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.”


Local designers to share the spotlight during second Saudi Fashion Week

Updated 20 September 2018
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Local designers to share the spotlight during second Saudi Fashion Week

  • Riyadh will be the hub of Saudi Fashion Week
  • The Grazia Middle East Style Awards will this year take place in Riyadh

RIYADH: Emerging Saudi fashion designers will get a chance to showcase their work alongside internationally renowned peers — including Yahya Couture, Yuliya Yanina and Lama Askari — during the second edition of Saudi Fashion Week, which runs from October 21 to 25, 2018.

The dates were revealed by the event’s founder, Princess Noura bint Faisal Al-Saud, who made a statement with her choice of outfit for the official announcement: a black abaya with a traditional Saudi hand embroidered, red design.

The princess, who is honorary president of the Arab Fashion Council in Saudi Arabia, said she always dreamed of being part of the fashion industry and is working hard to help the dreams ofothers come true as well, by supporting local designers,providing them with a platform on which to showcase their creativity, and supplying them with the tools they need to succeed.

“This fashion week is sponsored by the GCA and we want to highlight our Saudi culture,” she said when asked how the second edition will differ from the inaugural event in April 2018. “Every designer is unique and designs in a different way. Our culture is not only about wearing an abaya; it’s what makes you comfortable as a person.

“We have more local names coming out and a program to support emerging designers. This is a platform with which we support Saudi designers, in their country, which they represent.”

However, it also embraces the wider international fashion industry, as well.

“it’s an exchange of cultures. It’s a platform for Saudi and other countries,” said Princess Noura. “When we speak about fashion, it’s a mirror that reflects our culture and modernity.”

To help launch the careers of Saudis who are just starting out in the fashion industry, a “Top emerging Saudi designers” program has been developed, and the country’s fashion community has chosen six designers to participate, some of whom are recentcollege graduates. It will offer them support and give them real-world experience of the fashion industry.

Riyadh will be the hub of Saudi Fashion Week, with three runway shows each day, beginning at 8pm. In addition, a fashion festival featuring pop-up stores will run throughout the event. The Grazia Middle East Style Awards, which is usually held in Dubai, will this year take place in Riyadh on the final day of Saudi Fashion Week.

“I want every designer in Saudi Arabia to not be afraid and to come out and show what they are made of. Be Brave,” added Princess Noura.