Saudi Arabia’s nuclear program ‘fundamental to Kingdom’s energy sector’

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Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih speaking at the IAEA’s annual conference in Vienna. (SPA)
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Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih speaking at the IAEA’s annual conference in Vienna. (SPA)
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Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih speaking at the IAEA’s annual conference in Vienna. (SPA)
Updated 18 September 2018
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Saudi Arabia’s nuclear program ‘fundamental to Kingdom’s energy sector’

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s atomic energy program is fundamental for developing a sustainable energy sector, a senior minister told the International Atomic Energy Agency on Monday.
The Kingdom plans to start building its first two nuclear power reactors this year and as many as 16 over the next 25 years at a cost of more than $80 billion. The plan is to provide 15 percent of Saudi Arabia’s power from nuclear by 2032.
Speaking at the IAEA’s annual conference in Vienna, Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih said the atomic reactor projects were were part of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 to diversify its energy sources to nuclear and renewables.
The program “abides by all international treaties and conventions and best practices, adhering to the highest standards of safety, security and transparency,” Al Falih said.
The minister said Saudi Arabia was committed to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, which calls for nuclear disarmament and stresses the commitment of nuclear power states to share their peaceful technologies with abiding member states.
He also said the Kingdom had called for cooperation with the international community to make the Middle East a nuclear weapons free area.
The US has started to reintroduce heavy sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program, after Donald Trump pulled out of a deal with the country earlier this year to curb its atomic ambitions.
Al-Falih called on the international community to take a more stringent stance against all threats to regional and international security, particularly Iran, given its “alarming efforts to build its nuclear capabilities, in tandem with its increasing acts of sabotage and aggression against other states in the region.”


KSRelief deputy: KSA has donated $1bn for refugee relief

KSRelief and OECD-DAC officials’ meeting aims to tackle the challenges posed to refugee relief around the globe. (SPA)
Updated 23 min 20 sec ago
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KSRelief deputy: KSA has donated $1bn for refugee relief

Dr. Aqeel Al-Ghamdi, assistant supervisor general of King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief), said that Saudi Arabia has donated a sum of $1 billion in the past decade to help refugees around the world. 

Al-Ghamdi’s statement was made during a meeting in Paris with high-level officials of the Development Assistance Committee of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD-DAC). 

“KSA has invested the sum in financing over 156 humanitarian and relief projects around the world. $239.7 million was donated to the UN Refugee agency UNHCR, in addition to relief projects dedicated to 561,000 Yemeni refugees to Saudi Arabia, 262,000 Syrian refugees and 249,000 Rohingya Burmese Muslim refugees,” Al-Ghamdi said. 

He pointed out that the Kingdom provides various free health and education services to foreign residents, in addition to free access to the labor market and free mobility everywhere in Saudi Arabia. 

Al-Ghamdi, who headed the Saudi delegation to Paris, held meetings on developing cooperation to tackle the challenges posed to refugee relief around the globe.