Saudi crown prince joins world leaders in Japan for G20 summit

Saudi crown prince joins world leaders in Japan for G20 summit
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Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is attending the G20 Summit in Osaka. (Reuters)
Saudi crown prince joins world leaders in Japan for G20 summit
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(Front L-R) Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro, French President Emmanuel Macron, Indonesia President Joko Widodo, Chinese President Xi Jinping, US President Donald Trump, Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Salman, Japan Prime Minister Shinxo Abe, Argentine President Mauricio Macri, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, South Korean President Moon Jae-in, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, Netherlands Prime Minister Mark Rutte, (Second row L-R) Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, Egypt President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker, Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison, British Prime Minister Theresa May, India Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, European Union President of the European Council Donald Tusk, Senegal President Macky Sall, Chile President Sebastian Pinera and Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and third row's invited guests. (AFP)
Saudi crown prince joins world leaders in Japan for G20 summit
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US President Donald Trump and Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman speak during the family photo at the G20 Osaka Summit in Osaka on June 28, 2019. (AFP)
Updated 28 June 2019

Saudi crown prince joins world leaders in Japan for G20 summit

Saudi crown prince joins world leaders in Japan for G20 summit
  • June 28-29 conference to focus on trade, demographics, environment, digital economy

OSAKA: Leaders of the most powerful nations on earth arrived in the Japanese city of Osaka amid storms and downpours — with the possibility of further disturbances ahead when they meet formally for the first time today to begin the two-day G20 summit.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was among those who arrived on Thursday ahead of a gathering that will focus on trade, demographics, the environment and the digital economy.

US President Donald Trump arrival was accompanied by a flurry of Twitter comments by him about some of the other heads of state attending this 14th meeting of world leaders. It comes at a time when tensions between the United States and its international rivals are running higher than they have for years.

Trump is expected to confront the biggest issue looming over Osaka — the escalating trade war with China — during a one-to-one meeting with his Chinese counterpart President Xi Jinping. The US leader is also at odds with the EU and India over trade and other geopolitical issues. He has also criticized his host, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, over his posture on defense.

The large Saudi delegation led by the crown prince touched down in the city ahead of today’s “family portrait” the leaders that traditionally marks the start of the summit. The leaders will then meet to discuss the digital economy and global trade and investment, before heading off for a cultural program and dinner at Osaka’s Geihinkan castle.

The culmination of the gathering is the publication of a joint communique at the end of the summit, in which the world leaders traditionally attempt to display a united front in tackling pressing global issues such as climate change, trade and the economy.

The event is taking place amid tight security in the city, which is 500 km from the capital Tokyo, as Japanese authorities fear protests by environmental activists and others. Travel and transport are severely restricted on the route from the airport in Osaka Bay to the International Exhibition Center, or Intex, where the summit is taking place.

Next year, Saudi Arabia will become the first Middle Eastern country to host the event, in Riyadh.

Saudi Ambassador to Japan Naif bin Marzouq Al-Fahadi said: “The recent reforms in the Kingdom, especially economic ones, have contributed to strengthening the image of the Kingdom globally and raising its level of influence in international forums.”

 


DGDA, Saudi Botanical Society sign MoU to turn historic Diriyah green

DGDA, Saudi Botanical Society sign MoU to turn historic Diriyah green
Updated 5 min 11 sec ago

DGDA, Saudi Botanical Society sign MoU to turn historic Diriyah green

DGDA, Saudi Botanical Society sign MoU to turn historic Diriyah green
  • Partnership between Diriyah Gate Development Authority and Saudi Botanical Society reflects both sides’ concern to protect and preserve local plants
  • First phase of the development project covers the restoration of more than 2 square kilometers of Wadi Hanifa and old farms in the region

RIYADH: The historic city of Diriyah is about to get greener.

The Diriyah Gate Development Authority (DGDA) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Saudi Botanical Society (SBS) to cooperate in private projects in the area of plants and trees in Diriyah.

The MoU also includes spreading awareness about the importance of plants and green spaces and developing the first national garden for local plants in Diriyah, within the projects implemented by the DGDA.

The first phase of the development project covers the restoration of more than two square kilometers of Wadi Hanifa and old farms in the region. It will also establish new hiking trails and parks to make the valley an open space so tourists and visitors can enjoy natural sceneries and outdoor space.

Developing the plants and green space in Diriyah was also addressed in the MoU, along with providing scientific and technical research in the field. The project is in line with the Diriyah Gate Project, Wadi Hanifa Project, and Wadi Safar Project as all associated parties will exchange expertise, information, data, and knowledge sources.

The partnership between DGDA and SBS reflects both sides’ concern to protect and preserve local plants in Diriyah.

SBS, the first nonprofit organization specialized in the protection of wild and local plants in the Middle East, was established after Saudi leadership launched a number of initiatives, such as Green Saudi Arabia, Green Middle East, and a scheme to plant 50 billion trees in the Kingdom.


