DiplomaticQuarter: Sri Lankan envoy meets governor during visit to KSA’s Eastern Province

Ambassador Azmi Thassim meets Prince Saud bin Naif.
Updated 12 September 2018
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DiplomaticQuarter: Sri Lankan envoy meets governor during visit to KSA’s Eastern Province

RIYADH: Azmi Thassim, the Sri Lankan ambassador in Riyadh, visited Eastern Province Gov. Prince Saud bin Naif on Tuesday to discuss the work of the Sri Lankan Embassy in the region.

“Paid a visit to the region and met with the governor of the Eastern Province and several senior officials,” the ambassador said.

He also updated the governor on the current situation in Sri Lanka, he said.

The ambassador also visited the office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the Eastern Province, where he met officials and highlighted the importance of a monthly mobile consular service to the Sri Lankans working and living in the region.

In addition, he met the deputy mayor and education officials from the region and senior officials from the Dammam Chamber of Commerce and Industry. He also spent time with the director general of prison affairs in the province and visited prisons in Dammam to meet male and female inmates.

The envoy also visited a number of private-sector companies in Dammam to discuss trends in the Saudi economy and how they could be utilized to benefit of Sri Lanka. He also visited the monthly mobile consular service the embassy provides in the Dammam area, and traveled to Al-Ahsa and Jubail Industrial City where he met Sri Lankan workers.

The ambassador also held a meeting with officials from the Eastern Province Sri Lanka Culture Club to discuss ways of enhancing embassy services in the province.

Madhuka Wickramarachchi, the minister counselor, and A L M Jabeer, protocol officer at the Sri Lankan Embassy, accompanied the ambassador during the visit.


We have a story to share with the Saudi people, says new US official in Riyadh

Cultural and educational exchange programs between Saudi Arabia and the United States help build stronger ties. (AN photo)
Updated 19 September 2018
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We have a story to share with the Saudi people, says new US official in Riyadh

  • We have a story to tell and a story to share in Saudi Arabia with the Saudi people. We are pleased that so many Saudis want to study in the United States: US Public Affairs Counselor in KSA

RIYADH: Cultural and educational exchange programs between Saudi Arabia and the United States “help build stronger ties between the two countries and bring them closer together,” according to Brian Shott, the new US Public Affairs Counselor in Saudi Arabia.

Speaking at a reception to welcome him at the US embassy in Riyadh on September 18, he said: “One of the main things we do is we try to share aspects of the United States and of American culture, but we also learn from Saudis and Saudi culture.” 

In her opening speech, the embassy’s Deputy Chief of Mission Martina Strong also highlighted the enduring relationship between the two countries, saying: “Tonight is a celebration, a celebration of a friendship that has extended over many, many decades.”

Shott, who previously served in Morocco, Cairo and Baghdad, will be in Saudi Arabia for the next two years, during which he will promote educational and cultural exchanges.

“There are some real opportunities here and we have been fortunate enough to be able take advantage of partnerships with Saudi organizations and Saudi agencies, whether it is the General Authority for Culture or the Ministry of Education,” he said.

“We have a story to tell and a story to share in Saudi Arabia with the Saudi people. We are pleased that so many Saudis want to study in the United States.”

Meanwhile, the reception also served as a farewell to Robin Yeager, the cultural attache in Riyadh. She said that it had been a “very dynamic time to be in Saudi Arabia. It has been a pleasure and an honor to be here at a time when I get to know first-hand the future that Saudis are trying to build.”

The night that women were were given the right to drive, she said she went out and saw the “thrill on their faces.” To assist with empowerment and other progressive policies, embassy staff work on social issues and provide leadership training for women’s groups, she said.

“It is beautiful because they take something that an American expert talks to them about and they turn it into the Saudi way to approach it,” she added. “It’s not that we are changing things; it’s that we are giving them tools, so they can build what they want to build.”