Kalashnikovs set to be made in Saudi Arabia

Kalashnikovs set to be made in Saudi Arabia
The AK103 is the latest generation Kalashnikov assault rifle currently offered by Russia’s Izhmash. (Photo courtesy: Kalashnikov Encyclopaedia.com)
Updated 06 October 2017

Kalashnikovs set to be made in Saudi Arabia

Kalashnikovs set to be made in Saudi Arabia

LONDON: The world’s most famous assault rifle is set to be made in Saudi Arabia under a string of preliminary defense deals signed with Russia. 
Russia’s Rosoboronexport said it has struck an initial licensing agreement that could lead to the Kalashnikov being made in the Kingdom. 
The agreement covers the “production of Kalashnikov AK-103 assault rifles and cartridges for various purposes,” a statement said.
A memorandum of understanding between the two sides could also see Russia supply Saudi Arabia with Kornet anti-tank guided missile systems, rocket launchers and automatic grenade launchers.
The preliminary deal also involves the transfer of knowledge in the defense field to Saudi Arabia. The Kingdom has set a target for half of its significant defense budget to be spent within the country. 
This plan now includes the “localization” of the AK-103 assault rifle and its ammunition, according to the Saudi Press Agency.
The Kalashnikov assault rifle is famed for its reliability in wars from Vietnam to Afghanistan. There are reckoned to be at least 100 million AK-47s assault rifles in circulation.
The deal comes as the Russian rifle maker is seeking to attract private sector investment.
Kalashnikov wants to increase the production of arms by as much as 80 percent this year and create 1,700 jobs in the process.
The AK-47 model was developed by Mikhail Kalashnikov after World War II, and was inspired by complaints he had heard from Russian soldiers about their rifles while he was recovering from a wound in 1942. 
It has been the standard military issue rifle in Russia since 1949.


World Bank highlights Saudi progress in women’s legal reforms

The Kingdom’s strong performance comes as a result of a raft of reforms implemented last year to further expand female participation in the economy. (Reuters/File Photo)
The Kingdom’s strong performance comes as a result of a raft of reforms implemented last year to further expand female participation in the economy. (Reuters/File Photo)
Updated 8 min 43 sec ago

World Bank highlights Saudi progress in women’s legal reforms

The Kingdom’s strong performance comes as a result of a raft of reforms implemented last year to further expand female participation in the economy. (Reuters/File Photo)
  • The increase in performance was notable in five indicators on which it scored at the top of the scale

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia continues to make notable progress in women’s economic inclusion and empowerment, according to a World Bank report.

The World Bank Group’s “Women, Business and the Law (WBL)” report, released on Feb. 23, showed that the Kingdom scored higher than last year on a global measure of legal reforms to boost gender equality. 

On a scale of one to 100, Saudi Arabia scored 80 in 2021, up from 70.6 in 2020. 

The increase in performance was notable in five indicators on which it scored at the top of the scale: Mobility, workplace, pay, entrepreneurship and pension.

These scores put Saudi Arabia on a par with many advanced economies with long traditions of women’s legal reforms. 

The Kingdom’s strong performance comes as a result of a raft of reforms implemented last year to further expand female participation in the economy.

Saudi Arabia equalized women’s access to the labor market, lifted restrictions on their employment in sectors previously considered unsafe, and eliminated a ban on women’s night work. 

Last year’s report ranked Saudi Arabia as the world’s top reformer in advancing women’s economic participation for 2019, a recognition of the legislative policies the country established to boost female participation in the workforce, which it aims to increase from an average of just under 20 percent to more than 40 percent as part of Vision 2030.

Commenting on the report, Majid Al-Qasabi, commerce minister and chairman of the National Competitiveness Center, said that the Kingdom’s performance reflects King Salman’s commitment to enabling Saudi women to fully participate in the social and economic development of the country. It also reflects Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s efforts to ensure an effective whole-of-government approach to implementing women’s legal reforms.

Saudi Arabia’s reforms build on changes implemented since the launch of Vision 2030 in 2016, including lifting restrictions on women’s mobility, equalizing access to public services, guaranteeing equal benefits in the labor market, and instituting protections against harassment in the workplace and in public spaces. 

The WBL, a yearly publication by the World Bank Group, assesses women’s legal reforms in 190 countries, using an index with eight indicators: Mobility, pay, parenthood, assets, workplace, marriage, entrepreneurship and pension.


