King Salman, Kremlin upbeat about ‘milestone’ royal visit

King Salman and President Putin at the G20 Summit in Antalya, Turkey, in this file photo taken on 15 Nov 2015.
Updated 04 October 2017
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King Salman, Kremlin upbeat about ‘milestone’ royal visit

JEDDAH: King Salman hopes his visit to Russia this week and talks with President Vladimir Putin and other Russian officials will achieve the aspirations of the two countries, he told the Cabinet on Tuesday.
Addressing the weekly meeting at Al-Salam Palace in Jeddah, the king told ministers he looked forward to the visit enhancing relations between the countries to serve common interests and bring about global peace and security.
The historic visit, the first to Russia by a Saudi monarch, begins on Thursday. The king will lead a high-level delegation of government and private-sector figures.
Saudi Aramco will participate in a range of high-level engagements and activities including an exhibit throughout the royal visit.
The highlight will be the Saudi-Russian Business Investment Forum to be held in Moscow under the theme: Investment, Toward Building a Strong Partnership. The forum will be officially opened by Russia’s Minister of Energy, Alexander Novak.
Senior scholars and businessmen in Riyadh said the visit will open new areas of mutual cooperation and the two countries will reap benefits.
Shoura Council member Maj. Gen. Ali Al-Tamimi told Arab News that Saudi Arabia under King Salman, will open a new chapter not only in Saudi-Russian relations, but also in combating terror in the world.
“The first ever official visit by a Saudi king to Moscow since the foundation of the Kingdom demonstrates that Riyadh is eager to keep a balance in its foreign policy and diversify its ties,” said Mona A. Almushait, another Shoura Council member.
The Russia-Saudi summit is a milestone event to demonstrate that both countries are set for a much closer relationship. Russia and Saudi Arabia are showing the political will to foster bilateral economic ties, and their potential has yet to be fulfilled, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.
The visit will witness a series of joint economic functions that will bring together 200 representatives of Saudi and Russian companies to promote commercial partnerships and relations.
The Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) will organize a one-day forum in Moscow on Saudi-Russian investments in cooperation with the Council of Saudi Chambers (CSC) and the joint Saudi-Russian Council, in the presence of a number of Saudi and Russian ministers, and members of the private sector.


Innovative Saudi cultural center showcases world-famous ‘The Scream’ artist’s exhibition

Updated 26 June 2019
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Innovative Saudi cultural center showcases world-famous ‘The Scream’ artist’s exhibition

  • 40 works by Edvard Munch go on display for first time in Middle East

DHAHRAN: A dynamic Saudi cultural center is to showcase the works of one of the world’s most famous painters in an exhibition-first for the Middle East.

Forty pieces by Norwegian artist Edvard Munch, best known for his iconic “The Scream” painting, will go on public display at the King Abdul Aziz Center for World Culture (Ithra).

The special exhibition, titled “Landscapes of the Soul,” is the latest in a series of high-profile cultural events to be staged at the showpiece exhibition in Dhahran.

Developed by Saudi Aramco with the aim of stimulating knowledge, creativity and cross-cultural engagement, Ithra’s theater, museum, exhibition hall and art gallery complex forms a key part of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 reform plan to promote culture and entertainment.

The Munch exhibition, which runs until Sept. 3, portrays the artist’s personal life experiences of misery, love, despair, loneliness and reflections of the soul, through his distinctive works.

“It is such an honor to host and introduce to Saudi Arabia, and indeed, the Middle East, the work of the world-renowned artist Edvard Munch,” Rania Biltagi, Ithra’s head of communications and partnership, told Arab News.

Munch’s (1863-1944) original exhibition has been located in Oslo, Norway since 1963, and the Saudi display is being staged in Ithra’s Great Hall in partnership with the Munch Museum in Norway.

As well as a lithograph version of his most famous painting “The Scream,” other works on show will include “Summer Night. The Voice,” 1894, “Self-Portrait,” 1895, and “The Sick Child,” 1896.

“A moment that stood out from the opening was when speaking to a couple visiting the exhibit, they mentioned that they were Norwegian and working in Saudi,” Biltagi said. “They explained that they had never had the chance to visit the Munch Museum in their homeland and what an unexpected pleasure it was to be able to see Munch’s work in Saudi.”

Biltagi added that the event epitomized the aim of Ithra in providing a platform to bring together cultures as well as people.

The center, featured in Time magazine’s list of the world’s top 100 places to visit, is a pioneer on the Kingdom’s culture and arts scene, organizing a variety of events, performances, programs and experiences to suit all ages and backgrounds. Previous exhibitions have included a focus on Saudi contemporary art, Leonardo da Vinci, and installations symbolizing creativity and innovation.