KSA condemns France carnage

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ROAD HORROR: Forensic experts collect evidence from the truck after its driver Franco-Tunisian Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel, inset, plowed through Bastille Day revelers in the French resort city of Nice on Thursday.
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Updated 16 July 2016

KSA condemns France carnage

JEDDAH: Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman on Friday offered condolences to French President François Hollande over a terrorist strike in the southern city of Nice that killed 84 people and injured scores during the Bastille Day celebrations. 
Expressing solidarity with Paris, the king reiterated the Saudi stance on the rejection of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and the importance of international efforts to confront and eliminate it. 
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Naif and Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman also sent similar cables of condolences in which they also wished the injured speedy recovery. 
Condemning the heinous crime, the Council of Senior Scholars stressed that Islam upholds the sanctity of human blood and criminalizes terrorism that kills and terrifies innocent people in their homes, markets and facilities teeming with men, women and children. “All humanity rejects and condemns it.”
Abdullah bin Abdul Mohsen Al-Turki, Muslim World League secretary general, said that the organization emphasizes its firm position that such terrorist acts that target innocent people, seek to destabilize security and terrorize secure societies are not related to Islam, and contradict human values and principles.
The Gulf Cooperation Council said its member countries “stand in solidarity with the French republic following this cowardly criminal incident whose perpetrators have been stripped of all moral and human values.”
Egypt's top scholar Shawki Allam condemned the assailant as an “extremist” who follows in the footsteps of the devil. “Islam never called for the spilling of blood,” Allam said in a statement. “People who commit such ugly crimes are corrupt of the earth, and follow in the footsteps of Satan... and are cursed in this life and in the hereafter.”
French authorities Friday identified a Tunisian man as the driver of the truck that smashed into the  crowd. France's anti-terrorism prosecutor Francois Molins said the 31-year-old Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel was “completely unknown” to the intelligence services but that the attack was “exactly in line with” calls from radical groups to kill.
As France was left reeling from its third major attack within 18 months, President Francois Hollande warned that the toll could rise further, with more than 50 people fighting for their lives.
The assault left a scene of carnage on Nice's famous Promenade des Anglais, with mangled bodies strewn over the palm tree-lined walkway.
One witness said a motorcyclist tried to stop the rampage by drawing level with the truck and attempting to open the door of its cab before he fell and ended up under its wheels.
Dramatic video footage showed police surrounding the heavily damaged truck and firing through the windscreen to kill the attacker.

Huge expectations from Saudi crown prince’s Korea visit

Updated 26 June 2019

Huge expectations from Saudi crown prince’s Korea visit

  • The export of South Korea’s APR-1400 nuclear reactor technology to Saudi Arabia is high on the agenda

SEOUL: Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is due to meet South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Wednesday to discuss wider economic ties between the two countries, according to the presidential office.
The crown prince’s visit to South Korea is the first by an heir to the throne of the world’s largest oil exporter since then-Crown Prince Abdullah’s tour in 1998. The crown prince will also attend the G20 Summit next week in Osaka, Japan.
The two-day visit is expected to deliver key agreements with South Korea in a variety of industrial fields, including cooperation on nuclear reactor and defense technologies.
“Saudi Arabia, a key ally of South Korea, is the biggest oil supplier to our government and the largest economic partner among the Middle Eastern countries,” presidential spokeswoman Koh Min-jung told reporters.
“Both leaders are expected to discuss detailed measures to expand bilateral cooperation beyond the traditional areas of construction and energy to the sectors of information and technology, nuclear energy, green cars, health, public service and exchange of human resources.”
The crown prince and his economic advisers are scheduled to have luncheon with South Korean business leaders after his summit with President Moon, she said.
Business leaders attending the luncheon will include Lee Jae-yong, vice chairman of Samsung Electronics; Chung Eui-sun, vice chairman of Hyundai Motor Group; Chey Tae-won, chairman of SK Group, and Koo Kwang-mo, chairman of LG Group.
A Samsung spokesman, who declined to be named, told Arab News that his company has a package of business proposals to present to Saudi Arabia.
“We’re not sure at the moment what business elements the Kingdom wants, but we have a variety of business packages that can meet the Saudi Vision 2030 requirements, ranging from engineering, procurement and construction to information and communications technology, and artificial intelligence,” the spokesman said.
Hyundai Motor Group was cautious about revealing potential business projects with Riyadh.
“We’ll see what’s happening. We have high expectations about potential business cooperation with Saudi Arabia,” a Hyundai Motor spokesman said, while asking not to be named.
The export of South Korea’s APR-1400 nuclear reactor technology to Saudi Arabia is high on the agenda.
Team Korea, led by the Korea Electric Power Corp., was shortlisted last year for a nuclear power plant construction project in Saudi Arabia, along with the US, China, France and Russia. The project by the King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy is aimed at building two nuclear power plants by 2030.


• Different South Korean companies are reportedly keen to invest in Saudi Arabia and become part of Vision 2030’s success.

• The Saudi leader is also expected to attend a ceremony celebrating the completion of Saudi-owned S-Oil’s residue upgrading facility.

• Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman will also attend the G20 Summit next week in Osaka, Japan.

With Riyadh reportedly leaning toward the US bidder, Team Korea is considering forming a strategic consortium with the US side, according to government sources.
“The possibility of the Korea-US consortium for the Saudi project is a feasible option,” said Huh Min-ho, a researcher of Shinhan Invest Corp., referring to the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s approval of the technical design of South Korea’s APR-1400 reactors.
“For South Korea, joining hands with the US is a feasible option to win the Saudi nuclear reactor contract, though the total order amount would be reduced,” the analyst said. “Once the Saudi project is won, more orders are expected to come from other countries such as the UK, the Czech Republic and Poland.”
South Korea already has a nuclear power footprint in in the Middle East after its construction of the Barakah nuclear power plant in the UAE. The country recently won a five-year maintenance deal for the nuclear plant with Nawah Energy Co., the operator of the plant.
The Saudi crown prince is also interested in South Korea’s weapons development technology, according to defense sources, and is scheduled to visit the Agency for Defense Development, South Korea’s only weapons developing agency, during his stay.
“We heard the crown prince is interested in the transfer of weapons technology when his country imports foreign weapons systems,” a Defense Ministry official told Arab News.
The Saudi leader is also expected to attend a ceremony celebrating the completion of Saudi-owned S-Oil’s residue upgrading facility. S-Oil, which is wholly owned by state-run Saudi Aramco, is third-largest oil refiner in South Korea.