Princess Reema bint Bandar meets President Trump, presents credentials as Saudi envoy to US

US President Donald Trump and Ambassador Princess Reema bint Bandar at the White House on Monday. (Saudi Embassy photo via Twitter)
Updated 09 July 2019
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Princess Reema bint Bandar meets President Trump, presents credentials as Saudi envoy to US

  • Princess Reema is Saudi Arabia's first female ambassador and 11th Saudi diplomatic representative to Washington

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the United States, Princess Reema bint Bandar, has met with President Donald Trump and presented her credentials as the Kingdom's top diplomat in Washington.

"HRH Ambassador @rbalsaud met with @POTUS Donald J. Trump at the White House today to present her credentials as the new Ambassador of the Kingdom of #SaudiArabia to the United States," the Saudi Embassy in Washington said early Tuesday. 

 

"HRH stated that the Saudi-U.S. partnership is essential to the interests of both countries and expressed confidence that the two countries are capable of overcoming any challenges at the regional or global levels," the embassy said.

The new ambassador also announced her meeting with the US president in a tweet.

“Presented credentials today at the White House. Conveyed the well wishes of Kingdom’s Leadership. Looking forward to working on strengthening and solidifying the historic Saudi - US partnership,” she said.

Princess Reema assumed her new office on July 4, more than two months after she was appointed to the key post, replacing Prince Khaled bin Salman, who is now the Kingdom’s deputy defense minister.

She was nominated to the post on February 23 and took her oath before King Salman in Riyadh in April, becoming Saudi Arabia's first female ambassador and the 11th Saudi diplomatic representative to Washington.

Princess Reema is no stranger to the workings of diplomats, having spent several years in the US during her youth when her father, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, was Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the country.

Before her diplomatic appointment, Princess Reema held various key positions in government as well as civic groups and private firms.

She held CEO positions for Al Hama LLC and Alfa International from 2005 and has launched her own handbag brand, Baraboux, in 2013. She also founded the private equity fund Reemiyah and co-founded Yibreen, a women’s day spa.

She is one of the founding members of the Zahra Breast Cancer Association in Riyadh and is also a member of The World Bank’s Advisory Council for the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative.

She was also vice president of women’s affairs at the General Sports Authority since 2016 before her appointment as ambassador. 


Christchurch Muslims praise King Salman’s Hajj offer

Updated 19 July 2019
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Christchurch Muslims praise King Salman’s Hajj offer

  • The president of the Muslim Association of Canterbury Shagaf Khan said people will be both financially and spiritually supported during the journey
  • Khan said a trip to Makkah would normally cost around 10,000 New Zealand dollars ($6,769), but King Salman’s offer would cover pilgrims “from the time they leave their house and come back”

CHRISTCHURCH: King Salman’s Hajj offer to host families of those affected by March’s Christchurch terror attacks is “something really special,” said the president of the Muslim Association of Canterbury, Shagaf Khan.
The Saudi king has offered to host and cover the expenses of 200 Hajj pilgrims when they journey to Makkah this year.
Khan said people will be both financially and spiritually supported during the journey. “For some of them, it’ll be a great comfort feeling like they’ve fulfilled the obligations of being a Muslim,” he added.
Khan said a trip to Makkah would normally cost around 10,000 New Zealand dollars ($6,769), but King Salman’s offer would cover pilgrims “from the time they leave their house and come back.”
When asked what the offer would mean for Canterbury’s Muslim community, Khan said it is part of the solidarity and support that has been shown to them since the Christchurch terror attacks, which claimed the lives of 51 people.
“Four months on … people still feel supported and they feel they’re still being remembered,” he added.
Sheikh Mohammed Amir, who is working closely with the local community, Saudi Arabia’s Embassy and its Ministry of Islamic Affairs to implement King Salman’s offer, said it will be available for those who had lost family members or been injured in the mosque attacks.
Canterbury’s Muslims are “very appreciative” of the offer, added Amir, who is chairman of the Islamic Scholars Board of New Zealand.
“I’ll say with full confidence that this will be a big relief for the deceased’s families, for the victims, for all those who’ve been injured and affected,” he said.
When asked how the organization of the pilgrimage is going, Amir said “so far, so good,” but added that it has been challenging without official records to track everyone down.
He said it is an honor and a responsibility to help organize the pilgrimage, which he has been helping to plan since the end of Ramadan. “People are very excited about it,” he added.
He said he believed that the king’s offer had been made to help people’s rehabilitation after the terror attacks.
“The community believes he’s going to contribute in building Christchurch and bringing people to a normal life,” Amir added.