Peru minister condemns excesses of Syrian regime

Updated 08 July 2012
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Peru minister condemns excesses of Syrian regime

Q. You are here for the first high-ranking visit after Peru’s Embassy began operations here. What other issues will come up for discussion during your visit?
A. Yes, this is my first visit to Saudi Arabia. I want to thank the government of Saudi Arabia for the help we have received in opening our embassy. Actually, Peru established relations with the Kingdom in 1986, but now we have decided to open a diplomatic mission with an accredited ambassador.
The second purpose of my visit is to invite the government to participate in the next ASPA summit (South American-Arab countries). It is a summit for the Arab and South American heads of state that will take place on Oct. 1-2, 2012 this year in Lima.
And the third is to invite the business community, especially Saudi businessmen, to participate in a business forum that will be held on the sidelines of the summit. And of course, the fourth and very important goal, is to develop a new relationship with Saudi Arabia. We think the time is ripe for the two regions to come together and explore the options of promoting trade and investment.

Q. How do you see the growth of Saudi-Peruvian relations that has led to this stage?
A. Yes, because I brought a letter from my president to Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah affirming our gratitude for the help we are receiving in the process of the opening and stating that we are very happy to reciprocate our friendship with the Kingdom. We hope that Saudi Arabia will open soon an embassy in Lima.

Q. How do you see the role being played by Saudi Arabia in terms of its political and economic position in the region?
A. Let me say that we are visiting different Arab countries and we have decided to start with Saudi Arabia, because we give importance to the role and leadership that the Kingdom has played in the region. Besides, Peru shares with Saudi Arabia the values of peace, dialogue and cooperation. In that sense, we feel very strongly that Saudi Arabia is very important point of reference in the world today not only for the Middle East but also other international issues.

Q. You just referred to your meetings with Saudi officials and business community here at the Chamber of Commerce. What was the feedback from the talks?
A. We had very positive meetings; the first was with the secretary-general of the Council of Saudi Chambers. There we discussed the possibilities of cooperation among the business community from both countries. The second meeting was with deputy minister for bilateral relations and there also we identified these common goals and purposes of our two countries in our mutual interest to move forward not only on the political and diplomatic levels but also interact on broader bases. It was a fruitful interaction against the backdrop of the economic slowdown in Europe and the US. South America can be a viable option for Saudi Arabia in terms of investment and trade.

Q. How do you feel about the impact of the recession in South America?
A. In South America for the first time in many years, we can be part of the solution not the problem, because of the good management of our economy. South America in general ranks high in terms of growth. That means that we are handling our economy and that is why South America has become an attractive destination for investments and trade.

Q. What areas are open for foreign direct investment for Saudi businessmen?
A. We have discovered a big deposit of gas that gives the chance to develop a petrochemical industry. Saudi Arabia has the expertise and knowledge, and is one of the first if not the first country that really dominates this field. That’s the primary area of interest for the Saudi investment. Secondly, agriculture is another area, because we could not only produce and export but also Saudi Arabia can produce in Peru and export to its home market.
We have a lot of land that can be developed to agriculture fields, so this is the second area. The third area has to do with environments. Since we have our population concentrated in the coastline surrounded by desert and small valleys, we have the same challenges as Saudi Arabia.
Peru has become today the first world’s exporter of asparagus grown in the desert by means of drip irrigation.

Q. What can you tell us about tourism attractions in Peru?
A. Peru is very diverse country. It is divided into three regions, first the desert coast, along with beaches and its big cities. Then you have the mountains with a special atmosphere, conducive to mountain climbing and winter sports activities. Machu Picchu, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, is also located in Peru.
We also have a wealth of flora and fauna around the Amazon river, one of the biggest rivers in the world, which starts from Peru and goes to Brazil before it drains into the Atlantic. At the same time, allow me to say that Peruvians are a friendly people.

Q. How do you describe and deal with the ethnic people leaving in Peru?
A. In Peru we have received big immigrant community consisting of Chinese, Japanese and Finnish immigrants. We also have some Arab immigrants, especially from Palestine. But it is a melting pot where everyone has integrated into the Peru society.

Q. What is Peru's stand on the situation in Syria?
A. On two occasions in the last two months we have condemned the excesses committed by the government of Syria. We hope the international community can play an effective role in resolving the crisis. At the same time, the only way to solve this problem is not through use of force but through dialogue. That means all the parties involved, including those from the international community, should try to find a peaceful solution. Because the suffering of the people is not acceptable. As a principle that is not acceptable.


Majlis culture brings a little Saudi warmth to freezing Davos

At a five-star hotel in Davos, the Saudi Arabia General Investment Authority has sponsored a prominent display proclaiming ‘The future-forward economy — Invest Saudi.’ (AN photo)
Updated 23 January 2019
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Majlis culture brings a little Saudi warmth to freezing Davos

  • The Misk Pavilion is one of the many signs of the Kingdom’s enthusiastic involvement in the world’s biggest gathering of political, business and thought leaders

DAVOS: From the sub-zero temperatures of the icy Davos Promenade you are ushered through a glass door into the warmth of a desert majlis, with works by young Saudi artists on the walls and traditional Arabian delicacies being served. It is quite a culture shock.

The Davos majlis is the work of the Misk Global Forum (MGF), the international arm of the organization founded by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to promote youth empowerment. 

The Misk Pavilion is one of the many signs of the Kingdom’s enthusiastic involvement in the world’s biggest gathering of political, business and thought leaders.

“The Kingdom’s participation in WEF 2019 highlights its role in developing the regional and global economy, and reflects the nation’s continuing ambition for sustainable development,” said Bader Al-Asaker, head of the crown prince’s private office and chairman of the Misk Initiatives Center. 

The Saudi delegation’s HQ overlooks the main congress hall, inside the Davos security cordon. 

At a nearby five-star hotel, the Saudi Arabia General Investment Authority has sponsored a prominent display proclaiming: “The future-forward economy — Invest Saudi.” 

This is the second year Misk has been prominent at Davos. As well as the majlis, its pavilion offers visitors the chance to immerse themselves in modern Saudi art via a virtual reality tour of the work of four young artists.

Misk is organizing daily events there, building up to a power breakfast with leading executives on Friday on the theme of youth empowerment.

“In an age of profound economic disruption, we regard young people as the problem-solvers, not a problem to be solved,” said MGF executive manager Shaima Hamidaddin.

“We’re holding interactive discussions on how to empower young people to be the architects of the future economy, not the tenants of it.”