Prince Saud, Lanka envoy discuss ways to bolster ties

Updated 17 August 2014
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Prince Saud, Lanka envoy discuss ways to bolster ties

Strengthening relations between the Kingdom and Sri Lanka was the focus of the meeting held between Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal and Sri Lankan Ambassador Mohamed Hussein Mohamed in Jeddah on Sunday.
The meeting took place after the Sri Lankan envoy presented copies of his credentials to the minister, who also received the credentials of Niger’s Ambassador Amadou Songhai, Iran’s Ambassador Hussein Sidky and Mauritania’s Ambassador Mohamed Mahmoud Ould Al-Ameen.
Mohamed told Arab News that talks, which addressed issues of bilateral interest, were cordial.
“I also told the foreign affairs minister that Sri Lanka’s president, Mahinda Rajapaksa, intends to visit the Kingdom,” he said, adding that the last such visit was made by the late former Sri Lankan President Junius Richard Jayawardene some four decades ago.
Hussein Mohamed said the Saudi Embassy was set up in the 1990s following the visit of Prince Saud Al-Faisal’s visit to the island.
The Saudi Embassy in Colombo was established in the early 1990s, with Abdullah Al-Zahrani as the first charge d’affaires, who was succeeded by Ali Al-Hamdan.
In 2001, the Kingdom upgraded the mission and sent Mahmud Al-Ali as its first ambassador to Sri Lanka. Al-Ali served in Colombo until he moved to Pretoria after his appointment as ambassador to South Africa in December 2007.
The Saudi mission has been headed by Ambassador Abdul Aziz Abdul Rahman Al-Jammaz for the past three years.
The ambassador said that he is keen on promoting trade, tourism and investment between the two countries. He also thanked Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah for various assistance given from time to time when the country needed them.
Saudi Arabia built a first-of-its-kind epilepsy and diagnosis hospital in Colombo at the cost of SR75 million. It also completed construction of a neuro-trauma hospital in the capital and built 500 houses for the island’s tsunami victims.
He said the Saudi Fund for Development (SFD) gave an additional grant of SR11 million for the development of health facilities at the neuro-trauma hospital, which was built with SR40 million worth of Saudi aid to Colombo.
A bridge costing SR440 million and built with Saudi aid was opened by President Rajapaksa in Kinniya, the minister said.
The Trincomalee-Batticaloa highway was also widened with the funds allocated under the agreement. The SFD has given more than 1.2 billion Sri Lankan rupees for various projects in the island.


US highlights Saudi Arabia’s key role in global fight against terrorism

Saudi Arabia has continued to maintain a strong anti-terrorism relationship with the US. (SPA)
Updated 20 September 2018
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US highlights Saudi Arabia’s key role in global fight against terrorism

  • The US State Department pointed out that the Kingdom has achieved a high level of accuracy in its counterterrorism operations

WASHINGTON: The US State Department has praised Saudi Arabia for its efforts to combat terrorism, describing the Kingdom as an active and key member in the global coalition to defeat Daesh.
“Saudi Arabia has continued to maintain a strong anti-terrorism relationship with the United States and has supported the strengthening of bilateral cooperation between the two countries,” the State Department noted in its annual report on the global state of terrorism. It also highlighted the joint strategic vision between the two countries and a number of new initiatives to counter terrorist messages and disrupt the financing of terrorism launched last year during US president Donald-Trump’s visit to the Kingdom.
The report said Saudi Arabia has implemented systems to follow UN Security Council sanctions on groups and individuals linked to Daesh and Al Qaeda, and has expanded existing counterterrorism programs and projects to rehabilitate terrorist fighters who leave extremist groups. It has also adopted laws to counter the financing of terrorist groups.
The State Department pointed out that the Kingdom has achieved a high level of accuracy in its counterterrorism operations, and has carried out a number of arrests and disrupted active terrorist cells throughout the country.
The report referred to terrorist plans that were thwarted in the Kingdom, noting the efforts being made in legislation, law enforcement and border security, as well as the country’s positive contribution as a member of the Financial Action Task Force for the Middle East and North Africa, a regional body that imposes financial sanctions on individuals and groups that help to fund terrorism.
"The Kingdom has maintained strict control over the banking sector and tightened sanctions on the financing of terrorism," the report said.
It also pointed out that the Kingdom provided 100 million euros ($117 million) to fight terrorism in the Sahel countries in Africa, as the Kingdom is a founding member of the Global Counter-Terrorism Forum.