In Washington Post column, Saudi ambassador to US urges ‘revitalizing’ long-standing alliance

Saudi Arabian ambassador to the US Khalid bin Salman. (SPA)
Updated 21 March 2018
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In Washington Post column, Saudi ambassador to US urges ‘revitalizing’ long-standing alliance

WASHINGTON: Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has embarked on a monumental reform of his country’s economy and society — a program called Vision 2030 — in a bid to engage Saudi Arabia’s growing younger generations.
And as the crown prince begins his tour of the US, the Saudi Arabian ambassador Khalid bin Salman is certain the visit will reinforce Saudi Arabia’s long-standing, solid partnership with Washington — especially after the 2017 Riyadh Summit, which took the two countries’ relations to a new height.


The ambassador believes the crown prince’s visit will strengthen the ties between the two historical allies, and that support from the US will help Saudi Arabia to embrace change.
Writing for the Washington Post, the ambassador said: “We now see new chances for revitalizing the long-standing Saudi-US alliance. The crown prince will highlight this during his trip — especially in the area of business and investment opportunities — and expand the efforts that Salman and President Trump initiated last year in Riyadh.
“The relationship today is stronger, deeper, and more multidimensional than ever, and it extends beyond the Oval Office, the halls of Congress, military bases, and trading floors.
“The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is reforming, and our dynamism will take the Saudi-US relationship to new heights. Both sides should seize the moment. We must take the opportunity to recommit ourselves to a cemented alliance with a proud legacy, but one that also looks to the future, sparks prosperity, unlocks the full potential of all Saudis and helps to stabilize a crucial region and the world.”


Saudi Arabia to impose fines for breach of new public decency laws

Updated 4 min 5 sec ago
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Saudi Arabia to impose fines for breach of new public decency laws

  • The list of offenses has been designed to respect the values, customs, traditions and culture of Saudi Arabia

JEDDAH: People breaking any of 10 new rules on public behavior in Saudi Arabia face being fined up to SR5,000 ($1,333). A list of offenses relating to breaches of public decency came into force throughout the Kingdom on Saturday.

Cabinet members last month approved the regulations which aim to uphold the values, principles and identity of Saudi society in public places such as parks, beaches, malls, hotels and restaurants.

Shoura Council member Dr. Muadi Al-Madhhab told MBC channel: “The Kingdom isn’t the only country to implement such regulations. Many countries already have them, and the regulations apply to citizens and expatriates.”

With rising tourism, he said that the 10 provisions would help individuals to be aware of how they should behave in the presence of visitors to the country.

The list has been designed to respect the values, customs, traditions and culture of Saudi Arabia, and the country’s interior minister will work with the chairman of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) and other relevant authorities to administer and enforce the rules and where necessary serve penalties.

BACKGROUND

The list of offenses has been designed to respect the values, customs, traditions and culture of Saudi Arabia.

Each of the 10 regulations will carry a corresponding fine that will be issued by the minister. Under the rules, individuals will be expected to adhere to respectful dress codes and avoid taking photos or using phrases that might offend public decency.

The list covers graffiti and demolition of public property or transport unless authorized by Saudi authorities. Verbal and physical acts of violence or conduct that causes damage, fear or is deemed to be a threat to public safety will also form part of the crackdown.

Legal consultant Dimah Al-Sharif told Arab News: “I believe that the sanctions will play a major role in forcing the community to respect and commit to the regulations.”

She said the Ministry of Interior and SCTH could link the list of decency offenses to the Absher app in the same way as traffic crimes. “This would ensure that individuals treat the issue of public decency seriously and responsibly.” Anyone breaking one of the bylaws for a second time within the same year will face having their fine doubled.