Maldives to boost trade ties with KSA

Updated 23 February 2014
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Maldives to boost trade ties with KSA

The tiny island of Maldives will seek Saudi investments and partnerships in energy, tourism, transport and Islamic affairs, besides a soft loan facility of $300 million, during talks with Crown Prince Salman, deputy premier and minister of defense, who arrives in the smallest Asian country on Monday.
Crown Prince Salman will hold official talks in Male.
“The crown prince’s trip to the Maldives comes in response to the invitation extended by Maldivian President Abdullah Yameen Abdul Gayoom,” Maldivian Ambassador Adam Hassan told Arab News on Saturday. The crown prince, who flies to the Maldives after wrapping up his six-day visit to Japan, granted $10,000 to each Saudi scholarship student currently studying in Japan.
Crown Prince Salman reportedly gave students additional funds on Saturday to cope with the high cost of living in Tokyo and other Japanese cities. The crown prince will spend a few days on the island before traveling to India for an official visit from Feb. 26-28.
Ambassador Hassan said that the visit had added significance keeping in view the progressively growing relations between the Kingdom and Maldives. He said Maldives, a Muslim country in Asia lying in the Indian Ocean, had been a member of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). “Both nations share common approaches on a whole range of bilateral, regional and international issues,” said the envoy.
Maldives was also elected to the UN Human Rights Council together with Saudi Arabia in November of last year.
Discussions about credit facilities aimed at settling the island’s budgetary requirements began last year during the Maldivian presidential visit to Riyadh.


Saudi Arabia calls on Qatar to allow its pilgrims to perform Hajj

Updated 36 min 3 sec ago
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Saudi Arabia calls on Qatar to allow its pilgrims to perform Hajj

  • The ministry accused the Qatari government of blocking attempts by its citizens to perform the pilgrimage
  • Saudi Arabia is one of several Arab countries that launched a boycott of Qatar in 2017 over the country’s support for extremist groups

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Hajj and Umrah has created a new webpage for Qataris who wish to perform the pilgrimage this year.
Qatari Hajj pilgrims can register their details, browse packages and pay for them at: https://qh1440.haj.gov.sa

The ministry called on Qatar not to block the webpage as it did previously and “cooperate in order to allow its citizens to perform Hajj easily.”

Saudi Arabia is one of several Arab countries that launched a boycott of Qatar in 2017 over the country’s support for extremist groups.

The embargo includes transport restrictions between Qatar and Saudi Arabia, but the Kingdom has taken measures to ensure pilgrims from Qatar can travel freely for Hajj and Umrah.

The ministry said on Saturday it had taken several steps to ensure pilgrims could enter Saudi Arabia for for Hajj, which starts next month. But the ministry accused the Qatari government of blocking attempts by its citizens to perform the pilgrimage.

Following a recent meeting with a Qatari delegation to discuss the logistics of pilgrims from the country arriving in the Kingdom, the delegation from Doha left without signing any agreements to enable access for it citizens, according to the ministry.

In response to Doha’s actions, the statement said that Qatari pilgrims could complete their applications upon arrival in Saudi Arabia.