King Salman tells UN Saudi Arabia supports global effort to block Iranian nuclear ambitions

Update King Salman tells UN Saudi Arabia supports global effort to block Iranian nuclear ambitions
King Salman remotely addresses the 76th session of the UN General Assembly in a pre-recorded message. (AP)
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Updated 23 September 2021

King Salman tells UN Saudi Arabia supports global effort to block Iranian nuclear ambitions

King Salman tells UN Saudi Arabia supports global effort to block Iranian nuclear ambitions
  • But the ruler said that he hopes initial talks between the Kingdom and Tehran will lead to confidence-building measures
  • In his speech to the UN General Assembly, he also highlighted his country’s efforts to tackle the pandemic, extremism and climate change

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia remains opposed to Iran developing nuclear weapons, King Salman told world leaders on Wednesday. But he said he hopes initial talks between the Kingdom and Iranian authorities can lead to confidence-building measures.

“The Kingdom stresses the importance of making the Middle East a region free of all weapons of mass destruction,” the king said in a prerecorded speech on the second day of the high-level Annual General Debate at the 76th session of the UN General Assembly in New York. “We therefore support international efforts aimed at preventing Iran from developing a nuclear weapon.

“Iran is a neighboring state. We hope that our initial talks with Iran will lead to concrete confidence-building measures, measures that will achieve the aspirations of our two peoples for collaborative relations.”

However, he added that the Kingdom is very concerned by “Iranian steps that go counter to its commitments as well as to daily declarations from Iran that its nuclear program is peaceful.”

King Salman said Saudi Arabia continues to confront extremist ideas based on hatred and exclusion, and the activities of terrorist groups and sectarian militias that destroy lives and nations.

The Kingdom stresses the need to robustly “confront all those who support, sponsor, finance or shelter terrorist groups and sectarian militias or use them to spread chaos, destruction and hegemony,” he added.

The king condemned the Houthi militias in Yemen for their military activity in the country and their frequent attacks on Saudi Arabia, and made it clear he will not tolerate any such threats to the Kingdom or its people.

“The peace initiative in Yemen tabled by the Kingdom last March ought to end the bloodshed and conflict,” he said. “It ought to put an end to the suffering of the Yemeni people but, unfortunately, the terrorist Houthi militia reject peaceful solutions. They have placed their bets on a military option to take over more territory in Yemen.

“The Kingdom maintains its legitimate right to defend itself in confronting the missile attacks, ballistic-missile attacks, and use of booby-trapped boats against our Kingdom.”

In common with the speeches by many world leaders during the debate, King Salman also reaffirmed his commitment to the global fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The challenges confronting the international community today require strengthening multilateral international cooperation,” he said. “The COVID pandemic has shown that the road to sustainable recovery goes through collaboration between all of us in a collective framework.

“The Kingdom has had a vital role in leading the world’s response to the pandemic through its presidency of the G20 last year, and the Kingdom has supported international efforts to confront the pandemic with the sum of $500 million, in addition to $300 million used to assist states in confronting the pandemic.”

He added: “The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia continues to be committed to its developmental and humanitarian role in assisting the most needy states to confront natural catastrophes and humanitarian crises.”

King Salman also stressed that the global recovery from the pandemic must be carried out in a sustainable and climate-friendly manner.

“The Kingdom realizes the importance of concerted, joint efforts to confront climate change and its repercussions,” he said.

He highlighted a number of Saudi-led projects, including the Green Saudi and Green Middle East initiatives, through which the Kingdom is already putting its money where its mouth is in terms of fighting climate change.

The king, who has ruled Saudi Arabia since 2015, also reaffirmed his country’s commitment to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, which are in line with the Kingdom’s own Saudi Vision 2030 development plan.

“We want our economy to be a pioneering one,” he said. “We want our society to interact with all of the world.”


