Prince Saud slams superpowers’ meddling in Mideast

Updated 14 May 2014
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Prince Saud slams superpowers’ meddling in Mideast

Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal on Tuesday extended an invitation to Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif to visit Saudi Arabia, stressing the Kingdom’s readiness for negotiations with Tehran.
Prince Saud said that ongoing political crises in the Middle East have given major superpowers the opportunity to meddle in the internal affairs of other countries, which increases the phenomenon of terrorism.
He said this while addressing the first two-day Arab Economic and Cooperation Forum with Central Asia and Azerbaijan, which kicked off in Riyadh on May 12.
“Developed countries, which are looked up to for their ability to bring about political and social change and their respect for human values, are now using this as a pretext to interfere in foreign crises,” he said. “Such interference, however, only serves to exacerbate social disintegration and foster terrorism.”
Foreign ministers of Central Asian countries and Azerbaijan are participating in the conference along with Arab foreign ministers and Nabil Elaraby, secretary-general of the Arab League.
“We hope the outcome of the conference will meet the hopes and aspirations of our nations and help build bridges for communication and economic and cultural cooperation,” he said.
“The state of international relations in the modern day era indicates a shift in international politics. Bilateral ties used to be governed within a framework set by international organizations and rules.”
He added: “Attempts to address international crises were made through seeking common ground. We were not used to hearing superpowers saying that their foreign policies are based solely on national interests. Rather, bilateral ties were based on mutual interest that would serve both developed countries and developing states.”
He pointed out: “The situation has since changed. Superpowers are no longer concerned about the sovereignty and independence of less powerful states to ensure their own security. The new approach confirms that the international arena seeks to alter the status quo of countries from the inside.”
He explained: “It goes without saying that issues of concern to us can only be resolved through ensuring solidarity, self sufficiency and autonomy.
However, we have agreed to focus on economic issues at this meeting.”
He said: “The meeting comes at a particularly crucial time, where we are witnessing significant developments in bilateral ties between Arab states and other countries around the globe. Special emphasis has been placed on bilateral relations in order to take full advantage of joint economic initiatives, whether in manpower, mineral wealth or the geo-strategic importance of countries in Central Asia and Azerbaijan.”
He added: “This will undoubtedly provide promising investment opportunities, including gaining access to integrated projects and laying solid foundations for fruitful mutual cooperation.”
The foreign minister also reiterated that the Saudi government is pressing ahead to sign agreements to protect and promote investments.
“Two agreements were recently signed in Uzbekistan and Azerbaijan,” he said, adding:“Discussions are under way concerning four other agreements, including an agreement to avoid double taxation and agreements with Tajikistan, Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan in the civil aviation domain.”


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 22 September 2019

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