King Salman: Strategic meetings between Islamic world, Russia important for global security, stability

King Salman: Strategic meetings between Islamic world, Russia important for global security, stability
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The Strategic Vision Group meeting between Russia and the Islamic world is held in Jeddah. (Supplied)
King Salman: Strategic meetings between Islamic world, Russia important for global security, stability
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Prince Khalid Al-Faisal speaks during the summit. (Supplied)
King Salman: Strategic meetings between Islamic world, Russia important for global security, stability
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The Strategic Vision Group meeting between Russia and the Islamic world is being held to discuss common issues between the two . (Supplied)
King Salman: Strategic meetings between Islamic world, Russia important for global security, stability
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The Strategic Vision Group meeting between Russia and the Islamic world is being held to discuss common issues between the two . (Supplied)
King Salman: Strategic meetings between Islamic world, Russia important for global security, stability
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The Strategic Vision Group meeting between Russia and the Islamic world is being held to discuss common issues between the two . (Supplied)
King Salman: Strategic meetings between Islamic world, Russia important for global security, stability
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The Strategic Vision Group meeting between Russia and the Islamic world is being held to discuss common issues between the two . (Supplied)
King Salman: Strategic meetings between Islamic world, Russia important for global security, stability
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Updated 24 November 2021

King Salman: Strategic meetings between Islamic world, Russia important for global security, stability

King Salman: Strategic meetings between Islamic world, Russia important for global security, stability
  • The king said Saudi-Russian relations are strong and historical
  • Added that Russia has deep-rooted relations with Islamic world, evidenced by its presence as OIC observer

JEDDAH: King Salman confirmed Saudi Arabia’s belief in the importance of strategic meetings between the Islamic world and the Russian Federation for enhancing regional and international security and stability.
In a speech delivered by the Emir of Makkah Prince Khaled Al-Faisal on behalf of the Saudi king, he said that the Islamic region is characterized by tolerance and moderation, and this is why it accepts all races and ethnicities.




Makkah governor Prince Khaled Al-Faisal delivers a speech on behalf of King Salman. (Supplied)


“Saudi Arabia has an honorable role in adopting the principles of moderation and coexistence, as it has striven to support regional and international efforts in this field, and has presented many initiatives in this regard, most notably, the adoption of the Makkah Declaration, supporting the office of the UN Alliance of Civilizations,” he said.
The king added in his speech that Saudi Arabia is committed to support any future efforts aimed at serving these principles, believing that difference does not mean discord and that tolerance calls for transcendence.
He added that the Saudi-Russian relations, which have extended for a period of 95 years, are strong and historical.

“These relations have witnessed qualitative leaps in recent years, and culminated in high-level visits between the two countries. These visits resulted in signing many joint agreements in all economic, cultural, and defense fields. They also paved the way for the development of these relations and consolidating the level of trust between the two countries,” said Prince Khaled Al-Faisal on behalf of the king.




Attendees take part in the the Group of Strategic Vision Russia — Islamic World summit. (SPA)

King Salman said that Russia and the Islamic world share deep cultural heritage, which paves the way for activating the role of religious institutions, developing an environment that supports peaceful coexistence between followers of different religions and races, preserving the role of the family and spiritual values, and protecting human rights.

He added that Russia has deep-rooted relations with the Islamic world, as evidenced by its presence as an observer of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation for more than 15 years, which has resulted in fruitful cooperation with the organization.

“He added that more than 20 million Muslims live in harmony with their communities, and enjoy the right to freely practice their religious rites,” he said.

He pointed out that the dynamics of the relationship of Islamic countries with Russia is diverse, and prepares for building bridges of scientific and technological cooperation and promoting them in the field of development, education, software, and applications of the fourth industrial revolution.

Saudi Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Russian Federation Abdulrahman Al Ahmed told Arab News that Saudi-Russia relations began in 1926 when Karim Hakimov was appointed as an envoy to the late King Abdul Aziz.




The Strategic Vision Group meeting between Russia and the Islamic world is being held to discuss common issues. (Supplied)

“That was followed by letters between the leaders of the two countries. In 1932, King Faisal, who was at that time the viceroy of the Hijaz and foreign minister, made an official visit to Moscow. In 1990, Prince Saud Al-Faisal visited Moscow to resume relations and sign agreements and political discussions between the two countries,” he said.

