Saudi Arabia hands over G20 presidency to Italy as Riyadh summit concludes

Saudi Arabia hands over G20 presidency to Italy as Riyadh summit concludes
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In his closing remarks to the G20 Riyadh summit, King Salman said although it was the first time Saudi Arabia had held the presidency, it was able “to rise to the challenge” amid the pandemic. (Arab News photo by Basheer Saleh)
Saudi Arabia hands over G20 presidency to Italy as Riyadh summit concludes
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In his closing remarks to the G20 Riyadh summit, King Salman said although it was the first time Saudi Arabia had held the presidency, it was able “to rise to the challenge” amid the pandemic. (Arab News photo by Basheer Saleh)
Saudi Arabia hands over G20 presidency to Italy as Riyadh summit concludes
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In his closing remarks to the G20 Riyadh summit, King Salman said although it was the first time Saudi Arabia had held the presidency, it was able “to rise to the challenge” amid the pandemic. (Arab News photo by Basheer Saleh)
Saudi Arabia hands over G20 presidency to Italy as Riyadh summit concludes
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In his closing remarks to the G20 Riyadh summit, King Salman said although it was the first time Saudi Arabia had held the presidency, it was able “to rise to the challenge” amid the pandemic. (Arab News photo by Basheer Saleh)
Saudi Arabia hands over G20 presidency to Italy as Riyadh summit concludes
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Italy’s Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte attending the virtual summit. (Twitter photo)
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Updated 24 November 2020

Saudi Arabia hands over G20 presidency to Italy as Riyadh summit concludes

Saudi Arabia hands over G20 presidency to Italy as Riyadh summit concludes
  • Italy assumes forum’s annual rotating presidency following successful completion of Riyadh summit
  • Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte says Italy will continue the forum’s focus on people, planet and prosperity

RIYADH: Following the successful completion of the G20 Summit in Riyadh on Sunday, Italy assumed the forum’s annual rotating presidency from Saudi Arabia during a ceremonial handover.

The two-day summit, the 15th meeting of the forum, brought together leaders of economies that account for about 85 percent of global gross domestic product to discuss the most challenging socioeconomic issues.

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman formally handed over the G20 presidency to Italy, which will chair next year’s leaders’ summit.

Delivering a short speech to mark the occasion, Italy’s Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said a decision had been taken that the focus of the world’s premier forum for economic cooperation would continue to be “people, planet and prosperity.”




Saudi Arabia's King Salman delivering an address during the second session of the G20 summit, held virtually due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, in Riyadh. (AFP Photo / Saudi Royal Palace / Bandar Al-Jaloud)
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He told fellow G20 leaders on the concluding day of the summit: “In order to achieve a safe and sustainable world, we must first restore the balance between people and nature. On this basis, we will then support economic recovery, advance women’s empowerment, and address poverty and inequalities, both new and old, so that no one is left behind.”

The G20 will “facilitate energy transition and combat climate change, tap the immense opportunities stemming from digitalization and enhance the multilateral trade system, based on the principles of transparency, non-discrimination and inclusivity, in order to adopt a true and efficient multilateral approach,” he added.

Conte underscored the importance of a joint effort to move to a better future. “The goal would only be attainable if we work together, united as a global community of intentions, cooperation and solidarity,” he said.

“If there is a very clear lesson we have learned in these recent months, it is that no country can win global challenges alone. This pandemic has clearly shown that we cannot do this alone,” he added.

“In today’s world, which is so interconnected and interdependent, multilateralism is not one of the many options — it is the only sustainable option.”




 Italy’s Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte attending the virtual summit. (Twitter photo)

Conte said he is confident that Italy can rely on the support of all G20 member states during its presidency, which will culminate in the 2021 G20 Leaders’ Summit on Oct. 30-31 in his country.

The G20 presidency rotates between member countries. Each presidency typically concludes with the G20 Leaders’ Summit, a powerful gathering of heads of state that made its debut in 2008. Saudi Arabia became the first Arab country to assume the role in December 2019.

The normal G20 calendar was changed due to restrictions put in place across the forum’s membership in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Leaders and ministers held virtual meetings since March to coordinate the international response to the crisis and put the global economy on a pathway to recovery.

