Joint communiqué reaffirms strong Saudi-French relations

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Updated 07 March 2016
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Joint communiqué reaffirms strong Saudi-French relations

JEDDAH: A joint communiqué was signed between Saudi Arabia and France at the end of the official visit to Paris of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Naif. It was issued on Friday.

According to the communiqué, the text of which was issued by SPA, the two sides expressed satisfaction at the excellent and strong relations between France and the Kingdom and its development at all levels: Political, security, economic, financial, trade and industry, education and culture affairs. They also expressed desire to develop new areas of bilateral cooperation for the promotion of investments and also reaffirmed their commitment to achieve progress in many bilateral projects, during the 3rd session of the Joint Committee to be held in Paris in the month of April, under the chairmanship of the crown prince and the French minister of foreign affairs and international development.
The two sides exchanged views on regional issues of mutual interest and discussed possible ways to strengthen international security and stability. In the spirit of partnership that binding them, in the field of counter-terrorism, the two sides reaffirmed their commitment, within the international coalition against Daesh and lauded all efforts to be made in this area, in order to achieve stability in the region, including the formation of anti-terrorist Islamic Military Alliance.
The two sides expressed willingness to continue and to strengthen bilateral cooperation, which aim at combating causes of extremism, racism and sectarianism, drying up the sources of terrorist financing and the reduction of the phenomenon of violence, in all forms, including the ethnic as well as the religious.
The two sides stressed the importance of reducing violence and extremism through deep action at the political, intellectual, and security levels, and in addition, they discussed latest developments in the Middle East.
With regard to Syria, the two countries stressed the need for a credible political solution, as that is the only way to, permanently, restore peace and to fight terrorism, in full, they also reaffirmed their support for the Supreme Commission of the Opposition and stressed the need for sustainable improvement of the situation, in order to allow resumption of negotiations between the Syrian parties, according to Geneva Statement and the resolutions of the United Nations Security Council.
In this regard, they stressed the support for the cessation of hostilities, which came into force on Feb. 27, with an emphasis on their keenness to implement it, reminding that the groups which have been named by the Security Council, are the only excluded parties from the truce.
Finally, the two sides stressed the need for free access of free, unlimited and immediate humanitarian aid, according to international law, to help all Syrians.
The two sides also stressed their full support to the Iraqi government in its efforts to find a lasting political solution to the crisis experienced by Iraq, through the adoption of a national reconciliation program, that includes all components of the Iraqi society. They reaffirmed support for the Arab coalition, in Yemen, the legitimate authorities in the country as well as the work done by the special envoy of the UN secretary-general and expressed their grave concern, at the deteriorating humanitarian situation.
The two sides stressed their support for the unity, security and stability of Lebanon through official institutions, particularly the army. They stressed the need to elect a president — as soon as possible — who can gather all parties to enable Lebanon to overcome the crisis, that is currently going on.
On the Palestinian issue, the two countries agreed on the need to resume Israeli-Palestinian peace process, and Saudi Arabia expressed support for the French initiative to hold an international conference on this issue.
The two sides stressed the importance of stability of the situation in the region, which affects the restoration of security and stability in the world and the Middle East, in particular.


Clean sweep: Marine waste targeted in Red Sea tourism program

The program for eliminating marine debris will play an important material and moral role with the support of the residents of areas surrounding the seafront. (SPA)
Updated 32 min 24 sec ago

Clean sweep: Marine waste targeted in Red Sea tourism program

  • Debris major cause of death for marine life
  • Disintegration of plastic waste threaten human food resources

JEDDAH: A beach cleanup program targeting marine waste has been launched by the Red Sea Development Co. (TRSDC), the Saudi Press Agency reported.
The firm, which is behind the development of a luxury seafront tourism destination in Saudi Arabia, is already developing a range of environment-friendly policies such as zero-waste-to-landfill, zero-discharge-to-the-sea, zero-single-use plastics, and achieving 100 percent carbon neutrality. On Saturday it launched the Marine Debris Beach Clean Up Program as part of the Red Sea Project. “Eliminating marine debris is receiving increasing attention from the media that it has become a global cause, urging us to participate in protecting our virgin environment for which our seafront is known,” said TRSDC CEO John Pagano.
“The program for eliminating marine debris will play an important material and moral role with the support of the residents of areas surrounding the seafront. It will also shed light on the importance of reducing the use of nonrecyclable plastics, in addition to encouraging the disposing of these substances in a safe and sustainable manner.”
The TRSDC will continue to explore ways for recycled materials to be a source of employment opportunities for the area’s residents, he added. 
TRSDC is an official partner of the United Nations’ initiative to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the cleanup program will initially support two SDGs: Life Below Water and Life on Land. It will expand to support other SDGs, including Responsible Consumption and Production, Sustainable Cities and Communities, Decent Work and the Growth of the Economy, Ending Poverty, and Quality Education.

HIGHLIGHTS

• TRSDC is an official partner of the United Nations’ initiative to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the cleanup program will initially support two SDGs: Life Below Water and Life on Land.

• It will expand to support other SDGs, including Responsible Consumption and Production, Sustainable Cities and Communities, Decent Work and the Growth of the Economy, Ending Poverty, and Quality Education.

• Institutions or individuals wishing to take part in the beach cleanup program can find more details here: www.act4sdgs.org/partner/TheRedSeaProject

Dr. Rusty Brainard, chief environment officer at TRSDC, said: “Marine debris causes significant damage to the environment and is a major cause of death for many marine organism species, which may ingest these substances. Moreover, the disintegration of plastic waste into small pieces that penetrate into the food web base may also threaten human food resources. Our program for eliminating marine litter is a long-term project that includes ongoing monitoring of environmental health, as well as periodic intervention to clean up any waste in the Red Sea Project.”
TRSDC has teamed up with leading academic institutions in the Kingdom, such as King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) and the University of Tabuk, on a number of educational initiatives, added Brainard.
The partnership between TRSDC and KAUST has led to an international competition — “Brains for Brine” — that encourages academics, scientists, engineers and the water industry to find solutions for managing the disposal of brine, which is a waste product of water desalination, in a sustainable and commercially viable way.
KAUST has also helped TRSDC with marine spatial planning for the Red Sea Project.
As part of the planning process, major environmental studies were carried out to ensure that the area’s sensitive ecology was protected both during and after completion of the development.
The final master plan, which preserves around 75 percent of the destination’s islands for conservation and designates nine islands as sites of significant ecological value, required several redesigns to avoid potential disruption to endangered species native to the area.
Institutions or individuals wishing to take part in the beach clean-up program can find more details here: www.act4sdgs.org/partner/TheRedSeaProject