Sultan Haitham aims to build new ‘bridges of understanding’ on landmark visit to Saudi Arabia

 Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman welcomes Omani Deputy PM Fahd bin Mahmoud Al-Said upon his arrival to attend the GCC’s 41st Summit in AlUla on Jan. 5, 2021. (SPA)
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman welcomes Omani Deputy PM Fahd bin Mahmoud Al-Said upon his arrival to attend the GCC’s 41st Summit in AlUla on Jan. 5, 2021. (SPA)
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Updated 11 July 2021

Sultan Haitham aims to build new ‘bridges of understanding’ on landmark visit to Saudi Arabia

 Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman welcomes Omani Deputy PM Fahd bin Mahmoud Al-Said upon his arrival to attend the GCC’s 41st Summit in AlUla on Jan. 5, 2021. (SPA)
  • Ongoing changes in region motivate leaderships to push for more cooperation

RIYADH: Under the respective leaderships of King Salman and Sultan Haitham bin Tariq Al-Said, Saudi Arabia and Oman are steadily broadening the horizons of cooperation and investment to boost their national capabilities, bring further prosperity to both nations and meet the aspirations of their citizens.
The principles of fraternity and unity form the foundations of a strong and solid relationship between the countries. This has helped to strengthen bilateral cooperation, and serves as a starting point for building bridges of understanding and dialogue with other countries in the region, and the wider world, in an effort to achieve security and stability.
Over the past half-century, relations between Riyadh and Muscat have been characterized by cooperation and mutual respect between their leaders, and similar views on regional and international issues. Meanwhile there are long-standing bonds of fraternity between the peoples of the two countries, framed by a shared history, authentic Arab customs and traditions, and popular heritage.
Regionally, they work with their brothers in other countries under the umbrella of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), in accordance with their shared visions and strategic goals, to achieve coordination and integration between member states in various fields. These efforts are expanded through membership of the Arab League and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, along with cooperation with the international community in support of peace and security as part of the UN.
Ongoing changes in the region motivate the leaderships of the Kingdom and Oman to push for more cooperation at the bilateral, Gulf, and wider regional levels, as part of efforts to guarantee security and stability, and boost development.
Sultan Haitham’s visit to Saudi Arabia this week, at the invitation of King Salman, is his first foreign visit since taking office in January last year. This reflects the status of the Kingdom and its leadership at the political and popular levels in Oman, which is matched by the appreciation and respect the Saudi leadership and people have for the their Omani counterparts.

HIGHLIGHT

Sultan Haitham’s visit to Saudi Arabia this week, at the invitation of King Salman, is his first foreign visit since taking office in January last year. This reflects the status of the Kingdom and its leadership at the political and popular levels in Oman, which is matched by the appreciation and respect the Saudi leadership and people have for the their Omani counterparts.

The meeting of the Saudi and Omani leaders to consult and coordinate on issues that serve the interests of both nations, including regional stability, reflects their wisdom and foresight in dealing with the latest local and international developments.
Sultan Haitham came to power in Oman at an important moment in history, given the political, economic, social and health developments and challenges in the region and the world. These issues must be addressed, taking into account the preservation of established traditions of governance in Oman but also the necessities and requirements of change and modernization. When he took office, the sultan announced major political, financial and economic reforms, including the development of the structure of state agencies and institutions to more effectively meet the hopes and aspirations of the Omani people, and preserve the safety and stability of the country.
At the same time, he pledged to continue with the traditional approach Oman has adopted in its foreign policy, including a commitment not to interfere in the affairs of other nations, and to advance the process of joint action among GCC member states.
As he continues to face the challenges that arise, he has the benefit of the accumulated experience of many years of diplomatic and governmental work before he became sultan, especially his presidency of the main committee responsible for the Oman 2040 vision for the future of the country.
Within the framework of joint action by Saudi Arabia and Oman to strengthen economic relations, Saudi Vision 2030 and Oman Vision 2040 offer similar approaches and opportunities in the fields of trade and investment to help both countries diversify their income and economies.

