Sri Lankan envoy to leave Kingdom as tenure ends

Updated 13 August 2015
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Sri Lankan envoy to leave Kingdom as tenure ends

RIYADH: Sri Lankan Ambassador to the Kingdom Mohamed Hussein Mohamed will be leaving the country upon the completion of his tenure on Thursday.
In an interview with Arab News, the former mayor of Colombo expressed his sadness in bidding farewell to the Kingdom after an eventful year. He credited government officials, members of the diplomatic corps and community members for the success of his stay in Saudi Arabia.
“I am thankful to all those who contributed to facilitate my work as ambassador to serve the community and promote bilateral relations”.
Despite the envoy’s brief tenure in the country, he played an instrumental role in the relocation of the Sri Lankan Embassy to a spacious complex in Sulaimaniyah last week.
Under Mohamed’s initiative as ambassador, the embassy established a mission to achieve several important tasks such as the preparation of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the councils of chambers and industry of both countries, the exemption of the Sri Lankan International School of Riyadh from the Nitaqat program and to initiate the provision of aid to Sri Lanka from the Saudi Fund For Development.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs hosted a farewell lunch for the outgoing ambassador at its headquarters recently. As a symbol of appreciation and gratitude for his services to the Sri Lankan community, members had organized a farewell for Mohamed in a hotel in Riyadh.
The largest concentration of Sri Lankans, out of the country’s 1.5 million expatriates working in the Middle East, is found in Saudi Arabia totaling 550,000 people.


We have a story to share with the Saudi people, says new US official in Riyadh

Cultural and educational exchange programs between Saudi Arabia and the United States help build stronger ties. (AN photo)
Updated 19 September 2018
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We have a story to share with the Saudi people, says new US official in Riyadh

  • We have a story to tell and a story to share in Saudi Arabia with the Saudi people. We are pleased that so many Saudis want to study in the United States: US Public Affairs Counselor in KSA

RIYADH: Cultural and educational exchange programs between Saudi Arabia and the United States “help build stronger ties between the two countries and bring them closer together,” according to Brian Shott, the new US Public Affairs Counselor in Saudi Arabia.

Speaking at a reception to welcome him at the US embassy in Riyadh on September 18, he said: “One of the main things we do is we try to share aspects of the United States and of American culture, but we also learn from Saudis and Saudi culture.” 

In her opening speech, the embassy’s Deputy Chief of Mission Martina Strong also highlighted the enduring relationship between the two countries, saying: “Tonight is a celebration, a celebration of a friendship that has extended over many, many decades.”

Shott, who previously served in Morocco, Cairo and Baghdad, will be in Saudi Arabia for the next two years, during which he will promote educational and cultural exchanges.

“There are some real opportunities here and we have been fortunate enough to be able take advantage of partnerships with Saudi organizations and Saudi agencies, whether it is the General Authority for Culture or the Ministry of Education,” he said.

“We have a story to tell and a story to share in Saudi Arabia with the Saudi people. We are pleased that so many Saudis want to study in the United States.”

Meanwhile, the reception also served as a farewell to Robin Yeager, the cultural attache in Riyadh. She said that it had been a “very dynamic time to be in Saudi Arabia. It has been a pleasure and an honor to be here at a time when I get to know first-hand the future that Saudis are trying to build.”

The night that women were were given the right to drive, she said she went out and saw the “thrill on their faces.” To assist with empowerment and other progressive policies, embassy staff work on social issues and provide leadership training for women’s groups, she said.

“It is beautiful because they take something that an American expert talks to them about and they turn it into the Saudi way to approach it,” she added. “It’s not that we are changing things; it’s that we are giving them tools, so they can build what they want to build.”