Jeddah Season 2022 achieves record numbers since launch

Jeddah Season 2022 achieves record numbers since launch
Updated 28 June 2022

Jeddah Season 2022 achieves record numbers since launch

Jeddah Season 2022 achieves record numbers since launch
  • More than 5 million visitors from the Kingdom and around the world have attended Jeddah Season

JEDDAH: Jeddah Season has achieved unprecedented visitor numbers over the past 55 days since its launch, Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.

The number of visitors exceeded five million who arrived from more than 129 countries to attend 2,800 events.

The season drew the attention of numerous local and international media outlets, with over 11,000 news articles published in 26 languages.

The media coverage on Jeddah Season reached 68 countries and has received over 250 million views.

Not only did the Jeddah Season surpass its entertainment and events objectives, but also had a substantive impact on the Kingdom's economic development, SPA reported.

The season stimulated activity in several sectors, creating more than 74,000 job opportunities for citizens.

As it wraps up its program in 5 days, Jeddah Season has proven to be a regional success story, SPA said.


Saudi FM meets Italian counterpart in Riyadh

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan meets with Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs Luigi Di Maio. (SPA)
Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan meets with Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs Luigi Di Maio. (SPA)
Updated 27 June 2022

Saudi FM meets Italian counterpart in Riyadh

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan meets with Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs Luigi Di Maio. (SPA)
  • The prince and Di Maio reviewed the outcomes of the 12th session of the Saudi-Italian Joint Commission

RIYADH: Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan on Monday received Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Luigi Di Maio at the ministry’s headquarters in Riyadh.

Marking the 90th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries, the ministers hailed the historic links that both nations aimed to further strengthen.

The prince and Di Maio reviewed the outcomes of the 12th session of the Saudi-Italian Joint Commission, held in Riyadh on Monday to promote bilateral cooperation in a number of areas. They also discussed regional and international issues of mutual concern.


Saudi ministry launches UN mentoring program for Taif farmers

Saudi agricultural ministry in cooperation with the Chamber of Commerce, launched a mentoring program for farmers in Taif.
Saudi agricultural ministry in cooperation with the Chamber of Commerce, launched a mentoring program for farmers in Taif.
Updated 27 June 2022

Saudi ministry launches UN mentoring program for Taif farmers

Saudi agricultural ministry in cooperation with the Chamber of Commerce, launched a mentoring program for farmers in Taif.
  • The FAO has prepared 100 demonstration farms to promote modern practices and technologies, which are expected to positively impact farmers and encourage agricultural sustainability in rural areas

RIYADH: Saudi agriculture officials on Monday launched a UN mentoring program for farmers in Taif aimed at encouraging sustainable development.

Initiated by the Ministry of Environment, Water, and Agriculture in cooperation with the Chamber of Commerce, and presented by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN, the scheme aims to help introduce more efficient farming practices through the sharing of information on proven techniques and by providing access to industry experts.

The ministry’s director for Taif, Hani Al-Kadi, said: “Taif is no less significant than other cities in the Kingdom, due to its agricultural diversity and yearly abundance in crops.”

FASTFACT

The FAO has prepared 100 demonstration farms to promote modern practices and technologies, which are expected to positively impact farmers and encourage agricultural sustainability in rural areas.

He noted that introducing farmers to effective agricultural concepts and objectives would greatly contribute toward, “producing safe and sustainable food, maintaining consumer confidence, ensuring mindfulness toward the exploitation of natural resources, and reducing environmental harm.”

Kakoli Ghosh, the FAO’s chief technical adviser to the program, said global advances in farming methods and agricultural practices had helped to increase production, job opportunities, and standards of living for small farmers, while also preserving natural resources for future generations.

She pointed out that the program would include visits to Taif farms at Al-Hada, Al-Shafa, Wadi Mahram, and Al-Dayha.

The FAO has prepared 100 demonstration farms to promote modern practices and technologies, which are expected to positively impact farmers and encourage agricultural sustainability in rural areas.

The Saudi ministry first launched the Sustainable Agricultural Rural Development Program in cooperation with the FAO in 2019. It has been designed to boost the production, processing, and marketing of fruit, fish, livestock, and Arabic coffee, and the cultivation of rain-fed crops.

