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.


G20 media committee holds first press conference in Riyadh

Updated 17 February 2020

G20 media committee holds first press conference in Riyadh

  • There will be coverage of over 135 meetings and conferences, to which end we will be creating an international media center that can accommodate up to 10,000 journalists

RIYADH: The media committee of the G20 Summit held its introductory press conference on Sunday afternoon at the headquarters of the Saudi Press Agency in Riyadh.

Both local and foreign media were invited to view the year’s schedule of events, ask the media committee questions and understand the objectives of the summit.
“Thanks to the direction of King Salman and constant support from the crown prince, the Kingdom has prepared a full schedule that will guarantee the success of this historic event,” said Minister of Media Turki Al-Shabanah.
He talked about the facilities that would be made available to the members of the press throughout the year, including an international media center that would serve as the central hub for all media activities in the summit.
“The media committee has prepared a full strategic plan to provide members of both foreign and local press with all of the resources they will need to cover the G20. There will be coverage of over 135 meetings and conferences, to which end we will be creating an international media center that can accommodate up to 10,000 journalists,” he said.
He added that media facilities would be available to accredited journalists and in multiple languages for journalists across the world.
Fahd Al-Mubarak, minister of state and Saudi Arabia’s G20 sherpa, said: “Having such a large number of media professionals really underscores the importance of the role the Kingdom plays in leading the 2020 G20 Summit.”
Al-Mubarak highlighted some of the challenges the summit was facing this year, notably the coronavirus, which he said that they were actively discussing and trying to overcome.
Fahd Al-Tunisi, adviser at the royal court and secretary-general of the Saudi Secretariat for the G20, highlighted the importance of the media in getting Saudi Arabia’s messages across.
Due to the G20’s own rules and regulations, not all of the G20 meetings and conferences will be open for members of the media to attend. However, Al-Tunisi told reporters that all of the necessary resources would be made available to them online and at the international media center, and that more press conferences would be held as necessary to bring them up to speed.