Saudi crown prince India visit ‘historic event,’ says ambassador

The first state visit by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to India later this month will be a historic event, India’s ambassador to the Kingdom said Thursday. (Photo: Supplied)
Updated 14 February 2019

Saudi crown prince India visit ‘historic event,’ says ambassador

RIYADH: The first state visit by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to India later this month will be a historic event, India’s ambassador to the Kingdom said Thursday.
Ahmed Javed told media the two countries would sign agreements across different sectors including energy, infrastructure, housing, tourism and information technology.
The deals would attract potential infrastructure investment and boost development in India, he said.
India and Saudi Arabia enjoyed cordial and friendly ties that were deeply rooted in a shared history and nurtured by vibrant personal exchanges, he said. These links had been strengthened over the years through trade and commercial ties, the ambassador added.
Last month Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Hajj and Umrah teamed up with Indian hotelier Oyo to support the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 reform plan and improve hospitality in Makkah and Madinah.
Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih has visited India three times, meeting Indian authorities to discuss energy sector investment, while Saudi Aramco has signed an agreement with an Indian consortium to jointly develop a $44 billion refinery in the western port town of Ratnagiri.
Accompanying the crown prince will be a high-level delegation, including ministers and leading Saudi businessmen, according to India’s Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).
Bilateral trade was $27.48 billion during the last financial year, making Saudi Arabia India’s fourth-largest largest trading partner, the MEA said in a statement issued earlier this week. It added that the Kingdom also supplies around 20 percent of India’s crude requirements.
Nearly 3 million Indians live in Saudi Arabia, making them the largest expatriate group in Saudi Arabia, it said. “Their positive and highly appreciated contribution to the development of their host country has been an important anchor of our excellent bilateral engagement. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia also facilitates Hajj pilgrimage to over 175,000 Indians every year.”
The crown prince arrives in Pakistan on Feb. 16 and will stay there for two days. He will be in India from Feb. 19 to 20.


Space program to establish national training base

Updated 18 February 2020

Space program to establish national training base

  • The program also aims to create a prosperous educational environment in the Kingdom by establishing a stimulating and enabling environment for the space sector to be a platform that launches economic and scientific paths

RIYADH: The Space Generations Program (Ajyal) launched by the Saudi Space Commission will contribute towards establishing a national base for human capital in the space sector, said Abdul Aziz Al Al-Sheikh, CEO of the Saudi Space Commission.

The program, he said, encourages interest in scientific research and learning various sciences in the areas of innovation: Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM).

Al-Sheikh added that the program was striving to cooperate with specialized academic circles to achieve further progress in research related to space science and its applications.

The program also aims to create a prosperous educational environment in the Kingdom by establishing a stimulating and enabling environment for the space sector to be a platform that launches economic and scientific paths.

“We derive our inspiration from the experience of Prince Sultan bin Salman bin Abdul Aziz, chairman of the board of directors of the Saudi Space Commission, and his team, who were passionate, creative and determined to reach space,” said Al-Sheikh.

He added that the scientific team that supported the prince’s journey included a group of scientists as well as the most skilled technicians, designers and creative thinkers who contributed to achieving this dream.

The CEO said that the success of the trip was a result of the efforts of the entire team. “The Saudi Space Commission seeks to form a similar dream team that contributes to achieving our ambitious vision for the future of the space sector in the Kingdom,” he added.

Director general of the Space Generations Program, Ilham Al-Harbi, explained that the program had a comprehensive set of goals and strategic visions that aim to instill inspiration in generations to achieve leadership in space science.

She said that the program also aimed to build and develop future generations of Saudi space scientists and turn their dreams into a reality.