G20 envoys laud Saudi presidency

Time: 23 November 2020

This handout photo provided by G20 Riyadh Summit, shows Saudi King Salman, center, and the rest of world leaders during a virtual G20 summit hosted by Saudi Arabia and held over video conference amid the Covid-19 pandemic, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Saturday, Nov. 21, 2020. (AP)
  • Ambassadors approve of proposal that the G20 hold two summits each year

RIYADH: The ambassadors from the G20 states on Monday praised the Saudi presidency for undertaking such a huge task under extraordinary circumstances and providing a clear direction for tackling the coronavirus crisis.

After the Riyadh Summit concluded on Sunday, King Salman formally handed over the rotating presidency to Italy, which will hold the 2021 summit.

Speaking ahead of the closing remarks Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman recommended holding two G20 summits — a virtual event in the middle of the year and a physical summit later.

Italian ambassador Roberto Cantone told Arab News: “The Kingdom has given proof of excellent organization. The Saudi presidency has worked since the beginning to adapt the original program to the challenges of the reality.”

“The Saudi president managed to catalyze G20 action to tackle one of the most pressing global emergencies of our time. This has been done in a very comprehensive manner, focusing both on the health emergency and on the socioeconomic impact of the pandemic,” he said.

He said the incoming Italian presidency will build on the legacy that Saudi Arabia has left.

South Korean ambassador Jo Byung-wook said: “The G20 Summit this year once again proved itself to be the premier forum for international economic cooperation. It would not have been possible without Saudi Arabia’s tremendous efforts leading all G20 member countries to invest their resources in responding to the global crisis.”

The Kingdom has given proof of excellent organization.

Roberto Cantone, Italian ambassador

“Saudi Arabia demonstrated its leadership and competence to the world by successfully hosting two summits this year,” he added. “In this respect, as suggested by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, holding two G20 summits annually would actively utilize this global forum with proven effectiveness.”

Japanese ambassador Tsukasa Uemura told Arab News: “The summit successfully provided a clear direction for the international community in the midst of the crisis, which is significantly meaningful in such a difficult year.”

“Saudi Arabia has demonstrated tremendous leadership in delivering clear and vital messages to the international community that the G20 would take the lead in creating an international order for the post-corona world,” he added.

EU ambassador Patrick Simonnet said: “We have very much appreciated the Saudi presidency for holding the Extraordinary Summit in March, where G20 leaders discussed the most urgent consequences of the pandemic on all aspects of our lives.”

Praising the Kingdom for the G20 Summit’s success Chinese ambassador to Saudi Arabia Chen Weiqing tweeted: “A friend sent me a message from China that amid the uncrecedented pandemic Saudi Arabia has achieved exceptional success in chairing the G20 over virtual conferences, and he was very impressed. I agree, as the Kingdom has won the respect and appreciation of the world.”

Mexican ambassador Anibal Gomez-Toledo noted: “The crown prince’s proposal to hold two G20 annual summits could have potential and should be further discussed by the group’s members.”

Indonesian ambassador Agus Maftuh Abegebriel told Arab News: “We acknowledge the recommendation made by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on holding two summits. It would surely be beneficial to the economic recovery.

He said the Saudi presidency has proven that the G20 Summit can also be held virtually and prove effective.

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Saudi Arabia’s economic clout makes it key global player


The US presidential election always creates a buzz around the world, dominating global and social media platforms. The strong ties between Saudi Arabia and the US form the basis for peace in the Middle East — and global security.

Saudi Arabia enjoys a robust position in global affairs due to its political, religious, and economic weight. As a reliable partner to most countries of the world, the Kingdom has always played a crucial role in times of crisis.

The relationship between Riyadh and Washington is based on mutual trust. It is not affected by whoever sits in the Oval Office. Election campaigns are often designed for voters at home and do not necessarily reflect the true aspirations of the president-elect, especially where foreign affairs are concerned.

Saudi-US relations are among the most important pillars of the global system. Saudi Arabia will continue to be the US’ biggest ally in the Middle East; stronger cooperation between the two countries is imperative to achieve regional and global stability.

Due to Saudi Arabia’s religious and economic clout, it enjoys a unique global and regional position. The oil-rich Kingdom also plays a key role in stabilizing global energy markets.

In times of global political and economic crises, Saudi Arabia has always adopted wise and responsible policies to help its allies — and the world — emerge from these difficulties with ease.

The US energy industry is currently booming, and any change in this strategy is unlikely, whether the president is a Republican or a Democrat.

The US is working seriously to reduce its dependence on foreign oil imports, which also explains the boom in the shale oil industry.

The shale industry’s growth also gives the US more leverage in dealing with several foreign issues, so it cannot be removed from the energy mix. Besides, a ban on fracking will result in a huge oil supply shortage, which will adversely affect oil prices that the current fragile global economy cannot handle.

• Faisal Faeq is an energy and oil marketing adviser. He was formerly with OPEC and Saudi Aramco. Twitter:@faisalfaeq

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

This article was first published in Arab News

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