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.


Saudi app fights fake promotions, discounts

Some stores raise the prices then claim they are offering discounts. (SPA)
Updated 30 September 2020

Saudi app fights fake promotions, discounts

  • Companies and online businesses can apply for a discount license and promote seasonal sales through the application

RIYADH: A new electronic app will now protect consumers against fake and illegal discount offers and promotions, said a spokesman for the Saudi Commerce Ministry.
The app will also let consumers check if sales are still valid and useable. If they are invalid, consumers can report violations directly to the ministry, he said on Tuesday.
The spokesman, Abdulrahman Al-Hussain, said that companies offering discounts are required to follow certain procedures. They must apply for a license, mention products covered by discounts, provide a list of product prices before and after discount, give a discount percentage and put a before and after prices on a product price tag, he said.
The e-discounts app also lists companies that have a license to offer discounts, and explains the types of discounts licensed by the ministry. The app can be accessed on smartphones.

HIGHLIGHT

The e-discounts app lists companies that have a license to offer discounts.

Another feature available on the app is the ability to search for consumables or companies and show the percentage and duration of discounts. It also allows consumers to find the location of a company through Google Maps.
“The ministry requires the companies to print the license of discounts and display it properly. For online stores, the license of discounts should be clearly shown on the website,” said Al-Hussain.
“Companies and online businesses can apply for a discount license and promote seasonal sales through the application. This service gives discounts, sales, and promotions more credibility,” he added.
Muhammad Al-Hamad, a former president of the Consumer Protection Association, said the ministry should double-check the prices before discounts and ensure there is a price tag showing the price and the value-added tax, as well as the discount percentage and price after tax.
“Some stores raise the prices then claim they are offering discounts. The consumer should search for the quality before the price and also ask if there is an aftersales service,” he said. “The consumer should also demand a receipt because this is the only proof showing that he or she has bought the product,” he added.