Saudi foreign minister to Arab News: No Israelis attended Pompeo meeting

Saudi foreign minister to Arab News: No Israelis attended Pompeo meeting
US Ambassador to Saudi Arabia John Abizaid (left) and Saudi foreign minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan greet US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and his wife Susan as they arrive at Neom, Saudi Arabia. (AFP)
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Updated 24 November 2020

Saudi foreign minister to Arab News: No Israelis attended Pompeo meeting

Saudi foreign minister to Arab News: No Israelis attended Pompeo meeting
  • Prince Faisal bin Farhan says no Israeli officials were at meeting between crown prince and Mike Pompeo
  • 'No such meeting occurred. The only officials present were American and Saudi.'

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister told Arab News on Monday that there were no Israeli officials at a meeting between Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and the US Secretary of State.

Prince Faisal bin Farhan has denied reports that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu joined talks in NEOM with Mike Pompeo on Sunday.

He said the meeting was only attended by Saudis, Pompeo himself and the US ambassador to the Kingdom, John Abizaid.

“The only non-Saudis at the meeting with HRH the crown prince were Secretary Pompeo and the US ambassador,” Prince Faisal told Arab News.

Earlier the foreign minister dismissed the reports from his Twitter account.

“I have seen press reports about a purported meeting between HRH the Crown Prince and Israeli officials during the recent visit by @SecPompeo,” Prince Faisal bin Farhan said. “No such meeting occurred. The only officials present were American and Saudi.”

Pompeo met with the crown prince in the northern city of NEOM on Sunday evening as part of his regional tour.

They “reviewed friendship relations, areas of bilateral cooperation between the two countries and ways to enhance them,” Saudi Press Agency reported. They also discussed the latest developments in the Middle East.

The meeting was attended by Prince Faisal and Abizaid.

Recent agreements with the UAE, Bahrain and Sudan to establish relations with Israel have led to speculation that other Arab states may follow.

Saudi Arabia has said there must be a peace agreement first between Israel and the Palestinians before the Kingdom establishes relations with Israel.

Shortly after the UAE agreement with Israel was announced, Prince Faisal said Saudi Arabia would continue to adhere to the Arab Peace Plan in its relations with Israel.

The plan, which was sponsored by the Kingdom in 2002, said ties with Israel would be normalized once a peace agreement was reached with the Palestinians that included an independent state with East Jerusalem as its capital.

The plan would see Israel withdraw from Palestinian territories occupied since 1967.

“When we sponsored the Arab Peace Plan in 2002, we fully envisioned that there would eventually be relations between all Arab states, including Saudi Arabia, and Israel if the condition is met,” Prince Faisal said in August.

“Saudi Arabia remains committed to peace as a strategic option based on the Arab Peace Plan and relevant international resolutions enabling the Palestinian people to establish their own state with East Jerusalem as its capital.”

 


Saudi Arabia to appoint women as court judges ‘very soon’

Saudi Arabia to appoint women as court judges ‘very soon’
Updated 16 January 2021

Saudi Arabia to appoint women as court judges ‘very soon’

Saudi Arabia to appoint women as court judges ‘very soon’
  • Al-Zahid reiterated the Kingdom’s eagerness to pursue women empowerment
  • She pointed out international markers that have proven Saudi Arabia’s progress on women’s rights

DUBAI: Saudi Arabia will “soon” be appointing women as court judges, an official said, in continued social reforms over the past years.
Hind al-Zahid, undersecretary for women’s empowerment at the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development, said a “Saudi woman assuming a position of judge is very soon. There are initiatives on several levels.”
In an interview with Al-Arabiya, Al-Zahid reiterated the Kingdom’s eagerness to pursue women empowerment, particularly in allowing women to participate in diverse fields.
She pointed out international markers that have proven Saudi Arabia’s progress on women’s rights, particularly noting Saudi women’s participation in the Kingdom’s labor market has exceeded expectations.
Their participation rate today has reached 31 percent, and this is a very big progress. As for the civil service sectors, the Saudi women's participation rate has increased from 39 percent to 41 percent, and most of them are in the education and health sectors in addition to other sectors,” al-Zahid said.