Sri Lanka envoy to compatriots: Help Saudis implement Vision 2030

Sri Lankan Ambassador Azmi Thassim, second left, and Sumith Roy Weerakody, president of the Sri Lanka Cultural Forum in Dammam, third left, at the 69th Independence Day celebrations in Dammam. (AN photo)
Updated 13 February 2017
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Sri Lanka envoy to compatriots: Help Saudis implement Vision 2030

RIYADH: In an Independence Day message to the Sri Lankan community in the Eastern Province, Ambassador Azmi Thassim urged community members to cooperate with Saudi authorities to implement Vision 2030 and the National Transformation Program (NTP) 2020.
He was speaking at his country’s 69th Independence Day celebrations organized by the Sri Lanka Cultural Forum in Dammam on Friday.
To begin the event, Thassim unfurled the national flag amid the beat of drums, then community members joined the choir to recite the national anthem.
The Kingdom hosts the largest population of Sri Lankan overseas workers, which numbers 1.5 million.
A large number of expatriates from all walks of life were present at the morning function to meet and greet one another.
Patriotic songs were sung, and dances to depict Sri Lankan culture were performed to entertain the audience. Typical Sri Lankan dishes were served to guests.
Thassim urged his countrymen to contribute to the progress and development of the Kingdom, and to build a better Sri Lanka.
He said his country’s new government is working to create a new political culture and economic system, as well as communal harmony.


Saudi efforts to ‘heal Afghan division’ win royal approval

King Salman chairs the Cabinet session in Jeddah on Tuesday. SPA
Updated 19 min 23 sec ago
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Saudi efforts to ‘heal Afghan division’ win royal approval

  • The forum urged all Afghan factions to halt the fighting and work toward “reconciliation between brothers
  • China’s Belt and Road initiative will link the interests of China and Arab countries

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s King Salman has expressed his appreciation to scholars who took part in the International Ulema Conference on Peace and Security in Afghanistan in Makkah, saying the Kingdom was making efforts to “heal the divisions and differences among the Afghan people.”

Chairing the Cabinet session at Al-Salam Palace in Jeddah on Tuesday, the king said Saudi Arabia was working toward “unifying the ranks and words of Muslims worldwide.”
He briefed the Cabinet on the results of his recent talks with President Cyril Ramaphosa, of South Africa, on future cooperation between the two countries.
The Cabinet welcomed the final statement by the Makkah conference calling on states, organizations and Islamic elites to play positive roles in achieving security and peace in Afghanistan.
The forum urged all Afghan factions to halt the fighting and work toward “reconciliation between brothers, extinguishing the fire of sedition.”
Muslims worldwide should continue their “firm stand in front of the advocates of violence and extremism in defense of their religion and maintaining the unity of the Islamic world,” it said.
The Cabinet also reviewed a ministerial meeting of the Arab-Chinese Cooperation Forum in Beijing and welcomed a decision by Chinese leader President Xi Jinping to establish an Arab-Chinese strategic partnership.
China’s Belt and Road initiative will link the interests of China and Arab countries and “add to the prosperity and economic advancement of all,” it said.
The Cabinet denounced recent suicide attacks on two election gatherings in Pakistan and the city of Jalalabad in eastern Afghanistan, and offered condolences to families of the victims.
In the local arena, the Cabinet extended its appreciation to the king, based on a report by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, for pardoning all troops who have taken part in the Saudi Renewal of Hope operation in Yemen of their military and disciplinary penalties for their heroism and sacrifices.
The Cabinet approved a license for the Iraqi Commercial Bank to open a branch in Saudi Arabia and authorized the Minister of Finance to decide on any subsequent requests to open other branches.