Sweden claims ties with KSA back to normal

Updated 03 April 2015
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Sweden claims ties with KSA back to normal

Sweden said on Thursday that relations with Saudi Arabia were back to normal and that Riyadh would lift its temporary visa ban.
“Saudi Arabia has informed us that it saw its relationship with Sweden as normalized. As part of this, visas will be given again to Swedes. Exactly when, we cannot say,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Catarina Axelsson was quoted as saying by AFP.
Riyadh recalled its ambassador to Stockholm on March 11 for Sweden Foreign Minister Margot Wallstroem’s flagrant interference in the Kingdom’s internal affairs.
Around the same time, Sweden unilaterally canceled a long-standing military cooperation deal between the two countries.
Saudi Arabia proceeded to freeze business visas to Swedish citizens, while the United Arab Emirates also recalled its ambassador to Stockholm.
Fearing a financial impact, the Swedish government invited Saudi business leaders for talks.
Last Friday, Swedish MP Bjorn von Sydow traveled to Riyadh to deliver a letter from King Carl XVI and Prime Minister Stefan Lofven to Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman.
The content of the message was not revealed, but it was reported in the Saudi media that the Swedish government apologized for the undiplomatic conduct of Wallstroem.


‘Davos in the Desert’ brings 150 global leaders to Riyadh

Updated 13 min 33 sec ago
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‘Davos in the Desert’ brings 150 global leaders to Riyadh

  • The Future Investment Initiative (FII) runs from Oct. 23 to 25
  • The three key themes of this year’s event are investing in transformation, technology as an opportunity, and advancing human potential

RIYADH: The Public Investment Fund (PIF) of Saudi Arabia has revealed the program for a high-profile gathering of global leaders, business chiefs and innovators in Riyadh next week.

The Future Investment Initiative (FII) runs from Oct. 23 to 25 with US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde among those scheduled to take part.

More than 150 speakers from 140 different organizations have confirmed their attendance for the event which was hosted for the first time a year ago and was quickly dubbed “Davos in the Desert” — a reference to the annual World Economic Forum hosted each year in the Swiss resort.

The three key themes of this year’s event are investing in transformation, technology as an opportunity, and advancing human potential.

“FII is a global platform focused on identifying future economic trends and opportunities, defining the future of industries and discussing how investment can contribute to overall global prosperity and development,” the PIF, Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, said on Monday.

“Ten years on from the global financial crisis, the world is undergoing a period of large-scale economic and technological transformation. FII will convene global leaders, investors and innovators to discuss how businesses, governments and global institutions can work together to drive long-term growth and prosperity.”

The next installment of FII will include a panel called “One World” — a look at how leaders from business and government develop a collective vision for the future.

Other sessions cover digital currencies, capital flows, market drivers, immersive technology, sustainability and giga-projects such as NEOM, the vast development announced at last year’s FII.