He added that the relations became even stronger at the turn of the century when King Abdullah and Prince Sultan visited Moscow.

“There was a qualitative leap in the relations between the two countries through the visits made by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to Moscow in 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018. These visits were crowned with a visit by King Salman to Moscow in 2017, during which a number of agreements were signed. In 2019, President Vladimir Putin visited Riyadh, and again, several agreements were inked.”

He stressed that cooperation between Saudi Arabia and Russia has reached wider horizons at all levels of the economy, in policy, culture, arts, and energy. “Saudi Arabia and Russia are members at OPEC+ and other fields,” he added.

Commenting on how such meetings could enhance cooperation between Russia and the Islamic world, Vitaliy Naumkin, director of the Institute of Oriental Studies, told Arab News that: “This conference is very important as it is held for the first time during the pandemic. Moreover, there are also many people attending this conference. Also, very important representatives are present. So we need more cooperation because of the pandemic and the new development in the world.”

Naumkin added that the two sides have signed important agreements.

“We are signing other important agreements today here in Saudi Arabia, and these will be followed by new steps, and I am sure these steps will be very positive.

“There will be more cooperation between Russia and the Islamic world, especially Saudi Arabia, which is located in the center of the Islamic world, and it has a key role in this cooperation.”

Meanwhile, in an article posted on the Saudi Embassy’s website on Monday, Al- Ahmed said that among the urgent international issues the group will pay attention to are combating terrorism, international peace and security, the role of international organizations in the peaceful settlement of disputes, promoting a culture of peace, and economic cooperation in the post-COVID-19 world.

He added that the meeting would also focus on dialogue and cultural and humanitarian rapprochement, as well as other demanding issues.

“In this context, I am pleased to commend the efforts the Group of Strategic Vision “Russia — Islamic World” has been making in rapprochement between the Russian Federation and the Muslim world through joint work to enhance dialogue and understanding, reject extremist ideas, and strengthen joint measures to combat international terrorism,” Al-Ahmed said.

“I would like to point out the firm positions of the Russian Federation on the just issues of the Muslim world and the Russian political leadership’s keenness to achieve harmony, understanding, tolerance and coexistence between the people of the Russian Federation and the peoples of Islamic countries to face common challenges and achieve progress and prosperity for all,” he added.

Guests and speakers at the event included Rustam Minnikhanov, president of the Republic of Tatarstan and chairman of the Group of Strategic Vision – “Russia — Islamic World”; Hussein Ibrahim Taha, secretary-general of the OIC; Walid bin Abdul Karim, Saudi deputy minister of foreign affairs, and others.


Film Commission launches its strategy to develop Saudi film, cinema sector

The Film Commission launched its strategy at a ceremony in Riyadh, held under the patronage of Minister of Culture Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan. (SPA)
The Film Commission launched its strategy at a ceremony in Riyadh, held under the patronage of Minister of Culture Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan. (SPA)
Updated 28 November 2021

Film Commission launches its strategy to develop Saudi film, cinema sector

The Film Commission launched its strategy at a ceremony in Riyadh, held under the patronage of Minister of Culture Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan. (SPA)
  • The strategy aims to increase direct GDP contribution, increase job opportunities, and increase the number of locally produced feature films

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Film Commission on Sunday launched its strategy to develop the Kingdom’s film and cinema sector at a ceremony in the capital, Riyadh.
The ceremony was held under the patronage of Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan, the minister of culture and chairman of the commission.
Hamed Fayez, the deputy minister of culture and vice chairman of the commission’s board of directors, said that the strategy, with its diverse and comprehensive programs and initiatives, represents a first step toward developing the sector and supporting and empowering Saudi filmmakers.
Fayez said the Kingdom has great potential in the industry due to creative Saudi talent winning awards at regional and international film festivals, Saudi films that have achieved remarkable recognition locally and internationally, and the growth of the production movement in recent years.
The Film Commission’s CEO Abdullah Al-Ayyaf said the strategy contributes to achieving the goals of the Ministry of Culture and the Kingdom’s Vision 2020 National Culture Strategy, by achieving growth in the Saudi film production sector and transforming it into a competitive industry.
It includes producing local cinematic content to attract Saudi and international audiences, and presenting the Kingdom as a leading global center for film production in the Middle East, he added.
The strategy was based on a benchmark comparison with the 20 most important countries in the film industry.
It includes six strategic pillars, including talent development, infrastructure, local production in the Kingdom, international production in the Kingdom, regulatory framework, film distribution and screening.
According to the strategy, the Film Commission will work on 19 strategic initiatives aimed at creating a large movement in the Saudi film sector, providing an infrastructure for film production, and empowering Saudi talents and capabilities.
The commission said its strategy was designed to increase direct contribution to the gross domestic product, increase the number of job opportunities in the film sector, and increase the number of locally produced feature films. 
The Film Commission is one of 11 cultural bodies affiliated with the Ministry of Culture and was established in February last year.


