Crowds welcome King Salman in Indonesia

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Indonesian President Joko Widodo upon arrival at Halim Perdanakusuma Airport in Jakarta, Indonesia on Wednesday. (SPA
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Saudi King Salman steps out of his plane upon arrival at Halim Perdanakusuma Airport in Jakarta, Indonesia, on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Dita Alangkara)
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Saudi King Salman descends from his plane upon arrival at Halim Perdanakusuma Airport in Jakarta, Indonesia, on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Dita Alangkara)
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An honor guard welcomes Saudi King Salman upon his arrival at Halim Perdanakusuma Airport in Jakarta, Indonesia, on Wednesday. (SPA)
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Indonesia's President Joko Widodo (centre L) welcomes Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdul Aziz (centre R) at Halim airport in Jakarta on March 1, 2017. King Salman on March 1 began the first visit by a Saudi monarch to Indonesia in almost 50 years, seeking to strengthen economic ties with the world's most populous Muslim-majority country. / AFP / BAY ISMOYO
Updated 01 March 2017
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Crowds welcome King Salman in Indonesia

JAKARTA, Indonesia: The first Saudi monarch to visit Indonesia in nearly half a century has arrived to an elaborate official welcome and crowds of thousands.
 
King Salman was met by Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo as he exited his plane at Halim airport in Jakarta on Wednesday and headed in a convoy to a presidential palace in Bogor, outside of Jakarta, where tens of thousands of people lined the route.
 
 
The king is on the second leg of a tour of Asian countries to drum up business and improve ties. The visit will see the two nations sign a pact to combat terrorism, according to the Saudi envoy to Indonesia.
 
King Salman will hold talks with Widodo and attend a reception. He will also meet religious leaders and visit Southeast Asia’s biggest mosque Istiqlal before heading to the vacation island of Bali for more than a week.
 
Indonesia hopes to attract billions of dollars of investment from Saudi Arabia, though the trip will also focus on building cultural and religious ties and promoting education.
Saudi Arabia aims to open more Islamic schools in Indonesia, which will teach religion using the Arabic language, and step up the number of scholarships for students.
 
The king’s visit to Indonesia also comes as fringe Islamist groups grow in influence and Muslim leaders take an increasingly strict line on Islamic issues, which is at odds with Indonesia’s traditional brand of moderate Islam.
 
Indonesian police killed a militant on Monday after he detonated a small bomb in the West Java city of Bandung. Security officials said they were investigating whether he had links to a radical network sympathetic to Daesh.
 
King Salman started his Asia trip in Malaysia and also plans to visit Brunei, Japan, China, the Maldives and Jordan. 
 
Check our photo gallery for more pictures: A Sea of Love: Indonesians flock to greet Saudi King Salman


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 10 min 30 sec ago

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