Industrial partnership between KSA, France scales new heights

LOOKING FORWARD: Seated from left, Chairman of the Council of Saudi Chambers Abdul Rahman Al-Zamil, Vice Minister of Finance Saleh Al-Debassy and French Ambassador Bertrand Besancenot at the forum held in Riyadh on Monday. (AN photo by Basheer Saleh)
Updated 27 July 2016

Industrial partnership between KSA, France scales new heights

RIYADH: French Ambassador Bertrand Besancenot pledged his support for peace, stability and development of “Saudi-French friendship” at a forum on “Saudi French Military Contract” held in Riyadh on Monday.

The event held at the Ritz Carlton was patronized by the Vice Minister of Finance Saleh Al-Debassy, French Ambassador Bertrand Besancenot and Chairman of the Council of Saudi Chambers Abdul Rahman Al-Zamil in the presence of representatives from more than 60 Saudi and French companies.
The Saudi Ministry of Finance and French company ODAS jointly organized the Saudi-French forum dedicated to IKIP, acronym of “In Kingdom Industrial Partnership”.
“I warmly congratulate ODAS and all the actors who dedicated themselves to this successful event and made it possible. Saudi and French representatives of your group, side by side to engage new partnership, first step for development and shared confidence. On my side, I can assure you that France will assist you all, at the threshold of this new adventure, to reach the goals you’ll set up together for peace, stability and the development of the Saudi-French friendship,” the envoy said.
Gen. Jean-Philippe Bonnet, general delegate of ODAS branch in Riyadh told Arab News that ODAS has been designated by both Saudi and French Authorities to run the contract called SFMC (as Saudi-French Military Contract) dedicated to provide the Royal Saudi Armed Forces with state-of-the-art weaponry. In that frame, more than 25 French companies are involved under the umbrella of ODAS, which plays the role of catalyst for the development of industrial cooperation within the Kingdom.
During this forum, more than 20 agreements were signed, showing the clear intention of the participants to fall within the framework of this long-lasting plan that had been disclosed recently. The French companies, under the aegis of ODAS, have presented more than 25 projects of industrial cooperation in topics as different as optics, electronics, systems integration, maintenance and training, among others.
“For sure, the SFMC running today according to the plan set up by both the Saudi and French authorities brings hope. It will allow our companies to set up new partnerships in all topics, long-lasting and fruitful, for the benefit and the diversification of the local economy and its local manpower,” Gen. Jean-Philippe Bonnet said.

Trump slams rush to condemn Saudi Arabia over Jamal Khashoggi disappearance

Updated 17 October 2018

Trump slams rush to condemn Saudi Arabia over Jamal Khashoggi disappearance

  • ‘I think we have to find out what happened first’
  • ‘Here we go again with, you know, you’re guilty until proven innocent. I don’t like that’

WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump on Tuesday criticized rapidly mounting global condemnation of Saudi Arabia over the mystery of missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi, warning of a rush to judgment and echoing the Saudis’ request for patience.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Trump compared the case of Khashoggi to the allegations of sexual assault leveled against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh during his confirmation hearing.

“I think we have to find out what happened first,” Trump said. “Here we go again with, you know, you’re guilty until proven innocent. I don’t like that. We just went through that with Justice Kavanaugh and he was innocent all the way as far as I’m concerned.”

The Oval Office interview came not long after Trump spoke Tuesday with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. He spoke by phone a day earlier with King Salman.

After speaking with the king, Trump floated the idea that “rogue killers” may have been responsible for the disappearance. The president told the AP on Tuesday that that description was informed by his “feeling” from his conversation with Salman and that the king did not use the term.

“It sounded to me, maybe these could have been rogue killers,” Trump said.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is now in Turkey and has met with President Recep Tayipp Erdogan after the senior US diplomat’s talks with King Salman and the crown prince in Riyadh on the case of Khashoggi.

Pompeo had a brief meeting with the king before a lengthy, 40-minute discussion with the crown prince.

“We are strong and old allies. We face our challenges together,” the crown prince said as he warmly welcomed Pompeo to the Saudi capital.

Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs Adel Al-Jubeir also had talks with Pompeo. “The secretary and the foreign minister agreed on the importance of a thorough, transparent, and timely investigation,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said later.

Khashoggi, a Saudi citizen who lived in the US, disappeared on Oct. 2 after visiting the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul to complete paperwork related to his divorce. Saudi Arabia and Turkey have set up a joint team to investigate the disappearance.