Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage chief highlights tourism’s role in maintaining peace

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Prince Sultan bin Salman
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Updated 12 December 2017
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Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage chief highlights tourism’s role in maintaining peace

RIYADH: Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) President Prince Sultan bin Salman on Monday iterated that Saudi Arabia’s care for tourism and heritage represents its care for the global human history and heritage in its capacity as the cradle of Islam and as the junction of civilizations throughout the history.
The SCTH chief said this during his keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the second UNWTO/UNESCO World Conference on Tourism and Culture in Muscat under the theme “Fostering sustainable tourism development.”
Prince Sultan asserted that led by King Salman, the Kingdom has been experiencing a huge transformation in the tourism sector.
He said the Kingdom is taking several steps like the offering of tourist visas next year and launching different programs to promote tourism. He also highlighted initiatives like “Saudi Arabia: A destination for Muslims” in addition to other mega projects which come within the initiative of “Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Program for Caring of the Cultural Heritage” and involve several projects including 32 key museums in different parts of the Kingdom as well as the expansion of some existing museums.
The SCTH chief further stressed that tourism, apart from its role as an economic industry sector, undertakes a leading role in enhancing a citizen’s relations with his nation and land, and boosting human knowledge which, he said, is a basis of peace between nations.
The two-day conference which began on Monday at the Oman Convention and Exhibition Center is a sequel to the first World Conference on Tourism and Culture in Siem Reap, Cambodia in February 2015. It aims to reflect upon the Siem Reap declaration that pledged to explore the synergies of the tourism and culture sectors to work in harmony for sustainable development.
The conference will address a wide range of topics including governance models, tourism development and protection of cultural heritage, culture and tourism in urban development and creativity, and exploring the cultural landscape in tourism.
Notably, the UN has declared 2017 as “the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development,” thereby offering a unique opportunity to explore and highlight tourism’s potential and help transform the world into a place of prosperity and well-being for all.
The conference will explore various ways to strengthen partnerships between the tourism and culture sectors by enhancing their role in the UN’s agenda for sustainable development, reflecting upon outcomes of the first conference in Siem Reap.


US Senate vote ‘will benefit only Iran’

The resolutions were based on “unsubstantiated claims and allegations,” Saudi Arabia said. (Shutterstock)
Updated 18 December 2018
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US Senate vote ‘will benefit only Iran’

  • “We are a frontline state in the war against terrorism and the Iranian-aligned militias who are our common enemies”
  • The Saudi stance drew support from the Arab Parliament and the Muslim World League, along with analysts and experts

The Arab world threw its weight behind Saudi Arabia’s assertion of its sovereignty on Monday after what Riyadh described as “blatant interference” in its internal affairs by the US Senate.

The move followed Senate resolutions calling for withdrawal of US support for the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen, and blaming Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul in October.

The resolutions were based on “unsubstantiated claims and allegations,” Saudi Arabia said. “The Kingdom categorically rejects any interference in its internal affairs, any and all accusations, in any manner, that disrespect its leadership ... and any attempts to undermine its sovereignty or diminish its stature,” it said.

The Saudi stance drew support from the Arab Parliament and the Muslim World League, along with analysts and experts.

Arab Parliament speaker Dr. Mishaal bin Fahm Al-Salami urged the US Senate “not to interfere in Saudi Arabia’s internal affairs, not to disrespect its leadership and not to undermine its stature.” The Arab Parliament opposed any attempts to undermine the Kingdom or targeted its leadership, reputation and prestige, Al-Salami said.

Dr. Mohammed bin Abdulkarim Al-Issa, secretary general of the Muslim World League, said undermining the sovereignty and leadership of Saudi Arabia was “a red line that no one … is allowed to cross.”

“This interference is only in the interest of the wicked,” he said.

Salman Al-Ansari, founder of the Saudi American Public Relation Affairs Committee (SAPRAC) in Washington, told Arab News it was “unfortunate that members of the US Senate have buckled under the relentless information warfare that has been waged against Saudi Arabia.

“Any vote against the Saudi leadership is a vote against Saudi youth. It is a time of change, dynamism and limitless possibilities in Saudi Arabia, and the crown prince exemplifies that.”

Dr. Hamdan Al-Shehri, a Saudi political analyst and international relations scholar in Riyadh, told Arab News the US and Saudi Arabia were allies and only Iran would gain from a rift between them. “We are a frontline state in the war against terrorism and the Iranian-aligned militias who are our common enemies,” he said.

“Many Americans are unaware of what is happening in the region and how President Obama’s opening up to Iran emboldened Tehran to run amok. By creating this rupture, the US Senate surely realizes who benefits from it. Iran, of course, our common enemy.”