Ignore false COVID-19 claims and get vaccinated, Saudi health authorities urge public

Ignore false COVID-19 claims and get vaccinated, Saudi health authorities urge public
Updated 33 min 41 sec ago

Ignore false COVID-19 claims and get vaccinated, Saudi health authorities urge public

Ignore false COVID-19 claims and get vaccinated, Saudi health authorities urge public
  • Health Ministry reports 1,334 new cases, 1,079 recoveries, 11 deaths

JEDDAH: The Saudi Health Ministry has warned residents against false claims about COVID-19 persistently circulating on social media and for the unvaccinated to get out and get inoculated from the disease.

Dr. Abdullah Asiri, Assistant Deputy Minister for Preventive Medicine, also urged the public to continue following health safety protocols to avoid getting hit by the highly contagious delta variant of the virus.

In a recent message posted on Twitter, he  said that all medications must be taken in accordance with instructions, including antibiotics, but that most do not interfere with COVID-19 vaccinations.

The timing of vaccinations might need to be adjusted for people taking immunosuppressive drugs, such as rheumatism and cancer medications, to ensure the best response to the vaccines, he explained.

As of Wednesday, more than 25.7 million doses of vaccines have been administered in the Kingdom, at a current rate of 326,727 a day. More than 18.4 million people have received at least one dose and more than 7 million have received two, meaning more than 73.8 percent of the population has had at least one jab.

INNUMBERS

522,108 - Total number of COVID-19 cases in the Kingdom

502,528 - Number of recoveries 8,200 Deaths

8,200 - Number of COVID-related deaths

The Ministry of Health repeated its call for all eligible citizens and residents to register for the vaccine given the continuing spread of variants, and reiterated that people who are fully vaccinated are much less likely to become infected, or to suffer severe symptoms if they are.

Authorities reported 1,334 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, bringing the total in the country to 522,108. The number of active cases has risen to 11,380, and 1,409 patients are receiving critical care, 13 fewer than 24 hours earlier.

The Eastern Province recorded the highest number of new cases, with 271, followed by Riyadh with 260, Makkah with 239, Asir with 127, and Jouf with 12.

An additional 1,079 people have recovered from the disease, raising the total number of recoveries to 502,528, a recovery rate in the Kingdom of 96.2 percent.

An additional 11 people died as a result of conditions related to COVID-19, raising the death toll to 8,200.

Meanwhile, the Saudi Center for Disease Prevention and Control (Weqaya) announced that fully vaccinated travelers are exempt from quarantine requirements upon arrival in the Kingdom. Expatriates returning to the Saudi Arabia are also exempt if their health status is recorded as “recovered” on the Ministry of Health’s approved app, Tawakkalna.

The Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development said it conducted 1,689 field inspections in Tabuk, during which it identified 83 violations of precautionary health measures in workplaces.


Saudi Arabia participates in global education summit

Saudi Arabia participates in global education summit
Updated 55 min 24 sec ago

Saudi Arabia participates in global education summit

Saudi Arabia participates in global education summit
  • Summit aims to draw a roadmap to transform educational systems in targeted countries
  • Saudi education minister is representing Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman

RIYADH: On behalf of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Saudi Arabia’s Education Minister Dr. Hamad bin Mohammed Al-Asheikh is participating in the Global Education Summit on Financing the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) 2021-2025 in London.

The two-day summit opened on July 28 under the patronage of Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Al-Asheikh will deliver Saudi Arabia’s speech on behalf of the crown prince on Thursday during the summit, which is being attended by 12 heads of state, 60 education ministers, representatives of the private sector, influencers and youths.

The agenda of the summit includes calls for the international community to finance the strategic plan of the GPE and raise $5 billion over the next five years. It aims to draw a roadmap to transform educational systems in targeted countries through exchanging the best practices, studying the latest systems, and listening to experts and young people from around the world, in addition to benefiting from the expertise of stakeholders.

On the first day of the summit, Al-Asheikh met the British Minister of State for the Middle East and North Africa James Cleverly at his office in London.

HIGHLIGHTS

The agenda of the summit includes calls for the international community to finance the strategic plan of the GPE and raise $5 billion over the next five years.

It aims to draw a roadmap to transform educational systems in targeted countries through exchanging the best practices, studying the latest systems, and listening to experts and young people from around the world, in addition to benefiting from the expertise of stakeholders.

The meeting discussed bilateral relations between the two countries, reviewed the Kingdom’s efforts to support education through the Saudi Fund for Development (SFD) and the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSrelief), and Saudi Arabia’s participation in the summit, emphasizing its role in supporting education around the world.

Al-Asheikh also met the chair of the board of directors of the GPE, Julia Gillard.

During the meeting, they discussed areas of joint cooperation, intensified efforts to contribute to the development of education at the international level and topics of discussion at the Summit.

They also discussed strengthening the relationship of GPE with the SFD, citing the projects carried out by fund in the education sector in various countries of the world, and praising the Saudi role in supporting the education programs in addition to cooperation between GPE and KSrelief in the education sector.

The Saudi minister also held a meeting with the Kuwaiti minister of education, Dr. Ali Fahad Al-Mudhaf. The two sides reviewed cooperation between the two nations.


