Saudi Arabia fully committed to protecting human rights

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan meets UN rights chief Michelle Bachelet in Geneva on Monday. (SPA)
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Updated 25 February 2020

Saudi Arabia fully committed to protecting human rights

  • World urged to come to the rescue of Palestinians, Yemenis and Rohingyas

GENEVA: Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan has said the Kingdom is committed to the promotion and protection of human rights at all levels and it is keen to cooperate with international organizations in this regard.

Speaking at the 43rd session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva on Monday, the foreign minister called for the protection of the basic human rights of the Palestinians and condemned the gross violations of rights and abuses committed against Rohingya Muslims.
He called on the UN and other rights organizations to take effective measures to address these issues.
Condemning all forces promoting the ideology of hatred, Prince Faisal highlighted the Kingdom’s efforts in fighting extremism and terrorism.
He also called on the international community to pay close attention to some media platforms that are spreading hatred and promoting deviant ideas in the garb of freedom of expression and putting the security of states and communities at risk.
The foreign minister stressed the need to respect other cultures and religions to ensure a culture of tolerance around the world.
He reiterated Saudi Arabia’s firm position on Yemen and its support to its people and its legitimate government against the Iranian-backed Houthi terrorists.
Prince Faisal called for a political solution to the Yemen issue. He urged the international community and civil society organizations to play their due roles in the resolution of the Yemen issue in the greater interest of its people.

HIGHLIGHT

The international community should pay close attention to some media platforms that are spreading hatred.

The foreign minister also highlighted the Kingdom’s role in resolving disputes between countries, especially in the region.
He lamented that some countries in the region are bent on destabilizing the Middle East by interfering in other countries’ internal matters and forging divisions.
Prince Faisal also highlighted several revolutionary steps the Kingdom has taken to ensure women’s empowerment and to protect human rights.
Since the announcement of Vision 2030, the Kingdom has introduced several laws to strengthen the legal framework for the protection of rights, he said.
Prince Faisal pointed out that the Kingdom will preside over the works of the Group of Twenty (G20) Summit 2020 under the slogan “Realizing Opportunities of the 21st Century for All,” adding that “the group will focus on three key aims: Empowering People through creating the conditions in which all people — particularly women and youth — can live, work and thrive; safeguarding the planet through fostering collective efforts to safeguard our global commons; shaping new frontiers by adopting long-term and bold strategies to utilize and share the benefits of innovation.”


It was Russia, not Saudi Arabia, that pulled out of OPEC+ deal: Saudi ministers

Updated 04 April 2020

It was Russia, not Saudi Arabia, that pulled out of OPEC+ deal: Saudi ministers

  • Saudi foreign and energy ministers say Moscow's claim that Kingdom withdrew from the OPEC+ deal was unfounded
  • They said it was Russia that abandoned the agreement, leading to a collapse in world oil prices

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia's foreign and energy ministers on Saturday denied Russia's claim that the Kingdom abandoned the OPEC+ deal, leading to a collapse in world oil prices.

In a statement carried by the Saudi Press Agency (SPA), Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan said "a statement attributed to one of the media of President Vladimir Putin of the Russian Federation claimed that one of the reasons for the decline in oil prices was the Kingdom's withdrawal from the deal of OPEC + and that the Kingdom was planning to get rid of shale oil producers."

"The minister affirmed that what was mentioned is fully devoid of truth and that the withdrawal of the Kingdom from the agreement is not correct," the statement said.

In fact Saudi Arabia and 22 other countries tried to persuade Russia to make further cuts and extend the deal, but Russia did not agree, it said.

Prince Farhan expressed surprise that Russia had to resort to "falsifying facts" when Saudi Arabia's stance on shale oil production is known, the statement said.

He pointed out that Saudi Arabia is one of the main investors in the energy sector in United States, implying that there is no reason for the Kingdom "to get rid of shale oil producers" as Russia has claimed.

He further said the Kingdom "is also seeking to reach more cuts and achieve oil market equilibrium for the interest of shale oil producers."

OPEC+ refers to the cooperation between members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and non-OPEC oil producers. The cooperation deal which called for cuts in production by the producers was meant to stabilize oil prices. 

In a separate statement, Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman rejected Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak’s similar claim that the Kingdom refused to extend the OPEC+ deal and withdrew from it.

Novak "was the first to declare to the media that all the participating countries are absolved of their commitments starting from the first of April," Prince Abdulaziz said in a statement.

He said Novak's statement led other countries to decide "to raise their production to offset the lower prices and compensate for their loss of returns." 

On Thursday, Saudi Arabia called for an urgent meeting of oil exporters after US President Donald Trump said he expected the Kingdom and Russia to cut production by 10-15 million barrels per day.

Prince Farhan said he was "hoping that Russia would take the right decisions in the urgent meeting" so that a "fair agreement that restores the desired balance of oil markets" could be achieved.

The global oil market has crashed, with prices falling to $34 a barrel from $65 at the beginning of the year, as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Fuel demand has dropped by roughly a third, or 30 million barrels per day, as billions of people worldwide restrict their movements.

A global deal to reduce production by as much as 10 million to 15 million barrels per day would require participation from nations that do not exert state control over output, including the United States, now the world’s largest producer of crude.

A meeting of OPEC and allies such as Russia has been scheduled for April 6, but details were thin on the exact distribution of production cuts. No time has yet been set for the meeting, OPEC sources said.