King Salman hosts CIA chief in Riyadh

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Saudi Arabia’s King Salman hosted the Central Intelligence Agency’s director Gina Haspel on Thursday. (SPA)
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Saudi Arabia’s King Salman hosted the Central Intelligence Agency’s director Gina Haspel on Thursday. (SPA)
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Saudi Arabia’s King Salman hosted the Central Intelligence Agency’s director Gina Haspel on Thursday. (SPA)
Updated 08 November 2019

King Salman hosts CIA chief in Riyadh

  • The meeting in the capital was attended by a number of Saudi officials
  • The king and Haspel “discussed a number of topics of mutual interest”

RIYADH: King Salman on Thursday met Gina Haspel, director of the Central Intelligence Agency, in Riyadh.

During the meeting, they discussed topics of mutual interest.

The meeting was attended by Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan, Interior Minister Prince Abdul Aziz bin Saud bin Naif, State Minister Dr. Musaed Al-Aiban, Chief of General Intelligence Khalid bin Ali Al-Humaidan, and US Ambassador to Saudi Arabia John Abizaid.

King Salman also met Edgars Rinkēvičs, the Latvian foreign minister, and his accompanying delegation.

During the meeting, they discussed ways to develop and strengthen relations between the two countries.

Also on Thursday, the Council of Saudi Chambers (CSC) received Rinkēvičs to discuss bilateral relations between the two countries.

Rinkēvičs praised strategic relations between the two countries, noting the efforts of the Saudi leadership.

The minister said that he looks forward to future cooperation between CSC and its counterpart in the Latvian market in education, health care, the environment, the pharmaceutical industry and IT.

CSC Vice Chairperson Abdullah Al-Adeem said that delegation exchanges between the two countries contributed significantly to the growth of bilateral relations, adding that despite efforts, trade remains modest at around SR342 million ($91 million) in 2018.

He urged an increase in the exchange of information to keep abreast of the latest opportunities in both markets, and to hold exhibitions to highlight their respective products.

He invited Latvian businesspeople to explore the potential of the Saudi Vision 2030 reform plans and to take advantage of the facilitations the Kingdom offers to foreign investors.


King Salman urges Iran to junk its expansionist ideology

Updated 21 November 2019

King Salman urges Iran to junk its expansionist ideology

  • Saudi Arabia has suffered from the policies and practices of the Iranian regime and its proxies, king says
  • Kingdom also welcomed US decision to return Iran's Fordow nuclear facility to its sanctions list

RIYADH: Iran should abandon its expansionist ideology that has only “harmed” its own people, Saudi Arabia's King Salman said on Wednesday, following violent street protests in the Islamic republic.

A wave of demonstrations erupted in the sanctions-hit country on Friday after an announcement that petrol prices would be raised by as much as 200 percent with immediate effect.

“We hope the Iranian regime chooses the side of wisdom and realizes there is no way to overcome the international position that rejects its practices, without abandoning its expansionist and destructive thinking that has harmed its own people,” the king told the consultative Shoura Council.

“The kingdom has suffered from the policies and practices of the Iranian regime and its proxies,” King Salman said, quoted by the foreign ministry, reiterating that Riyadh does not seek war but is “ready to defend its people.”

A satellite image from Sept. 15, 2017, of the Fordow nuclear facility in Iran. (Google Earth)

Saudi Arabia has welcomed Washington's decision to return the Fordow nuclear facility in Iran to the sanctions list. 

Washington said on Monday that it will no longer waive sanctions related to Iran’s Fordow nuclear plant after Tehran resumed uranium enrichment at the underground site. 

“The right amount of uranium enrichment for the world’s largest state sponsor of terror is zero ... There is no legitimate reason for Iran to resume enrichment at this previously clandestine site,” US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters earlier this week.