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.


Saudis are natural-born storytellers, says Saudi Film Commission CEO

Saudi Film Commission CEO Abdullah Al-Eyaf held several discussions with international industry professionals. (Supplied)
Saudi Film Commission CEO Abdullah Al-Eyaf held several discussions with international industry professionals. (Supplied)
Updated 22 May 2022

Saudis are natural-born storytellers, says Saudi Film Commission CEO

Saudi Film Commission CEO Abdullah Al-Eyaf held several discussions with international industry professionals. (Supplied)
  • Abdullah Al-Eyaf discusses the importance of Saudi talent during the 75th Cannes Film Festival

CANNES: Abdullah Al-Eyaf, the CEO of the Saudi Film Commission, aims to drive the Saudi film industry by fostering an environment for young Saudi filmmakers to develop their passions and talents.

During a panel discussion hosted on Sunday in the March du Film pavilion in Cannes, Al-Eyaf expressed his vision for Saudi youth filmmakers and the important role they play in the industry.

“We in the commission strongly believe in the filmmakers in Saudi, actually they are the reason behind all that we do,” Al-Eyaf said.

The Kingdom’s film industry is bursting with talent and passion from Saudi filmmakers, writers, and artisans. What is needed now is the strong support from an entity to facilitate that growth. This is where the Saudi Film Commission plans to come into play.

The Saudi Film Commission, under the Ministry of Culture, has conducted numerous outreach and education programs to help Saudi filmmakers in the industry through masterclasses, workshops and training.

According to the CEO, Saudis play a pivotal role in the industry’s growth on a global and local level.

“These young filmmakers started before the commission was established and they will continue with or without the film commission that’s why we think the industry will not be built in Saudi without these filmmakers,” Al-Eyaf said.

HIGHLIGHT

With many blockbusters films showing an interest in shooting in the Kingdom, doors are opening for Saudi production teams, special effects artists, actors and many more talents to contribute to the industry.

Therefore the commission is striving to establish a wider creative opportunity for Saudi talent through partnerships and representation in global film festivals such as the Cannes festival.

Through the organizations and initiatives of the Saudi Film Commission, the Saudi presence during the Cannes Film Festival has only grown stronger since the 74th Cannes film festival held in 2021.

It is known that Saudi Arabia has a wealth of locations through its 13 diverse provinces. During the initial days of the festival, this is what attracted many producers and filmmakers to the Saudi pavilion to learn more.

With many blockbusters films showing an interest in shooting in the Kingdom, doors are opening for Saudi production teams, special effects artists, actors and many more talents to contribute to the industry.

Al-Eyaf said that Saudis are natural-born storytellers; what is needed now is to support and empower them throughout the film sector.

“We really appreciate what they are doing and our only role is to support them and to have Saudi Arabia as a friendly environment for filmmakers to create their films and tell their stories to the world and to Saudi,” Al-Eyaf said.

The Saudi Film Commission aims to expand and strengthen the Saudi film industry on a local and global level through partnerships, investment and educational empowerment.

During the 75th Cannes Film Festival, the Saudi pavilion welcomed some of the biggest global names in the film industry — producers, directors and actors — to partner on Saudi film projects.

The commission’s role isn’t only to support Saudi talents but it’s also to foster a community where directors explore collaborative initiatives from filming in Saudi to creating films with some of the many Saudi talents in the sector.

In January the commission launched the third phase of the “Film Makers” program that took students through sets of comprehensive training workshops that were spread throughout the Kingdom.

“We have already contacted hundreds (of Saudi filmmakers) via either training programs, grants or the fund that we launched a couple of years ago,” the CEO said.

The commission has developed an incentive package for local and international filmmakers to establish the Kingdom as a global hub for film, creative production and industry talent.


People vaccinated against smallpox likely safe from monkeypox, says specialist‏‏

People vaccinated against smallpox likely safe from monkeypox, says specialist‏‏
Updated 23 May 2022

People vaccinated against smallpox likely safe from monkeypox, says specialist‏‏

People vaccinated against smallpox likely safe from monkeypox, says specialist‏‏
  • Saudi Ministry of Health has also confirmed that no cases of monkeypox have been detected in the Kingdom

JEDDAH: People who have received a vaccination against smallpox are “highly likely” to be safe from getting infected with monkeypox, a Saudi health specialist has said.

