Crown prince, Iraqi PM hold talks in Riyadh

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman meets Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi in Riyadh. (SPA)
Updated 18 April 2019

Crown prince, Iraqi PM hold talks in Riyadh

RIYADH: Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman met with Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi at Al-Yamamah Palace in Riyadh on Wednesday.

They discussed Saudi-Iraqi relations and issues of mutual interest, after which they held official talks in the presence of delegations from both countries.

The crown prince commended the distinguished relations between the two countries, while Abdul Mahdi expressed his happiness at visiting Saudi Arabia and meeting with the king and crown prince.

During the official talks, they reviewed bilateral relations and cooperation, as well as the latest regional developments.

Earlier, Abdul Mahdi held talks with King Salman, who said he was keen to enhance cooperation between Iraq and Saudi Arabia. Abdul Mahdi said he was hoping to develop “areas of bilateral cooperation.” 

In a statement on his Facebook account, he said his visit to Saudi Arabia “symbolizes the Iraqi government’s vision in aiming to bolster ties with the Kingdom in all fields.”

The two countries signed 12 agreements and memorandums of understanding between their various ministries, covering many areas including energy, education, culture and political consultations.

Saudi tourism megaproject aims to turn the Red Sea green

Updated 20 October 2019

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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