DiplomaticQuarter: Nepalese envoy impressed by scale of Buraidah Dates Festival

Nepalese Ambassador Mahendra Prasad Singh visits Buraidah Dates Festival.
Updated 29 August 2018
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DiplomaticQuarter: Nepalese envoy impressed by scale of Buraidah Dates Festival

  • It was a pleasant surprise to see so many varieties of dates, says Nepalese Ambassador to Saudi Arabia
  • The ambassador toured the market square, a local date farm, watched auctions, and met farmers and sellers

RIYADH: The Buraidah Dates Festival has a key role to play in the economic future of Saudi Arabia, according to Nepalese Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Mahendra Prasad Singh Rajput. 

“It was a pleasant surprise to see so many varieties of dates,” he said, before praising the festival and its organizers for its richness, size and the diversity of quality dates.

“I see it in line with the Saudi Vision 2030 of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman that aims to diversify the economy. This well-organized dates festival, on such a large scale, will play an effective role in diversifying income and the national economy, as it will help immensely in diversifying the Saudi market. I am sure the Buraidah Dates Festival will play a very crucial economic role in coming times.”

Rajput added that it was a memorable experience to see so many varieties of dates, the excellent market management, and the thousands of consumers and traders who were very friendly and hospitable. During his visit, the ambassador toured the market square, a local date farm, watched auctions, and met farmers and sellers.

Al-Qassim region, which hosts the festival in Buraidah every year, is a major center for the growing, buying and selling of dates and their derivatives, with farmers anticipating major sales during the event, which kicked off early in August and continues for more than a month. 

More than simply an annual marketplace, it is also a lifeline for thousands of farmers and youths who rely on the income it generates.

Saudi Arabia has the highest number of the date palm trees in the world, roughly accounting for 25 percent of the world date production. 

Al-Qassim region alone has about eight million dates palm trees, the highest of any region in the Kingdom. 

The market is operated by Al-Qassim municipality. It covers 300,000 square meters and has vast loading areas to accommodate thousands of trucks and long, refrigerated trailers.

The Ministry of Agriculture encourages palm tree-farming, allocates land and helps farmers purchase farming equipment.

The ministry also provides farmers with long-term loans through the Saudi Arabian Agricultural Bank and provides temporary visas during harvesting season.


Germany, Saudi Arabia agree to turn page after diplomatic row

We should have been clearer in our communication and engagement, said Maas. (AFP)
Updated 26 September 2018
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Germany, Saudi Arabia agree to turn page after diplomatic row

  • The Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs, Adel Al-Jubeir, extended an invitation to his German counterpart, Heiko Maas, to visit the Kingdom at the earliest opportunity
  • We aim for close cooperation between our two countries and to this end seek to intensify our dialogue on a broad range of topics: Maas

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia on Tuesday welcomed a statement by the German foreign minister pledging his intention to work toward strengthening ties and enhancing cooperation between the two countries. 

Riyadh said the relationship between Saudi Arabia and Germany was a “historic and important” one, and the countries played a leading role in bolstering international security and stability, and the global economy. 

The Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs, Adel Al-Jubeir, extended an invitation to his German counterpart, Heiko Maas, to visit the Kingdom at the earliest opportunity, “so that both countries may begin a new phase of close cooperation in all areas to the benefit of both our countries and peoples.”

Earlier, the German foreign minister said relations had “witnessed misunderstandings” in recent months “which stand in sharp contrast to our otherwise strong and strategic ties. We sincerely regret this.”

The minister said: “We should have been clearer in our communications and engagement in order to avoid such misunderstandings.

“We aim for close cooperation between our two countries and to this end seek to intensify our dialogue on a broad range of topics.

“Saudi Arabia plays an immensely important role for peace and stability in the region and the world. As there is a broad range of bilateral and international issues to discuss, we will do our best to make this partnership with the Kingdom even stronger than before.

“Considering our role in Europe and the world, improving our ties with Saudi Arabia will serve the interest of both nations and peoples.”