Saudi crown prince gets US pledge on Middle East peace

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Photo for Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman meeting with Jared Kushner special adviser to president Trump in Washington, Mar 20, 2018. (SPA)
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Photo for Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman meeting with Jared Kushner special adviser to president Trump in Washington, Mar 20, 2018. (SPA)
Updated 22 March 2018
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Saudi crown prince gets US pledge on Middle East peace

WASHINGTON: The US has reaffirmed its commitment to Middle East peace at a meeting in Washington between Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, US Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt, and Jared Kushner, adviser and son-in-law of US President Donald Trump.
“Both countries discussed their shared interest to find a sustainable resolution to the conflict and how best to achieve it,” a tweet from the Saudi Embassy said on Wednesday.
The US push for Israeli-Palestinian peace has been led by Kushner, who held a White House conference on the humanitarian crisis in Gaza last week. But the outlook has been complicated by Palestinian anger over Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and to move the US Embassy there from Tel Aviv.
The US expects the opening of its Jerusalem Embassy to coincide with the 70th anniversary of the birth of the state of Israel on May 14, when Palestinians observe what they call the Nakba, or catastrophe.
Kushner, 37, who is married to Trump’s daughter Ivanka, has a wide-ranging portfolio that includes Middle East negotiations and relations with China. He lost his top White House security clearance in February amid allegations of conflicts of interest given his extensive property interests.
Greenblatt earlier this week accused Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, of making “highly inappropriate insults against members of the Trump administration.” Abbas had made a scathing attack on Trump’s Middle East policies, calling David Friedman, US ambassador to Israel, “a son of a dog.”
The envoy also said in a statement that “we are committed to the Palestinian people and to the changes that must be implemented for peaceful coexistence.”


Pakistan appoints new ambassador to Saudi Arabia

Ambassador Raja Ali Ejaz assumes his new role on Monday. (Supplied)
Updated 30 min 58 sec ago
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Pakistan appoints new ambassador to Saudi Arabia

  • Prior to this appointment he served as the consul general of Pakistan in New York

JEDDAH: Raja Ali Ejaz, a career diplomat, assumed his responsibilities as ambassador of Pakistan to Saudi Arabia on Monday. 
Prior to this appointment he served as the consul general of Pakistan in New York. He also served in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Islamabad as director general (United Nations) from January 2013 to January 2014. 
He previously held the post of director in the Office of Minister of State for Foreign Affairs (2004-2006), as desk officer for India (1996-1998) and desk officer for South East Asia and the Pacific (1991-1992). 
He has served at various overseas assignments at the Embassy of Pakistan in Kabul (1992-1996), at the High Commission for Pakistan in London (1998-2001), the Embassy of Pakistan in Bucharest (2001-2004) and the Embassy of Pakistan in Mexico (2006-2012). 
He attended the Civil Service Academy in Lahore from 1990 to 1991.
Ejaz’s appointment to the Kingdom comes at a time when Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are trying to strengthen their diplomatic relations.
The two countries have traditionally enjoyed close military ties. Now, they are also building strong relationship in the areas of finance, commerce and investment.