Saudi Arabia restores full diplomatic relations with Qatar

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan holds a press conference at the end of the 41st Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) summit, in the city of AlUla in northwestern Saudi Arabia on Jan. 5, 2021. (AFP)
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Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan holds a press conference at the end of the 41st Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) summit, in the city of AlUla in northwestern Saudi Arabia on Jan. 5, 2021. (AFP)
Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan (R) and Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council Nayef Al-Hajraf hold a press conference at the end of the GCC’s 41st summit, in the city of AlUla in northwestern Saudi Arabia on Jan. 5, 2021. (AFP)
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Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan (R) and Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council Nayef Al-Hajraf hold a press conference at the end of the GCC’s 41st summit, in the city of AlUla in northwestern Saudi Arabia on Jan. 5, 2021. (AFP)
Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan (R) and Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council Nayef Al-Hajraf hold a press conference at the end of the GCC’s 41st summit, in the city of AlUla in northwestern Saudi Arabia on Jan. 5, 2021. (AFP)
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Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan (R) and Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council Nayef Al-Hajraf hold a press conference at the end of the GCC’s 41st summit, in the city of AlUla in northwestern Saudi Arabia on Jan. 5, 2021. (AFP)
Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan (R) and Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council Nayef Al-Hajraf hold a press conference at the end of the GCC’s 41st summit, in the city of AlUla in northwestern Saudi Arabia on Jan. 5, 2021. (AFP)
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Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan (R) and Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council Nayef Al-Hajraf hold a press conference at the end of the GCC’s 41st summit, in the city of AlUla in northwestern Saudi Arabia on Jan. 5, 2021. (AFP)
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Updated 06 January 2021

Saudi Arabia restores full diplomatic relations with Qatar

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan (R) and Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council Nayef Al-Hajraf hold a press conference at the end of the GCC’s 41st summit, in the city of AlUla in northwestern Saudi Arabia on Jan. 5, 2021. (AFP)
  • Saudi FM ‘extremely pleased’ all outstanding issues with Qatar will return to normal
  • AlUla declaration emphasized need to combat entities that threaten Gulf security

ALULA: Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt have restored full diplomatic relations with Qatar, the Kingdom’s foreign minister said Tuesday, marking the end of a three-year dispute. 
“What happened today is... the turning of the page on all points of difference and a full return of diplomatic relations,” Prince Faisal bin Farhan told a press conference at the conclusion of the 41st GCC summit in the city of AlUla, northwestern Saudi Arabia.
Leaders from the six GCC states signed two documents, the AlUla Declaration and a final communique.
Prince Faisal said the AlUla Declaration emphasized the need to combat entities that threaten the security of Gulf nations, adding that “this summit sends a message to the whole world that no matter how much disagreement is in the same house, wisdom is able to overcome all this and move the region to safety.”
The final communique called for strengthening cooperation in combating terrorist entities, and an emphasis on the GCC countries standing united, he said.
The statement affirmed the solidarity of the Gulf states regarding any direct or indirect interference in their internal affairs,” and members agreed that no country’s sovereignty be violated or its security targeted,” Prince Faisal added.
The AlUla summit resulted in “turning the page on the past and looking forward to a future dominated by cooperation and respect in a way that preserves the security and stability of states.”
GCC Secretary-General Nayef Al-Hajraf said Gulf states usually overcome all challenges with strength and determination.
The AlUla Declaration, he said, emphasized the GCC’s goals and strengthened the bonds of friendship and brotherhood among the member states.
Earlier, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman met separately with Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim on the sidelines of the summit, after the pair embraced at the airport.
Al-Hajraf said Egypt’s signing of the AlUla declaration strengthens the fraternal relations between Cairo and the GCC countries.
The United States welcomed the outcomes of the summit and the declaration, saying it “marks a positive step toward restoring Gulf and Arab unity.
“We have long stressed that a truly united Gulf will bring added prosperity through the free flow of goods and services and more security to its people. We welcome the pledge today to restore cooperation in military, economic, health, counter-corruption, and cultural initiatives,” the State Department said in a statement.

The US also thanked Kuwait for its mediation efforts and said that it hopes Gulf countries would continue to reconcile their differences. 
“Restoring full diplomatic relations is imperative for all parties in the region to unite against common threats. We are stronger when we stand together,” the statement added.
Meanwhile, Al-Hajraf said that the challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic confirmed the need for Gulf cooperation and coordination. He said Gulf countries had dealt with the repercussions of COVID-19 with “economic firmness.”
The AlUla Declaration called for completing the requirements of the Gulf Customs Union and the Common Market, and achieving full economic citizenship, including enabling citizens of GCC countries freedom to work, move and invest throughout the union, and have equal access to education and health care.
It also called for building the Gulf railway network, a food and water security system.
Earlier on Tuesday, Crown Prince Mohammed said Gulf states had inked an agreement that affirms “our Gulf, Arab and Islamic solidarity and stability.”
Saudi Deputy Defense Minister Prince Khalid bin Salman said the summit and the AlUla Declaration “established a new phase in which we work together toward a bright tomorrow for our region and face all its challenges.”
He said in a tweet that “we are one people led by brothers whose primary concern is the stability, prosperity and prosperity of their homelands.”
Later on Tuesday, Saudi Arabia’s King Salman received a phone call from Kuwait’s Emir Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah who said the AlUla summit would result in “stronger Gulf and Arab unity and cohesion.”
King Salman also received a letter from Oman’s Sultan Haitham on the strong relations between their two countries.
(With AFP)


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.