The Vision 2030 reform plan aims to diversify the Kingdom’s economy and boost contributions to gross domestic product by pushing sustainable development in all sectors of the economy. One of the main areas of focus has been on the conservation of natural resources, including the rationalization of water consumption in agriculture and achieving food security.


Cambodian king praises Muslim World League efforts in strengthening civilizational alliance

Al-Issa praised the Cambodian model for achieving harmony among its national diversity. (Supplied)
Al-Issa praised the Cambodian model for achieving harmony among its national diversity. (Supplied)
Updated 27 June 2022

Cambodian king praises Muslim World League efforts in strengthening civilizational alliance

Al-Issa praised the Cambodian model for achieving harmony among its national diversity. (Supplied)
  • Al-Issa expressed his appreciation for the prestigious university and praised the values of tolerance and coexistence adopted by Cambodians as they had become an inspiring role model in fighting all forms of hatred, racism, and discrimination

PHNOM PENH: King Norodom Sihamoni of Cambodia received Sheikh Dr. Mohammed bin Abdul Karim Al-Issa, secretary-general of the Muslim World League and chairman of the Muslim Scholars Association.

The king praised the tangible impact of the league’s efforts in strengthening the civilizational alliance among diverse groups around the world and awareness among Muslim societies.

Al-Issa visited the Islamic Center in Phnom Penh and met Cambodia’s Muslim leadership. He praised the Cambodian model for achieving harmony among its national diversity.

He gave the Friday sermon at the Grand Mosque of Phnom Penh upon the request of the Islamic leadership in Cambodia. Hundreds of worshippers attended the sermon, with Al-Issa addressing key issues facing the Muslim world.

Al-Issa met the Grand Buddhist Patriarch of Cambodia Tep Vong and Patriarch Bor Keri.

The Royal University of Phnom Penh hosted Al-Issa, where he gave a lecture titled: “Our Common Values and Civilizational Alliance.”

The Royal University of Phnom Penh is the biggest in Cambodia. It was founded 62 years ago and has 20,000 students in its undergraduate and graduate programs.

Al-Issa expressed his appreciation for the prestigious university and praised the values of tolerance and coexistence adopted by Cambodians as they had become an inspiring role model in fighting all forms of hatred, racism, and discrimination.

He shared his views about the common values among humans as these values had granted full rights to everyone in Cambodia, despite the differences of religion and race, and made modern Cambodia live in security and stability.

 


Who’s Who: Dr. Fahad Al-Dossari, president of the General Authority for Statistics

Dr. Fahad Al-Dossari
Dr. Fahad Al-Dossari
Updated 27 June 2022

Who’s Who: Dr. Fahad Al-Dossari, president of the General Authority for Statistics

Dr. Fahad Al-Dossari

Dr. Fahad Al-Dossari is the newly appointed president of the General Authority for Statistics.

As president, he is tasked with leading the authority through a critical period that includes the strategic transformation of data collection processes in the Kingdom.

Al-Dossari began his career in 1999 as an economics researcher at the Saudi Central Bank, and in 2009 became the head of the money and banking division in the bank’s research and statistics department.

While at the Saudi Central Bank, he became the director-general of the research and statistics department, and in 2013 its director of international affairs.

From 2013 to 2017, Al-Dossari held the position of director-general of the Institute of Finance, formerly known as the Institute of Banking. He also served as deputy governor for administrative affairs at the Saudi Central Bank from 2016 to 2019.

Before becoming president of the General Authority for Statistics, Al-Dossari served as deputy governor for research and international affairs at the Saudi Central Bank.

Al-Dossari is the chairman of the board of directors of the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa.

He is also a board member of multiple organizations including the Social Development Bank, Saudi Real Estate Development Fund, Agricultural Development Fund, and the Public Pension Agency.

Al-Dossari received a doctorate in economics in 2008 from the University of Leeds in the UK.