No Saudi-Sudan fallout with non-entry of Bashir’s plane

Updated 18 August 2013

No Saudi-Sudan fallout with non-entry of Bashir’s plane

Sudanese Ambassador to Riyadh Abdulhafiz Ibrahim has said that the banning of President Bashir’s plane from entering Saudi airspace would not affect Saudi-Sudanese relations.
Last week, the aircraft carrying President Bashir was banned from entering Saudi airspace on the ground that the plane did not have the right permit, a statement by Saudi Arabia’s General Authority for Civil Aviation (GACA) said.
The Sudanese envoy said his country has set up an inquiry committee to look into the details pertaining to the issue. President Bashir was reportedly using a plane rented from a Saudi company instead of his normal presidential aircraft and was heading to Tehran to attend the swearing-in ceremony of Iran’s new President Hassan Rowhani last week.
The statements given by the civil aviation authorities in both the countries are important, Al-Hayat daily quoted the Sudanese envoy as saying.
The inquiry committee will look into various aspects since the episode had exposed the presidential plane to risks because it did not have the required permission to cross Saudi airspace, particularly after the Saudi clarification on the matter, he said.
Last week, an official at GACA said the Sudanese government did not submit an official application for a diplomatic permit for the plane, and that the application should have been submitted 48 hours before the scheduled departure of diplomatic flights.
“This was the only reason why the plane was turned back,” he said, and refuted allegations that the move was linked to an international arrest warrant against President Bashir or to his country’s relations with Tehran.
The committee will uncover all facts and fix accountability for the diplomatic faux pas, the envoy was quoted as saying.
Analysts said Sudan’s decision to allow two Iranian warships to dock at Port Sudan last October had angered its Arab Gulf state neighbors. The arrival of the Iranian warships reportedly coincided with the bombing of Al-Yarmouk military factory in Khartoum, which led to speculation that Iranian weapons were stored or manufactured there.
In addition to the good and strong business and trade relations between Saudi Arabia and Sudan, both countries conducted a joint naval exercise last February.
The naval maneuvers were the first of its kind and were expected to serve as a platform for future joint efforts aimed at securing the Red Sea and strengthening relations between Sudan and Saudi Arabia, Commander of the navy base in Port Sudan, Admiral Magdi Sayed Omer, was quoted as saying.


Saudi King praises role of women at W20 summit

Updated 22 October 2020

Saudi King praises role of women at W20 summit

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s King Salman has praised the exceptional role played by women during the coronavirus pandemic.
In a speech delivered at the end of the W20, the G20 women’s engagement group, on Wednesday, King Salman said: “I would like to express my gratitude to the Women 20 Engagement Group for their remarkable efforts and commitment to deliver their agenda during these unprecedented times caused by the COVID -19 pandemic.”
The Saudi king described women as the source of evolution for any society and said that without empowered women it is difficult to reform societies. 
“Women are the main source of development for any society. Hence, without empowered women, it is almost impossible to implement any societal reforms given that women form half of the societies and they are the ones who raise up generations. Women has proven through history their remarkable role in leading change and in decision making.”
The king noted that Saudi Arabia’s presidency of the G20 has dedicated special attention to discussing policies related to women across different ministerial and working group meetings.