World leaders congratulate King Salman on accession anniversary

King Salman. (SPA)
Updated 03 January 2017
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World leaders congratulate King Salman on accession anniversary

RIYADH: World leaders, including those from the Gulf, congratulated Saudi King Salman, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Naif and Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman as the Kingdom on Sunday celebrated the second anniversary of their accession to power.
Mishaal bin Fahem Al-Silmi, president of the Arab Parliament, said: “All Arab people are proud of this anniversary, as are all the people of Saudi Arabia, in recognition of the prominent status reached by the Kingdom under the leadership of (King Salman) at the world level.”
Al-Silmi expressed the confidence of the Arab people in the Kingdom and its visionary leadership in defending Arab and Muslim issues, particularly Palestine, the fight against terrorism, Arab national security, repelling foreign intervention and achieving the hopes and aspirations of the Saudi and Arab peoples in their progress, prosperity, security and stability.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, crown prince of Abu Dhabi and deputy supreme commander of the Emirati armed forces, described the occasion as “historic.”
He said: “The efforts exerted by the Kingdom to address crucial issues facing the Arab world and the Muslim world enhance hopes of overcoming these issues, thanks to the wisdom and vision of King Salman.”
Sheikh Mohammed cited Saudi-Emirati support for common interests, Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) integration and stability and peace in the region and the world.
Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi called King Salman on Sunday to congratulate him and praise his support for the Yemeni people.
The king also received a message from Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Kuwait’s emir, pertaining to means of boosting bilateral relations.
Former Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Al-Siniora said: “There is no doubt that the role being played by the Kingdom for a long time is pivotal in supporting and defending Arab and Muslim issues, especially in confronting mounting fierce campaigns being waged by the enemies of Arabs and Muslims.”
Badr bin Abdulrahman Al-Samhan, regional director of the Saudi National Campaign to support Syrians, said: “King Salman is one of the Kingdom’s leaders of humanitarian work … and he chaired several relief committees and campaigns for affected people in various parts of the world.”
Sudan’s Information Minister and government spokesman Ahmed Bilal Othman, Minister of the Council of Ministers Ahmed Saad Omar, and former Interior Minister and Secretary of the Arab-Chinese Friendship Council Ahmed Abdulrahman Mohammed, told a Saudi media delegation visiting Sudan that what had been achieved under the able leadership of King Salman was a source of pride.
They added that the Kingdom had advanced to occupy a leading position in the Arab, Muslim and international arenas via its commitment to achieving global security, stability and peace.


Visit to Pakistan, India and China proves strategic for Saudi Arabia

Updated 24 February 2019
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Visit to Pakistan, India and China proves strategic for Saudi Arabia

  • Benefits of three-country tour include billions in economic deals as well as security initiatives

JEDDAH: The three-country tour of Asia by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman that came to a close this weekend was an economic and strategic success, experts say.

“Saudi Arabia might be seen by some as moving to the East,” Salman Al-Ansari, founder of the Saudi American Public Relation Affairs Committee (SAPRAC), told Arab News. “The correct way to put it is that it’s spreading its wings East and West.

“Economic diversification requires strategic diversification. This should not be seen in any way as Saudi Arabia giving the cold shoulder to its most trusted allies, specifically the US,” he said. “And as Joseph Parry said: ‘Make new friends but keep the old; those are silver, these are gold.’”

The tour, which saw Saudi Arabia’s crown prince warmly welcomed by the leaders of Pakistan, India and China, is in line with the crown prince’s Vision 2030, which plans to transform Saudi Arabia’s economy that relies on crude oil exports into a vibrant, diversified economy. The tour resulted in billions of dollars in economic deals as well as initiatives to increase security and combat terrorism.

“Saudi Arabia is the one and only country that can take the leadership position on the global efforts of combating terrorism, specifically in the ideological front,” Al-Ansari said.

Hamdan Al-Shehri, a political analyst and international relations scholar, said that China and Saudi Arabia have the same goals of security and stability. “China shares the Kingdom’s concerns and it knows that our continent has suffered from terrorism issues and international interventions and also troubles in the region.”

The two countries also improved on their mutually beneficial economic ties. As Al-Shehri pointed out: “China needs a huge energy source, and Saudi Arabia is one of these sources that can provide China with energy.”

One significant deal is the $10 billion refining and petrochemical complex, a joint venture between Saudi Aramco and Norinco, to be developed in the Chinese city of Panjin.

Also of great geopolitical significance is the $10-billion oil-refinery in Pakistan’s Gwadar Port, as it is one of the most important parts of China’s One Belt, One Road Initiative, Al-Shehri said. “Global players are willing to invest in this project. The Kingdom’s investment in this field will serve Pakistan and will benefit the Kingdom as well as the (China-Pakistan Economic Corridor).”

And despite its historical relationship with Pakistan, Al-Shehri said that the Kingdom also found common ground with India. For instance, the two countries agreed to set up a working group on counter-terrorism. 

“India shares the Kingdom’s concern about instability in the seas, such as the Indian Ocean and the Red Sea. These are all places of global trade,” Al-Shehri said, adding that he hopes the Kingdom will play a role in resolving border points of contention between Pakistan and India as it did between Eritrea and Ethiopia.

It wasn’t all just business. The crown prince’s tour included some other announcements, including that 2,100 Pakistani and 850 Indian prisoners will be released from the Kingdom’s jails, that the Chinese language will be introduced in the Saudi school curriculum and that Saudi Arabia will soon host several concerts featuring major Bollywood performers.

The crown prince also called for the creation of a health center in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province dedicated to the memory of a Pakistani hero who saved 14 lives in Jeddah’s 2009 floods.