Djibouti president to give keynote address at virtual launch of Arab News en Français

Ismail Omar Guelleh will be the guest of honor at the launch. (AFP)
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Updated 14 July 2020

Djibouti president to give keynote address at virtual launch of Arab News en Français

  • French ambassador to Saudi Arabia to inaugurate new digital news site

RIYADH: In an online ceremony linking Riyadh and Paris on France’s National Day, the Middle East’s leading English-language newspaper tonight launches Arab News en Français, its third overseas edition.
The virtual launch of the Arab News en Français website on Bastille Day will take place at 6 p.m. Paris time in the presence of distinguished guests, including guest of honor Ismail Omar Guelleh, president of the French-speaking Republic of Djibouti, who will be delivering a keynote speech.
The newest edition of Arab News will be formally launched in Riyadh by François Gouyette, the French ambassador to Saudi Arabia, who is also attending the virtual event.

Dr. Majid Al-Qasabi, Saudi Arabia’s minister of commerce and acting minister of media, will also give a speech at the ceremony.
Other guests at the launch — which will take place via an exclusive invitation-only Zoom video conference at 7 p.m. Riyadh time, and will be later carried on YouTube and other Arab News social media platforms — will include a large number of Saudi, Arab and French officials, diplomats and journalists.
The launch will also feature a special performance by Sawsan Al-Bahiti, Saudi Arabia’s first professional opera singer, who will sing “La Vie En Rose,” the song popularized by legendary French chanteuse Edith Piaf.
Arab News, Saudi Arabia’s first English-language newspaper, was founded in 1975 and this year is celebrating its 45th anniversary.




Dr. Majid Al-Qasabi and François Gouyette.

The launch of Arab News en Français recognizes the growing importance of creating bridges of communication between the Arab world and French-speaking countries.
The new online edition joins two other international digital editions of Arab News, which launched a Pakistan edition in February 2018 and a Japanese one in October 2019.
Tonight’s launch ceremony will introduce Randa Takieddine, the chief Paris correspondent of Arab News en Française, who will take part in the signing of a memorandum of agreement between Arab News and Experience AlUla.
In collaboration with the Paris-based French Agency for AlUla Development (Afalula), the Royal Commission for AlUla is developing the ancient Unesco World Heritage Site of Hegra and its surroundings in the dramatic landscape of western Saudi Arabia as a major international cultural destination.

The first product of the cooperation with Experience AlUla is an Arab News Deep Dive presentation, “The Rebirth of AlUla”, which is available in French
In collaboration with the Paris-based French Agency for AlUla Development (Afalula), the RCU is developing the ancient UNESCO World Heritage Site of Hegra and its surroundings in the dramatic landscape of western Saudi Arabia as a major international cultural destination.
The first product of the cooperation with the RCU is an Arab News Deep Dive presentation, “The Rebirth of AlUla,” which is available in French (http://www.arabnews.fr/Alula/).
Paris was given a glimpse of the treasures of Hegra at the exhibition “AlUla: Wonder of Arabia,” which opened at the Institut du Monde Arabe in the French capital in October 2019.
The launch of the exhibition was attended by Prince Badr, Saudi Arabia’s minister of culture and governor of the RCU, and Franck Riester, the French minister of culture.
Other guests included prize-winning French architect Jean Nouvel, who is designing a luxury tourism resort for AlUla as part of a series of developments planned for the region.


Arab coalition says Yemeni prisoner swap ‘positive’ step

Updated 27 September 2020

Arab coalition says Yemeni prisoner swap ‘positive’ step

  • Agreement includes release of 15 Saudi soldiers, 4 Sudanese nationals
  • Red Cross to supervise prisoner exchange process in Yemen

RIYADH: The Arab coalition fighting to restore the legitimate government in Yemen said on Sunday that it views a Yemeni prisoner swap as a “positive agreement.”
Yemen’s warring sides agreed earlier on Sunday to exchange 1,081 detainees and prisoners during the first stage of talks in Switzerland.
The Arab coalition said the prisoner exchange agreement was “purely humanitarian,” and in line with the Stockholm Agreement.
It has almost been two years since an agreement between the Yemeni government and the Iran-backed Houthi militia was signed in Sweden, with the aim of ending the brutal conflict that has led to the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.
Spokesperson Col. Turki Al-Maliki said the Houthi militia will release 400 government prisoners while the Yemeni government will free 681 Houthi fighters, including on-the-ground deals for 20 prisoners.
Col. Al-Maliki said the coalition’s top priority is to recover the prisoners as soon as possible, adding that the agreement included the release of 15 Saudi soldiers and four Sudanese nationals.
He also said the Red Cross is expected to supervise the prisoner exchange process in Yemen.
Col. Al-Maliki called on the Houthi militia to not undermine the efforts of the UN special envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths, saying there was a real desire to implement all the points of the Stockholm Agreement.