Trump, crown prince discuss Qatar row

File photo: US President Donald Trump and then Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Prince Mohammed was made crown prince on Wednesday. (AFP)
Updated 22 June 2017
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Trump, crown prince discuss Qatar row

WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump on Wednesday congratulated Saudi Arabia’s newly appointed Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, with whom he discussed the diplomatic row between Qatar and its Gulf neighbors, including Riyadh.
“The president and the crown prince committed to close cooperation to advance our shared goals of security, stability, and prosperity across the Middle East and beyond,” the White House said in a statement about their telephone talks.
“The two leaders discussed the priority of cutting off all support for terrorists and extremists, as well as how to resolve the ongoing dispute with Qatar,” the statement added.
Trump and the crown prince additionally “discussed efforts to achieve a lasting peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians and ways to further deepen economic cooperation between the United States and Saudi Arabia.”
Prince Mohammed bin Salman was the first Arab leader to officially meet with Trump at the White House  in March and then also met him in Riyadh last month.
Earlier this month, Riyadh and several of its allies including Egypt, Bahrain and the UAE, cut ties with Qatar over accusations that Doha supports extremist groups, including some linked to Iran — a claim Tehran denies.
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Saudi Arabia and its allies have drawn up a list of demands to be presented to Qatar.
“We hope the list of demands will soon be presented to Qatar and will be reasonable and actionable,” he said.
“We support the Kuwaiti mediation effort and look forward to this matter moving toward a resolution,” added Tillerson, who has been tasked by Trump to oversee an end to the standoff.

— With input from AFP


Italy pledges electronic warfare support to Saudi Arabia

Updated 20 April 2018
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Italy pledges electronic warfare support to Saudi Arabia

  • Saudi-Italian collaboration to develop electronic defense solutions pushed in workshop organized by the Italian Embassy, KACST and Elettronica SpA
  • Italy's Elettronica specializes in the designing and manufacturing electronic warfare equipment

RIYADH: Italy has pledged to support the Kingdom with electronic warfare and defense electronics, offering a range of state-of-the-art solutions to counter threats. 

The call for Saudi-Italian collaboration was made on Thursday at a workshop organized jointly by the Italian Embassy, the King Abdul Aziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) and Italian-based Elettronica SpA, a world leader in electronic warfare.

Italian Ambassador to the Kingdom Luca Ferrari welcomed the workshop initiative, and said: “We are working to develop a strategic partnership between our two countries, building on decades of excellent political and economic collaboration.

“Such initiatives increase mutual understanding and knowledge between Italian and Saudi counterparts and foster further opportunities for collaboration.” 

Ferrari added that the workshop is a proof of Italian industries’ and institutes’ willingness to strengthen the relationship between the two countries through working with local high-tech university centers and industries in Saudi Arabia.

He added: “The move on the part of the Italian government and our companies comes within the framework of Saudi Vision 2030, which calls for foreign partnerships to diversify the economy, cut reliance on oil and build a robust Saudi defense sector.”

The workshop, entitled “The Digital Revolution: Impacts on defense electronics, security and life,” looked at electronic warfare, cyber intelligence, the future of autonomous vehicles and implications of the digital revolution for the defense industry. 

Enzo Benigni, Elettronica’s chairman and chief executive officer, said: “Italian institutes and companies are keen to embrace the Saudi Vision 2030, and to support the growth of the defense industry and overall defense sector of the Kingdom. 

“We work in Saudi Arabia to create high-value cooperation with the Saudi armed forces and local partners with an aim to build a world-class defense sector of the Kingdom.”

Benigni said Elettronica specializes in the designing and manufacturing electronic warfare, from single stand-alone equipment to complete integrated systems, for naval, airborne and ground applications as well as for space and homeland security.