Pompeo arrives in Saudi Arabia for talks with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman

Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan and US Ambassador to Saudi Arabia's John Abizaid greet Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and his wife Susan as they arrive at Neom Bay Airport in Saudi Arabia. (AP)
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Updated 23 November 2020

Pompeo arrives in Saudi Arabia for talks with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman

  • Pompeo embarked on a regional tour, likely to be his last as US secretary of state
  • He touted Trump’s MidEast ‘maximum pressure’ strategy that focused on Iran

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman met with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Neom on Sunday to discuss bilateral relations, areas of cooperation and ways to enhance them.
They also discussed regional and international developments, Saudi Press Agency reported.
The meeting was also attended by Saudi foreign minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan and US Ambassador to the Kingdom, John Abizaid.
Pompeo arrived in Saudi Arabia earlier to discuss the strong bilateral security and economic partnership between the United States, the US State Department said.

Both sides would also discuss progress made under the U.S-Saudi Arabia Strategic Dialogue held last month in Washington.
The State Department added that the US and Saudi Arabia support global economic growth and stable energy markets as two of the world’s largest suppliers of oil and gas.
Washington recognizes Saudi Arabia’s progress toward transforming its economy under the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.
The US secretary of state embarked on a regional tour earlier this week, which included Turkey, Israel the UAE and Qatar, where he attended peace talks between the Afghan government and Taliban negotiators in Doha.
Saudi Arabia is currently hosting the two-day 15th G20 Summit in Riyadh, which is being held virtually for the first time, and chaired by King Salman.
Among the top priorities on his agenda for the visit, most likely his last as secretary of state ahead of a handover to the next president Joe Bidden, is maintaining pressure on Iran.
“Our policies don’t change. Our duty doesn’t change. My responsibilities don’t change,” Pompeo said. “I still have an obligation — every hour, every minute — to defend the American people and to keep them foremost in our efforts, and we’ll do that. We’ll do that to the very last minute.”

Pompeo said Donald Trump’s Middle East strategy had focused on Iran as “the central threat inside the region” and maintained a maximum pressure campaign that curbed Iran’s ability to support militias in Iraq, Lebanon and Syria.
“It’ll be our policy until our time is complete,” he added.
Pompeo traveled to the Kingdom from the UAE, where he met Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed to discuss the emirates’ decision to normalize ties with Israel.
They also discussed security cooperation and countering Iran’s malign influence in the region, as well as that of China,” the US State Department said.
(With AP)


On the go with Saudi Arabia’s first professionally trained cycling club

Doves Ride is Saudi Arabia’s first professional cycling team, licensed both locally and internationally. (Supplied)
Updated 30 November 2020

On the go with Saudi Arabia’s first professionally trained cycling club

  • Saudi Arabia’s female population is enjoying the new wave of opportunities to live a healthy lifestyle

RIYADH: As sports and other activities continue to gain popularity in Saudi Arabia, residents are seeking out exciting ways to get moving.
The Kingdom’s female population are enjoying the new wave of opportunities that have been made available to them in recent years to live a healthy lifestyle.
Hiking, outdoor yoga and football are all popular choices, but one less familiar pastime on the increase is cycling.
Events such as the annual Saudi Tour and the General Sports Authority’s highly successful all-women’s cycling race in Jeddah in 2018 have fostered a growing interest in the sport.
Studies have shown that cycling improves overall health, more specifically improving mental health, strengthening the immune system, promoting weight loss, reducing heart disease and cancer and more.
Riding a bike can be one of the easiest forms of returning to fitness when you are bouncing back from an injury or illness.

Doves Ride organizes rides for all levels, from the gentle trails suitable for beginners to the more challenging routes for hardened cyclists. The group offers lessons that can help any beginner ride a bike safely. (Supplied)

A group of bike enthusiasts from Riyadh intend to spread the word and make people more aware of the healthy advantages of cycling and the joy that can be had on the back of a bicycle.
Doves Ride is Saudi Arabia’s first professional cycling team, licensed both locally and internationally. Shahd Alturki, Doves Ride’s founder and a professional cycling trainer, spoke to Arab News about why she set up the team.

HIGHLIGHTS

• A group of bike enthusiasts from Riyadh intend to spread the word and make people more aware of the healthy advantages of cycling and the joy that can be had on the back of a bicycle.

• Doves Ride is Saudi Arabia’s first professional cycling team, licensed both locally and internationally.

• Riding a bike can be one of the easiest forms of returning to fitness when you are bouncing back from an injury or illness.

“I founded Doves Ride to create an environment for women and families where they could get into sports,” Alturki said.
Based in Riyadh, Doves Ride’s goal is to create an environment where Saudis can discover what biking is like and meet others with similar interests.
“The idea was to create a team that would motivate Saudi society to start biking, and to raise awareness in general about sport and movement. We also wanted to help teach Saudis to cycle by creating a program to teach people in all categories,” she said.
Doves Ride organizes rides for all levels, from the gentle trails suitable for beginners to the more challenging routes for hardened cyclists.
“We welcome participants at any level, whether they are looking for a long-term membership or just to try it out,” said Alturki.
She also spoke about the benefits of the sport and hopes to encourage people to try it out for themselves.
“Biking is more than just a fun sport; it raises your fitness levels and can also boost your mental health,” she said.
For the more hesitant, Alturki reassures them that she is well-equipped to train them and get them on the path to biking like a pro.
“We have bike-riding lessons for zero-experience learners, licensed by the British Cycling Federation. Children, men and women are all welcome to take them. These lessons can help any beginner ride a bike safely, and teaches them all the necessary skills and basics,” she said.
Doves Ride can be contacted via their Twitter or Instagram accounts, @dovesride.