Saudi and Omani foreign ministers meet in Muscat

Saudi and Omani foreign ministers meet in Muscat
Updated 24 February 2021

Saudi and Omani foreign ministers meet in Muscat

Saudi and Omani foreign ministers meet in Muscat
  • The foreign ministers reviewed ways to support trade, investment and tourism opportunities
  • Prince Faisal arrived in Muscat earlier on Wednesday and has left the sultanate

LONDON: Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister met his Omani counterpart during a visit to the Gulf state on Wednesday.
During the meeting, Prince Faisal bin Farhan and Sayyed Badr Al-Busaidi discussed the importance of joint Gulf action within the framework of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and following up on the results of the AlUla summit hosted by the Kingdom in January.
They also discussed bilateral relations and ways to strengthen cooperation in various fields that would lead to mutual benefits.
The foreign ministers reviewed ways to support trade, investment and tourism opportunities and developing scientific cooperation in the areas of energy, technology, transportation, cybersecurity, health and agriculture.
Prince Faisal arrived in Muscat earlier on Wednesday and has left the sultanate.


Saudi Arabia allows citizens married to foreigners to travel through border points

Saudi Arabia allows citizens married to foreigners to travel through border points
Updated 24 February 2021

Saudi Arabia allows citizens married to foreigners to travel through border points

Saudi Arabia allows citizens married to foreigners to travel through border points
  • Saudis married to non-Saudis will be able to travel with spouses or join spouses abroad

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia has authorized citizens married to foreigners to travel through border points, a measure meant to facilitate their movements while international air travel is suspended because of the pandemic, state TV reported on Wednesday.
“The General Directorate of Passports announced the issuance of the royal decree to enable Saudi women married to non-Saudis to travel, whether accompanied by their husbands or joining their husbands abroad, upon providing proof of marriage certificate to officials at the port of departure,” a statement on Saudi Press Agency said.
The same applies for Saudi men married to non-Saudi women, whether they reside outside of the Kingdom due to work or other circumstances preventing them from coming to the country, the statement added.
The passports authority said that in the event that citizens are not able to provide documents proving their spouse is outside the Kingdom and unable to return, then they can apply for a travel permit via the Absher application.

(With Reuters)


WFP thanks Saudi Arabia for $40m aid package to improve food security in Yemen

WFP thanks Saudi Arabia for $40m aid package to improve food security in Yemen
Updated 24 February 2021

WFP thanks Saudi Arabia for $40m aid package to improve food security in Yemen

WFP thanks Saudi Arabia for $40m aid package to improve food security in Yemen
  • The agreement will benefit more than 2.2 million people and ‘help avert famine In Yemen’

LONDON: The World Food Program (WFP) on Wednesday thanked Saudi Arabia for “providing effective food support” to the Yemeni people through the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSrelief).
WFP and KSrelief signed a $40 million joint cooperation agreement on Monday to support food security to the most affected people in Yemen, who “are exposed to all kinds of suffering and deprivation,” said David Beasley, executive director of WFP.
Beasley added that the Kingdom’s donation, through KSrelief, “will undoubtedly help avert famine In Yemen, and will feed at least 2.2 million people.
In a press statement, Beasley expressed his happiness with the existing strategic partnership between the center and the WFP.
“We have a lot of work to do now and in the future, and this agreement will provide us with the tremendous support we need,” he said.
Beasley also said that the coronavirus pandemic has brought many tragedies and economic deterioration across the globe.
“This support will make a big difference because the pandemic has greatly affected vulnerable groups and exacerbated the problem of famine in the world and Yemen is one of the countries that suffers from the most difficult living conditions.”


Saudi Arabia announces 5 more COVID-19 deaths

Saudi Arabia announces 5 more COVID-19 deaths
Updated 24 February 2021

Saudi Arabia announces 5 more COVID-19 deaths

Saudi Arabia announces 5 more COVID-19 deaths
  • The total number of recoveries in the Kingdom has increased to 367,015
  • A total of 6,475 people have succumbed to the virus in the Kingdom so far

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia announced five deaths from COVID-19 and 353 new infections on Wednesday.
Of the new cases, 186 were recorded in Riyadh, 67 in the Eastern Province, 43 in Makkah, 10 in Madinah, nine in Asir, seven in Hail, three in Jazan and two in Najran.
The total number of recoveries in the Kingdom increased to 367,015 after 280 more patients recovered from the virus.
A total of 6,475 people have succumbed to the virus in the Kingdom so far.