‘No tension’ at Kuwait meeting

Updated 24 April 2014

‘No tension’ at Kuwait meeting

Arab League foreign ministers said they agreed on the draft resolutions Sunday for a summit in Kuwait this week, despite deep rifts among member states.
“There was no tension whatsoever in the meeting. Host country Kuwait in fact has smoothed relations,” Iraq’s Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari told reporters at the end of a one-day meeting.
“The subject of the ... withdrawal of ambassadors was never mentioned at all,” he said. “There were no controversial issues or problems, and the atmosphere was very positive,” he said, declining to answer if efforts will be made to heal the rifts.
Rifts between Qatar and three other Gulf states — Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain — as well as Egypt were expected to be tackled during the ministerial meeting and also at the two-day summit starting Tuesday. Algerian Foreign Minister Ramtane Lamamra, however, said: “Not all issues are discussed in the meeting hall. Some issues are debated on the sidelines behind the scenes.”
Arab League assistant secretary general for political affairs Fadhel Jawad has said the Arab leaders will hold a special session during the summit in a bid to sort out their differences, AFP reported.
A draft resolution on the Syrian conflict, which entered its fourth year last week, urges the UN Security Council to shoulder its responsibility after the failure of Geneva peace talks between the regime and the opposition.
The leader of Syria’s opposition National Coalition, Ahmad Al-Jarba, has been invited to address the Arab summit.
But Syria’s seat in the Arab League remains vacant although the last annual summit, held in Doha, granted the seat to the opposition.
The Arab League said the opposition still needs to meet some legal procedures to take up the seat.
On the Palestinian issue, the ministers called on Arab states to provide $100 million in financial aid to the Palestinian Authority every month and rejected recognition of Israel as a Jewish state.
The ministers approved the basic charter of a Bahrain-based Arab human rights tribunal and recommended that the next summit be held in Egypt.


Cirque du Soleil heads to Saudi in special one-off show

Updated 11 September 2018

Cirque du Soleil heads to Saudi in special one-off show

  • More than 80 artists will take the stage at the King Fahd International Stadium for the show
  • About 250 costumes have been specially made to respect local traditions

MONTREAL: Cirque du Soleil will stage a show in Saudi Arabia for the first time later this month, the high-flying acrobatic troupe announced Monday.
The show will take place in the Saudi capital on Sept. 23 to coincide with the country's national day, public relations director Marie-Helene Lagace told AFP.
More than 80 artists will take the stage at the King Fahd International Stadium for the show, which will also be shown on Saudi state television. Cirque says it will be one of its biggest one-off productions ever.
About 250 costumes have been specially made to respect local traditions and conform to "the artistic standards for which we are known," Lagace said.
The announcement of Cirque du Soleil's appearance in Saudi Arabia was first made in Los Angeles in April, Lagace noted. But it was unclear whether the show would go on given the diplomatic tensions.
At the behest of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Saudi Arabia has reopened movie theaters and allowed women and men to attend some concerts together.