AS IT HAPPENED: Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman meets world leaders at G20

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Participants of the G20 Leaders' Summit in Buenos Aires, pose for a family photo. (AFP)
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Russia's President Vladimir Putin (R) and Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman attend the G20 Leaders' Summit in Buenos Aires, on November 30, 2018. (AFP)
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Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (L) is welcomed by Argentina’s President Mauricio Macri at Costa Salguero in Buenos Aires during the G20 Leaders’ Summit, on November 30, 2018. (AFP)
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France's President Emmanuel Macron (L) is welcomed by Argentina's President Mauricio Macri at Costa Salguero in Buenos Aires during the G20 Leaders' Summit, on November 30, 2018. (AFP)
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Russia's President Vladimir Putin (L) is welcomed by Argentina's President Mauricio Macri at Costa Salguero in Buenos Aires during the G20 Leaders' Summit, on November 30, 2018. (AFP)
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Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May is welcomed by Argentina's President Mauricio Macri as she arrives for the G20 leaders summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina November 30, 2018. (Reuters)
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Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (L) is welcomed by Argentina's President Mauricio Macri at Costa Salguero in Buenos Aires during the G20 Leaders' Summit, on November 30, 2018. (AFP)
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Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, left, shakes hands with Argentina’s President Mauricio Macri at the start of the G20 summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Friday, Nov. 30, 2018. (AP)
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India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi (L) is welcomed by Argentina's President Mauricio Macri at Costa Salguero in Buenos Aires during the G20 Leaders' Summit, on November 30, 2018. (AFP)
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Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman gestures during the opening of the G20 leaders summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina November 30, 2018. (Reuters)
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US President Donald Trump and Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman are seen during the G20 summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina November 30, 2018. (Reuters)
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President Donald Trump arrives and joins other heads of state for a family photo at the G20 summit, Friday, Nov. 30, 2018 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. (Reuters)
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Saudi Arabia's crown prince meets with the UK's Prime Minister Theresa May in the sidelines of the summit on Friday evening. (SPA)
Updated 01 December 2018

AS IT HAPPENED: Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman meets world leaders at G20

  • World leaders pose for family photo as meeting in Buenos Aires gets underway
  • Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman holds talks with a number world leaders on the sidelines

BUENOS AIRES: Leaders from the world’s leading economies gathered for the G20  summit in the Argentinian capital on Friday to discuss development, infrastructure and investment. 

Saudi Arabia’s delegation was headed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who was greeted by world leaders including Vladimir Putin and Emmanuel Macron.

The summit is overshadowed by issues including the US-China trade dispute to the conflict over Ukraine. Also expected to loom are tensions between the United States and Europe.

LATEST

 

02:00 GMT

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman met with South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa on the sidelines of the G20. They discussed cooperation in the fields of energy and investment. 

22:00 GMT

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman attended a Gala event at Colon Theatre with other leaders of the G20.


21:00 GMT

Saudi Arabia's crown prince meets with the UK's Prime Minister Theresa May in the sidelines of the summit on Friday evening.

19:55 GMT

Thousands of demonstrators are flooding a downtown avenue in Buenos Aires to protest against the G20 summit, AP reported.
Activists from France, Germany, Italy and several Latin American nations are taking part alongside Argentines in a demonstration organized by left-leaning groups and labor unions.
About 22,000 police officers and other security forces are guarding the world leaders.

19:25

Saudi Arabia's energy minister Khalid Al-Falih has met with the Russian energy minister, Alexander Novak to discuss oil output.

SEE MORE: For the best images of the world's most powerful shaking hands and talking shop, click here.

18:36: 

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman continued his series of meeting with world leaders. He met with Chinese President Xi Jinping and the country's two delegations held talks.

18:35

18:11 GMT

Donald Trump lauded "good signs" ahead of talks with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping on resolving their trade war.
"There's some good signs, we'll see what happens," Trump said. He is due to have dinner with Xi on Saturday.

READ MORE: Mauricio Macri, President of Argentina's full opening address at G20 Summit

17:46

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman held a meeting with the Indonesian Vice President Jusuf Kalla. Earlier he met with the South African President Cyril Ramaphosa.

