Saudi foreign minister determined to bolster Cyprus ties

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Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister meets his Cypriot counterpart Nikos Christodoulides in Nicosia. (Twitter/@KSAmofaEN)
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Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister meets his Cypriot counterpart Nikos Christodoulides in Nicosia. (Twitter/@KSAmofaEN)
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Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister meets his Cypriot counterpart Nikos Christodoulides in Nicosia. (Twitter/@KSAmofaEN)
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Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister meets his Cypriot counterpart Nikos Christodoulides in Nicosia. (Twitter/@KSAmofaEN)
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Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister meets his Cypriot counterpart Nikos Christodoulides in Nicosia. (Twitter/@KSAmofaEN)
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Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister meets Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades in Nicosia. (Twitter/@KSAmofaEN)
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Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister meets Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades in Nicosia. (Twitter/@KSAmofaEN)
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Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister meets his Cypriot counterpart Nikos Christodoulides in Nicosia. (Twitter/@KSAmofaEN)
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Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister meets his Cypriot counterpart Nikos Christodoulides in Nicosia. (Twitter/@KSAmofaEN)
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Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister meets his Cypriot counterpart Nikos Christodoulides in Nicosia. (Twitter/@KSAmofaEN)
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Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister meets his Cypriot counterpart Nikos Christodoulides in Nicosia. (Twitter/@KSAmofaEN)
Updated 11 September 2019

Saudi foreign minister determined to bolster Cyprus ties

  • They addressed challenges like terrorism, the rise of extremism and climate change
  • ‘EU-Saudi cooperation is key to dealing with regional challenges’

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister says his country is keen to explore ways of strengthening relations with Cyprus given the European Union member country’s geographic location and long-standing ties with the Arab world.
Ibrahim Al-Assaf’s visit to the east Mediterranean island nation on Wednesday where he also met with Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades was the first by a top Saudi official.
Al-Assaf said there’s “high interest” in developing relations “on all fronts.”
Among the topics they discussed were some of the most pressing challenges in the region, including the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, Syria, Iran and Yemen.
Cypriot Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides said the two men agreed to focus initially on tourism and investment.

“In this context, we stand ready to proceed with the facilitation of bilateral Business Forums in our two countries, respectively, within the framework of our Economic Diplomacy program,” he said.
Christodoulides noted a shared understanding to jointly address challenges like terrorism, the rise of extremism and climate change.
The Cypriot foreign minister said EU-Saudi cooperation is key to dealing with regional challenges and that Cyprus would continue advocating that in Brussels.
Both sides also discussed opportunities for cooperation regarding the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, which aims to diversify the economy and develop political, economic, energy, security, military and defense fields.

Some important steps have already been taken between the two countries, such as implementing the Double Taxation agreement and the Air Services agreement that have enhanced bilateral relations.
Christodoulides also briefed Al-Assaf on the latest developments on the Cyprus problem and expressed their sincere appreciation for Saudi Arabia’s support of their “efforts to reach a just, viable and comprehensive solution” to the issue. “Taking into consideration recent developments in our Exclusive Economic Zone and particularly the illegal activities and aggressive behavior of Turkey, the solidarity and support of countries such as Saudi Arabia is indispensable,” Christodoulides said.
Speaking during a joint press conference Al-Assaf said the Kingdom “supports the legitimacy and sovereignty of Cyprus and the decisions by the United Nations and hopes that the two sides will solve the problem peacefully.”
He added: “We need to take advantages of the many elements that bring us together and the economic opportunities that our two countries offer.”
Meanwhile, Cyprus’ defense minister said the east Mediterranean island nation and neighbor Egypt are exchanging information to bolster security around an offshore search for natural gas as part of enhanced defense ties.
Savvas Angelides says the two neighbors’ information-sharing extends to countering any extremist threats.
The Cypriot minister says defense ties are also being upgraded between Cyprus, Egypt and Greece as through joint military exercises and personnel exchanges.
Angelides was speaking Wednesday after escorting his counterpart, Lt. Gen. Mohamed Ahmed Zaki, to a meeting with Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades.
Cyprus and Egypt share a sea border delineating their respective exclusive economic zones where each country is carrying out exploratory gas drilling.
Officials said a recent discovery of Egypt’s Zohr gas field bodes well for more discoveries in Cypriot waters.


UK Ambassador welcomes appointment of first Saudi woman as cultural attache

Updated 35 min 59 sec ago

UK Ambassador welcomes appointment of first Saudi woman as cultural attache

  • Fatani was appointed as one of the Kingdom’s first female cultural attaches
  • She holds a doctorate in pharmacology and toxicology from the University of Strathclyde

RIYADH: Britain’s ambassador to Saudi Arabia on Thursday welcomed the appointment of Dr. Amal bint Jameel Fatani as cultural attaché to the UK.

Fatani was appointed as one of the Kingdom’s first female cultural attaches by the Saudi Minister of Education Dr.Hamad bin Mohammed Al Al-Sheik earlier this month.

Ambassador Neil Crompton tweeted Thursday: “#Congratulations to Dr Fatani @FataniAmal for her appointment as Cultural Attaché to the #UK. Delighted she is a UK alumni herself. Wishing her the very best in her new role and looking forward to strengthening the people to people links between the UK and Saudi Arabia.”

Fatani holds a doctorate in pharmacology and toxicology from the University of Strathclyde. She obtained her master’s and bachelor’s degrees in pharmacology and toxicology from the College of Pharmacy at King Saud University (KSU), where she is currently an associate professor.

She has previously worked at the Ministry of Higher Education and KSU, and was among the first female pharmacy graduates in the Kingdom.

After receiving her doctorate she was appointed vice chair of the pharmacology and toxicology department. She is the first female dean of the nine scientific and medical colleges, and has worked with the rector, deputies, and deans of male colleges to build a unified strategic plan for gaining accreditation, a higher global ranking, and implementing best international practices in higher education.

Saudi Arabia and the UK have an important and long-standing relationship, strengthened through the strong individual connections that Saudis enjoy with the UK through their attendance at academic institutions. Hundreds of Saudi scholarship students have graduated from top UK educational institutions.

The two countries are key strategic partners in the Kingdom’s Saudi Vision 2030 reform plan, and have reaffirmed their commitment to building and developing trade and investment as well as achieving shared prosperity for their citizens.