Trump to push back on Iran: Saudi FM

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir addresses a press conference in Riyadh Thursday. (SPA)
Updated 19 May 2017
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Trump to push back on Iran: Saudi FM

RIYADH: US President Donald Trump plans to push back on Iran and ensure its compliance with the nuclear deal, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir said at a press conference, citing statements by senior American officials.
The Kingdom will work closely with its allies, particularly the US, to ensure Iran respects international law, Al-Jubeir added.
Saudi Arabia and the US agree on the need to eliminate Daesh and Al-Qaeda, and to deal with Iran’s regional meddling and promotion of terrorism in Yemen, Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan, he said.
“We have seen Iran’s record of aggression increase not decrease” since the nuclear pact, Al-Jubeir said, citing the country’s support for “terrorism” and efforts to destabilise other countries.
“Saudi Arabia agrees with the US administration’s view in relation to the role of the United States in the world and in relation to uprooting terrorism,” he added, referring to Daesh and Al-Qaeda.
A Saudi-US Summit will be held Saturday, followed by a Gulf-US Summit and an Islamic-US Summit Sunday.
The summits will be held during Trump’s visit to the Kingdom, the first country he will visit as president.
The visit will have historic significance, said Al-Jubeir, as Trump is set to meet with the leaders of Saudi Arabia, other Gulf states, and Arab and Islamic countries during his time in the Kingdom.
Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia this weekend will reinforce the partnership between Riyadh and Washington and boost their joint fight against Islamist militants, the foreign minister said.
The visit “will bolster the strategic partnership” between the US and Saudi Arabia, and open a new chapter in mutually beneficial cooperation between the Islamic world and the West, he said.
The two countries agree on the need to face regional problems, including in Syria, Yemen and Iraq, Al-Jubeir said, adding that Riyadh and Washington were discussing several “initiatives” related to arms sales, economic and security cooperation and tackling terrorism.
“Several agreements will be signed, whether political agreements... and big economic agreements,” he said.
He said relations started in the 1930s when US oil companies discovered oil in Saudi Arabia, and developed a military aspect in the 1950s, going from strength to strength ever since despite regional challenges over the decades such as radicalism, the Soviet threat and Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait.
Saudi Arabia has more students studying in the US than in any other country in the world.
On counterterrorism, in 2010 the Kingdom helped foil terrorist bombings on US soil, and in 2011 the FBI prevented an assassination attempt on the Saudi ambassador.
“We share a very, very large amount of intelligence with the United States and vice versa,” Al-Jubeir said.
“We have had no hesitation about doing so, and we will not have any hesitation about continuing to do so.”
In 2016, bilateral trade reached $35 billion.


Saudi Arabia’s up-and-coming energy park set to transform KSA into a global industrial powerhouse

Situated in the Kingdom’s Eastern Province, between Dammam and Al-Ahsa, the project will be developed in three phases. (Supplied)
Updated 12 December 2018
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Saudi Arabia’s up-and-coming energy park set to transform KSA into a global industrial powerhouse

  • The first phase is scheduled for completion by 2021
  • SPARK will localize more than 300 new industrial services and facilities and will have specialized training centers to cater to the huge influx of manpower

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia is fast catching up with the world’s ever-growing energy and technology scene ahead of 2030. In fact, the King Salman Energy Park (SPARK) may soon prove a global destination for energy industry investors.

The new energy city mega-project is being developed by Saudi Aramco, which received authoritization to embark on the initiative in the summer, and is operated, managed and maintained in partnership with the Saudi Authority for Industrial Cities and Technology Zones (MODON). 

With projections that the megacity will create more than 100,000 jobs, it is considered one of the most up-and-coming energy parks in the world.

SPARK will localize more than 300 new industrial services and facilities and will have specialized training centers to cater to the huge influx of manpower.

Situated in the Kingdom’s Eastern Province, between Dammam and Al-Ahsa, the project will be developed in three phases. 

The first phase is scheduled for completion by 2021, while the final phase of the project is set for completion in 2035. With all this on track, the 50-square-kilometer project is poised to be a magnet for foreign and domestic investment. 

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman inaugurated the King Salman Energy Park at the King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture (Ithra) on Monday. (SPA)

What’s more, Aramco’s espousal of SPARK will also help businesses indulge in technological development, manufacturing and exports channels and build a world-class energy supply chain. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman inaugurated the King Salman Energy Park at the King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture (Ithra) on Monday.

During the groundbreaking ceremony, Energy Minister and Aramco Chairman Khalid Al-Falih declared SPARK a special economic zone (SEZ) in which businesses can enjoy exclusive benefits. 

“We are looking forward to collaborating with our first anchor partners at SPARK,” said Saudi Aramco President and CEO, Amin Nasser.

SPARK has already attracted investment from foreign and local companies to produce and manufacture goods and services. The first phase of the project is expected to cost about $1.6 billion. 

The park is set to attract industrial investors in the water, power, petrochemical and wastewater sectors, among others. 

Facilities at SPARK will also help investors bridge gaps in local production back home, increasing competition in the long run. 

“This energy city is exciting because it brings together a multitude of businesses,” Mark McCollum, president and CEO of Weatherford Corp, told SPARK.

“We firmly believe that collaboration and cooperation among service companies and individual providers to the energy sector is vital in breaking new ground.”

The King Salman Energy Park is also set to promote small and medium-sized enterprises. With focus on energy production, it also provides opportunities for investment in residential and commercial real estate projects.

Nasser said that the “King Salman Energy Park will spur a new era of growth for one of the Kingdom’s already thriving sectors. What’s more, it will serve as a central gateway to the region’s economies since Aramco is at the heart of the global oil and gas industry.”