Two-state solution is still a possibility, says Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia stresses the importance of the international community’s responsibilities to protect civilians in Syria. (AFP/File)
Updated 27 June 2018
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Two-state solution is still a possibility, says Saudi Arabia

  • The Kingdom has provided $100 million to alleviate the suffering of the Syrian people at the conference to support the future of Syria and the region
  • Saudi Arabia reiterates the need to stop this tragedy against the Syrian people

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia has affirmed that adherence to peace based on the two-state solution according to the Arab peace initiative is a way to find a solution to the Palestinian issue and to end the Arab-Israeli conflict.

This came in the Kingdom’s speech on Tuesday before the UN Security Council session in the open debate on “The situation in the Middle East and North Africa” delivered by the deputy permanent representative of Saudi Arabia to the UN, Dr. Khalid Manzlawi.

“The Palestinian people have suffered a long period of unjust occupation, oppressive and racist policies of oppression and illegal settlement incursions,” Manzlawi said, adding that Saudi Arabia is still in solidarity with the Palestinian cause. A donation of $50 million was provided by the Kingdom to the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees during the 29th Arab Summit (Jerusalem Summit) held in Dhahran.

Manzlawi said the Kingdom is working with its coalition partners to restore legitimacy in Yemen, a military operation aimed at saving the Yemeni people from the dark forces and restoring some areas from the grip of the Iranian-backed terrorist militias. 

The military operation was undertaken at the request of the legitimate government of Yemen and in accordance with Security Council Resolution 2216, which calls for, among other things, the withdrawal of Houthi rebels from all cities, he added.

Iran continues to support the forces of rebellion and the coup of the Houthi militias in Yemen and supply them with weapons, including the missiles that attack Saudi Arabia from time to time, said Manzlawi, reporting that the number of rocket attacks on the Kingdom has reached 155.

Manzlawi said Saudi Arabia condemns the reckless planting of thousands of mines by the Houthis in Yemen in general and Hodeidah in particular. The Kingdom has launched a $40 million project for landmine clearance.

He said the Kingdom strongly condemns the attacks by the Houthi militias on UN aid organizations, agencies and workers since 2015 as they detained 19 aid vessels carrying 200,000 tons of oil derivatives. And he affirmed that the most human degradation is in the areas controlled by the Houthis.

On the Syrian issue, Manzlawi pointed out that the Kingdom has provided $100 million to alleviate the suffering of the Syrian people at the conference to support the future of Syria and the region, which was held in Brussels at the end of April this year, and provided Syrian brothers inside Syria and neighboring countries with about $1 billion.

Manzlawi concluded that the Kingdom reiterates the need to stop this tragedy against the Syrian people and to work toward a peaceful solution based on the principles of the Geneva Declaration 1 and UN Security Council Resolution 2254. He also stressed the importance of the international community’s responsibilities to protect civilians in Syria.


Saudi Arabia’s up-and-coming energy park set to transform KSA into a global industrial powerhouse

Situated in the Kingdom’s Eastern Province, between Dammam and Al-Ahsa, the project will be developed in three phases. (Supplied)
Updated 12 December 2018
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Saudi Arabia’s up-and-coming energy park set to transform KSA into a global industrial powerhouse

  • The first phase is scheduled for completion by 2021
  • SPARK will localize more than 300 new industrial services and facilities and will have specialized training centers to cater to the huge influx of manpower

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia is fast catching up with the world’s ever-growing energy and technology scene ahead of 2030. In fact, the King Salman Energy Park (SPARK) may soon prove a global destination for energy industry investors.

The new energy city mega-project is being developed by Saudi Aramco, which received authoritization to embark on the initiative in the summer, and is operated, managed and maintained in partnership with the Saudi Authority for Industrial Cities and Technology Zones (MODON). 

With projections that the megacity will create more than 100,000 jobs, it is considered one of the most up-and-coming energy parks in the world.

SPARK will localize more than 300 new industrial services and facilities and will have specialized training centers to cater to the huge influx of manpower.

Situated in the Kingdom’s Eastern Province, between Dammam and Al-Ahsa, the project will be developed in three phases. 

The first phase is scheduled for completion by 2021, while the final phase of the project is set for completion in 2035. With all this on track, the 50-square-kilometer project is poised to be a magnet for foreign and domestic investment. 

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman inaugurated the King Salman Energy Park at the King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture (Ithra) on Monday. (SPA)

What’s more, Aramco’s espousal of SPARK will also help businesses indulge in technological development, manufacturing and exports channels and build a world-class energy supply chain. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman inaugurated the King Salman Energy Park at the King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture (Ithra) on Monday.

During the groundbreaking ceremony, Energy Minister and Aramco Chairman Khalid Al-Falih declared SPARK a special economic zone (SEZ) in which businesses can enjoy exclusive benefits. 

“We are looking forward to collaborating with our first anchor partners at SPARK,” said Saudi Aramco President and CEO, Amin Nasser.

SPARK has already attracted investment from foreign and local companies to produce and manufacture goods and services. The first phase of the project is expected to cost about $1.6 billion. 

The park is set to attract industrial investors in the water, power, petrochemical and wastewater sectors, among others. 

Facilities at SPARK will also help investors bridge gaps in local production back home, increasing competition in the long run. 

“This energy city is exciting because it brings together a multitude of businesses,” Mark McCollum, president and CEO of Weatherford Corp, told SPARK.

“We firmly believe that collaboration and cooperation among service companies and individual providers to the energy sector is vital in breaking new ground.”

The King Salman Energy Park is also set to promote small and medium-sized enterprises. With focus on energy production, it also provides opportunities for investment in residential and commercial real estate projects.

Nasser said that the “King Salman Energy Park will spur a new era of growth for one of the Kingdom’s already thriving sectors. What’s more, it will serve as a central gateway to the region’s economies since Aramco is at the heart of the global oil and gas industry.”