In his closing remarks at the end of the summit in Riyadh, King Salman said G20 countries have succeeded in sending a message of hope and reassurance to their citizens and the global community.

IN NUMBERS

  • $11 TRILLION - Combined G20 support for individuals, businesses during pandemic.

Referring to the final statement, he said: “It is my honor to announce that the G20 members have adopted this communique. This is what the world has been expecting from us. This achievement today is a culmination of our joint efforts throughout this challenge-fraught year.”

He added: “Our joint and individual actions will be critical in overcoming the immediate global challenge we are facing. Looking forward, through empowering people, safeguarding the planet and shaping new frontiers, we will work on laying the foundations to achieve the main theme of our presidency: Realizing opportunities of the 21st century for all.”

King Salman said the G20 countries have upheld their commitment to working together to confront the pandemic and to safeguard lives and livelihoods. 

“We have adopted important policies that will achieve recovery all the way to an economy that is resilient, sustainable, inclusive and balanced,” he added.

“These policies will also maintain the momentum to make the global trade system work for all, and create the conditions to achieve sustainable growth.”

King Salman said although it was the first time Saudi Arabia had held the presidency, it was able “to rise to the challenge” amid the pandemic with the support of member countries.

“Due to its unique stature regionally and internationally, interconnecting three continents and lying at the intersection of emerging and developed markets, the Kingdom will continue to play a key role within the G20 to achieve global cooperation and find solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges,” he added.

The summit’s final statement said: “We, the G20 leaders, meeting for the second time under the Saudi presidency, stand united in our conviction that coordinated global action, solidarity, and multilateral cooperation are more necessary today than ever to overcome the current challenges and realize opportunities of the 21st century for all by empowering people, safeguarding the planet, and shaping new frontiers.”




In his closing remarks to the G20 Riyadh summit, King Salman said although it was the first time Saudi Arabia had held the presidency, it was able “to rise to the challenge” amid the pandemic. (Arab News photo by Basheer Saleh) 

The G20 leaders also promised to “spare no effort” to ensure the fair distribution of COVID-19 vaccines and medicines worldwide.

“We are taking immediate and exceptional measures to address the COVID-19 pandemic and its intertwined health, social and economic impacts, including through the implementation of unprecedented fiscal, monetary and financial stability actions,” the statement said.

“We recognize the role of extensive immunization as a global public good. We commend the Saudi presidency for initiating discussions on the need for long-term solutions to address gaps in global pandemic preparedness and response.”

Along with tackling the pandemic, the statement called for protecting the planet and continuing to act against climate change.

“Preventing environmental degradation, conserving, sustainably using and restoring biodiversity, preserving our oceans, promoting clean air and clean water, responding to natural disasters and extreme weather events, and tackling climate change are among the most pressing challenges of our time,” the statement said.

During the Saudi presidency of the G20, 170 meetings were conducted involving ministers of finance, trade and investment, health, education, energy, climate, anti-corruption, agriculture, environment, employment, tourism, digital economy, water and foreign affairs.

In addition, civil society and business groups were represented by eight engagement groups: Business 20, Youth 20, Labour 20, Think 20, Civil 20, Women 20, Science 20 and Urban 20.

They held eight summits and issued eight final statements with a view to bringing civil society and private sector views to the policymaking table.

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Twitter: @LujainBenGassem


Saudi Arabian Military Industries signs deals at IDEX

Saudi Arabian Military Industries signs deals at IDEX
Updated 27 February 2021

Saudi Arabian Military Industries signs deals at IDEX

Saudi Arabian Military Industries signs deals at IDEX
  • SAMI also agreed to be a strategic partner of Saudi Arabia’s General Authority for Military Industries (GAMI in next year’s IDEX

Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI) signed several cooperation agreements with international companies and government authorities during the International Defense Exhibition and Conference (IDEX) this week.

SAMI, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Public Investment Fund (PIF), aims to enhance the Kingdom’s defense capabilities and localize its military industry as part of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030.

