Raft of multimillion-dollar deals seal Putin’s visit to Saudi Arabia

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Saudi Arabia's King Salman with Russian president Vladimir Putin at Al-Yamamah Palace in Riyadh. (SPA)
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Saudi Arabia's King Salman greets Russian president Vladimir Putin at Al-Yamamah Palace in Riyadh. (SPA)
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Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman greets Russian president Vladimir Putin at Al-Yamamah Palace in Riyadh. (SPA)
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Saudi Arabia's King Salman with Russian president Vladimir Putin at Al-Yamamah Palace in Riyadh. (SPA)
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Saudi Arabia's King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman with Russian president Vladimir Putin at Al-Yamamah Palace in Riyadh. (SPA)
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Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman greets Russian president Vladimir Putin at Al-Yamamah Palace in Riyadh. (SPA)
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Russian president Vladimir Putin meets Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal at Al-Yamamah Palace in Riyadh. (SPA)
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Saudi Arabia's King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman with Russian president Vladimir Putin at Al-Yamamah Palace in Riyadh. (SPA)
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Russian President Vladimir Putin is welcomed by Riyadh Governor Prince Faisal bin Bandar. (SPA)
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Russian President Vladimir Putin is welcomed by Riyadh Governor Prince Faisal bin Bandar. (SPA)
Updated 15 October 2019

Raft of multimillion-dollar deals seal Putin’s visit to Saudi Arabia

  • King Salman, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman welcome Russian leader at Al-Yamamah Palace
  • 20 deals of cooperation were signed between the two countries

RIYADH: A multimillion-dollar tranche of deals signed in Riyadh on Monday set the seal on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s first official visit to Saudi Arabia since 2012.

The 20 agreements covered oil and other energy industries, space and satellite navigation, justice, health services, tax administration, mineral wealth, tourism and aviation, along with cultural cooperation and the enhancement of trade relations.

The key deal was an agreement to increase cooperation in the OPEC+ group — the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, led by Saudi Arabia, plus 10 non-members led by Russia. Moscow has worked closely with OPEC to limit supply and stabilize prices after a 2014 slump.

Monday’s deal seeks to “reinforce cooperation ... and strengthen oil market stability,” Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said at the signing ceremony.
Prince Abdulaziz said the two countries had begun a new phase of cooperation. “At the Saudi-Russian Joint Committee, we are working together to harmonize the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 reform plans with its strategic objectives and Russia’s strategic development plans,” he said.




Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Russian President Vladimir Putin during a meeting. (Sputnik/AFP)

State-owned enterprises and the private sector in both countries would make a significant effort in achieving the goals of the new agreements, the minister said.

Earlier, Russian and Saudi flags lined the streets of Riyadh as Putin arrived at Al-Yamamah Palace in the capital, to be greeted by King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in a welcome ceremony with full military honors.

“Saudi Arabia values the active role that Russia is playing in the region and the world, and we look forward to working with you to establish security, stability and peace, to counter extremism and terrorism, and to promote economic growth,” the king told him.

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“The joint investment and trade opportunities between the two countries that will be consolidated by many agreements, especially in the field of energy, will have significant positive results on the interests of our two countries and peoples.”

In response, Putin said King Salman’s visit to Russia in 2017 had contributed to the strengthening of relations and increased cooperation and trade between the two countries, and hailed the Kingdom’s important role in safeguarding global economic interests.




King Salman welcomes the Russian President Vladimir Putin to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (Sputnik/Reuters)

Putin highlighted the importance of Saudi-Russian coordination to ensure security and stability in the Middle East. “I am sure that without Saudi Arabia’s participation, it is impossible to secure sustainable development for any of the region's problems,” he said.

The crown prince and the Russian president also chaired the inaugural meeting of the new Saudi-Russian Economic Committee, attended by high-level delegations of business and finance executives from both countries.

Later Putin held official talks with the crown prince, in which they discussed developments in Syria and Yemen, and “the importance of combating extremism and terrorism and working to dry up its sources,” a Saudi spokesman said. 


READ MORE: Dedicated Arab News ‘Putin in Saudi Arabia’ spotlight


Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov described the talks as a “substantial exchange of opinions … on regional problems, on the situation in the energy markets, on oil prices.”

In the evening Putin attended a performance by Russia’s Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra, and on Tuesday he travels to the UAE for talks with Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, the crown prince of Abu Dhabi.

Financial expert Mohammed Alsuwayed told Arab News that Russia was “an important strategic partner of Saudi Arabia,” and their joint efforts would help to manage the oil market.