Dr. Nizar Bahabri, an infectious disease consultant, said in a video on his Twitter account, that the disease has been a well-known virus since 1950 and added the first case outside Africa was registered in 1970.

The Saudi Ministry of Health has also confirmed that no cases of monkeypox have been detected in the Kingdom, following reports that it has recently begun to appear in some European and North American countries.

“Since the disease is caused by a virus, no antibiotic can be used to cure the disease, some viruses and bacteria can be transmitted through air,” Bahabri said.

He also said that monkeypox is like smallpox in that it can be transmitted via droplets.

“It is difficult that one can get infected if they are two meters away from an infected person. Monkeypox can even only be transmitted from a shorter distance,” he said.

Cases being recorded in Europe are due to parties where people gather close to other infected people, he added.

“Those who have been vaccinated against smallpox are not likely to get infected by monkeypox, and here lies the importance of taking the vaccine,” Bahabri said.

The consultant pointed out that some people in Europe refused in the past to give anti-smallpox vaccines to their children, which has caused the virus to attack again.

Bahabri said that symptoms of monkeypox normally appear 12 days after coming into contact with an infected person. He added that an infected person normally recovers without any medication.

“Five percent of infected people get complications, while less than three percent die of the disease,” he said. “However, no deaths were reported in the countries with advanced health systems, with most of the deaths in Africa.”

The health ministry added in a post on Twitter that the disease can be transmitted by direct contact with blood or mucous of an infected animal.

It added that it can also be transmitted in humans through droplets, touching the blisters on an infected person’s skin or a hand touching contaminated surfaces.

The health ministry noted that the virus has an incubation period of 7-14 days, and that cannot extend to 21 days.

As for the symptoms, the ministry included high temperature, backache, skin rashes, lymphadenopathy, fatigue and muscle pain.

The ministry recommended people to avoid getting in contact with infected people, wearing gloves and face masks when close to patients, washing hands regularly and avoiding touching infected animals.


Saudi Arabia re-elected president of ALECSO’s executive council

Saudi Arabia re-elected president of ALECSO’s executive council. (SPA)
Saudi Arabia re-elected president of ALECSO’s executive council. (SPA)
Updated 23 May 2022

Saudi Arabia re-elected president of ALECSO’s executive council

Saudi Arabia re-elected president of ALECSO’s executive council. (SPA)
  • Members agreed on importance of maintaining council’s new and advanced vision

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia has been unanimously re-elected to chair the executive council of the Tunis-based Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization until 2024.

The decision was made by members of ALECSO’s executive council after the 26th session of the general conference, which concluded its activities on Saturday.

Council members expressed their appreciation for the positive results achieved and the complementary work of the executive council during the past 10 months.

They unanimously agreed on the importance of maintaining the council’s new and advanced vision and reiterated that the accomplishments represented an important shift in the council's history toward strengthening its role in supporting the organization and its programs to serve its orientation in the Arab world, as it had worked on several initiatives that strengthened joint Arab action.

The decision to re-elect the Kingdom came after the appreciation of the general conference for the efforts made by the executive council under the Kingdom’s stewardship, which executed its tasks according to a clear methodology and spirit based on integrated work between the executive board and administration of ALECSO.

The Arab ministers praised the initiative of the Saudi representative and chairman of ALECSO's executive council, Hani Al-Moqbil, to develop the council’s road map, which was put together with a transparent methodology based on the involvement of countries in building a common Arab vision to support and enable the organization to achieve its goals.

Al-Moqbil extended his appreciation to King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for their constant support, empowerment, and care, which was reflected in the Saudi role and its presidency of the executive council to contribute to a beneficial impact and supportive action for the development of ALECSO.

He also thanked Culture Minister Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan, who is also the chairman of the National Committee for Education, Culture, and Science, for his support, guidance, supervision, and harnessing of capabilities which gave direct and significant support throughout the Saudi presidency which helped it in serving its goals with all Arab countries.

Al-Moqbil also thanked the Arab countries and members of the ALECSO executive council for their re-election of the Kingdom and for renewing their confidence in the results that had been achieved during the past 10 months.

