Saudi plans to overcome challenges welcomed

Updated 10 January 2016

Saudi plans to overcome challenges welcomed

RIYADH: The Kingdom’s domestic and foreign policies outlined this week to meet economic and political challenges were welcomed by a broad spectrum of citizens, expatriates and experts on Friday.

The priorities of the government were unveiled by Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, second deputy premier and defense minister, in a wide-ranging interview published by The Economist magazine on Thursday.
Saudi Arabia’s plans for its economy amid dropping oil prices and tackling conflicts in the Middle East, including its gains to restore the legitimate government in Yemen, made headlines in the Kingdom and abroad, including on social networking sites.
The deputy crown prince had ruled out a war with Iran because it would be “catastrophic”; spelled out plans to diversify state income with various measures including the possibility of certain taxes and making Saudi Aramco public and launching job creation initiatives for citizens.
Mosad Al-Zayani, a Dubai-based Saudi journalist, said the Kingdom’s approach to Iran showed it was committed to stability in the region. He welcomed the economic initiatives outlined, including the move to shun dependence on oil revenues and the proposed Aramco privatization.

Mohsin Sheikh Al-Hassan, an author and public relations expert, praised the government for not wanting a war with Iran, but said Tehran must be “taught a lesson” for its destabilizing tactics with a boycott of its products.
He said the Kingdom’s exports stood at SR400 million to Tehran, whereas its imports amounted to SR685 million. “This has to be stopped because we can import these Iranian goods from other friendly countries,” he said.
Zakir Aazmi, an Indian expatriate and author, praised the deputy crown prince for dealing with every important policy area of the government, which he said reflects his “dynamic, visionary and energetic leadership.”
Naif Al-Rashid said the deputy crown prince had outlined initiatives that would ensure the country can effectively face up to political, social and economic challenges. “It is good that Aramco, linchpin of the oil market, goes public,” he said.
Seyed Hamid Moulana, a senior business executive, said it was clear that the government had an answer to all obstacles, including Iran’s “unnecessary” attempts to create tension in the region, and the fall in oil prices. He said he was “overwhelmed” by the analysis provided by the deputy crown prince.
In the interview, which was also translated into Arabic, the deputy crown prince had, in his capacity as head of the newly formed Council of Economic and Development Affairs, said the country was not facing an economic crisis.


Saudi minister receives head of Iranian Hajj organization

Updated 30 min 48 sec ago

Saudi minister receives head of Iranian Hajj organization

  • A treaty was signed related to the arrival of Iranian pilgrims

MAKKAH: The Saudi Minister of Hajj and Umrah Mohammed Salih Bentin received today in his office in Makkah Ali Reza Rashidian, head of the Hajj and Pilgrimage Organization in Iran in preparation of the upcoming season.
The meeting was attended by Abdulfattah bin Sulaiman Mashat, deputy minister for Hajj and Umrah in the Kingdom, and a number of Saudi officials.
Bentin and Rashidian signed a treaty related to the arrival of Iranian pilgrims.
Bentin confirmed in a press conference “the keenness of the government of King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to provide all necessary facilities for pilgrims coming from around the world.”
In addition, he expressed his thanks to Iranian pilgrims and their cooperation during the last Hajj season, and their dedication to their religious rituals, serenity and peace.
Rashidian expressed his thanks for the reception and hospitality, and expressed his best wishes for the success of the upcoming Hajj season, as was the case in previous years.