King Salman presents Trump with Saudi Arabia’s top civilian honor

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Saudi King Salman presents President Donald Trump with the Collar of Abdulaziz Al Saud Medal at the Royal Court Palace, on May 20, 2017, in Riyadh. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
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Updated 20 May 2017
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King Salman presents Trump with Saudi Arabia’s top civilian honor

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s King Salman on Saturday presented Donald Trump with the Kingdom’s top civilian honor, as the US president began a trip to Riyadh aimed at strengthening security and economic ties.
The king placed the Collar of Abdulaziz Al Saud around Trump’s neck at a ceremony at the Royal Court in Riyadh.
The host of the event declared that Trump was being honored for “his quest to enhance security and stability in the region and around the world.”
The honor has also been bestowed to Russian President Vladimir Putin, British Prime Minister Theresa May and Trump’s predecessor, Barack Obama.
Trump was joined by first lady Melania Trump and several senior White House aides who were interspersed with Saudi officials throughout a grand ballroom.
Trump landed in Saudi Arabia earlier Saturday for a historic meeting tipped to “turn the page” on US-Arab affairs after a strained relationship under the previous American administration.
The president touched down in Riyadh and was welcomed by King Salman and senior Saudi officials.
Stepping off Air Force One with his wife, Melania, Trump and his entourage received a red-carpet welcome.
After a royal banquet, Trump and the king were to have private talks and participate in a signing ceremony for a number of US-Saudi agreements, including a deal worth a reported $100 billion for Saudi Arabia to buy American arms.
National oil giant Saudi Aramco is expected to sign $50 billion of deals with US companies on Saturday, part of a drive to diversify the Kingdom’s economy beyond oil exports, Aramco’s chief executive Amin Nasser said.
Trump is to deliver a speech on Sunday aimed at rallying Muslims in the fight against terrorism. His first official foreign trip since taking office will coincide with three key summits on Saturday and Sunday, as well as several business activities, cultural, intellectual and sports celebrations.
The Saudi-US Summit, on Saturday, features a series of bilateral meetings between King Salman and Trump, and “focus on re-affirming the long-standing friendship, and strengthening the close political, economic, security and cultural bonds between the two nations.”
It will be followed Sunday by the GCC-US Summit, Arab Islamic American Summit, and the inauguration of the Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology.
— With AP


Saudi Arabia ‘building bridges’ with space science, KACST chief tells Vienna forum

Prince Turki bin Saud bin Mohammed, president of King Abdul Aziz City for Science and Technology (KACST), speaking before the UN Conference on the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space in Vienna on June 20, 2018. (SPA)
Updated 28 min 38 sec ago
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Saudi Arabia ‘building bridges’ with space science, KACST chief tells Vienna forum

  • Between 2000 and 2017, the Kingdom launched 13 Saudi satellites along with three other satellites for communication remote sensing and scientific experiment services.

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia took part on Wednesday in a UN Conference on the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space in Vienna.

The Kingdom’s delegation was headed by Prince Turki bin Saud bin Mohammed, president of King Abdul Aziz City for Science and Technology (KACST). Saudi Arabia is an important member of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space.
In a speech to the conference, Prince Turki bin Saud said that the Kingdom has spared no effort to get and localize the best space sciences and techniques for use in vital fields, including education, health and management of water and natural resources, urban planning, environment surveillance, and telecommunications and satellite navigation.
The Kingdom has set a sustainable program for the satellite technology and applications that focuses on qualifying Saudi scholars, engineers and specialists, and developing infrastructure to support and sustain the country’s space industry.
Between 2000 and 2017, the Kingdom launched 13 Saudi satellites along with three other satellites for communication remote sensing and scientific experiment services. By the end of 2018, the Saudi Communication Satellite KA (SGS-1) that is being developed in cooperation with the US Lockheed Martin Company will be launched. This project includes an advanced qualification of Saudi cadres in the field of satellite designing, building and experimenting.
Prince Turki said the Kingdom established the first ground station in the region to obtain high-resolution images, operated by a center specializing in remote sensing technology in KACST. Two satellites will be launched this year, followed by other satellites in coming years to meet local needs.
He said: “Our space scientific missions in the future rely on the approach of small-scale satellite use, which contributes to achieving the low-cost scientific results in comparison with the current international missions. The Kingdom is seeking though its ambitious Vision 2030 and executive programs to build bridges of cooperation with the states that share the same interests of exploring the outer space for the common good of humankind.”
Prince Turki congratulated the Kingdom at the end of his speech on the 50th anniversary of the first UN Conference on Exploration and Peaceful Uses of the Outer Space. He praised the efforts of the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space Committee and thanked the UN Office for Outer Space Affairs, represented by its head Simonetta Di Pippo.