Saudi cadets undergo military training in Germany

Updated 19 January 2018

Saudi cadets undergo military training in Germany

RIYADH: The German Embassy on Thursday announced that the first seven cadets of the Royal Saudi Land Forces and the Royal Saudi Air Defense Forces have started their military training in German Armed Forces facilities this week.

German Ambassador Dieter W. Haller told Arab News that the seven cadets left the Kingdom early this month for their training which will five to six years.

Their training includes a one-year language course and a bachelor’s degree at one of the two universities of the German Armed Forces in Munich or Hamburg.

“With this new program, we add a substantial new element to the security cooperation between our two countries,” Ambassador Haller told Arab News.

The Saudi cadets will spend the first phase of their training in the German Armed Forces Language Academy in Cologne in the German federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia.

The German envoy added that “we look forward to continuously expand the training program in the future.”

The training of Saudi cadets in the facilities of the German Armed Forces was agreed upon by the Kingdom and Germany in a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed during the visit of Chancellor Angela Merkel to Jeddah on April 30, 2017 in the presence of King Salman.

Ambassador Haller added that 14 German experts from the German Federal Police are currently in the Kingdom to conduct various training courses with the Saudi Border Police.

He said that this is done in close cooperation with the Saudi Ministry of Interior.

“Both measures underline our willingness to expand security cooperation with the Kingdom,” the German ambassador said.

Meanwhile, he added that a medical specialist training for Saudi doctors at the prestigious Charite hospital in Berlin is preparing for its fourth intake of participants.

He said that between 10 to 15 Saudi doctors will have the chance to study and work for six to seven years at the hospital in Berlin beginning in September this year.

Saudi Crown prince’s India visit will help expand ties beyond energy

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s visit to India will boost robust interactions that New Delhi has established with Saudi Arabia over the last few years. (Supplied)
Updated 20 February 2019

Saudi Crown prince’s India visit will help expand ties beyond energy

  • New Delhi’s participation in Kingdom’s mega projects a major aspect of renewed ties: Talmiz Ahmad

NEW DELHI: Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s first visit to India is a landmark development in bilateral ties between India and Saudi Arabia, according to Talmiz Ahmad, a former ambassador to Riyadh.

Saudi Arabia is India’s largest supplier of crude oil, but since taking office in 2014 Prime Minister Narendra Modi has sought to use India’s growing economy to attract more investment from Saudi Arabia beyond energy, and foster cooperation on trade, infrastructure and defense.

Ahmad, author of several books on the Arab world and twice India’s Ambassador to Riyadh, said that while the backbone of New Delhi’s relationship with the Kingdom is energy, the two sides had been discussing “how to give greater substance and longevity to the relationship on the basis of concrete projects.”

Reuters reported this week that India is expecting Prince Salman to announce an initial investment in its National Investment and Infrastructure Fund, a quasi-sovereign wealth fund, to help accelerate the building of ports and highways. Saudi Arabia has also suggested investing in India’s farming industry, with an eye on food imports to the Kingdom. 

Ahmad said Saudi Arabia’s NEOM project, a $500 billion smart city in Tabuk province on the Egyptian and Jordanian borders, would also provide great opportunities for Indian companies. 

He added that Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, the crown prince’s blueprint to fundamentally transform Kingdom’s economy, presents another opportunity for Indian businesses to prosper from the relationship.

“India is extremely well placed,” said Ahmad. “We are world leaders in small and medium enterprises and in the services sector. Saudi Arabia also has proposals to develop its tourism and leisure sectors, and I believe India is also well placed in those areas too.”

He also discussed how the strategic partnership had been initiated by former Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who visited Riyadh in 2010, but that Modi, who visited in 2016, had added “considerable substance” to the relationship.

He stressed, though, that Riyadh’s ties with India are independent of its relationship with Pakistan. He added India and Saudi Arabia were also working together to improve the security situation in Afghanistan, to resolve the 17-year conflict between government forces and the Afghan Taliban, as well as in the wider West Asia region. 

“India has excellent relations with all the countries in West Asia, and New Delhi is well placed to address some of the concerns that all the countries have with each other,” he said.