Full diplomatic backing for Vision 2030

Updated 29 April 2016
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Full diplomatic backing for Vision 2030

RIYADH: A number of foreign ambassadors in Riyadh on Thursday applauded and expressed support for Vision 2030, the ambitious plan to diversify the Saudi economy.
“Vision 2030 is a ‘big thing.’ It’s a strategic project for the future of Saudi Arabia,” German Ambassador Boris Ruge told Arab News from Washington, DC, where he is on an official trip.
“I’m halfway across the globe but I am following the developments taking place in the Kingdom, which is our close ally and big trade partner in the region.”
He added: “The staff at the German Embassy, now under Chargé d’Affaires Michael Ohnmacht, and I am studying the document and as we do, we are upbeat and excited about it.”
He said that Germany is already considering measures to step up collaboration with the Kingdom as it implements Vision 2030.
“For Germany, Vision 2030 is a strategic project as far as the future of Saudi Arabia is concerned.”
Irish Ambassador Tony Cotter expressed support for new vision and said: “It is a very positive and ambitious plan to diversify and transform the economy, removing its dependence on oil and creating education and employment opportunities for its citizens.”
He added: “I wish the Kingdom every success in its implementation.”
Indian Ambassador Ahmad Javed said: “Vision 2030 is indeed a milestone” in the history of Saudi Arabia.
“It is a significant step toward transforming all aspects, particularly diversification of the Saudi economy,” he said. “We look forward to cooperating with the Kingdom in realizing the ambitious plan.”
Pakistani Ambassador Manzoorul Haq said: “We wish well for the brotherly country of Saudi Arabia coming out with the powerful vision document.”
He said: “I am very positive that Vision 2030 will bring sustainable development, progress and more prosperity for the people of Saudi Arabia.” He added: “We look forward to seeing the positive results that will help bring rapid progress for the Kingdom and its people.”
Philippine Ambassador Ezzedin H. Tago said the vision is a move in the right direction and bespeaks well as far as the future of Saudi Arabia is concerned.
He said that Vision 2030 is a comprehensive plan, and if followed to the letter, it will ensure a more prosperous future for Saudi Arabia in general and the Saudis in particular. Tago congratulated Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Naif and Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Sri Lankan Ambassador Azmi Thassim described the vision as a “very positive” initiative to diversify Saudi economy. “Saudi Arabia really needs such a dynamic effort in the fast changing world,” he said.
“We are the partners and always wish good for the Kingdom. Indeed, we fully support this very positive and strategic plan that lays out ambitious goals set for the next 15 years.”


Two killed, dozens injured in Gaza City rallies and clashes

Palestinians take part in a Hamas rally in the Gaza Strip’s Jabalia refugee camp on Dec. 8, 2017, against US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Israel deployed hundreds of additional police officers following Palestinian calls for protests after the main weekly Muslim prayers against US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. (AFP/Mohammed Abed)
Updated 09 December 2017
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Two killed, dozens injured in Gaza City rallies and clashes

GAZA CITY: Tens of thousands of Palestinians demonstrated in the Gaza Strip after the end of Friday prayers, while clashes broke out between hundreds of youths and Israeli forces along the border between Gaza and Israel. At least two Palestinians were killed and dozens injured.
The Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, staged military parades in which masked men wearing military uniforms carried rifles and ammunition. The participants chanted slogans condemning America’s recent recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and calling for a revolt to “liberate Jerusalem from occupation.”
Fathi Hammad, a member of the Hamas political bureau, told demonstrators in the northern Gaza Strip: “Today we declare an uprising against the occupation, and there are no half solutions.
“We call upon all the free people of the world to boycott America and Israel, and we call on the Arab and Islamic countries to take a serious stand and support our people.”
He added that a US Embassy in Jerusalem would be “an occupation entity like any other.”
He also called for the return of the Palestinian diaspora: “Isn’t it time for anyone who (has believed) in this alleged peace for more than a quarter of a century to return to embrace his people and to join us in the trench of resistance?”
In East Khan Younis in the south of the Gaza Strip, clashes broke out along the border with Israel. As Palestinian youths burned tires, Israeli forces reportedly responded with tear gas and live rounds. At least two Palestinians were killed and dozens were injured, some critically.
Senior Hamas official Ismail Radwan said during another march in Gaza City: “The Palestinian Authority must take urgent decisions, by declaring the failure of Oslo Accords and the end of that period, ending security coordination (with Israel) and permitting resistance in the West Bank.


“Hamas leaders declare the intifada for the freedom of the West Bank and Jerusalem, in response to President Trump’s decision,” he said. “Jerusalem will remain the capital of the state of Palestine.” 
“Trump’s decision ended any mediation role the United States could play in the political process, destroyed the peace process, and destroyed any talk about a deal to bring peace to the region,” Osama Al-Qawasmi, a Fatah spokesman, said in a statement.
Friday sermons in the Gaza Strip addressed the issue of Jerusalem and the American decision to transfer its embassy there, and urged the rejection of any attempt to harm “the sanctity of the city.” 
One of the protesters, Ahmed Al-Aksh, blamed “the weakness of the Palestinian people because of the division between Fatah and Hamas” for the US decision, “as well as the preoccupation of Arab countries with internal issues.”
Now, Al-Aksh said: “We must go out to the streets and face that decision.”​