Strong bilateral ties between Saudi Arabia and Djibouti

Djibouti Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Dya-Eddine Said Bamakhrama. (Supplied)
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Updated 15 July 2020

Strong bilateral ties between Saudi Arabia and Djibouti

RIYADH: The bilateral relationship between Djibouti and Saudi Arabia is tight and “formidable,” the Djibouti Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Dya-Eddine Said Bamakhrama told Arab News.

The leaders of both countries are in constant contact on all issues, including regional and international politics, to conserve and maintain their relationship, added the ambassador from the African country that has both French and Arabic as its official languages, and where Islam is the predominant religion.

Bamakhrama has spent 17 years in the Kingdom and has been the dean of the diplomatic corps to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia since 2002.

Bamakhrama congratulated Arab News on the launch of its French edition, saying it was creating an opportunity for the French language. “I have recently met with young Saudis fluently speaking French, in a similar manner to how English, Spanish and Chinese are spoken,” he noted.

“It is important for the Kingdom to have a strong voice and be presence digitally in today’s world, especially in today’s media, where one can find the positive and the negative. It is important to be present with positive windows.”

Last month, Djibouti celebrated its 43rd year of independence. “The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia supported Djibouti to access independence, with the new republic declared on the 27th of June, 1977,” he said. “From the beginning, we maintained a very good relationship with the Kingdom, up to today. I am very proud that this bilateral relation evolved to become a strategic partnership.”

The bilateral relations of the two countries are important across all domains: Political, diplomatic, economic, humanitarian, educational and cultural, the ambassador said. “Djibouti is a member of the Arab League and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC); and the Kingdom’s embassy was one of the first to open in Djibouti, while the Embassy of the Republic of Djibouti in Saudi Arabia was been one (Djibouti’s) first to open across the world.”

The ambassador noted that the countries have joint governmental, security and military commissions. There is also an assembly of Saudi businessmen in Djibouti as well as many agreements passed between both countries in different domains, including the Saudi Arabia School, established by the Kingdom in Djibouti under the Imam Mohammed Ibn Saud Islamic University.

When diplomats speak about the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, they usually refer to the capital of Riyadh, but as the ambassador pointed out, it is also religiously significant to the Muslim community worldwide as it is home to the two holy mosques, including the tomb of the Prophet Mohammad. “One should not forget that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is at the heart of the Arab world, and it is the destination of the Muslim World, with Makkah, the Qibla of all Muslims.”

It also carries great political and economic weight, the ambassador said. “The Kingdom is the Muslim leader of the Arab world. With this weight, the wisdom of the government of Saudi Arabia, in addition to the Kingdom’s significance from a geographic, geopolitical and geo-economic perspective, the Kingdom became one of the global leaders.”

Bamakhrama remarked that being an ambassador and living in the capital of Saudi Arabia was “very interesting,” saying that he had learnt many things with respect to regional and international politics as well as political and economic affairs in the Kingdom itself.

He noted that the culture had changed, and was more diverse than ever. “All this change is in the context and in line with the principles of the Kingdom, while maintaining Islamic values and principles,” he said. “There is development in the social, economic, political and humanitarian realms, while preserving the principles of Islam that always serve as a framework for the government, and this is what led to a harmonization between the government of the Kingdom and its people since day one.”

Speaking of the francophone world, he said that the International Organization of the Francophonie  was “the third (largest) organization in terms of the number of its members states, with the UN and OIC ranking first and second respectively.

 “The links between these countries (Muslim and non-Muslim) and the Kingdom are links of an economic and geo-strategic order. It has always been through a harmonization and diversification of the Kingdom’s politics that is present everywhere around the world,” he added.

Remarking on the Kingdom’s good ties with francophone countries, the ambassador suggested in the future that Saudi Arabia “must become a member of the Francophonie as an observer or under another aspect.”


Saudi body to help UN devise policies for sustainable living

Updated 13 August 2020

Saudi body to help UN devise policies for sustainable living

  • Saudi Green Building Forum granted accreditation as an observer to UNEP governing body

RIYADH: A professional association from Saudi Arabia will play a key policymaking role at a UN governing body addressing the importance of environmental needs.
Following careful assessment and consideration of the commitments and engagements of the Saudi Green Building Forum (SGBF), the nonprofit organization has been granted accreditation as an observer at the governing body of the UN Environment Program (UNEP). SGBF will play a role as an observer at all public meetings and sessions of the UNEP and its subsidiary organs.
Speaking to Arab News, Faisal Al-Fadl, founder of the nonprofit organization, said that the forum’s mission has been developing for the past 10 years and this accreditation was considered an important step in strengthening the role of Saudi civil society institutions, locally and internationally. This was in line with Vision 2030, which has not only played an integral role in the NGO’s mission but also paved the way for the Kingdom’s people to go the extra mile in building an advanced and resilient society.
SGBF was initiated in 2010 and established in 2014. In 2017, it became the first professional body from Saudi Arabia in consultative status with the UN.
“The Saudi Forum was an advocacy group with an honest voice to bridge the gap; through UNEP we now have the tools to become the policymakers,” Al-Fadl said. It is a challenge that the group founder says will be met by providing communities with the proper tools to implement commitments.
As the observing body on the environmental framework at the UNEP, SGBF’s role will include promoting its concepts and goals to be reflected within the community of change. For change to happen, people of a community at a grassroots level who have committed to the preservation of moral codes of conduct are key to changing mentality and behavior to guarantee a future for the next generations, Al-Fadl said.
“As an open platform, our role is being the honest voice of bridging the gap. Economic and social progress accompanied by environmental degradation and pandemics are endangering the very systems on which our future development and our survival depends,” he said.
SGBF represents the Kingdom and its call to communities, stakeholders, and policymakers to build on the principles of volunteering, advocacy and sustainable development.
For the NGO, their next step is increasing the engagement of civil society, finding solutions to the problem of volunteer integration in societies, and to prioritize and address social challenges for women, youth and the elderly, calling on member states to increase their role in building and developing practices that minimize the negative impact on the planet.
Al-Fadl added that protecting the planet and building resilience was not easy. Without bolstering local action, including volunteers to accelerate the implementation, it would be a long time until goals were met and result seen, he said.
“UN member countries have the responsibility in confronting the human crisis of inestimable proportions, which impose its heaviest tolls on the supply chain for those marginalized and
most vulnerable in cities and communities around the world,” Al-Fadl said.