Leading UK role sought to resolve crisis in Syria

Updated 17 April 2014
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Leading UK role sought to resolve crisis in Syria

Senior Saudi officials, Shoura Council members and academicians called on the United Kingdom on Tuesday to take a “leading role” in resolving the Syrian crisis, as many of the West’s policies on both Syria and Iran risk the stability and security of the Middle East. They also called on the UK to adopt more aggressive policy on regional issues, especially on, Syria and work closely with allies including the Kingdom.
Officials and academicians were speaking during the inaugural session of the first workshop entitled “Saudi-British relations” on Tuesday night. Several speakers and participants, both Saudi and British, expressed their disappointment and dissatisfaction on the international response to the systematic genocide carried out by Assad regime, saying that the crisis continues unabated.
The two-day Saudi-British workshop, organized jointly by the Riyadh-based Institute of Diplomatic Studies (IDS) and the London-based Chatham House, was officially launched by Ambassador Khaled Al-Jandan, undersecretary for bilateral relations at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The first session of the workshop was co-chaired by Abdulkarim H. Aldekhayel, IDS director-general, and Baroness Emma Nicholson, UK trade envoy, who is responsible for trade at the British House of Lords.
Several Shoura Council members, including Mona Abdullah Saeed Al-Mushait, Hoda Abdulrahman Al-Helaissi and Elham Mahjoob Ahmed Hassanain, were present.
On behalf of Britain, Nicholson and Julian Reilly, deputy chief of mission at the British Embassy, addressed the opening session. Saud Mousaed Al-Tamamy, adviser at the IDS Center for European Studies, spoke very candidly and comprehensively on the obstacles that hamper the ties between two nations.
In his inaugural address, Al-Jandan gave an overview of the progressively growing Saudi-British relations. “The UK was among the first nations to recognize the Kingdom in 1926, which led to the opening of a Saudi embassy in 1930,” he said. “The UK-based Saudi embassy at that time was the second official diplomatic representation of the Kingdom abroad.” A plan to hold second workshop in London has also been announced by Chatham House.
The event, which concluded Wednesday, was also attended by Sara Birke, Middle East correspondent for “The Economist,” who spoke on trade and economic issues.
The IDS, which is working closely with Chatham House, is a state-owned Saudi institution under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with the mandate to work in the field of diplomacy, diplomat’s training and policy research.
Chatham House, home to the Royal Institute of International Affairs for the last 100 years, is a world-leading source of independent analysis, informed debate and influential ideas on how to build a prosperous and secure world.
It produces independent and rigorous analysis of critical global, regional and country-specific challenges and opportunities.


Saudi students invent robot to improve solar panel efficiency

Updated 1 min ago
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Saudi students invent robot to improve solar panel efficiency

  • The device boosts productivity from 70% to 80%
TAIF: Two students at Taif University in Saudi Arabia have invented a robot that improves the efficiency of solar panels by more than 14 percent by keeping them clean and dust free.
The technology developed by Ahmed Fayez Ahmed Mohammed and Ahmed Ali Zayed Oudha, who are studying electrical engineering, addresses the problem of decreased efficiency in the production of electricity by photovoltaic solar panels caused by harsh environmental conditions, including the build up of dust, which can be particularly problematic in desert environments.
To counter this, they created a high-performance, cost-efficient smart robot that prevents the accumulation of dirt and dust on the panels.
It has sensors that allow it to move across the surface of the panels and accurately detect and remove any buildup. They also prevent the robot from wasting energy operating when the panels are not generating power — for example at night or on cloudy days. The cleaning mechanism uses cylindrical brushes and a high-performance fan.
The students worked on the project under the supervision of Dr. Mohammed Salahuddin Mohammed Suleiman and Dr. Musleh Al-Harthy, the dean of the engineering faculty.