ministers, parliamentarians and business people, and was a guest of honor at the Future Investments Initiative (FII).

Hannun said: “I know the importance of Saudi Arabia, this is my fourth visit in 2019, I am trying to collect more information, be closer to business and the government, and help with coordination.”

“I see Saudi Arabia today as more modern; it’s improving with more technology, and looking at the future with a fine strategic plan in Saudi Vision 2030 — a pioneer for the world. With all its diversity, it has opened a new channel and a new challenge for Saudi Arabia and Brazil.

“I can see every day that businessmen can sit, negotiate and establish strategic partnerships, which can start in Brazil and finish in Saudi Arabia or vice versa. Saudi Arabia can be a hub for the region, and a hub for Brazilian industry.”

He added that in order for further progress to be achieved, more cross-channel communiation was needed between Saudi and Brazilian public and private bodies.

The forum witnessed the signing of five agreements between Saudi and Brazilian parties to enhance joint cooperation, including a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) and the Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency.

There were also MoUs between SAGIA and the Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce, the chamber of commerce and several industrial clusters, the Saudi Fund for Development and the Brazilian Development Bank, and the Brazil-Arab News Agency (ANBA) and Arab News.

Commenting on the latter agreement, Hannun said: “I am very happy and honored to have this partnership, this will bring Saudi Arabia and Brazil closer.”

This article was first published in Arab News

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