Kaspersky, Saudi Technology Control to combat cyberattack

Dr. Bandar Al-Haqbani, Dr. Abdulaziz Alhussain, Engineer Mohammad Alwashmi and Mohammad Hashem at the conference. (Supplied)
Dr. Bandar Al-Haqbani, Dr. Abdulaziz Alhussain, Engineer Mohammad Alwashmi and Mohammad Hashem at the conference. (AN photo by Rahaf Jambi)
Updated 28 November 2021

Kaspersky, Saudi Technology Control to combat cyberattack

Dr. Bandar Al-Haqbani, Dr. Abdulaziz Alhussain, Engineer Mohammad Alwashmi and Mohammad Hashem at the conference. (Supplied)
  • Saudi Arabia is currently developing digitization and advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence, Internet of Things, blockchain, fintech and 5G across its public and private sector

RIYADH: Global cybersecurity firm Kaspersky has signed a strategic agreement with Technology Control Company, a security services, digital services and big data company in Saudi Arabia, at the @Hack Infosec Conference 2021.
The managed security service provider agreement was marked at the conference, one of Saudi Arabia’s most anticipated information-security events of the year.
The move is in line with Technology Control Company’s commitment to providing its customers in Saudi Arabia with enhanced managed security services.
Mohamad Hashem, country manager at Kaspersky, told Arab News how new technologies increased the risk and exposure to cyberattacks by opening new avenues of attack.
“Taking this into account, Kaspersky is delighted to expand and strengthen Technology Control Company’s portfolio and offer customers in Saudi Arabia the most effective prevention, detection and response capabilities to the market,”  he said.

Dr. Abdulaziz Alhussain from TCC and Mohammad Hashem singing the agreement in @hack conference. (AN photo by Rahaf Jambi)

“Our innovative solutions and extensive expertise will ensure that our customers in the region receive the best data protection possible via a trusted local technology and service provider,”  he said.
Technology Control Company will be offering Kaspersky’s resources and services such as Security Operations Center consulting, security assessment, awareness and training.
The Kingdom is currently developing digitization and advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence, Internet of Things, blockchain, fintech and 5G across its public and private sector.

Taking this into account, Kaspersky is delighted to expand and strengthen Technology Control Company’s portfolio and offer customers in Saudi Arabia the most effective prevention, detection and response capabilities to the market.

Mohamad Hashem, Country manager at Kaspersky

As the country continues its road to digitization and adoption of these technologies, Kaspersky expects a steady rise in cyberattacks.
The partnership will play a key role in navigating these risks by helping Technology Control Company deliver security monitoring, incident response, threat hunting, threat intelligence, managed detection and response, security assessment and security awareness services in a cost-efficient, scalable and flexible way.
Technology Control Company’s customers in Saudi Arabia will be able to subscribe to next-generation SOC services based on solutions in line with global industry standards. Providing training such as incident response, malware analysis and digital forensics is another essential element of the alliance.
Hashem expressed his excitement about participation at @hack event and said that this was the first time the event was being held outside the US.
“Of course, we had to be a part of this great event because Kaspersky is one of the leading companies in the cybersecurity realm, and we are glad to be here,”  Hashem said.
He said that the company had signed an initiative with Cyberkids to help promote a better understanding of cybersecurity.
Muhammad Alwashmi, security services director at Technology Control Company, said that they were glad to partner with an international company with worldwide exposure and intelligence specific to the region.
“This agreement will support and provide our customers with premium protection to their businesses through the best solutions available in the market. Having Kaspersky on board will contribute to our success, and we are looking forward to a prosperous collaboration,”  Alwashmi said.


