Sino-Arab efforts to combat extremism are key: Saudi foreign minister

Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs Adel Al-Jubeir holds talks with Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit in Beijing. (SPA)
Updated 11 July 2018
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Sino-Arab efforts to combat extremism are key: Saudi foreign minister

  • Al-Jubeir told the meeting in the Chinese capital that the Palestinian cause was a key Arab and Muslim issue that “we have not stopped and will not stop supporting.”

Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs Adel Al-Jubeir chaired the second session of the eighth ministerial meeting of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum in Beijing.

Al-Jubeir told the meeting in the Chinese capital that the Palestinian cause was a key Arab and Muslim issue that “we have not stopped and will not stop supporting.”

He referred to the “Jerusalem summit” in Dhahran this year and the adoption of resolutions on the regional crises experienced by Arab countries in Yemen, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Comoros.

Al-Jubeir said: “The Arab countries look forward to China’s role in supporting political solutions to these crises through the Security Council and taking into account the decisions of the Arab summit.”

“The Arab countries reaffirm their support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of China and its adherence to the one-China principle,” he said.

The minister stressed the importance of Sino-Arab efforts to combat extremism, terrorism and the phenomenon of hatred that had escalated around the world.

Al-Jubeir later met with Bahraini Foreign Minister Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed Al-Khalifa, Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Al-Safadi  and Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit on the sidelines of the eighth ministerial meeting of the forum.

They discussed a number of issues of mutual interest, in addition to the topics on the agenda of the forum.

Later, during a lecture titled “The Arab World and China within the framework of a fast-changing international system” — at the Chinese Institute of International Relations — Aboul Gheit said that the Palestinian cause, terrorism and the growing interference of some regional parties in the internal affairs of Arab countries were the most important challenges facing the region.

Al-Jubeir, with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Aboul Gheit, had earlier inaugurated the Arabic-Chinese Digital Library in the presence of Arab foreign ministers to deepen cooperation between Arab League and Chinese libraries.

Faisal bin Abdul Rahman bin Muammar, general supervisor of the King Abdul Aziz Public Library, expressed his gratitude to King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for their support.


Misk forum connects global youth

High-tech passes allow participants to connect and swap contact details at the touch of a button.
Updated 52 min 19 sec ago
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Misk forum connects global youth

  • It was the old-fashioned, face-to-face connections that many delegates said they valued the most
  • More than 3,500 delegates received insights from more than 50 speakers from around the world

Young leaders, entrepreneurs, students and inventors mingled in innovative ways at the Misk Global Forum, with name tags that sent delegates’ connections to an app at the press of a flashing button. 

But at the end of the day it was the old-fashioned, face-to-face connections that many delegates said they valued the most.

“I’m seeing people from all over the world gathered here in Riyadh, which has become the center of opportunities,” said Jomana Khoj, a 26-year-old animator from Makkah, before the forum wrapped up on Thursday. 

“Thanks, Misk, for helping us, the youth, gather here and connect with other youth from around the world.”

The forum included “Skills Garages,” workshop spaces with whiteboard tables that could be written on during group brainstorms, with sessions on “The Art of Persuasion” and “Landing Your Dream Tech Job.”

Top left: Paintings displayed in a 360-degree fashion. Bottom left: Participants had a chance to learn about every aspect of the Misk Foundation’s work. Right: Young people exploring their skills, potential and passions during workshops.

The workshop spaces served as a hub for visitors from North America, Africa, Asia and Europe, with many attendees commending the amount of innovation the forum provided. 

“I feel this year’s content is well chosen,” said Faisal Al-Sudairy, a 24-year-old participant. “We really need to prepare ourselves for the future, especially in this fast-changing era, and to know more about what skills we should acquire.”

The workshops catered to developing youths’ skills for the future economy. More than 3,500 delegates received insights from more than 50 speakers from around the world. 

It was the third annual forum organized by the Misk Foundation, a philanthropic organization founded in 2011 by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.  

In the main hall, called the “Skills Factory,” Thursday’s opening session included a speech by Dr. Ahmad Belhoul Al-Falasi, the UAE’s minister of state for higher education and advanced skills.

“Misk Majlis,” another designated area, provided a relaxed and informal setting that focused on helping delegates build their personal brands. Traditional floor cushions and couches represented traditional Arab social gatherings. 

In the majlis, Misk Innovation held a talk to publicize its new brand and partnership with the Silicon Valley venture capital firm 500 Startups. 

The accelerator program for tech startups in the Middle East and North Africa will last 16 weeks starting from Jan. 27, 2019. Applications close on Dec. 15.

The Misk Art area introduced visitors to works by many renowned Saudi artists, such as Taha Sabban and Safia bin Zager. 

The vibrant hall displayed a large image of a sophisticated woman from Hijaz wearing the traditional Hijazi headdress and sitting on a beautiful ornamental wooden chair well known in the Saudi region. The image provided a transcendence between the past and present.

The Misk Art Institute had a unique section at the forum that was divided into two rooms. One was to showcase paintings and drawings of four pioneering Saudi artists. 

The other room had huge LED screens that gave people a 360-degree experience. The screens displayed paintings in an interactive way and synchronized with tailored music.

The halls were lined with inspirational quotes and the faces of well-known figures. It should come as no surprise that the most popular one was of Misk’s founder, with delegates taking selfies alongside the crown prince’s
smiling face.