Saudi Arabia stresses interest in strengthening relations with African countries

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir and his Angolan counterpart Manuel Augusto in Riyadh. (Asharq Al-Awsat)
Updated 14 September 2018
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Saudi Arabia stresses interest in strengthening relations with African countries

JEDDAH: Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir has met with his Angolan counterpart Manuel Augusto in the capital Riyadh.
Al-Jubeir affirmed, during a news conference, that the Kingdom was concerned with developing and fostering ties with African countries in all fields. He added that there are mutual interests that link the Kingdom to African states.
Al-Jubeir described the visit of Augusto as historic, describing the deep links between the two countries. The Saudi FM noted that he discussed with his Angolan counterpart the latest developments in the region, the Middle East and the African continent.
For his part, Augusto stressed that Saudi ties won’t be restricted to oil, urging Saudi businessmen to invest in Angola. He added that Angola has huge investment opportunities in agriculture, fishing, and diamond production.
The Angolan FM stated that the two countries have common interests in the political and diplomatic sectors, and that they insist on fighting terrorism and cooperating with the Kingdom to reform the UN, especially the Security Council.
Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia’s Minister of African Affairs, Ahmed Qattan, revealed a strategic plan for the Kingdom to develop and consolidate relations with all African countries without exception.
“There is great interest from the Saudi leadership toward developing and consolidating relations with all African countries, and how to seriously deal with this matter,” he said in comments to Asharq Al-Awsat Newspaper.
Qattan explained that Al-Jubeir has made more than 18 shuttle visits to the African continent in recent times. “We are now on the right track, especially as we have not adapted to the African continent in the last few decades,” Qattan added.
He stressed that, “Saudi Arabia has a strong desire not only to strengthen relations with the larger countries on the continent, but with all African countries and we need some time to achieve what we aspire to in this regard.”
The Minister of State for African Affairs spoke of Saudi cooperation in all fields in Africa, saying “the issue is how to invest between us and the countries of the continent and enhance and establish investment and developmental projects.”
“Saudi aid in Africa speaks for itself. This has to be made public as many are unaware of the Kingdom’s aid contributions to Africa over the past decades, which are considerable,” he said, adding that Saudi Arabia behaves in a very honorable way when dealing with African countries.
Qattan said next year, Saudi Arabia will host the Saudi-African summit and the Arab-African summit, which confirms the strong desire of the Saudi government to consolidate its relations with Africa.


Saudi Arabia’s KSRelief chief meets UN humanitarian coordinator for Yemen

Updated 20 min 44 sec ago
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Saudi Arabia’s KSRelief chief meets UN humanitarian coordinator for Yemen

JEDDAH: Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah, general supervisor of the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief), met on Saturday with Lise Grande, the UN’s humanitarian coordinator for Yemen, at the center’s headquarters in Riyadh.
They discussed means of cooperating and providing support to the mechanism of humanitarian and relief work in Yemen.
They also reviewed operations taking place on the ground, as well as subjects of common interest.
Al-Rabeeah showcased the humanitarian assistance provided by KSRelief in Yemen, and the 321 projects it has implemented there so far.
Topics discussed included the $500 million grant from Saudi Arabia and the UAE to the UN “to alleviate the suffering of the brotherly Yemeni people in 2018,” he said.
“We also examined the mechanism ensuring that humanitarian assistance reaches all Yemenis without exception,” he added.
“The meeting looked into ways to avoid Houthi violations when it comes to humanitarian aid, especially those related to the looting of aid provided by the World Food Programme (WFP),” Al-Rabeeah said, adding that they discussed “our strategic partnership” in 2019 and alleviating the famine in Yemen.
Grande said the meeting was of great importance, adding: “It discussed the famine in Yemen, possible solutions, and how to provide rapid assistance to the Yemeni people.”
She said: “The Kingdom’s contribution through KSRelief is crucial. The center provided us with tips on how to put an end to the famine in Yemen.”
She added: “We have to help Yemeni families so they can have a proper source of income. We seek to develop the work environment to facilitate the task for humanitarian workers.”
Grande stressed the importance of addressing all violations, and expressed her happiness at Yemeni officials agreeing to allow the WFP to use a fingerprint system to identify beneficiaries.