FaceOf: Ahmed Aboul Gheit, secretary-general of the Arab League

Ahmed Aboul Gheit. (Reuters)
Updated 11 July 2018
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FaceOf: Ahmed Aboul Gheit, secretary-general of the Arab League

  • After graduating with a business degree from Ain Shams University in Cairo, Aboul Gheit joined the diplomatic corps in 1965, and rose through the ranks of the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Ahmed Aboul Gheit is an Egyptian diplomat and the eighth secretary-general of the Arab League. 

Before his July 2016 nomination as secretary-general, Aboul Gheit served as the minister of foreign affairs of Egypt from July 2004 to March 2011.

On Tuesday, Aboul Gheit met with the Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs, Adel Al-Jubeir, in the Chinese capital of Beijing for the eighth session of the ministerial meeting of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum. 

During the meeting, they discussed a number of issues of mutual interest between the two countries, in addition to the highlighted topics on the forum’s official agenda.

Born in Cairo in 1942, Aboul Gheit originally hailed from the city of Port Said. After graduating with a business degree from Ain Shams University in Cairo, Aboul Gheit joined the diplomatic corps in 1965, and rose through the ranks of the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 

Aboul Gheit occupied diplomatic positions in Rome, Nicosia, Moscow, and New York. In 1978, he participated in negotiations for the Camp David Accords, which would lead to the signing of the Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty.

Aboul Gheit was a political consultant at the Egyptian Embassy in the Soviet Union in 1984, as well as serving as the ambassador of Egypt to Italy, Macedonia and San Marino. 

In 1999, he was the head of Egypt’s permanent delegation to the UN, and in the same year was appointed permanent representative of Egypt to the UN, serving through 2004.

In December 2005, he played a vital role in mediating the Chad-Sudan conflict. In December 2010, Aboul Gheit opened the first Egyptian Consulate outside Baghdad and also held talks with former Iraqi President Jalal Talabani. 


Major projects, investments worth over $685bn unveiled on Saudi National Day

A photo taken on July 5, 2018, shows Bader al-Ajmi, 38,(L) owner of "One Way Burger" serving customers from his truck at a main street in the capital Riyadh. (AFP)
Updated 22 September 2018
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Major projects, investments worth over $685bn unveiled on Saudi National Day

  • The private sector’s contribution to the GDP at constant prices doubled to around SR1236.6 million in 2017

JEDDAH: A major economic boost in the form of 10 major projects and investments exceeding SR685 billion ($183 billion) were unveiled as celebrations of the 88th Saudi National Day got under way.
The Council of Saudi Chambers released a report focusing on great economic achievements in 2017.
These projects reflect the Kingdom’s vision under the wise leadership of King Salman and that of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to provide a brighter future through diversifying sources of national income, tackling environmental challenges and increasing investment and prosperity.
The report summarized the most important events and economic developments in the Kingdom over the past year. These include the lifting of the ban on women driving in June, and the establishment of the General Authority for Cyber Security, in addition to the numerous royal decrees providing financial support to Saudis.
It also noted the important decisions related to the Saudi business sector. These include the launch of a private sector incentive program with a value of SR72 billion, the privatization of 10 government sectors and the establishment of the General Authority for Real Estate. The private sector is still showing a strong performance as an efficient partner in the inclusive development process and in the achievement of the Kingdom’s 2030 Vision, the report noted, as it contributes 39 percent to the Saudi gross domestic product (GDP).
The private sector’s contribution to the GDP at constant prices doubled to around SR1236.6 million in 2017. There has been increased contribution to GDP from non-oil private sector streams.
The private sector also witnessed an increase in the number of workers, in its capital, in the number of shares on the Saudi market, in the cumulative number of establishments operating in the Kingdom, and in non-oil exports.
Continued growth of the private sector was attributed by the report to the Saudi government’s support. This support comes through initiatives such as the removal of obstacles to financial development, improvements to the working environment and policies adopted to boost investment.
It also reviewed the private sector’s efforts to support diversification of the economy and lower unemployment rates.
The importance of the measures taken to prioritize the employment of qualified Saudi workers over the employment of expatriates in the private sector were stressed, as well as the sector’s role in providing education and health services.