Tillerson attends landmark Saudi-Iraqi meeting in Riyadh

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Saudi King Salman holds talks with Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar Al-Abadi in Riyadh. (SPA)
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Saudi King Salman holds talks with Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar Al-Abadi in Riyadh. (SPA)
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Saudi King Salman holds talks with Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar Al-Abadi in Riyadh. (SPA)
Updated 22 October 2017
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Tillerson attends landmark Saudi-Iraqi meeting in Riyadh

RIYADH: US diplomat Rex Tillerson attended a landmark meeting Sunday between Saudi Arabia and Iraq aimed at upgrading strategic ties between the two countries and countering Iranian regional influence.
Saudi King Salman and Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi held the first meeting of the joint Saudi-Iraqi coordination council that aims to boost cooperation after years of tensions.
Al-Abadi hailed the meeting as an “important step toward enhancing relations,” echoing similar comments from King Salman.
“We are facing in our region serious challenges in the form of extremism, terrorism as well as attempts to destabilize our countries,” the Saudi monarch said.
“These attempts require our full attention.”
Iraq is seeking economic benefits from closer ties with Riyadh as both countries suffer from a protracted oil slump.
Saudi Arabia is also seeking to counter Iranian influence in Iraq.
“This event highlights the strength and breadth as well as the great potential of the relations between your countries,” Tillerson said, referring to the meeting.
After years of tense relations, ties between Riyadh and Baghdad have begun looking up in recent months.


 
After Saddam Hussein’s August 1990 invasion of Kuwait, Riyadh severed relations with Baghdad and closed its border posts with its northern neighbor.
Ties remained strained even after Saddam’s ouster in the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq, since when successive governments in Baghdad have stayed close to Tehran.
But a flurry of visits between the two countries this year appears to indicate a thawing of ties.
Al-Abadi’s tour coincides with Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih’s high-profile visit to Baghdad on Saturday where he called for the strengthening of economic relations to boost oil prices.
At the opening of the Baghdad International Fair, Al-Falih hailed what he called “the new Iraq, on the ambitious road to prosperity and growth while strengthening its relations with the world.”


Saudi pilot Yasmeen Al-Maimani’s 1st flight celebrated

Hail International Airport and Nesma Airlines celebrated the first official flight of Saudi pilot Capt. Yasmeen Al-Maimani. (GACA)
Updated 25 June 2019
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Saudi pilot Yasmeen Al-Maimani’s 1st flight celebrated

  • Yasmeen Al-Maimani has a commercial pilot’s license (CPL) from the US

RIYADH: The Saudi General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA), represented by the management of Hail International Airport and Nesma Airlines, celebrated the first official flight of Saudi pilot Capt. Yasmeen Al-Maimani, 29, on Sunday.
Al-Maimani made her first official flight between Hail International Airport and Prince Nayef bin Abdul Aziz International Airport in Qassim, becoming the first Saudi woman to fly a commercial aircraft as a co-pilot with Nesma Airlines.
She received the opportunity after the airline advertised vacant positions for co-pilots on its New Pilots Program — 11 were accepted, including Al-Maimani, who has a commercial pilot’s license (CPL) from the US.
Following their acceptance into the program, the pilots underwent a four-stage training regimen at Prince Sultan Aviation Academy in Jeddah, including practice on multi-engine planes with multiple crews.
Ground training using an ATR 72-600 aircraft at Nesma Airlines’ training center in Hail followed, before progressing to simulators in Jakarta and Madrid.