Princess Astrid lauds interfaith initiative of King Abdullah

Updated 20 May 2014
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Princess Astrid lauds interfaith initiative of King Abdullah

Princess Astrid of Belgium has lauded the efforts of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah in promoting dialogue between religions and civilizations.
“We hold the initiatives taken by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah to promote dialogue between religions and civilizations in high esteem,” she said during a special reception hosted by the Belgian Embassy on Sunday night.
The princess also noted the growing relations between her country and Saudi Arabia in the fields of small and medium-sized enterprises, technology transfer, trade and investment.
“We equally value the king’s efforts in developing the country’s human potential in different fields, including social advancement and employment for women,” she said.
Saudi investment in Belgium is on the rise, she said.
“The economic mission, which was headed by my father, King Albert, and my brother, King Philip, had been welcomed here with great warmth and generosity in the past,” said the princess. “Many Belgian companies are already present in the Saudi market and are happy to be operating here.”
“I personally have retained fond memories of your rich culture and history,” she said. “To our business community, Saudi Arabia has become a trusted partner in many fields and projects.”
“It is also a privilege to be able to enjoy this dinner at the elegant residence of our ambassador to the Kingdom, which blends Belgian architecture with local architecture and traditions. This marks the perfect starting point of our economic mission to Saudi Arabia,” she said.
“This is not my first visit to Saudi Arabia. I had previously been afforded the opportunity to meet many Saudis from all walks of life,” she said. “This time, I am here in a different capacity as the head of the economic mission and I am very happy to be back.”
The delegation consists of some 170 companies and 350 business representatives who have registered to be part of the mission.
“Our delegation will move on to other cities in coming days, such as Jubail and Jeddah,” she said. “I was asked by King Philip to represent him during this mission and to be leader of this mission comprising a large group of representatives of Belgian companies, about 50 of whom are businesswomen.”
“Our big corporations were well represented, but we have also growing interest from our small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) for the Saudi market,” she said. She said the delegation represents a wide variety of sectors, ranging from energy to environment, logistics and health care to sport infrastructure, banking and services.


Saudi Arabia ‘building bridges’ with space science, KACST chief tells Vienna forum

Prince Turki bin Saud bin Mohammed, president of King Abdul Aziz City for Science and Technology (KACST), speaking before the UN Conference on the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space in Vienna on June 20, 2018. (SPA)
Updated 8 min 42 sec ago
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Saudi Arabia ‘building bridges’ with space science, KACST chief tells Vienna forum

  • Between 2000 and 2017, the Kingdom launched 13 Saudi satellites along with three other satellites for communication remote sensing and scientific experiment services.

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia took part on Wednesday in a UN Conference on the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space in Vienna.

The Kingdom’s delegation was headed by Prince Turki bin Saud bin Mohammed, president of King Abdul Aziz City for Science and Technology (KACST). Saudi Arabia is an important member of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space.
In a speech to the conference, Prince Turki bin Saud said that the Kingdom has spared no effort to get and localize the best space sciences and techniques for use in vital fields, including education, health and management of water and natural resources, urban planning, environment surveillance, and telecommunications and satellite navigation.
The Kingdom has set a sustainable program for the satellite technology and applications that focuses on qualifying Saudi scholars, engineers and specialists, and developing infrastructure to support and sustain the country’s space industry.
Between 2000 and 2017, the Kingdom launched 13 Saudi satellites along with three other satellites for communication remote sensing and scientific experiment services. By the end of 2018, the Saudi Communication Satellite KA (SGS-1) that is being developed in cooperation with the US Lockheed Martin Company will be launched. This project includes an advanced qualification of Saudi cadres in the field of satellite designing, building and experimenting.
Prince Turki said the Kingdom established the first ground station in the region to obtain high-resolution images, operated by a center specializing in remote sensing technology in KACST. Two satellites will be launched this year, followed by other satellites in coming years to meet local needs.
He said: “Our space scientific missions in the future rely on the approach of small-scale satellite use, which contributes to achieving the low-cost scientific results in comparison with the current international missions. The Kingdom is seeking though its ambitious Vision 2030 and executive programs to build bridges of cooperation with the states that share the same interests of exploring the outer space for the common good of humankind.”
Prince Turki congratulated the Kingdom at the end of his speech on the 50th anniversary of the first UN Conference on Exploration and Peaceful Uses of the Outer Space. He praised the efforts of the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space Committee and thanked the UN Office for Outer Space Affairs, represented by its head Simonetta Di Pippo.