Prince Khaled, Haia chief in landmark talks

Updated 03 January 2014
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Prince Khaled, Haia chief in landmark talks

The vision of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah to revamp the education system and create skilled future generations would be realized, Prince Khaled Al-Faisal, the newly appointed education minister, said in a statement.
Prince Khaled said the Education Ministry’s Tatweer development project would fulfill the objectives of ensuring the “child of today becomes the strong and honest man of tomorrow. We will do whatever it takes to make it happen,” he said.
The statement, carried by the Saudi Press Agency on Wednesday, was issued after Prince Khaled had a meeting at his office with Sheikh Abdullateef Al-Asheikh, the chief of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice (Haia), who had visited to wish him well.
“We are all responsible for education and every official in this country should contribute to education reform,” Prince Khaled said.
“Education should be our shared project to help raise a generation able to compete in the production of knowledge in all disciplines,” he told the Haia chief, the statement said.
Prince Khaled said Saudi pride is built on Islamic law, on which the late King Abdulaziz established modern Saudi Arabia.
He pledged his support for the Haia and praised it for reminding the masses of their religious duties and Prophet Muhammad’s teachings.
“Just like some insiders tarnished the reputation of the Haia, Islam itself was defamed by those who created wars in its name,” he said.
Al-Asheikh thanked Prince Khaled for his support, saying that “we will be the biggest supporter of your enormous task to fulfill the nation’s future hopes in education.”
In an earlier meeting on Wednesday with Riyadh Gov. Prince Khaled Bin Bandar, the new minister said that “future projects will pave the way for a major overhaul of education systems and our job is to work on this with patience, team spirit, and in partnership with all government agencies.”
The priority is effective management to improve teacher performance and the work environment, he said.
Bloggers on social networks said that the understanding between the two moderate leaders raises hopes of a better future alliance between the education ministry and the Haia.
Commenting on the news, Abu Yara said: “It is important to rid education of extremists with radical views and organized affiliations, which have intruded onto the true and authentic domain of Islamic Shariah.”
He urged officials to introduce a more moderate and tolerant education system inspired by the companions and followers of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him.
Abu Jameel said: “I’m really glad to see this harmony between the two faces of moderation in the country.”
A blogger named Mersal Al-Madina said: “We are looking forward to a distinguished, fair and pioneering era of education during Prince Khaled’s term.”


Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince says Brexit opens UK for greater business opportunities with Kingdom

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman
Updated 07 March 2018
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Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince says Brexit opens UK for greater business opportunities with Kingdom

LONDON: People in the UK and Saudi Arabia are much safer if the two countries have a close relationship, the Kingdom’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said ahead of his visit to Britain.
Prince Mohammed arrived in the UK from Cairo last night to begin the second leg of his first overseas tour since becoming heir to the throne.
In an interview with The Daily Telegraph newspaper, the crown prince said Brexit potentially freed up Britain to do more business with the Kingdom.
“We believe that Saudi Arabia needs to be part of the global economy,” he said. “People need to be able to move freely, and we need to apply the same standards as the rest of the world. After Brexit, there will be huge opportunities for Britain as a result of Vision 2030.”
He said the two countries enjoyed historic ties that dated back more than 100 years to the foundation of the Kingdom.
“We have a common interest that goes back to the earliest days of the relationship,” he said, adding: “Our relationship with Britain today is super.”
The 32-year-old crown prince, who is making his first official visit to Britain, has overseen a raft of reforms to modernize the Kingdom.
During the trip, he will meet with Prime Minister Theresa May, the Queen and other members of the British royal family.
A number of events have been scheduled, including a forum on business partnerships between the two countries and a discussion event at Chatham House.
The visit is expected to focus on defense, security and economic ties. The two sides will also review key bilateral and regional issues.
Billboards highlighting his UK visit have been erected in parts of the capital, Saudi state-news channel Al-Ekhbariya reported.
One shows the flags of the two countries with “United Kingdoms” written across the top. Another shows Crown Prince Mohammed with the slogan: “He is bringing change to Saudi Arabia.”
The Telegraph interview touched on the wide-reaching reforms in the country that include allowing Saudi women to drive, work and run businesses.
He said that while Vision 2030 worked to diversify the economy, the inclusion of women in driving that economy was essential to the long-term success of the project.
The crown prince said that global travel had made Saudis increasingly aware how other countries operated. Such an insight, he explained, had led to a change in the aspirations of the country’s younger population.
Currently, UK trade with Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf states accounts for 10 percent of total commercial transactions — more than the total amount of trade with China, the newspaper added, citing British diplomats.
Security and intelligence cooperation are expected to feature heavily during talks in the UK.
“The British and Saudi people, along with the rest of the world, will be much safer if you have a strong relationship with Saudi Arabia,” the crown prince said.
He said the job at hand was to promote a “more moderate Islam,” to counter the “extremists and the terrorists (who) are linked through spreading their agenda.”
Economic growth in Saudi Arabia would benefit the rest of the Middle East, which would help to defeat extremism.
He dismissed claims that the Saudi government’s current stance against Iran and Qatar could potentially provoke new regional conflict.
Britain was “very supportive” of the Kingdom’s concerns over Iran and other regional security issues, he said.
Before leaving Egypt, Crown Prince Mohammed visited Al-Azhar, the world’s leading seat of learning for Sunni Muslims.
Accompanied by Sheikh Ahmad Al-Tayyeb, the Grand Imam, he was shown the completed restoration work carried out on Al-Azhar Mosque.
The three-year project was financed by a grant from Saudi Arabia. The mosque, built in the 10th century, is now part of a sprawling university, which teaches Islam as well as secular subjects, and a nationwide network of schools.
Hundreds of Al-Azhar students met the crown prince and Egypt’s President, Abdel Fattah El-Sisi.
During the trip, Crown Prince Mohammed visited the main Christian cathedral in Cairo and met the head of the Coptic church. He also toured infrastructure projects and the Suez canal and attended a play at Cairo Opera House.
The two countries signed deals linked to investment funds and the building of a project in Sinai connected to Saudi Arabia’s Neom megacity project.