The Omani vision builds on its political and economic stability. The country is ranked 23rd globally in terms of oil reserves and 27th for gas reserves, and is taking concrete steps to diversify its sources of national income and reduce the dependence on oil.

Oman’s strategic location and its political and security stability offer a competitive advantage in efforts to attract foreign investments. In an attempt to exploit this advantage, it has established a number of economic zones and ports, and is focusing on promising sectors, most notably tourism and logistics.

In addition, the country’s unique landscape and natural splendor have helped to make it a popular destination for Saudi and Gulf tourists, who share with the Omani people a religion and language as well as social customs and traditions.

The Green Middle East initiative, launched in March by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, represents a promising opportunity for the Kingdom and Oman to cooperate in efforts to combat climate change.

Both countries hope that the establishment of the Saudi-Omani Coordination Council will contribute to setting a common vision for sustaining and enhancing relations in the political, security, military, economic, developmental and human fields.

In the short term, one of the most important developments will be the completion of a land port project that includes the construction of a 680-kilometer road providing a direct route between the Kingdom and Oman. It is expected to boost bilateral trade and investment, as it will reduce the distance by road between the countries by about 800 kilometers. It will also make it easier to transport goods from the Kingdom to the rest of the world by land and from Omani ports.

Trade between the Kingdom and Oman was worth $3.36 billion last year. The value of non-oil exports from Saudi Arabia to Oman amounted to $1.16 billion.


Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea Development Company signs contract KACST to provide satellite data

The images will carry the coordinates of its geographical location. (SPA)
The images will carry the coordinates of its geographical location. (SPA)
Updated 1 min 54 sec ago

Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea Development Company signs contract KACST to provide satellite data

The images will carry the coordinates of its geographical location. (SPA)
  • The data is collected using satellites to monitor the progress of the Red Sea project,
  • It will enable the company to know how the project is progressing and the impact it may have on the environment

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea Development Company signed a contract with King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) to provide high-resolution data for the main sites at the company’s headquarters,
The data is collected using satellites to monitor the progress of the Red Sea project, which covers an area of ​​28,000 square kilometers, and to track developments in real estate assets more effectively.
The CEO of the Red Sea Development Company, John Pagano, said that this technical work will enable the company to monitor any unexpected effects in the development of real estate assets on the surrounding environment, and work immediately to find alternative solutions.
Pagano said the Red Sea Project’s stakeholders and its affiliates can obtain reliable and detailed images on a monthly basis, adding it was important to understand how the actual development processes affect the natural destination environments.
He also said that this partnership will enable the company to monitor the main assets, both natural and real estate, closely during the construction phase, which will support efforts to lead renewable tourism worldwide.

Pagano added that KACST, through the National Consortium on Remote Sensing in Transportation (NCRST), will capture monthly high-resolution data for the Red Sea project, using the GeoEye-1 satellite, the WorldView satellite, and the Pleiades satellite.
This will allow the images to be color-balanced as they are on the ground, and each will carry the coordinates of its geographical location. The images will be integrated with the company’s Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and Building Information Modeling (BIM) systems and will be available to its employees from the planning, engineering, and environment departments.
The company’s GIS department will periodically compare the data provided by KACST with the latest versions of the master plans and detailed designs of the project to monitor changes and avoid any environmental damage.
The images will be used to determine the best methods and locations to perform construction and development activities. It will also be an important part of the project’s monthly progress reports.
Dr. Talal Alsedairy, the supervisor of the Space and Aeronautics Center at KACST, said that NCRST will support the company by providing them with high-resolution images of the project area that will enable them to have a more comprehensive perspective on how the project is progressing and the impact it may have on the surrounding environment.