17:20

Saudi Arabia's energy minister Khalid Al-Falih will meet with his Russian counterpart Alexander Novak during the summit to discuss an oil output in 2019, the Russian news agency RIA reported. Novak also said that Russia's 2019 oil output is expected to be at the same level as this year but could be adjusted, depending on a deal between OPEC and non-OPEC members. Producer group OPEC and its allies are meeting in Vienna next week to discuss oil production.




Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman greets Russian president Vladimir Putin at the G20 Summit. (Screenshot)

17:04 GMT

Donald Trump says "the sole reason" he canceled a meeting with Vladimir Putin at the G20 was because of Russia seizing Ukrainian ships

15:55 

G20 leaders including the presidents of the United States, Russia and China opened summit talks on Friday.
Argentinian President Mauricio Macri convened the two-day summit in Buenos Aires with a call for member nations to support international cooperation and multilateralism. He added that it will be an agenda "centered on people."

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Russian President Vladimir Putin both grinned broadly and shook hands robustly as leaders converged for the start of the 2-day summit.

15:28 

Participants of the G20 Leaders' Summit in Buenos Aires, pose for a family photo.

14:55 

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman held talks with a number world leaders on the sidelines of the G20 summit.
The crown prince spoke with French President Emmanuel Macron and others at the summit venue on Friday in Buenos Aires.

 

READ MORE: For an alternative guide to the meeting in Buenos Aires, click on Frank Kane’s G20 diary. Today he discusses the obligatory taxi driver story, the state of Argentina’s economy and some of the fine venues where world leaders will conduct their business.

14:25 

Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman arrived at the G20 summit in the Argentinan capital, Buenos Aires.

14:27 

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday denounced the “vicious” use of sanctions and trade protectionism, in a veiled swipe at Donald Trump at the G20 summit.
“One cannot help but see a dishonest competition increasingly taking the place of honest dialogue based on equality among states,” Putin told leaders of emerging economies as the summit opened in Buenos Aires.
“A vicious practice of returning to illegal, unilateral sanctions and protectionist measures is spreading, going around the UN Charter, the rules of the WTO and internationally recognized legal norms,” Putin said.
Putin said that the result was “an extremely negative effect on the spirit of international cooperation,” discouraging business.

11:36 

British Prime Minister Theresa May will hold a bilateral meeting with Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at the G20 summit in Argentina, her spokesman confirmed on Friday.
The meeting will take place at 20:00 GMT.

Read More: UK PM May to hold bilateral meeting with Saudi crown prince

9:50 

The leaders of the United States, Mexico and Canada on Friday signed a huge regional trade deal to replace the old NAFTA, denounced by President Donald Trump as a killer of US jobs.
“This is a model agreement that changes the trade landscape forever,” Trump said at the signing ceremony in Buenos Aires, on the sidelines of the G20 leaders’ summit.
But he insisted that the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement, or USMCA, was an “incredible milestone” that would aid US workers, especially in the auto industry, while putting in place “intellectual property protection that will be the envy of nations all around the world.”
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was less effusive about the renegotiated pact, but said the USMCA would resolve the threat of “serious economic uncertainty” that “would have gotten more damaging.”
Mexican President Pena Nieto, on his last day in office, called the revamped version of NAFTA important in shoring up “the view of an integrated North America with the firm belief that together we are stronger and more competitive.”

Read More: Trump joins leaders of Canada, Mexico to sign new trade pact

3:05 

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi met in Argentina and discussed cooperation between the two countries in security, energy and investments, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) said on Friday.


The two leaders, who are attending the G20 Summit in Buenos Aires, also discussed Saudi Arabia’s readiness to supply India with all its needs of oil and petroleum products and Saudi oil giant Aramco’s investments in the fields of oil refining and oil storage in India, SPA said. 