Links with the Russian Direct Investment Fund were also valuable, Alsuwayed said. “The Russian sovereign wealth fund is interested in investing in Saudi Arabia. It has recently opened an office in the Kingdom as its first international fund office outside Russia, demonstrating a clear plan to invest in various sectors.”




Russian President Vladimir Putin and Saudi Arabia's King Salman watch as Saudi Energy Minister Abdulaziz Bin Salman and Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak attend a signing ceremony in Riyadh. (Sputnik/Reuters)


Misk Initiatives Center signs 12 deals to develop youth talent

Updated 15 November 2019

Misk Initiatives Center signs 12 deals to develop youth talent

  • MoUs with top firms such as Chinese tech giant Huawei, French oil major Total open new opportunities

RIYADH: The Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s Foundation Misk Initiatives Center has signed 12 memorandums of understanding (MoU) on the sidelines of the Misk Global Forum in Riyadh with local and international companies to support and develop youth talent.

Among the companies were the Chinese tech giant Huawei, the French oil firm Total, the Emirati Federal Youth Authority, and the Ministry of Economy and Planning.

The agreements stipulated joint work between the two parties in the fields of talent development in Saudi Arabia and information and communications technology, in accordance with the National Transformation Program 2020 and the Kingdom’s Vision 2030. 

This initiative aims to find ways of cooperation and employment opportunities between the two parties.

The MoU signed between the center and the Emirati Federal Youth Authority provides for the enhancement of joint cooperation in support of youth. 

The two parties will seek to discuss future cooperation, to build a strategic partnership between the two parties in exploring potential cooperative opportunities and setting a framework for such cooperation, in addition to organizing the exchange of technologies and innovations through the joint organization of courses, forums and workshops.

The MoU aims at creating a specialized scientific dialogue between the two parties, conducting joint research at the institutes in the field of entrepreneurship and the skills of the future, considering launching joint initiatives, and examining the possibilities of cooperative programs based on the extensive experience of Misk and the Federal Youth Authority.

Misk’s Initiatives Center agreement with Total will promote joint cooperation, find training opportunities for Saudi talent at the company’s headquarters and facilities, and cooperate on educational programs that support entrepreneurship and an ecosystem for startup companies, especially in the fields of energy and technology.

The Misk Global Forum also witnessed the signing of a MoU with “Hub71” to promote learning and leadership among Saudi youth, and enhance opportunities for joint collaboration, in addition to two MoUs with 500 startups and seed stars “to promote joint cooperation between the two parties, to develop and grow the business of startups and provide them with the necessary
environment.”

Misk also signed a MoU with the Public Institution for Education and Global Leadership to promote joint cooperation and achieve the objectives of both sides, to support innovation initiatives that instill the entrepreneurial mindset of young people, as well as the establishment and organization of entrepreneurship approaches. 

Both parties agreed to focus on exploring potential collaborative opportunities related to the Entrepreneurship World Cup, and establish a competition with competitors coming from 170 countries.

Both parties also agreed to support international competitions aimed at identifying the best solutions in various fields and sectors, as well as exchanging programs on entrepreneurship and innovation.

The center has signed a MoU with the Saudi Industrial Development Fund to discuss the possibility of providing training programs and courses for the center’s employees of the Fund and the relevant authorities. In addition to discussing available opportunities for cooperative training within the Fund, and providing opportunities for participation and contribution of the Fund’s staff in Misk’s programs.

The MoU aims to explore the benefits of existing agreements between the two parties with international financial and educational institutions, in order to find opportunities that provide programs, training and educational courses, and granting cooperative trainings for Saudi youth in those global institutions.

The center also signed a MoU with the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO), aiming to enhance joint cooperation on educational technology and its integration into the educational systems in the Islamic world.

An MoU with King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) will enhance the cooperation between the two parties in several initiatives, including academic development, training, entrepreneurship and innovation programs.

An MoU with Endeavor Saudi Arabia will support the Kingdom’s youth, enhance their talents and potential, stimulate economic growth, and find ways of cooperation between the two parties that serve their common interests.

The center’s MoU with the Ministry of Economy and Planning aims to spread awareness, provide new information on the education and training of human resources in the administrative and economic fields, youth empowerment, and coordinate efforts to raise their abilities.

The MoU aims to create cooperative training opportunities in local and international institutions with the purpose of workforce growth in the Kingdom’s economic sector, contributing to the development of national competencies in the economy, policies and procedures, strategic planning, in addition to providing job opportunities for graduates from areas that serve the interests of both parties and support the achievement of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.