He added that this could only have been achieved through the spirit of teamwork and keenness to develop the organization's activities and constructive participation in adopting decisions and organizing tracks of action to reach the best possible results to contribute to achieving the goals of the organization, and to promote building dialogue and cooperation thus serving the organization’s joint work among the countries.

Al-Moqbil said: “Saudi Arabia, in its presidency of the executive council, worked to oversee the interests of the countries by listening to their proposals, observations, and visions to ensure that they are reflected on the ground and implemented in stages. The countries will work with greater effort and higher interest in taking care of the organization's interests."


New Saudi academy to train nationals in military sector

New Saudi academy to train nationals in military sector. (SPA)
New Saudi academy to train nationals in military sector. (SPA)
Updated 23 May 2022

New Saudi academy to train nationals in military sector

New Saudi academy to train nationals in military sector. (SPA)
  • Al-Ohali said the authority was committed to supporting national personnel and that the Kingdom’s military industries sector had witnessed qualitative leaps during the past five years

RIYADH: Saudi nationals are to be trained to work in the military and defense industries sector following an announcement from the General Authority for Military Industries to establish a new academy.

GAMI Gov. Ahmed Al-Ohali said it was an extension of the military industry sector’s strategy that was approved by the Cabinet in April last year.

The National Academy of Military Industries would be the largest supporter of the sector’s strategy of backing the country’s human resources, he added.

The launch ceremony was held at the academy’s headquarters in Riyadh and attended by more than 35 local and international companies and government institutions. The academy's board of directors was formed at the event and the establishment license was handed over to the academy's chairman Walid Abu Khalid and other founding partners.

Al-Ohali said the authority was committed to supporting national personnel and that the Kingdom's military industries sector had witnessed qualitative leaps during the past five years.

He praised the special care, interest, and support that the military and defense industries sector received from the government of King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to embody the ambitious vision toward enhancing the strategic independence of Saudi Arabia and building a local and sustainable military industries sector.

The Saudi Arabian Military Industries CEO and academy chairman Abu Khalid said the new institution was considered a strategic tool to ensure the success of the supply chain project in the military industries sector through developing and refining people's knowledge and capabilities in specialist technological, engineering, and scientific fields and specialists concerned with the military, defense, and security industries.

He stressed that developing, rehabilitating, and enabling national personnel, creating innovative and new industries and technologies, enhancing the strategic independence of Saudi Arabia, and seeking to localize this promising sector were all considered strategic goals that supported realizing the sector’s targets of localizing more than 50 percent of military expenditure by 2030.


Saudi minister hails KSA’s work in field of education 

Saudi minister hails KSA’s work in field of education. (SPA)
Saudi minister hails KSA’s work in field of education. (SPA)
Updated 22 May 2022

Saudi minister hails KSA’s work in field of education 

Saudi minister hails KSA’s work in field of education. (SPA)
  • Speaking at the conference Al-Sudairi praised ALECSO’s remarkable achievements in joint cooperation with member states, as well as the Kingdom’s adoption of many constructive programs

TUNIS: Saudi Deputy Minister of Education for Universities, Research and Innovation Mohammed Al-Sudairi headed the Kingdom’s delegation to the 26th session of the general conference of the Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization and the meeting of its executive council at its 117th session in Tunis.

Speaking at the conference Al-Sudairi praised ALECSO’s remarkable achievements in joint cooperation with member states, as well as the Kingdom’s adoption of many constructive programs and initiatives with regional and international organizations that serve its Vision 2030.

He also hailed the Kingdom’s achievements in the field of education, culture, science and intelligence, most notably its first position in the Arab world in patents, with the registration of 1,871 international patents, and its second place in terms of quality of education for 2021.

Al-Sudairi also talked about 22 awards it had won in the International Science and Engineering Fair 2022, as well as the award for the best researcher and project scientist at a global level, noting that the Kingdom supports national, regional and international visions to develop innovative cultural policies.

He said that the Kingdom launched an interactive laboratory for cultural policies, as well as a cultural scholarship program and development fund to enable young people to join the creative field.

The deputy minister said that the Kingdom gave $30 million to the International Alliance for the Protection of Heritage in Conflict Areas, in addition to launching an environment hackathon to support the objectives of the “Saudi Green Initiative” and to enhance the Kingdom’s digital role globally through a set of studies related to artificial intelligence.