“We are pleased to achieve outstanding success through our participation in IDEX 2021,” Walid bin Abdulmajeed Abu Khaled, CEO of SAMI, said.

“This will lead us to new achievements and make Saudi Arabia one of the leading manufacturers of military systems in the world.”

SAMI signed a joint venture agreement with the US firm Lockheed Martin, the world’s largest military defense company. The venture will develop capabilities in manufacturing software technologies, along with the production, maintenance, and repair of helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft.

SAMI also signed a cooperation agreement with Nimr, which is part of the Abu Dhabi-based EDGE Technology Group. The deal will allow both companies to work together on armored military and security vehicles. It also marks the first collaboration in the field of military industries between Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

Saudi Arabia’s General Authority for Military Industries (GAMI) also signed an agreement with SAMI to be a strategic partner in next year’s IDEX.

During the five-day exhibition, GAMI Gov. Ahmed bin Abdul Aziz Al-Ohali visited the Saudi pavilion along with Saudi Ambassador to the UAE Turki bin Abdullah Al-Dakhil.

The pavilion also welcomed Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed and Lt. Gen. Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, the UAE’s deputy prime minister.

 

 

 

 


US not aiming ‘to rupture relationship’ with Kingdom: Politico

King Salman and US President Joe Biden recently discussed strengthening partnership during phone call. (Reuters/File Photo)
King Salman and US President Joe Biden recently discussed strengthening partnership during phone call. (Reuters/File Photo)
Updated 27 February 2021

US not aiming ‘to rupture relationship’ with Kingdom: Politico

King Salman and US President Joe Biden recently discussed strengthening partnership during phone call. (Reuters/File Photo)
  • Saudis show wide support at home for MBS, describe CIA report as speculative

RIYADH: US President Joe Biden and his administration may be seeking a recalibration of its relationship with Saudi Arabia, but is adamant not to rupture the relationship with the Kingdom, a senior US official said.

Speaking to Politico, the official said that there are “important interests” the US shares with Saudi Arabia. The administration views the Kingdom as an important partner in the Middle East, and it has promised to keep supporting the country as it defends itself against attacks blamed on Iran.

The official’s comments came after a classified CIA report was released on the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist, who was killed by a group of rogue Saudi agents in Istanbul in 2018.

Despite a lot of hype that preceded the release of the report, many observers have described it as too analytical and lacking evidence.

“No smoking gun,” CNN’s International Diplomatic Editor Nic Robertson said.

Israeli journalist and commentator Barak Ravid wrote on Twitter: “US intelligence report on Khashoggi, which is 100% analysis and 0% information, raises real concerns about the quality of access US intelligence agencies have in Saudi Arabia.”

Meanwhile, in the Kingdom, Saudis took to social media to show support for Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who underwent a successful surgical procedure on Wednesday morning to treat appendicitis.

Saudi journalist Abdulrahman Al-Rashed tweeted there was nothing new in the declassified CIA report. He described those who were betting on Biden to damage the relationship with Saudi Arabia as “ignorant of how the world operates.”

Saudi columnist Salman Al-Dossari tweeted that the Biden administration should be praised for publishing the CIA report, saying that the findings support Saudi court rulings.

Last September, Saudi Arabia’s Public Prosecution announced the final sentences for the eight people convicted of the Khashoggi murder.

Five of them received 20-year jail sentences for their involvement in the killing. Another was sentenced to 10 years while two others received seven years. Commenting on the verdict, the Khashoggi family called the judgment “fair and dissuasive.”


Saudi envoy meets UN Women’s executive in New York

Saudi envoy meets UN Women’s executive in New York
They also discussed ways to enhance cooperation in various fields. (SPA)
Updated 27 February 2021

Saudi envoy meets UN Women’s executive in New York

Saudi envoy meets UN Women’s executive in New York
  • Al-Mouallimi virtually met the newly-appointed permanent representative of Mozambique to the UN, Pedro Comissario Afonso

NEW YORK: Saudi Arabia’s permanent representative to the UN, Abdallah Al-Mouallimi, held a virtual meeting with Asa Regner the assistant secretary-general of the UN and deputy executive director of UN Women.