Weather warnings issued across Saudi Arabia until Thursday

Weather warnings issued across Saudi Arabia until Thursday
Updated 17 min 6 sec ago

Weather warnings issued across Saudi Arabia until Thursday

Weather warnings issued across Saudi Arabia until Thursday
  • The civil defense warned some areas will experience heavy rain that may lead to torrential flows and flooding

RIYADH: Weather warnings have been issued for several regions across Saudi Arabia lasting until Thursday, the Kingdom’s civil defense said on Sunday.
The authority warned of thunderstorms with moderate to heavy rain and brisk winds in Jazan, Asir, Najran, Al-Baha, and Makkah. It also warned some areas will experience heavy rain that may lead to torrential flows and flooding.
The civil defense also warned of rain in Madinah, Tabuk, and Hail starting from Monday until Thursday.
The warnings were issued based on data received from the National Center of Meteorology.
The civil defense called on everyone to be wary of the weather conditions, to stay away from places that could flood, and to abide by the civil defense’s instructions and updates announced through media and social media outlets.


Saudi Arabia announces return of in-person schooling for double-jabbed intermediate, secondary students

Saudi Arabia announces return of in-person schooling for double-jabbed intermediate, secondary students
Updated 01 August 2021

Saudi Arabia announces return of in-person schooling for double-jabbed intermediate, secondary students

Saudi Arabia announces return of in-person schooling for double-jabbed intermediate, secondary students
  • Primary, kindergarten pupils will return to classrooms once 70% of population has been double-jabbed or October 30

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia announced on Sunday the return of in-person schooling for intermediate and secondary school students who have received both doses of a coronavirus vaccine.

Primary school and kindergarten pupils will return to their classrooms once seventy percent of the Kingdom’s population has been inoculated with two doses or October 30, 2021, whichever comes first.

Over 27 million doses of a coronavirus vaccine have been administered in the Kingdom to date.

Saudi Arabia's Food and Drug Authority has so far approved the AstraZeneca, Pfizer-​BioNTech, Johnson & Johnson, and Moderna vaccines.

The Kingdom announced 12 deaths from COVID-19 and 1,084 new infections on Sunday.


Saudi Arabia announces 12 more COVID-19 deaths

Saudi Arabia announces 12 more COVID-19 deaths
Updated 01 August 2021

Saudi Arabia announces 12 more COVID-19 deaths

Saudi Arabia announces 12 more COVID-19 deaths
  • The total number of recoveries in the Kingdom has increased to 507,374
  • A total of 8,249 people have succumbed to the virus in the Kingdom so far

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia announced 12 deaths from COVID-19 and 1,084 new infections on Sunday.
Of the new cases, 235 were recorded in Riyadh, 207 in Makkah, 154 in the Eastern Province, 94 in Asir, 69 in Madinah, 64 in Jazan, 58 in Hail, 40 in Najran, 23 in Tabuk, 17 in the Northern Borders region, 13 in Al-Baha, and three in Al-Jouf.
The total number of recoveries in the Kingdom increased to 507,374 after 1,285 more patients recovered from the virus.
A total of 8,249 people have succumbed to the virus in the Kingdom so far.
Over 27 million doses of a coronavirus vaccine have been administered in the Kingdom to date.


Cocoa bean drug smuggling attempt thwarted at Jeddah port

Cocoa bean drug smuggling attempt thwarted at Jeddah port
Updated 01 August 2021

Cocoa bean drug smuggling attempt thwarted at Jeddah port

Cocoa bean drug smuggling attempt thwarted at Jeddah port
  • The pills were found hidden inside bags of cocoa beans during an inspection
  • The authority stressed that it will continue to tighten customs controls over all imports, exports and travelers in order to combat smuggling

JEDDAH: The Zakat, Tax and Customs Authority at Jeddah Islamic Port has foiled an attempt to smuggle 8.7 million Captagon pills.
The pills were found expertly hidden inside cocoa bean bags during an inspection. Three people were arrested by the General Directorate of Narcotics Control.
The authority stressed that it will continue to tighten customs controls over all imports, exports and travelers in order to combat smuggling by land, sea and air, and put an end to smugglers and their organized crimes.
The Zakat, Tax and Customs Authority called on everyone to contact the Security Reports Center on 1910 to report any information related to smuggling and customs violations in strict confidentiality. It said that whistle-blowers will receive a financial reward if their information is correct.