Riyadh, Tokyo pledge ‘100-year partnership’

Updated 28 February 2014

Riyadh, Tokyo pledge ‘100-year partnership’

Crown Prince Salman, deputy premier and minister of defense, held talks with Japanese Premier Shinzo Abe in Tokyo on Wednesday and said Saudi Arabia was keen on further strengthening ties with Japan. Prince Salman and Abe witnessed the signing of three agreements between the two countries.
Speaking to reporters, Prince Salman said his visit to Tokyo was on the directive of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah to bolster bilateral ties benefiting the interests of the two countries and welfare of their peoples.
The talks between Prince Salman and Abe focused on further enhancing relations between the two countries. Two-way trade between the Kingdom and Japan amounted to SR1.5 trillion during the past 10 years. Premier Abe said the Saudi-Japan relations began 100 years ago when a Japanese Muslim visited Saudi Arabia for Haj and since then the bilateral ties have witnessed tremendous progress. “In the coming 100 years we are determined to build a new era of relations,” the premier said.
A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed for cooperation between the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) and Japan’s Cooperation Center for the Middle East (JCCME) for joint investment. It was signed by Abdullatif Al-Othman, governor of SAGIA and Okoda, president of JCCME.
Another agreement has been signed to establish the Toray Membrane Middle East Company as a joint venture between Abu-Nayan holding company of Saudi Arabia and the Toray Corporation for Industries of Japan. It was signed by Khalid Abu-Nayan, executive manager of Abu-Nayan holding company and Akihiro Nikakko, his Toray counterpart. The third agreement was between Saudi and Japanese businessmen, signed by Tariq Al-Qahtani and his Japanese counterpart, Saito.
Expressing his delight over the visit, the crown prince conveyed the greetings and good wishes of King Abdullah to Japanese Emperor Akihito, Crown Prince Naruhito, and Prime Minister Abe.The crown prince said King Abdullah attaches great importance to strengthening the bilateral relations between the two friendly countries. He recalled that the warm welcome accorded to the Japanese premier Abe during his visit to the Kingdom last year, was symbolic of Saudi hospitality.
During the talks, a senior Japanese official welcomed Prince Salman and the accompanying delegation and wished them a good stay in Japan. He also confirmed the firm historical and strategic relations of cooperation that bind the two countries and their peoples.
Premier Abe also expressed his deep appreciation of the Saudi delegation for the warm welcome and generous hospitality accorded to him during his last visit to the Kingdom. Japan’s ambassador to the Kingdom Jiro Kodera and Saudi Ambassador in Tokyo Abdul Aziz Turkistani were also present.
In the afternoon, Emperor Akihito of Japan hosted a luncheon in honor of Prince Salman in the presence of Prince Naruhito at the Imperial Palace in the Japanese capital.
Crown Prince Salman, who arrived in Tokyo on Tuesday, said his visit to Japan would further deepen bilateral cooperation. He is on an official four-day visit to Japan at the invitation of the country’s Premier Abe.
Commending the contributions Japan has made to the Kingdom’s development programs, the crown prince said that a good number of Saudi students make use of the educational facilities and services at the Japanese universities and colleges.
He also pointed out the keenness of the Kingdom to continue consultation and coordination on common issues at regional and global levels to promote the interests of the two countries. He said that the Kingdom is interested in playing a positive role in cooperation with Japan, in maintaining peace and security in the region as well as in the international arena.
The banquet hosted by the emperor was attended by Prince Mohammed bin Salman, head of the Crown Prince’s Court and special adviser; Minister of State and Cabinet’s Member Musaed Al-Aiban; Minister of Culture and Information Abdul Aziz Khoja; Minister of Economy and Planning Mohammed Al-Jasser; Minister of Commerce and Industry Tawfiq Al-Rabiah; Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Nizar Madani; and Deputy Chief of General Staff Lt. Gen. Abdul Rahman bin Saleh Al-Bunyan.

LA Italian eatery Madeo delights the palate in Riyadh Season pop-up

Updated 15 December 2019

LA Italian eatery Madeo delights the palate in Riyadh Season pop-up

  • Despite minor setbacks he faced while setting up, Vietina considers the experience to be a positive one

RIYADH: Renowned Italian restaurant Madeo has opened up in Al-Murabba for Riyadh Season. 

The pop-up has started brightly, and head chef Gianni Vietina invited Arab News to sample the menu and chat about his experience.

Vietina, in Saudi Arabia for the first time, said that he loved the location he had set up in, and was very happy to be opening up in the Kingdom. 

“The location is gorgeous. At night, with all the lights on, the music going, it’s very nice.”

Despite minor setbacks he faced while setting up, Vietina considers the experience to be a positive one and that the response was even better than he had expected. 

“Like anything new, you have quests, you have problems. Up to now, we’re doing pretty good. We are up and running. We’re comfortable now, which is a shame as we’re leaving pretty soon,” he said.

He added that he would repeat the experience in a heartbeat if he could: “They were nice enough to ask me to stay in Saudi a little longer, but I can’t. I need to go back home. But I would love to come back.”

He said that while he was not planning to open up a permanent restaurant in Saudi Arabia, he would not rule it out completely.  “I’ve been offered options, and friends have offered to show me locations while I’m here, but I can’t do it right now, I just opened a new restaurant two months ago,” he said.

“I chose the dishes that I know that most of the Saudis that visit my restaurant in Los Angeles like.”

Gianni Vietina, Head chef of Madeo

The pop-up’s menu contains most of what the original restaurant offers, including his ever-popular penne amadeo and spaghetti bolognese, with the chefs using a combination of imported and locally sourced ingredients. 

“I chose the dishes that I know that most of the Saudis that visit my restaurant in Los Angeles like,” he told Arab News.

For the pop-up, Vietina has stuck to using halal and alcohol-free ingredients. 

“It was challenging at the beginning. But the bolognese at Amadeo doesn’t contain pork, and I realized after we tried cooking without wine that almost nothing changed. I actually prefer it,” he said.

Madeo is a favorite of Saudis visiting Los Angeles, with Vietina going so far as to describe the restaurant as a “Little Riyadh” on most evenings between July and September. 

He even recognizes some of the customers who have come into the Riyadh pop-up, and always stops over to greet them.

Upon sampling the menu, it’s easy to see why the food at Madeo has remained popular all these years. 

The eggplant parmigiana is a perfect blend of crusty cheese and silky smooth eggplant, with hints of basil and rosemary. 

The bolognese is rich, meaty and decadent, without being too heavy and greasy. And the penne Amadeo, which Vietina has been eating since his childhood, is a timeless classic of crushed tomato, basil, finished off with butter and Parmigiano Reggiano for a creamy, rich flavor.