Riyadh-Islamabad to switch on the channel for better ties

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Dr. Awwad bin Saleh Al-Awwad, Information Minister of Saudi Arabia talking to media on Friday night during a dinner hosted by Saudi ambassador in Pakistan Nawaf Al-Malki, Islamabad. (Photo courtesy: Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Islamabad)
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Saudi ambassador to Pakistan hosted a dinner on Friday at the Saudi Embassy here in Islamabad, in the honor of visiting Information Minister of Saudi Arabia Dr. Awwad bin Saleh Al-Awwad. Information Minister of Pakistan Fawad Chaudhry, second left, also attended the dinner. (Photo courtesy: Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Islamabad)
Updated 08 September 2018
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Riyadh-Islamabad to switch on the channel for better ties

  • Saudi Information Minister seeks more cooperation in media, culture sectors
  • Dramas and movies can help people from both countries understand each other better, he says

ISLAMABAD: With an eye on improving bilateral ties with Pakistan’s newly-formed government, Saudi Arabia on Saturday said that it was looking to explore areas of mutual cooperation, especially in the media and culture sectors.
Awwad bin Saleh Al-Awwad, the kingdom’s information minister, also commended Pakistan for its “very energetic government”. “We discussed the changes in the media outlets and the new devices, [and the advancements in] Internet [connectivity], moving away from the traditional media to the new media,” Al-Awwad told Arab News on the sidelines of a dinner hosted by Nawaf Al-Malki, the kingdom’s ambassador to Pakistan.
Pakistan’s Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry and other officials also attended the meeting. Al-Awwad said that, as part of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s 2030 vision, Pakistan would have a huge role to play in the transformation and progress of Saudi Arabia.
He emphasized the role of digital media in helping people from both countries participate in a cultural exchange, in a more robust manner. “Through the media, we want the people of Pakistan and Saudi Arabia to know each other’s culture, especially through dramas and movies,” he said.
Adding that “there is room for improvement”, Al-Awwad said he was looking forward to Chaudhry’s support to streamline the process. “There is a need for both Islamabad and Riyadh to work in tandem to further deepen ties. We need to work together to explore new areas of cooperation,” he said.
Al-Awwad said a visit by Prime Minister Khan would seal the deal. “We are looking forward to the visit. In this regard, the time and announcement will be left to the diplomatic channel,” he said.


Peace, security and economy top agenda of Saudi Shoura session

The current Shoura Council is composed of 150 members including 30 women members. (SPA)
Updated 50 min 43 sec ago
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Peace, security and economy top agenda of Saudi Shoura session

  • Al-Khunaizi said that King Salman’s speech will have “added political and economic significance, and it will lay out the agenda for the rest of the Shoura’s term”

RIYADH: King Salman on Monday will deliver his inaugural address at the Shoura Council, where he will talk about a range of local and regional issues and urge lawmakers to support the government in taking the country forward.
The king’s speech, which will serve as a guideline for Shoura members, will begin the deliberations of the new parliamentary year of the 150-member council.
“The king’s visit to the Shoura is of utmost importance, and his speech will define domestic, regional and foreign policies,” said Hoda Al-Helaissi, a member of the Shoura Council here on Wednesday.
“With the visit of King Salman to the Shoura Council to mark the beginning of the third year of the seventh term, we take a moment to reflect on the past year,” Al-Helaissi said.
She said that “the past year has been a year of challenges and opportunities both within the Kingdom and abroad.”
“Remarkably, as is in our nature, and as exemplified by our leadership, we have remained steadfast in our values and beliefs, committed as a country to the well-being of our citizens, not least as explained in what has now become known as Saudi Arabia’s road-map for the future, Vision 2030,” Al-Helaissi said.
“As the home of the Two Holy Mosques and as an important strategic player in the region, Saudi Arabia has an important role in global politics and we look forward to hearing the king’s speech this coming Monday,” Al-Helaissi said.
Guidelines for addressing local and regional challenges with a special reference to domestic and foreign policies will be spelled out by King Salman, she said.
“Elaborate preparations have been made to receive the king on this occasion,” said Mohammed Al-Khunaizi, another member of the Shoura Council. Al-Khunaizi said that King Salman’s speech will have “added political and economic significance, and it will lay out the agenda for the rest of the Shoura’s term.”
“The occasion marks the beginning of the new year for the council,” said Al-Khunaizi, while forecasting a number of proposals, decisions, draft legislation, treaties and foreign policy matters to be discussed and debated in 2019.
He said that the king’s speech may touch on subjects such as society, security, peace, stability, extremism, economy, financial reforms, regional challenges and foreign policy matters.
Al-Khunaizi noted that the role of women members of the Shoura Council had lent new dimension to the debate and deliberations of the council. He said that the current Shoura Council is composed of 150 members including 30 women members.