Read More: Saudi crown prince and Indian PM meet in Buenos Aires


Cocoa bean harvest: A sweet opportunity for Saudi Arabia

Gebran Al-Maliki, owner of a cocoa plantation, says introducing cocoa will help reshape the agriculture sector. (Photos/Supplied)
Updated 10 min 9 sec ago

Cocoa bean harvest: A sweet opportunity for Saudi Arabia

  • The Jazan region is known for its lush, green lands and fertile soil that possesses the necessary ingredients to ensure the development of other crops that guarantee continuity and different harvest times for each type of plant harvested in the area

MAKKAH: In an unprecedented experience for the Kingdom, a harvest season of more than 200 cocoa shrubs began this year in Jazan following several years of planting the Filipino seedlings.

The foreign plant is a new experiment for the Kingdom as it plans on testing out the long-term success of planting the favored sweet treat.

Specialists in the region pointed out that the cocoa shrub resembles the famous coffee shrub found in the south region of the Kingdom, where a number of farmers have already begun to evaluate the experience and continue cultivating land to make room for more, while others were not so successful.

The supervisor of the Mountain Areas Development and Reconstruction Authority in Jazan, Eng. Bandar Al-Fifi, said: “The cocoa shrub is a tropical or subtropical shrub and is native to South America and East Asia. It was presented to the Mountain Regions Development and Reconstruction Authority a few years back, specifically to the agricultural research station.”

He added: “The cultivation process was carried out six years ago by bringing seeds and seedlings from the Philippines. The seeds were cultivated and seedlings were distributed to some interested farmers in the region.

“We in the station’s field have cocoa, banana, mango and guava trees, as well as many tropical and subtropical trees. The field is being used as a guarantor of seeds, in addition to conducting tests and real experiments in an area of 200 meters, in particular on 15 cocoa plants and the first cocoa shrub in Saudi Arabia.”

He told Arab News that it was difficult at first to encourage farmers to invest in the plant, as many were hesitant to introduce a plant not indigenous to the region in order to facilitate the establishment of manufacturing factories and grow a local market.

Al-Fifi said that in Ethiopia, companies buy crops from farmers and then start an integrated industrial process of sorting, cleaning, drying and roasting, because to complete the whole process is not economically viable for farmers alone.

“If every farmer owns 30 cocoa shrubs, this will be an additional source of income for their future,” he added.

The Jazan region is known for its lush, green lands and fertile soil that possesses the necessary ingredients to ensure the development of other crops that guarantee continuity and different harvest times for each type of plant harvested in the area. Rainfall is abundant, seasonal fluctuations in rainfall are scarce and humidity is high, ensuring that soil continues to retain the moisture it requires for harvests.

“In addition to the fact that the temperature gap between small and mature shrubs is not big, due to our proximity to the equator, Saudi Arabia is located below the tropical line, which creates environmental conditions that help the shrub grow,” said Al-Fifi.

Gebran Al-Maliki, one of the owners of a cocoa plantation in Jazan, told Arab News: “Adding cocoa to the Kingdom’s agricultural field is one of the innovative things in Saudi Arabia and it began to give good results that would broadly stimulate the development process, provide an agricultural model that can be trusted and improve experience in a country that supports its farmers and provides them with all the required capabilities.”

He received seeds and seedlings by the end of 2016 as an experiment in which everyone was granted support. “Some wanted to give this new experience a try, because it is similar to the coffee plant. It is an ordinary shrub, just like fruit and citrus trees, but it is a drought-tolerant shrub that is watered once a week.”

To successfully cultivate the fruit, Al-Maliki said that shrubs need shade when first planted in the ground as they are “quite finicky,” but that with the proper care and attention, a tree will flower at about three to four years of age and can grow up to two meters in height.

With up to 400 seeds, the product testing began on his farm after just four years.

“You can find 30 to 50 seeds inside a pod, which are later dried under the sun and ground to become a ready-to-use powder. Cocoa powder can be found in chocolate, oils and cosmetics, in addition to several other uses,” Al-Maliki said.

He said that the seed is very bitter and explained that the more bitter, the better the quality. He added that he has four shrubs, and what hindered the spreading process was waiting for the product quality test results, indicating that the fruit was tried and was found very successful.

The agricultural research station for the Development and Reconstruction of Agricultural Areas aim to reach 50 shrubs in the region to provide enough fruit to produce seeds and seedlings for farmers. Al-Fifi said that they aim to reach 400 seedlings per year that will be distributed, on top of seedlings grown by the region’s farmers themselves.