To return to Saudi is an honor and a privilege, says Australian ambassador

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Ridwaan Jadwat, the newly appointed Australian ambassador to the Kingdom, expressed his pleasure at being back in Saudi Arabia, when he visited the Arab News headquarters in Riyadh. (AN Photo)
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Ridwaan Jadwat, the newly appointed Australian ambassador to the Kingdom, expressed his pleasure at being back in Saudi Arabia, when he visited the Arab News headquarters in Riyadh. (AN Photo)
Updated 12 September 2018
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To return to Saudi is an honor and a privilege, says Australian ambassador

RIYADH: Ridwaan Jadwat, the newly appointed Australian ambassador to the Kingdom, expressed his pleasure at being back in Saudi Arabia, when he visited the Arab News headquarters in Riyadh. “I came back 15 years after my first posting in 2003. Everyone’s first posting has a special place in their heart as a diplomat. I learned a lot during my first posting here and I was keen to come back. It’s a great honor and privilege for me to come back as the ambassador of Australia.”
He was greeted by Arab News Editor-in-Chief Faisal J. Abbas and given a tour of the new Arab News Riyadh office.
The ambassador, who arrived two months ago, said he could see how society is transforming itself and the evidence of that in Riyadh specifically. He noted the social and cultural changes, such as women taking on a much more significant and prominent place in the country, which he has “been struck by.”
“I really want to work with my team here to build and enhance our relationship ... to see where Australia can support Saudi with Vision 2030 and with some of the other ambitious projects.
“It’s an exciting time for us to work with Saudi Arabia on economic and trade issues.”
Noting that Saudi wants to look beyond oil, the ambassador said: “Australia has a great deal of expertise and experience in things like mining and minerals technology. Saudi Arabia has a great deal of potential in unexplored territory in terms of mining. Australia is a mining superpower.”
Touching on the subject of tourism, he said he “would love to see the number of Saudis visiting Australia as well as studying there increase dramatically.” As the Saudi tourism industry is opening up to the world, he said he would “love to see more Australians visit Saudi.” He had the chance to tour many historical sites in Saudi Arabia and commented on how significant they are.
Only two days ago he visited Al-Masmak fort and Al-Deira souk in Riyadh. “I think people would really appreciate the cultural and historical sites, and Saudi Arabia has a lot to offer,” he said.


King Salman to host 1,000 Sudanese pilgrims 

Updated 5 min 53 sec ago
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King Salman to host 1,000 Sudanese pilgrims 

  • 500 pilgrims are to be selected from the Sudanese army
  • Another 500 to be selected from families of Sudanese soldiers who died while fighting Houthi terrorists in Yemen

RIYADH: King Salman has issued an order to host 1,000 pilgrims from Sudan to perform Hajj, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Sunday.

According to the directive, the 1,000 pilgrims will perform Hajj within the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques’ Guests Program for Hajj and Umrah, implemented and supervised by the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Call and Guidance.

Islamic Affairs Minister Sheikh Abdullatif Al-Asheikh said that of this total, 500 pilgrims would be selected from the Sudanese army and those belonging to the families of Sudanese martyred while participating in the “Determination Storm and Restoring of Hope” operations within the Arab coalition forces supporting the legitimate government in Yemen.

This year, King Salman has ordered the hosting of 1,300 pilgrims from around the world as part of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques’ Guests Program for Hajj and Umrah.

Earlier, King Salman issued a directive for the hosting of 200 Hajj pilgrims from the families of victims of the terrorist attack in Christchurch, New Zealand.

The king also ordered 1,000 Palestinian pilgrims who are family members of martyrs to be hosted while they performed Hajj.  

Al-Asheikh said that the hosting of the families during the Hajj season was part of Saudi Arabia’s efforts to “confront and defeat terrorism” in all its forms.

So far, the number of pilgrims who have arrived in the Kingdom since the start of the Hajj season has reached 562,056, according to statistics issued by the Saudi General Directorate of Passports.

Most pilgrims — 547,505 — came to the Kingdom by air, while 8,548 entered by land and 6,003 arrived by sea, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

Last year more that 1.75 million pilgrims from abroad performed Hajj, according to figures from the Saudi General Directorate of Passports.