DiplomaticQuarter: Sri Lankan envoy meets governor during visit to KSA’s Eastern Province

Ambassador Azmi Thassim meets Prince Saud bin Naif.
Updated 12 September 2018

DiplomaticQuarter: Sri Lankan envoy meets governor during visit to KSA’s Eastern Province

RIYADH: Azmi Thassim, the Sri Lankan ambassador in Riyadh, visited Eastern Province Gov. Prince Saud bin Naif on Tuesday to discuss the work of the Sri Lankan Embassy in the region.

“Paid a visit to the region and met with the governor of the Eastern Province and several senior officials,” the ambassador said.

He also updated the governor on the current situation in Sri Lanka, he said.

The ambassador also visited the office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the Eastern Province, where he met officials and highlighted the importance of a monthly mobile consular service to the Sri Lankans working and living in the region.

In addition, he met the deputy mayor and education officials from the region and senior officials from the Dammam Chamber of Commerce and Industry. He also spent time with the director general of prison affairs in the province and visited prisons in Dammam to meet male and female inmates.

The envoy also visited a number of private-sector companies in Dammam to discuss trends in the Saudi economy and how they could be utilized to benefit of Sri Lanka. He also visited the monthly mobile consular service the embassy provides in the Dammam area, and traveled to Al-Ahsa and Jubail Industrial City where he met Sri Lankan workers.

The ambassador also held a meeting with officials from the Eastern Province Sri Lanka Culture Club to discuss ways of enhancing embassy services in the province.

Madhuka Wickramarachchi, the minister counselor, and A L M Jabeer, protocol officer at the Sri Lankan Embassy, accompanied the ambassador during the visit.


Saudi tourism megaproject aims to turn the Red Sea green

Updated 44 min 24 sec ago

Saudi tourism megaproject aims to turn the Red Sea green

  • Development will protect endangered hawksbill turtle, while coral research could help save the Great Barrier Reef

RIYADH: Key ecological targets are driving Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea tourism megaproject, its leader has told Arab News.

The development will not only protect the habitat of the endangered hawksbill turtle, but could also save coral reefs that are dying elsewhere in the world, said Red Sea Development Company Chief Executive John Pagano.

The project is taking shape in a 28,000 square kilometer region of lagoons, archipelagos, canyons and volcanic geology between the small towns of Al-Wajh and Umluj on the Kingdom’s west coast.

One island, Al-Waqqadi, looked like the perfect tourism destination, but was discovered to be a breeding ground for the hawksbill. “In the end, we said we’re not going to develop it. It shows you can balance development and conservation,” Pagano said.

Scientists are also working to explain why the area’s coral reef system — fourth-largest in the world —  is thriving when others around the world are endangered.

“To the extent we solve that mystery, the ambition would be to export that to the rest of the world,” Pagano said. “Can we help save the Great Barrier Reef or the Caribbean coral that has been severely damaged?”

 

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