Saudi Arabia to chair anti-human trafficking forum

Awwad Al-Awwad. (Supplied)
Awwad Al-Awwad. (Supplied)
Updated 29 November 2021

Saudi Arabia to chair anti-human trafficking forum

Awwad Al-Awwad. (Supplied)
  • The forum will discuss the challenges and developments in the field in order to enable national committees to develop joint action plans to address crime

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia on Monday will chair the third government forum to discuss the challenges of combating human trafficking in the Middle East.

The two-day forum will be held virtually under the theme “National and international coordination on combating trafficking in persons in the light of the coronavirus pandemic.”

The forum will involve the heads of anti-human trafficking committees of Gulf Cooperation Council countries, a number of Arab states and international representatives.

It will be inaugurated by the president of the Human Rights Commission and chairman of the National Committee to Combat Trafficking in Persons, Awwad Al-Awwad.

The forum will discuss the challenges and developments in the field in order to enable national committees to develop joint action plans to address crime.

Saudi Arabia’s hosting of the forum affirms the important role of the Kingdom in tackling human trafficking and supporting victims. It comes as the Kingdom marks continued progress in the US Department of State’s Trafficking in Persons Report.


Who’s Who: Princess Haifa bint Abdulaziz Al-Mogrin, chair of the UNESCO Executive Board Program and External Relations Commission

Princess Haifa bint Abdulaziz Al-Mogrin. (SPA)
Princess Haifa bint Abdulaziz Al-Mogrin. (SPA)
Updated 29 November 2021

Who’s Who: Princess Haifa bint Abdulaziz Al-Mogrin, chair of the UNESCO Executive Board Program and External Relations Commission

Princess Haifa bint Abdulaziz Al-Mogrin. (SPA)

Princess Haifa bint Abdulaziz Al-Mogrin was recently elected to chair the UNESCO Executive Board Program and External Relations Commission for two years.
During the 213th session of the UNESCO executive board in Paris, the executive council named Princess Haifa, Saudi Arabia’s permanent representative to UNESCO, for the position.
The Kingdom’s presidency of UNESCO’s programs and external relations committee reflects its pivotal role in UNESCO to support the decision-making process in a systematic and fair way.
Commenting on the election, Princess Haifa posted on Twitter: “Glad to announce that Saudi Arabia will continue its pursuits to ensure a better future for all as chair of the Executive Board Program and External Relations Commission.”
Princess Haifa received a bachelor’s degree in economics from the Riyadh-based King Saud University in 2000 and a master’s degree in science in economics with reference to the Middle East from the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London in 2007.
In 2009, she briefly took up a part-time role lecturing at King Saud University, before starting work with the UN Development Programme. In 2013, she was promoted to the role of program analyst there, covering social development and human rights.
She joined the Ministry of Economy and Planning as head of the sustainable development goals sector in 2016 and was appointed assistant deputy minister for sustainable development affairs in 2017.
She also served as the assistant deputy minister for G20 affairs under the Ministry of Economy and Planning from 2018. That same year, she was a speaker at the Second Urban Planning Forum — a testament to her expertise in the empowerment of youth and human rights advocacy.


Saudi falconry festival starts in Riyadh

Saudi falconry festival starts in Riyadh. (SPA)
Saudi falconry festival starts in Riyadh. (SPA)
Updated 28 November 2021

Saudi falconry festival starts in Riyadh

Saudi falconry festival starts in Riyadh. (SPA)
  • The festival holds a competition to select the most beautiful falcons in seven rounds, two are allocated for the Farkh category and five are for the Qirnas category

RIYADH: The King Abdulaziz Falconry Festival 2021 started on Sunday in Malham, north of Riyadh, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

It runs until Dec. 16 and is being organized by the Saudi Falcons Club, which has allocated more than SR25 million ($6.66 million) for winners.

The festival, the largest of its kind in the world, opened with the qualifying runs for Saudi falconers. These started with the Shaheen Farkh category of Saudi owners, with strong competition for a place in the final rounds for the King Abdulaziz Cup.

There will be runs for international falconers in the categories of owners and professionals.

The festival also holds a competition to select the most beautiful falcons in seven rounds, two are allocated for the Farkh category and five are for the Qirnas category.

Through these events, the festival aims to preserve Saudi heritage, pass on the hobby of falconry to future generations, educate children about their history and values, and enhance the spirit of competition among falconers.

The festival continues to register falcons in some categories until Dec. 9 to accommodate the largest number of falconers wishing to participate.