Saudi Arabia, Pakistan enjoy very cordial relations: Envoy

Saudi Arabia, Pakistan enjoy very cordial relations: Envoy
Pakistan's Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Khan Hasham bin Saddique during an interview with Arab News on Sunday in Riyadh. (AN photo)
Updated 13 August 2017

Saudi Arabia, Pakistan enjoy very cordial relations: Envoy

Saudi Arabia, Pakistan enjoy very cordial relations: Envoy

RIYADH: Pakistan has lent all support to Saudi Arabia while renewing its call for the solution to the regional conflicts in the Middle East, especially the crisis in war-torn Yemen and Syria, said Pakistan’s envoy to Saudi Arabia here on Sunday.
Speaking to Arab News on the occasion of Pakistan’s 70th Independence Day, Khan Hasham bin Saddique said Pakistan fully supports UN Security Council Resolution 2216, which refers to the legitimacy of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi’s government for peace and security in Yemen.
He said that Pakistan also opposed the overthrow of a legitimate president and his government by the Houthi militias.
“We call upon the warring factions in Yemen to resolve their differences peacefully through dialogue in line with the Yemeni National Dialogue and Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) initiative,” said the envoy.
In his wide-ranging interview, the ambassador gave an overview of the progressively growing Saudi-Pakistan relations. He also spoke about the regional conflicts in the Middle East, which have hampered all plans to restore peace and security in the region as well as in the extended neighborhood.
He said: “We support regional and international efforts for restoration of peace and stability in Yemen.”
He noted that Pakistan and Saudi Arabia enjoyed outstanding bilateral relations. “While political and security relations between the two countries continue to scale new heights, I am of the view there is a considerable scope to expand commercial and cultural ties.”
The diplomat said: “I am hopeful with the launch of Saudi Vision 2030 and CPEC (China-Pakistan Economic Corridor) in Pakistan both Pakistan and Saudi Arabia will look to exploit huge investment opportunities...”
On regional issues, Saddique said that Pakistan as a matter of principle supports peaceful resolution of conflicts through negotiations. “On Syria, we call for protecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country, cessation of hostilities and violence by all sides,” he added.
He urged all parties “to exercise restraint and to ensure the safety of (Syrian) civilians.”
“Pakistan believes that solution to the Syrian crisis lies in a peaceful and inclusive process that meets the aspirations of the Syrian people, through a comprehensive political dialogue. We hope that all parties in Syria will act in accordance with the UN resolutions, fulfill their obligations, take the peace talks forward and launch political process,” he added.
On the Middle East peace process, he said: “Peace in the Middle East is of critical importance for global peace.”
“Pakistan has always supported the Palestine cause fully realizing the pain suffered by Palestinian brothers and sisters, as we feel that there are many similarities between the issues of Palestine and Kashmir,” he said.
Like Palestine, the Kashmir issue is one of the oldest unresolved issues on the UN agenda, he said.
Asked about the visit of Saudi and Pakistani officials, he said that the next meeting of the Pak-Saudi Joint Commission is scheduled in Islamabad later this year. From the Pakistani side, the Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry is planning to bring a business delegation to the Kingdom in October to study the Saudi market, he added.
He said that the magnitude of commodities traded between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia is approximately $2.5 billion. Out of this, Pakistan’s exports to Saudi Arabia are worth about $0.5 billion. The total value of services traded between the two countries stands in the vicinity of $580 million, he added.


British resident of Eastern Province rewarded for environmental work

Updated 04 December 2020

British resident of Eastern Province rewarded for environmental work

British resident of Eastern Province rewarded for environmental work
  • Neil Walker honored for his efforts to keep beaches of Alkhobar clean over past 27 years

RIYADH: British expat and longtime resident of Saudi Arabia Neil Walker was last week awarded with a certificate of recognition for his efforts to keep the beaches of Alkhobar clean over the past 27 years.

Eastern Province Mayor Fahd Al-Jubair presented Walker — who is returning to the UK after more than a quarter-century in Saudi Arabia — with his certificate and thanked him for his service to the Kingdom’s environment.

“We hope this message gets across to residents of the Eastern Province. We are keen to honor all efforts to protect the environment and to recognize creative initiatives aimed at preserving the environment whether from Saudi nationals or expatriate residents,” Al-Jubair told Arab News, urging all members of the public to work together to protect the environment.

Neil Walker — who  is returning to the UK after more than a quarter-century in Saudi Arabia — ‘is deeply humbled to be recognized for his cleanup drive’. (Supplied)

Walker explained to Arab News that his beach-cleaning activities have been focused on an area to the south of Half Moon Bay since he moved to the area.

“For the last 27 years I have been visiting a stretch of beach in that area on my day off to spend the day on a potentially lovely beach looking out on the glorious Arabian Gulf,” he said.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Eastern Province Mayor Fahd Al-Jubair presented Neil Walker with his certificate.
  • The mayor thanked Walker for his service to the Kingdom’s environment.
  • Walker is returning to the UK after more than a quarter-century in Saudi Arabia.
  • Eastern Province municipality has previously recognized the efforts of 200 Filipinos over the years for helping to clean the beaches and to promote awareness among other residents.
  • It has launched a number of initiatives intended to involve the public in keeping public areas free of waste.

“Unfortunately, it was marred by litter and manmade rubbish, either brought in by the tides or dumped by previous visitors, so I took it upon myself to clean the beach before settling down and then in the late afternoon to extend my cleaning activities to either side of my camping spot.”

The diverse ecosystem of the Arabian Gulf supports a range of coastal and marine life, including mangroves, sea grass, coral reefs and more.

Neil Walker has inspired creative environmental initiatives in Alkhobar. (Supplied)

The rapid industrialization of the area has introduced many environmental challenges that require human intervention.

Something as simple as a beach cleanup is necessary from time to time to ensure the environment is preserved and protected.

“Although I have seen a slight improvement, a lot still needs to be done and hopefully the publicity I have received will be of value to this end,” Walker said.

“As I see it, the problem is that the majority of the public are unaware and are used to having other people cleaning up for them, they automatically think that it is somebody else’s responsibility. This needs to change,” Walker said, adding that he was deeply humbled and honored to be recognized for his limited contribution in cleaning up the beaches.

Neil Walker has inspired creative environmental initiatives in Alkhobar. (Supplied)

“A few years ago, I assume there was a change in management in the municipality, resulting in a new logo and cleaning crew, which has led to a greatly improved street cleaning and public area routine and the introduction of many waste bins, which are now being used by the public,” he continued.

Eastern Province municipality has previously recognized the efforts of 200 Filipinos over the years for helping to clean the beaches and to promote awareness among other residents.

Like several other municipalities nationwide, it has launched a number of initiatives intended to involve the public in keeping public areas free of waste in order to better preserve the environment.