Saudi FM says solution to Qatar crisis is in Doha's hands

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir. (SPA file photo)
Updated 19 September 2017
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Saudi FM says solution to Qatar crisis is in Doha's hands

JEDDAH: Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir on Monday said the solution to the crisis Qatar is facing is in Doha's hands.
Speaking in New York after a meeting with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, Al-Jubeir pointed out that Qatar's failure to stop supporting terrorism and interfering in the internal affairs of other countries of the region was what triggered the crisis, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) said.
Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates severed diplomatic and trade ties with Qatar on June 5, alleging that Doha had been financing terrorist organizations and even giving refuge to their members.
Attempts by the Emir of Kuwait to mediate had been unsuccessful so far, with Doha thumbing its nose on the Anti-Terror Quartet and even restoring full diplomatic ties with Iran, which had been accused by the Gulf Cooperating Council (GCC) of fomenting chaos in the region.
In their meeting on Monday, Al-Jubeir and Guterres discussed recent developments in Yemen, Syria, Iraq and Myanmar, SPA said.
They also discussed the close relations between the UN and Saudi Arabia, which is a partner and supportive of its initiatives.
The meeting was attended by Prince Khalid Bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Saudi ambassador of the US, and Saudi Ambassador to the UN Abdullah Al-Mu'alimi.


Motorsport, rock bands, tourists … welcome to the new Saudi Arabia

There was an explosion of joy at the podium when Antonio Felix da Costa lifted the winner’s trophy at the conclusion of the Formula E Saudia Ad Diriyah E-Prix on Saturday. (Photo/Supplied)
Updated 16 December 2018
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Motorsport, rock bands, tourists … welcome to the new Saudi Arabia

  • Three-day event at Ad Diriyah reaches spectacular climax in an unprecedented spirit of openness

The driver with the winner’s trophy was Antonio Felix da Costa — but the real winners were Saudi Arabia itself, and more than 1,000 tourists visiting the country for the first time.

Da Costa, the Andretti Motorsport driver, won the Formula E Saudia Ad Diriyah E-Prix in front of thousands of race fans at a custom-built track in the historic district on the outskirts of Riyadh.

But in truth, the event was about much more than high-tech electric cars hurtling round a race track — thrilling though that was. The three-day festival of motorsport, culture and entertainment was Saudi Arabia’s chance to prove that it can put on a show to rival anything in the world, and which only two years ago would have been unthinkable.

The event was also the first to be linked to the Sharek electronic visa system, allowing foreigners other than pilgrims or business visitors to come to Saudi Arabia.

Jason, from the US, is spending a week in the country with his German wife, riding quad bikes in the desert and visiting heritage sites. “I’ve always wanted to come for many, many years ... I’m so happy to be here and that they’re letting us be here,” he said.

Aaron, 40, a software engineer, traveled from New York for two days. “Saudi Arabia has always been an exotic place ... and I didn’t think I’d ever be able to come here,” he said.

About 1,000 visitors used the Sharek visa, a fraction of what Saudi Arabia aims eventually to attract. 

“Hopefully we will learn from this and see what we need to do for the future, but I can tell you from now that there is a lot of demand,” said Prince Abdul Aziz bin Turki Al-Faisal, vice chairman of the General Sports Authority.

His optimism was backed by Kirill Dmitriev, chief executive of the Russian Direct Investment Fund and a visitor to Ad Diriyah. “Such events will attract tourists and are a true celebration for young Saudis who desire a bright future,” he said.

“The vision of moderate Islam, promoted by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, is important both for the region and the entire world, and its realization needs to be appreciated, respected and supported.”

The event ended on Saturday night with a spectacular show by US band OneRepublic and the superstar DJ David Guetta. “Just when you think things can’t get better, they suddenly do,” said concertgoer Saleh Saud. “This is the new Saudi Arabia, and I can’t wait to see what’s going to happen next.”