Prince Turki tells Davos: ‘Corruption is a disease that has to be rooted out’

Prince Turki Al-Faisal, Saudi Arabia’s former ambassador in Washington and London was speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos. (AP)
Updated 25 January 2018

Prince Turki tells Davos: ‘Corruption is a disease that has to be rooted out’

DAVOS: Prince Turki Al-Faisal, Saudi Arabia’s former ambassador in Washington and London, mounted a strong defense of the anti-corruption campaign in the Kingdom at the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos.
Speaking on a panel entitled “Middle East and North Africa Strategic Outlook” with regional business and political leaders, he said that the campaign would not deter foreign investment in the Kingdom.
“I cannot accept the proposition that fighting corruption will drive away investors. It will attract them, because they know they will not have to pay the extra 5 or 10 percent for bribes,” he told Davos delegates.
He also insisted that due process of law was being observed in the campaign, which has led to several prominent business figures being held for investigation of their financial affairs at the Ritz Carlton hotel in Riyadh.
“Those deemed to be innocent have been released. Those who reached a settlement with the government will give back money and they will be set free. Those who chose to go to court will do so. But there is due process. They speak to their lawyers and the families from the Ritz Carlton,” he said.
The campaign is the result of a two-year investigation ordered by King Salman.
Prince Turki said: “This has been a long-running campaign planned by the King for a long time. Corruption is a disease that has to be rooted out. If you don’t deal with it, you’re accused of doing nothing. If you do, people start inventing stories about due process.”
His anti-corruption stance was echoed by another Gulf business leader. Alain Bejjani, chief executive of the UAE-based conglomerate Majid Al Futtaim, said that he had attended the Future Investment Initiative held in Riyadh last October, staged at the Ritz Carlton.
“I was delighted to see the world coming to Riyadh and putting Saudi Arabia back on the map. Since then, we have had the anti-corruption campaign, which I believe is a great thing in our part of the world.
“Let’s acknowledge that being against corruption is a good thing. When there was corruption in there system, nobody worried then about due process, but now some people worry. That is strange. But I do believe the business world needs more communication about what is going on,” Bejjani said.


Saudi Arabia, Russia sign agreements during Vladimir Putin visit to Riyadh

Updated 14 October 2019

Saudi Arabia, Russia sign agreements during Vladimir Putin visit to Riyadh

  • King Salman, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman welcome Russian leader at Al-Yamamah Palace
  • 20 deals of cooperation were signed between the two countries

DUBAI: Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived in Riyadh on Monday on his first visit since 2007, and was welcomed to Al-Yamamah Palace by Saudi King Salman as well as Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Riyadh Governor Prince Faisal bin Bandar earlier personally welcomed the Russian leader as he disembarked from his aircraft at King Khalid International Airport.

An official welcoming ceremony was held in honor of Putin and various agreements were signed between the governments of Saudi Arabia and Russia including an oil cooperation pact.

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READ MORE: Dedicated Arab News ‘Putin in Saudi Arabia’ spotlight

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Some 20 agreements were signed between the two countries, in a ceremony overseen by the king, crown prince, Putin and Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov.

Russian sovereign wealth fund RDIF and Saudi Arabia's SALIC signed an agreement to team up in searching for investment projects in the Russian agricultural sector, RDIF said in a statement on Monday.

A string of multi-million-dollar investment contracts were also signed in the aerospace, culture, health and advanced technology sectors.

Putin’s “long-awaited” visit will include discussions on “further cooperation to stabilize prices on the world carbohydrate market” as well as the situation in Syria, the Gulf and Yemen.

The Russian leader, in an interview with Arab broadcasters and aired on Sunday ahead of his arrival, described the “very good relations” with the Saudi leadership.

“We consider Saudi Arabia a friendly nation. I have very good relations with both the King and the Crown Prince,” Putin said, and noted the improved bilateral relations between both countries.

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PHOTO GALLERY: Vladimir Putin visits Saudi Arabia

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Putin in the interview likewise condemned the Sept. 14 attacks on Aramco facilities, and said “such actions do not bring any positive results to anybody, including perpetrators,” as they do not have a strong effect on the market.

“We condemn any such actions, end of story. This is the official position … regardless of who stood behind the incident,” the Russian president commented.

A forum attended by Saudi Arabian and Russian business leaders and government officials earlier Monday resulted in the signing of several agreements between companies of both countries.

(Developing)