Al-Sabhan is appointed minister of state for the Gulf region

Ambassador Thamer Al-Sabhan
Updated 17 October 2016

Al-Sabhan is appointed minister of state for the Gulf region

JEDDAH: Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman has appointed Thamer Al-Sabhan minister of state for the Gulf region. 
Al-Sabhan left his position as the Saudi ambassador to Iraq after exerting efforts to support the Iraqi people and delivering Saudi humanitarian aid to some Iraqi villages. 
Al-Sabhan’s new assignment was announced in a royal decree issued by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman, and carried by the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) on Sunday.
The royal decree read: “In accordance with the system of ministers, deputy ministers and government employees in excellent grades issued by a royal decree No. M/10 dated 18/3/1391, and in accordance with the royal decree No. A/14 dated 3/3/1414, we order the appointment of Thamer bin Sabhan bin Al-Sabhan as minister of state for the Gulf region in the excellent grade at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Second: the competent body will be notified to adopt the decision and for its enforcement.” 
The diplomat had earlier claimed that Iranian-backed Shiite militias were plotting to assassinate him through members of “Mourtadha Abboud Ellami” group at the behest of “Abu Mahdi Al-Mouhandis” and the leaders of “Asa’ib Ahl Al-Haq,” and especially the groups led by Akram Al-Kaabi.
After the failed assassination plots against the Saudi ambassador, Aws Al-Khafaji, a leader of one of the Shiite factions, the Abu Al-Fadl Al-Abbas militia, said in TV remarks that Al-Sabhan’s hostility toward Iraq is clear and that the militia does not want him to stay in Iraq.
In his Twitter account, Al-Sabhan hoped that Abdul Aziz Al-Shimari would succeed in his new position as Saudi charge d'affaires in Baghdad.
Sadaqa Fadil, a senior member of the Shoura Council, said the former Saudi ambassador to Iraq has succeeded in enhancing the Saudi policy in Iraq. Al-Sabhan had an effective role that troubled the Iranian influences in this Arab country.
Speaking to Arab News, Sadaqa Fadil confirmed that the Kingdom will not change its policy in Iraq. Saudi Arabia will continue to support the Iraqi people, while the decision of removing ambassadors doesn’t always mean changing foreign policy toward the country.


Fraud alert over cryptocurrency falsely linked to Saudi Arabia

Updated 21 August 2019

Fraud alert over cryptocurrency falsely linked to Saudi Arabia

  • The website of a cryptocurrency company is promoting what it calls the CryptoRiyal and SmartRiyal
  • The Singapore-based company uses the Saudi emblem of two crossed swords and a palm tree

JEDDAH: Fraudsters are trying to lure victims into investing in a “virtual currency” with false claims that it is linked to the Saudi riyal and will be used to finance key projects, the Saudi Ministry of Finance warned on Tuesday.

The website of a cryptocurrency company in Singapore is promoting what it calls the CryptoRiyal and SmartRiyal, using the Saudi emblem of two crossed swords and a palm tree. Its “ultimate goal” is to finance NEOM, the smart city and tourist destination being built in the north of the Kingdom, the company claims.

“Any use of the KSA name, national currency or national emblem by any entity for virtual or digital currencies marketing will be subject to legal action by the competent authorities in the Kingdom,” the ministry said on Tuesday.

The fraudsters were exploiting ignorance of how virtual currencies work, cryptocurrency expert Dr. Assad Rizq told Arab News.

“A lot of tricks can be played,” he said. “Some of these companies are not regulated, they have no assets, and even their prospectus is sometimes copied from other projects.

“They hype and pump their project so the price goes up. Inexpert investors, afraid of missing out, jump in, which spikes the price even higher. Then the owners sell up and make tons of money.

“Cryptocurrencies are a risky investment for two reasons. First, the sector is not yet fully regulated and a lot of projects use fake names and identities, such as countries’ names or flags, to manipulate investors.

“Second, you have to do your homework, learn about the technology. And if you still want to invest, consider your country’s rules and regulations.”