Klaus Kleinfeld named adviser to Saudi crown prince, NEOM appoints new CEO

Klaus Kleinfeld had started to lay foundation to the realization of NEOM in June 2017. (SPA/File)
Updated 03 July 2018
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Klaus Kleinfeld named adviser to Saudi crown prince, NEOM appoints new CEO

  • Kleinfeld is set to begin his role in August
  • Nadhmi Al-Nasr will take over from Kleinfeld as NEOM CEO

JEDDAH: Klaus Kleinfeld, who was tasked with developing the NEOM project in northern Saudi Arabia, has been appointed as an adviser to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the Kingdom announced.

Kleinfeld “will take over wider responsibilities to enhance the economic, technological and financial development of Saudi Arabia,” said a statement.

The German, who is former chairman and CEO of Alcoa Inc., and former president and CEO of Siemens AG, is set to begin his role on August 1, 2018, with new NEOM CEO Nadhmi Al-Nasr taking the helm of the ambitious Saudi project on the same day.

Al-Nasr, who has over 30 plus years of experience with Saudi Aramco and most recently has been the Interim President for King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), had worked on developing the strategy and development of NEOM Bay, one of the initial stages of NEOM’s development.  


Nadhmi Al-Nasr, left, will replace Klaus Kleinfeld as CEO of NEOM in August

The Kingdom, in October 2017, announced plans to build the $500 billion mega city on the Kingdom’s Red Sea coast, as part of a huge national push to diversify its economy.

“The focus on these sectors will stimulate economic growth and diversification by nurturing international innovation and manufacturing, to drive local industry, job creation, and GDP growth in the Kingdom,” said Prince Mohammed, who is also the chairman of the Public Investment Fund (PIF).

“Klaus Kleinfeld had started to lay foundation to the realization of NEOM in June 2017. He built up a team of world class project people and developed – together with the founding board of NEOM — the strategy, the face and the future appearance of NEOM,” the statement said.


‘Get out:’ some Mexico border residents reject migrant arrivals

Updated 13 min 4 sec ago
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‘Get out:’ some Mexico border residents reject migrant arrivals

  • A small group of residents of an upscale neighborhood in the Mexican border town of Tijuana confronted caravan migrants
  • With some exceptions, Mexico has welcomed the Central Americans, offering food and lodging in towns during their journey

TIJUANA, Mexico: Demonized by US President Donald Trump and exhausted after a harrowing journey, members of Central American migrant caravans now face a new threat: open hostility from some Mexicans on the US border.

A small group of residents of an upscale neighborhood in the Mexican border of Tijuana confronted caravan migrants late on Wednesday, throwing stones and telling them to go back to their home countries.
“Get out of here,” a group of around 20 people shouted at a camp of Hondurans near the border. “We want you to return to your country. You are not welcome.”
Migrants shouted back, in a confrontation that belied Tijuana’s reputation as a free-wheeling, tolerant city and lasted into the early hours of Thursday. Dozens of police arrived at the scene.
A caravan of thousands of mostly Honduran migrants who are fleeing violence and poverty at home set off for the United States in mid-October, with the bulk of them still to arrive at the border. Other large bands of mostly Salvadorans have followed behind.
Trump has declared the caravans an “invasion,” and has sent some 5,800 troops to “harden” the border, including with barbed wire.
With some exceptions, Mexico has welcomed the Central Americans, offering food and lodging in towns during their journey. The migrants said they were stunned by the hostile attitude in Tijuana.
“We are not criminals. Why do treat us like this if everywhere we have traveled in Mexico they treated us well?” migrants shouted back. “Think about the children who are here, please.”
Tensions began brewing several days ago when residents complained about a group of 80 or so LGBT migrants who broke away from the caravan and arrived in an upscale part of the Playas de Tijuana neighborhood, near where the stones were thrown.
A popular party town for US tourists, Tijuana has a history of absorbing visitors, including Chinese immigrants in the 19th century. It has a large American population and some 3,000 Haitians settled in the city, just south of San Diego, in 2016 after failing to cross the US border.
But the arrival of hundreds of members of the caravans has stretched to the limit migrant shelters that were already overflowing with people. While Tijuana’s traditional generosity was also on display, with the government setting up a new shelter and citizens offering food and clothing, a harder attitude also emerged.
Reuters gained access to a WhatsApp chat group called “Citizen Blockade” where some 250 members using strong language discussed strategies to harass the migrants or block their arrival.
Tijuana’s city government opened a shelter for 360 people of an estimated 810 that arrived this week, and officials warned there was little room to house more than 2,000 more who are expected to arrive this week.
Irineo Mujica, representative of the organization Pueblos Sin Fronteras, which is advising the migrants in the caravan, said the migrants wanted to seek asylum in the United States.
Their arrival adds to already long lines of people who have been waiting their turn at the Tijuana crossing. Last week, Trump suspended the granting of asylum to migrants who cross the US-Mexico border illegally.
“We are looking for solutions, not confrontations,” Mujica said following the clash with Mexicans as a helicopter hovered above, surveying the scene from the American side.