Iran apology meaningless unless it stops fanning terror in Gulf: Riyadh

Updated 24 January 2016
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Iran apology meaningless unless it stops fanning terror in Gulf: Riyadh

RIYADH: Instead of apologizing for the attacks on Saudi diplomatic missions, Iran’s leaders must change their government’s policies, become good neighbors, stop supporting militant groups, desist from assassinating people and not harbor terrorists, said Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir in an interview published Friday.
Al-Jubeir said Iran has behaved in this manner for more than 35 years. “The message has been sent to Tehran clearly by the GCC countries, Arab League and now from the Islamic community that this is enough,” he said.
“The Muslim world will never accept such actions. If it continues to do so, then Muslim states would have no option but to take more measures against Iran,” Al-Jubeir was quoted as saying.
Al-Jubeir said the OIC foreign ministers’ meeting barring Lebanon unanimously condemned Iran’s actions on Thursday.
“The resolution was very clear, condemning what had happened at the Saudi Embassy in Tehran and its consulate in Mashhad. It held Iran responsible and condemned its support for terrorism. The position of these countries was clear and strong against Iran’s aggression ...”
Al-Jubeir elaborated: “If Iran wants to be a respectable state in Muslim society and the world in general, it must work to improve its image, not interfere in the affairs of the region and foment sectarian strife ...”
However, Al-Jubeir made it clear that Haj and Umrah would not be affected by the tension between the two countries. “Iranians are welcome in the Kingdom because it is the right of every Muslim. This is a religious issue and it has nothing to do with politics.”
He said the Kingdom was seeking advice from fellow Arab and Muslim countries on what steps it should now take after severing diplomatic ties with Iran.


Green light for crown prince-led Saudi privatization program

Updated 25 April 2018
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Green light for crown prince-led Saudi privatization program

  • The Privatization Program is one of 12 key elements of the Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030
  • The program is aimed at increasing job opportunities for Saudi nationals

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Council of Economic and Development Affairs on Tuesday approved the Privatization Program that is one of 12 key elements of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030. 

The program is aimed at increasing job opportunities for Saudi nationals, attracting the latest technologies and innovations, and supporting economic development.

It encourages both local and foreign investment in order to enhance the role of the private sector, with government entities adopting a regulatory and supervisory role. The aim is to increase the private sector’s contribution to GDP from 40 percent to 65 percent by 2030. 

The program will aim to reach its objectives through encouraging the private sector to invest in establishing new schools, universities and health centers, while the government pursues its organizational and supervisory role in health and education.

The privatization program aims to benefit from previous success stories, with the private sector’s collaboration in the development of infrastructure, and its involvement on a large scale in sectors such as energy, water, transport, telecommunications, petrochemicals and finance.

The program sets out a series of objectives in three areas: Developing a general legal framework for policies related to privatization; establishing organizational foundations and dedicated institutions to execute the policies; and setting a timescale for their delivery. 

The Council of Economic and Development Affairs is headed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.