Saudi T20 chair unveils priorities at conference

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Dr. Fahad Al-Turki, Saudi T20 chair and vice president of research at KAPSARC, speaks during the event. (Supplied)
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Dr. Fahad Al-Turki, Saudi T20 chair and vice president of research at KAPSARC, speaks during the event. (Supplied)
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Updated 21 January 2020

Saudi T20 chair unveils priorities at conference

  • Saudi Arabia’s presidency of the G20 is “a great opportunity, four years after the introduction of Vision 2030 and the National Transformation Program, and initiatives to empower women
  • More than 150 institutions and think tanks participated in event

RIYADH: The Saudi chairmanship of the T20, an official G20 engagement group, unveiled its priorities to top think tanks and research centers at a two-day conference.

“When we announced the priorities and themes, there was massive interest from everybody around the globe: Think tanks, research centers and subject matter experts … We worked hard to bring forth priorities that matter,” said Dr. Fahad Al-Turki, Saudi T20 chair and vice president of research at the King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center (KAPSARC).
More than 150 institutions and think tanks, and over 550 attendees from 65 countries, participated in the T20 Inception Conference.
It convened experts from all over the world to discuss a range of issues including climate, energy, migration, youth, innovation, technology, multilateralism, economic development, finance, food security and access to water.
Al-Turki told Arab News that there were some 570 research abstract submissions, a record number for the T20, whose main mission is to come up with research-based policy recommendations to be presented to G20 leaders.
“We look forward to bringing all these abstracts to publication and translating them into policy recommendations to present to the Saudi leadership to present to G20 leaders at the G20 Riyadh Summit in November,” Al-Turki said.

FASTFACT

The event convened experts from all over the world to discuss a range of issues including climate, energy, migration, youth, innovation, technology, multilateralism, economic development, finance, food security and access to water.

From early 2019, KAPSARC and the King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies started collecting research on important topics that can be brought to the attention of G20 leaders, he added.
Saudi Arabia’s presidency of the G20 is “a great opportunity, four years after the introduction of Vision 2030 and the National Transformation Program, and initiatives to empower women, improve quality of life and showcase Saudi Arabia as a major tourism destination to the globe,” Al-Turki said.
Through its G20 presidency, Saudi Arabia aims to enhance cooperation and find international consensus on issues that affect the global economy.
“This is our opportunity to have an influence and present a world view to the rest of the world,” Al-Turki said.
Recognizing the urgency to act on the climate while ensuring access to clean and affordable energy for all, Saudi Arabia is promoting the circular carbon economy model as a sustainable, pragmatic and cost-effective approach to achieve ambitious climate goals.
The conference discussed various facets, stages, challenges and policy pathways to realize a circular carbon economy.
“The climate and environment taskforce is led by one of our researchers at KAPSARC, Dr. Noura Al-Mansouri,” said Al-Turki.
“On April 1, we’ll have the first draft of the policy brief and policy recommendations for all taskforces, including the climate.”


Pompeo arrives in Saudi Arabia for talks on Iran

Updated 49 min 21 sec ago

Pompeo arrives in Saudi Arabia for talks on Iran

  • Pompeo will hold talks with King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman as well as Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan
  • After Riyadh, he will fly to Oman to meet the new sultan, Haitham bin Tariq, on Friday

RIYADH: The US Secretary of State landed in Riyadh on Wednesday for talks with Saudi Arabia’s leaders focused on countering Iran.
Mike Pompeo’s visit is his first to the Kingdom since the US killed Iran’s powerful military commander Qassem Soleimani.
He will hold talks with King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman as well as Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan, State Department officials said.
"We'll spend a lot of time talking about the security issues with the threat from the Islamic Republic of Iran in particular," Pompeo told reporters in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa before heading to Riyadh.
Pompeo said the United States was "prepared to talk anytime" to Iran but emphasised that the Iranian regime has "got to fundamentally change their behavior".
"The pressure campaign continues. It's not just an economic pressure campaign, its diplomatic pressures, isolation through diplomacy as well," he said.

US President Donald Trump in 2018 withdrew from a nuclear accord with Iran and imposed sweeping sanctions aimed at reducing Tehran's regional clout.

Pompeo's three-day visit to Saudi Arabia comes after an increase in regional tensions following the drone strike last month in Baghdad that killed Soleimani. 
Iran responded with missile strikes on US forces in Iraq.

Speaking in Riyadh, Pompeo said that the US will not tolerate Iran’s attacks on American troops in Iraqi bases.

Earlier, he warned that the US would respond to Iranian attacks on its troops in Iraq.

“We are mindful that it cannot become ordinary course that the Iranians through their proxy forces in Iraq are putting the lives of Americans at risk,” he said.

He added that there “has to be accountability connected to those very serious attacks.”

Iran has also been blamed for a drone and missile strike on two Saudi Aramco facilities in September that temporarily shut down more than 5 percent of global oil supply.

Pompeo also said he would discuss a broad range of issues including the economic relationship between the two countries during his visit to the Kingdom. 

Last week, Saudi Arabia and the US celebrated the 75th anniversary of the USS Quincy meeting between President Franklin Roosevelt and King Abdulaziz.

Roosevelt and King Abdulaziz met on board the USS Quincy in 1945 and the first encounter between a US president and a Saudi King laid the foundation for the broad strategic partnership shared by the two countries today.

After Riyadh, Pompeo will fly to Oman to meet the new sultan, Haitham bin Tariq, on Friday.
Pompeo will offer condolences over the death of his predecessor Sultan Qaboos, who was the Arab world's longest-serving leader and served as a go-between for Iran and the United States.

*With AP