Maldives dismisses claims Saudi Arabia buying atoll

Courtesy: (maldivesembassy.org.sa)
Updated 11 March 2017
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Maldives dismisses claims Saudi Arabia buying atoll

RIYADH: The Maldives Embassy in Riyadh has dismissed as unfounded widely circulated allegations that the Kingdom is buying an island or atoll in the South Asian country.
The Saudi Embassy in the Maldives also issued a press release dismissing the allegations, saying the Kingdom has no intention of investing in or buying an island or atoll in the Maldives, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported Friday.
The Maldives Embassy said: “No atolls are being sold, and the administration reasserts its point ... that any development of Faafu Atoll is part of a wider, multifaceted program to finance a major, multibillion dollar investment project encompassing mixed development.”
The embassy added that the administration “categorically rebuts allegations that the atoll has been ‘sold off’ to a foreign entity.”


Saudi Shoura Council chief stresses KSA’s continued support for Iraq’s fight against terror groups

Updated 28 min 50 sec ago
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Saudi Shoura Council chief stresses KSA’s continued support for Iraq’s fight against terror groups

BAGHDAD: The speaker of the Shoura Council, Dr. Abdullah Al-Asheikh, on Saturday praised the efforts of King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in strengthening Saudi-Iraqi relations.

Al-Asheikh was speaking at the Baghdad Summit of Parliaments of Neighboring Countries of Iraq.

The summit, hosted by Iraqi Parliament Speaker Mohamed Al-Halbousi, gathered top lawmakers from Syria, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Turkey, Jordan and Kuwait to discuss regional security, diplomacy and economic issues. Al-Asheikh said Saudi-Iraqi relations have recently developed after the visit of Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi to Riyadh with a high-level delegation.

Al-Asheikh stressed the desire of both countries’ leaderships to promote bilateral relations and common interests.

“We are meeting today at this summit to celebrate the victory of brotherly Iraq over terrorism and the elimination of the Daesh terrorist organization,” he said. 

“My country has contributed to the efforts of the international coalition forces to eliminate it and enact more legislation and laws that criminalize it.”

Al-Halbousi said his country’s relations with neighboring states are strong, and Iraq intends to develop them. 

“Today, Iraq is building a promising strategic partnership with all neighboring countries without any reservations or favoring any party,” he added.

Visiting officials pledged support for reconstruction and development efforts in Iraq, and for the country’s continued stability following its victory over Daesh after three years of war, Al-Halbousi said.

Iraq continues to fight terror with regional and international assistance, he added, thanking all countries that have supported this fight. 

The summit dealt with a number of topics, notably strengthening parliamentary cooperation between Iraq and neighboring countries, and supporting regional efforts against terrorism.

Baghdad and Riyadh have been at loggerheads since Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait in 1990, but they have recently undertaken a diplomatic push to improve ties.