The two sides reviewed the latest preparations for the upcoming session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW65), in which the Kingdom will take part.

They also discussed a number of topics of common interest, and ways to enhance cooperation in various fields.

Al-Mouallimi also virtually met the newly-appointed permanent representative of Mozambique to the UN, Pedro Comissario Afonso.

During the meeting, the two sides discussed topics of common interest and ways to enhance cooperation in various fields.

Both meetings were attended by the director of Al-Mouallimi’s bureau, Faisal Al-Haqbani, and the head of public relations and information of the delegation, Taful Al-Aqbi.

 


Who’s Who: Ziyad Al-Shiha, new CEO of Saudi Investment Recycling Co. 

Who’s Who: Ziyad Al-Shiha, new CEO of Saudi Investment Recycling Co. 
Updated 27 February 2021

Who’s Who: Ziyad Al-Shiha, new CEO of Saudi Investment Recycling Co. 

Who’s Who: Ziyad Al-Shiha, new CEO of Saudi Investment Recycling Co. 

Ziyad Al-Shiha has been appointed CEO of the Saudi Investment Recycling Co. (SIRC).

SIRC, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Public Investment Fund, the National Waste Management Center and the municipality of the Eastern Province recently signed an agreement to start integrated waste management and waste recycling activities in the province.

Al-Shiha has been a board member of the National Petrochemical Company, a Saudi joint-stock company, since 2019, and was deputy chair of the Business 20 (B20) Trade and Investment Taskforce.

He was president and CEO of the Saudi Electricity Co. (SEC) from 2014 to 2018 and, prior to that, was a SEC board member from 2012 to 2013.

Al-Shiha has a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, a master’s degree in engineering and control systems from Rice University, and a second master’s in executive business administration from MIT.

He had a number of positions at Saudi Aramco after joining the company in 1984. He was an electrical engineer and vice president of general planning in one of the international joint ventures in the Philippines. He was also a public relations manager at Aramco, the director of facilities planning, and the executive director of power systems.

Al-Shiha has participated in several leadership training programs, including MIT’s Sloan Fellowship Program.


Saudi universities opening coronavirus vaccine centers

Saudi universities opening coronavirus vaccine centers
Universities used human and technical capabilities in university hospitals and health centers to support state institutions. (SPA)
Updated 27 February 2021

Saudi universities opening coronavirus vaccine centers

Saudi universities opening coronavirus vaccine centers
  • The Kingdom is ranked first in the Arab world, 12th among G20 countries, and 14th at the global level in publishing scientific research on coronavirus

RIYADH: Several Saudi universities have begun preparing coronavirus vaccination centers for use by faculty, their families, citizens and residents.

Vaccines will be given to people according to priority and age group, and as per the approved electronic systems.

The move comes as part of the Ministry of Education’s efforts under the guidance of Education Minister Hamad Al-Asheikh to join national efforts to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

The launch of vaccination centers in universities emphasizes their role in serving the community. It is is also part of a long series of joint programs between Saudi government bodies.

As per the directives of Al-Asheikh, universities have prepared emergency plans since February last year to fight the pandemic. These include programs, events and community activities that raise awareness of the threat of coronavirus.

Universities also used human and technical capabilities in university hospitals and health centers to support state institutions, and allocated buildings for isolation and quarantine.

Saudi institutions also encouraged faculty members and researchers in universities to present scientific studies, research, and innovations to aid the global fight against the pandemic.

The Kingdom is ranked first in the Arab world, 12th among G20 countries, and 14th at the global level in publishing scientific research on coronavirus.

In addition, Saudi universities have organized conferences, forums, scientific seminars and workshops. The events were part of the success of clinical trials for the production of a Saudi vaccine by the scientific team at Imam Abdulrahman bin Faisal University.

Vaccination centers are being prepared at King Saud University, Princess Nourah bint Abdulrahman University, Imam Muhammad bin Saud Islamic University, Majmaah University, Bisha University, Umm Al-Qura University, Taif University, Hail University, Jazan University, the University of Hafr Al-Batin, and others.

Specialized administrative workers will organize medical teams to ensure the smooth flow of vaccines at the new centers.