Leading UK role sought to resolve crisis in Syria

Updated 17 April 2014

Leading UK role sought to resolve crisis in Syria

Senior Saudi officials, Shoura Council members and academicians called on the United Kingdom on Tuesday to take a “leading role” in resolving the Syrian crisis, as many of the West’s policies on both Syria and Iran risk the stability and security of the Middle East. They also called on the UK to adopt more aggressive policy on regional issues, especially on, Syria and work closely with allies including the Kingdom.
Officials and academicians were speaking during the inaugural session of the first workshop entitled “Saudi-British relations” on Tuesday night. Several speakers and participants, both Saudi and British, expressed their disappointment and dissatisfaction on the international response to the systematic genocide carried out by Assad regime, saying that the crisis continues unabated.
The two-day Saudi-British workshop, organized jointly by the Riyadh-based Institute of Diplomatic Studies (IDS) and the London-based Chatham House, was officially launched by Ambassador Khaled Al-Jandan, undersecretary for bilateral relations at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The first session of the workshop was co-chaired by Abdulkarim H. Aldekhayel, IDS director-general, and Baroness Emma Nicholson, UK trade envoy, who is responsible for trade at the British House of Lords.
Several Shoura Council members, including Mona Abdullah Saeed Al-Mushait, Hoda Abdulrahman Al-Helaissi and Elham Mahjoob Ahmed Hassanain, were present.
On behalf of Britain, Nicholson and Julian Reilly, deputy chief of mission at the British Embassy, addressed the opening session. Saud Mousaed Al-Tamamy, adviser at the IDS Center for European Studies, spoke very candidly and comprehensively on the obstacles that hamper the ties between two nations.
In his inaugural address, Al-Jandan gave an overview of the progressively growing Saudi-British relations. “The UK was among the first nations to recognize the Kingdom in 1926, which led to the opening of a Saudi embassy in 1930,” he said. “The UK-based Saudi embassy at that time was the second official diplomatic representation of the Kingdom abroad.” A plan to hold second workshop in London has also been announced by Chatham House.
The event, which concluded Wednesday, was also attended by Sara Birke, Middle East correspondent for “The Economist,” who spoke on trade and economic issues.
The IDS, which is working closely with Chatham House, is a state-owned Saudi institution under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with the mandate to work in the field of diplomacy, diplomat’s training and policy research.
Chatham House, home to the Royal Institute of International Affairs for the last 100 years, is a world-leading source of independent analysis, informed debate and influential ideas on how to build a prosperous and secure world.
It produces independent and rigorous analysis of critical global, regional and country-specific challenges and opportunities.

Visitors gives thumbs up to ‘mesmerizing’ heritage event at Riyadh Season

Updated 20 min 29 sec ago

Visitors gives thumbs up to ‘mesmerizing’ heritage event at Riyadh Season

JEDDAH: Visitors to Riyadh Season have given a massive thumbs-up to a special event that highlights Saudi culture and heritage.

Nabd Al-Riyadh, or “Riyadh’s pulse,” showcases a different region of the Kingdom every day through folk dances, digital displays, laser shows, musical performances and an exhibition of traditional handicrafts.

“It was a great experience, especially as it took place at Al-Masmak Palace which was a significant starting point of the Kingdom’s unification. I appreciated the merging of history, culture and heritage with such a lively atmosphere,” visitor Mohammed Al-Saif told Arab News.

Maha Al-Ammar said Riyadh Season had added color to the city. “Riyadh has really changed. Look at where we were before and where we are now. Everything is so beautiful,” she said. “Nabd Al-Riyadh is such a well organized cultural event.”

Another visitor, Anfal Al-Jaferi, said: “We didn’t get to witness such events in the past, but now they are everywhere, in many zones.

“I didn’t feel the need to shop because the scenery was so enjoyable, and the themes of the events were mesmerizing. The effort that has gone into Riyadh Season is clear to see.”

Riyadh Season continues until Dec. 15 with a raft of artistic, sporting and cultural events, including theater, music performances and fashion shows.