The history of Saudi Arabia is written in its rock art

The history of Saudi Arabia is written in its rock art
Updated 29 July 2021

The history of Saudi Arabia is written in its rock art

The history of Saudi Arabia is written in its rock art
  • The paintings refer to the practice of hunting and grazing by the people of the region

MAKKAH: Saudi Arabia has a rich heritage depicted in the rock art sites scattered across the country. These show representations of religious, political and socioeconomic life since ancient times.

The engravings, some of which date back to 12,000 B.C., include many images of animals that were used by man for their milk, meat, skins and fur.

Dr. Salma Housawi, professor of ancient history at King Saud University, said that the rock art shows that the inhabitants of the southern part of the Arabian Peninsula began to hunt and domesticate animals in around 6,000 B.C.

“The dog was one of the first animals to be domesticated and used for hunting. Donkeys and bulls depicted in the drawings are also domesticated then,” she added.

Housawi noted that the rock paintings scattered in the northwest of the Arabian Peninsula, which date from 4000 to 2000 B.C., refer to the practice of hunting and grazing by the people of the region. 

When the climate of Saudi Arabia became extremely hot and arid, cattle gradually disappeared and were replaced by animals that are more suited to the dry environment, such as camels, ibex and goats, particularly in the northern and western regions.

The professor said that camels were first depicted on the rocks of Kilwa northeast of Tabuk.

She said the camel was used for transportation due to its endurance and ability to sustain harsh desert conditions of the Arabian Peninsula, making it one of the most important animal resources.

“The camel is a food source and a means of transport that has played a major role in Arab relations with their neighbors, in addition to its participation in the wars.” 

She noted that in the area of Jabal Al-Malihiya, 40 kilometers east of Hail, its rock facades have important inscriptions and drawings depicting cows, wild camels, ostriches and lions. She said that Saudi Arabia was keen to register the Hail rock paintings on the UNESCO World Heritage List because of these animal drawings.

“The Qassim area also abounds with animal drawings of ostriches, lions, lionesses, cows and camels, while in the Uyun Al-Jawa you can find drawings of predators, ibex, ostriches and camels,” she said. “Mount Tamiya in Uglat Asugour region also features drawings of camels and ibexes.” The rock art of the Al-Bukayriyah area features a fascinating drawing of a lion and lioness next to each other.

The rock art of the central region of the Dawadmi province, which shows a similar range of animals, includes aurochs, as well.

She also noted that rock drawings were also interesting for their hunting scenes, which illustrated accurately both the movement of the hunter and animal and the weapons used in hunting.

“The Ministry of Culture, represented by the Saudi Heritage Authority, is making a great effort to preserve and document archaeological and historical areas in the Kingdom, in cooperation with various foreign missions in accordance with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030,” Housawi said.


Summer in Saudi Arabia: Baha attracts camping, hiking lovers and more

Summer in Saudi Arabia: Baha attracts camping, hiking lovers and more
Updated 29 July 2021

Summer in Saudi Arabia: Baha attracts camping, hiking lovers and more

Summer in Saudi Arabia: Baha attracts camping, hiking lovers and more
  • Among the forests scattered in Baha lies the Raghadan Forest Park, which attracts tourists to camp among the tall dark green juniper and acacia trees

BAHA: In Saudi Arabia’s southern region, the clouds embrace the peaks of the high mountains in Baha to create an artistic painting that attracts visitors from around the globe. 

Dubbed the “City of Fog” and the “Neighbor of the Clouds,” the city features forests with picturesque nature scenes that will charm any camping lover.

In the mountains, hikers can summit peaks of high altitude, and for the intellectuals, a date with heritage and ancient history in the museums and majestic forts awaits.

The various terrains between valleys, mountains, and forests offer summer temperatures that do not exceed 32 degrees Celsius. In the evening, the temperature falls to 17 degrees, which makes for an outstanding summer atmosphere for tourists coming from high-temperature areas.

Among the forests scattered in Baha lies the Raghadan Forest Park, which attracts tourists to camp among the tall dark green juniper and acacia trees. This forest overlooks the King Fahd Mountain Road that connects Baha with the Tihama area. Tourists can enjoy watching the clouds rise from Tihama to the mountain tops in the Sarat area in the early hours of the morning. In the afternoon, clouds often laden with water particles fall somewhere in Baha.

Visitors to the farms in the region can pick apples, pomegranates, apricots, and other fruits and eat them on site. Plants and natural crops are irrigated by rainwater or from nearby rain reservoirs.

Forest and farm visitors should not miss tasting locally produced honey from the trees and watching the process of filtering and extracting the honey from the scattered beehives in the summer. Visitors can buy the natural honey, which is free from preservatives, and take it home with them as a souvenir.

However, the fun does not stop here. Baha has prepared safe paths for hikers to ascend the mountains, and when they reach the summit, paragliding through the skies of Baha is also available.

The sun meets vertically with the roofs of the historical castles and forts in the region, leaving history lovers with the opportunity to discover landmarks and monuments immortalized by the ancient inhabitants of the region.

All of these unique features qualified Baha to be among the 11 tourist destinations announced by the Saudi Tourism Authority through the “Visit Saudi Arabia” platform. The authority launched the Saudi Summer Program 2021 under the slogan “Our Summer, Your Mood,” from June 24 until the end of September.