King Salman to hold talks with Cyprus leader, two accords to be signed

King Salman and Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades. (Agencies)
Updated 01 January 2018
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King Salman to hold talks with Cyprus leader, two accords to be signed

RIYADH: Key regional issues that have tossed the entire Middle East into turmoil, with a special reference to Saudi-Cypriot relations, will top the agenda of wide-ranging talks between King Salman and Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades here on Wednesday.
Anastasiades, who will arrive in the Saudi capital on Tuesday, is the first Cypriot president to visit the Kingdom.
“The talks will focus on a range of important regional and international issues of common concerns, and explore ways to enhance bilateral relations between Riyadh and Nicosia,” said Nikos Panayi, ambassador of the Republic of Cyprus, here on Sunday.
Calling the visit of the Cypriot president “historic,” Panayi said the president will also “elaborate on the Cyprus issue during his talks with Saudi officials.”
He pointed out that “a major memorandum of understanding (MoU) will be signed between the two countries for holding periodic political consultations.” The MoU will make provision for regular consultations between the foreign ministries of the Kingdom and Cyprus, which will boost political cooperation and coordination as well as mutual support wherever possible.
This is in addition to an agreement on avoidance of double taxation to be signed by the two sides during Anastasiades’ visit, the envoy added.
He said the Cypriot president will be accompanied by high-ranking officials including Minister of Foreign Affairs Ioannis Kasoulides, Defense Minister Christoforos Fokaides, Minister of Transport, Communications and Works Marios Demetriades and Minister of Energy, Commerce and Industry Georgios Lakkotrypis.
The envoy added the ministers will have separate meetings with their Saudi counterparts on the sidelines of the presidential visit. The Kingdom and Cyprus have had cordial ties, he said.
Nicosia condemned the missile strikes on the Kingdom from Yemen.
Moreover, Cyprus also remains a destination with great potential for investments and trade. The potential emanating from the discovery of hydrocarbons in Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone has opened new opportunities and enhanced the role that Cyprus seeks to play in its greater neighbourhood.


Saudi efforts to ‘heal Afghan division’ win royal approval

King Salman chairs the Cabinet session in Jeddah on Tuesday. SPA
Updated 18 July 2018
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Saudi efforts to ‘heal Afghan division’ win royal approval

  • The forum urged all Afghan factions to halt the fighting and work toward “reconciliation between brothers
  • China’s Belt and Road initiative will link the interests of China and Arab countries

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s King Salman has expressed his appreciation to scholars who took part in the International Ulema Conference on Peace and Security in Afghanistan in Makkah, saying the Kingdom was making efforts to “heal the divisions and differences among the Afghan people.”

Chairing the Cabinet session at Al-Salam Palace in Jeddah on Tuesday, the king said Saudi Arabia was working toward “unifying the ranks and words of Muslims worldwide.”
He briefed the Cabinet on the results of his recent talks with President Cyril Ramaphosa, of South Africa, on future cooperation between the two countries.
The Cabinet welcomed the final statement by the Makkah conference calling on states, organizations and Islamic elites to play positive roles in achieving security and peace in Afghanistan.
The forum urged all Afghan factions to halt the fighting and work toward “reconciliation between brothers, extinguishing the fire of sedition.”
Muslims worldwide should continue their “firm stand in front of the advocates of violence and extremism in defense of their religion and maintaining the unity of the Islamic world,” it said.
The Cabinet also reviewed a ministerial meeting of the Arab-Chinese Cooperation Forum in Beijing and welcomed a decision by Chinese leader President Xi Jinping to establish an Arab-Chinese strategic partnership.
China’s Belt and Road initiative will link the interests of China and Arab countries and “add to the prosperity and economic advancement of all,” it said.
The Cabinet denounced recent suicide attacks on two election gatherings in Pakistan and the city of Jalalabad in eastern Afghanistan, and offered condolences to families of the victims.
In the local arena, the Cabinet extended its appreciation to the king, based on a report by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, for pardoning all troops who have taken part in the Saudi Renewal of Hope operation in Yemen of their military and disciplinary penalties for their heroism and sacrifices.
The Cabinet approved a license for the Iraqi Commercial Bank to open a branch in Saudi Arabia and authorized the Minister of Finance to decide on any subsequent requests to open other branches.