Saudi delegation arrives in Sri Lanka for high-level talks

Saudi Shoura Council Speaker Dr. Abdullah Al-Asheikh meets Mahinda Rajapaksa, former Sri Lankan president, in Colombo. (Photo/Supplied)
Updated 09 September 2019

Saudi delegation arrives in Sri Lanka for high-level talks

  • Al-Asheikh pointed out that the Kingdom and Sri Lanka shared a similar goal in combating terrorism which was not related to religion or race

COLOMBO: The speaker of the Saudi Shoura Council, Dr. Abdullah Al-Asheikh, arrived in Sri Lanka on Sunday for an official visit to the country. Upon his arrival in the capital Colombo, Al-Asheikh was greeted by the speaker of the Sri Lankan Parliament, Karu Jayasuriya, who had made the invitation, along with the Saudi ambassador to Sri Lanka, Abdul Nasser Al-Harthy, and a number of officials.
Al-Asheikh hailed Saudi-Sri Lankan bilateral relations which he said were growing stronger based on cooperation and friendship under the two countries’ leaderships.
He pointed out that the Kingdom and Sri Lanka shared a similar goal in combating terrorism which was not related to religion or race.
In the parliamentary field, Al-Asheikh said that during the visit he aimed to discuss a number of issues of common interest between the Shoura Council and the Sri Lankan Parliament.
Speaking to Arab News, Al-Harthy said that the purpose of the trip was to strengthen parliamentary and bilateral relations in all sectors.
As part of his visit, Al-Asheikh will address the Sri Lankan Parliament where he will convey the greetings of the Saudi leadership, while the Kingdom’s delegation will hold talks with Jayasuriya and other members, and is also expected to meet President Maithripala Sirisena, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and leader of the opposition, Mahinda Rajapaksa.


Houthi attack on Saudi Aramco facilities act of terror: Japanese defense minister

Updated 16 September 2019

Houthi attack on Saudi Aramco facilities act of terror: Japanese defense minister

TOKYO: Taro Kono, the defense minister of Japan, said that threats to his country’s oil supply was the “most worrying scenario” he could imagine in international relations, in the wake of attacks on Saudi Arabian oil production facilities. 

“The most pessimistic scenario right now is that something happens in the Straits of Hormuz and the oil supply gets cut down, and that would send a shock wave through the global economy. I think the price of oil is already rising after this attack on Saudi facilities, so that’s the most worrying scenario right now,” he told a conference in Tokyo, Japan.

However, speaking on the sidelines to Arab News, he insisted that Saudi Arabia would remain a reliable partner of Japan - which imports around 40 per cent of its crude from the Kingdom - and downplayed concerns about long-term supply problems.

“Saudi has been and will be an important source of our energy supply. We have international co-ordination, and we have reserves, so we are not really worried about that,” he said. 

Kono, who was until recently Japan’s foreign minister, said that his country would be seeking to promote diplomatic solutions to the latest Middle East conflagration. "We definitely need to ease the tension between those countries. As Foreign Minister, the last thing I was doing was calling the Iranian Foreign Minister and the French Foreign Minister to ease the tension the region through diplomatic actions, and I think it's important to continue doing it.

“This Houthi attack on Saudi is a little different, because it's a terrorist attack. I think we may require some kind of military operation against those drone attacks, and that's something out of Japan's constitutional boundary. I think Japan will be focusing on diplomatic efforts in easing tension in the region.”

He raised concerns about the apparent lack of sophistication in the recent attacks. “If it is really drones, that is a lot cheaper than any form of conventional missile,” he said.