Saudi Arabia and Qatar to strengthen cooperation, unify positions

Saudi Arabia’s Prince Mohammed bin Salman leaves Doha following a two-day visit and is seen off by Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad. (Twitter/@KSAMOFA)
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Saudi Arabia’s Prince Mohammed bin Salman leaves Doha following a two-day visit and is seen off by Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad. (Twitter/@KSAMOFA)
Saudi Arabia’s Prince Mohammed bin Salman leaves Doha following a two-day visit and is seen off by Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad. (Twitter/@KSAMOFA)
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Saudi Arabia’s Prince Mohammed bin Salman leaves Doha following a two-day visit and is seen off by Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad. (Twitter/@KSAMOFA)
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Updated 09 December 2021

Saudi Arabia and Qatar to strengthen cooperation, unify positions

Saudi Arabia’s Prince Mohammed bin Salman leaves Doha following a two-day visit and is seen off by Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad. (Twitter/@KSAMOFA)
  • The emir and crown prince co-chaired the 6th Saudi-Qatari Coordination Council meeting
  • Riyadh and Doha agree to develop economic and commercial cooperation and increase the volume of intra-trade

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Thursday concluded a two-day visit to the Qatari capital, Doha, aimed at bolstering relations.
Prince Mohammed and Emir Sheikh Tamim held a round of talks to discuss regional and international issues and the bilateral opportunities available in the political, military, security, economic, commercial, investment, industrial, cultural, sports, environment, energy and infrastructure fields.
The emir and crown prince co-chaired the 6th Saudi-Qatari Coordination Council meeting, and said they were “satisfied with what was achieved during the session,” a joint statement released following the crown prince’s visit said. 
The two sides agreed to enhance cooperation on all political issues and develop common positions that preserve both countries’ security and stability. They also agreed to continue military cooperation, strengthen the exchange of information, visits and joint training, benefit from expertise in specialized fields, exchange scholarships for military colleges and academies, and activate the security agreements signed between them.
Saudi Arabia and Qatar said they were keen to develop economic and commercial cooperation, increase the volume of intra-trade, facilitate the flow of trade movement, and take advantage of economic, commercial and industrial opportunities.




Riyadh and Doha also agreed to coordinate their positions on regional and international issues. (Twitter/@KSAMOFA)

The two sides also agreed to enhance cooperation on international climate policies and renewable energy, implement a circular carbon economy, and contribute to the sustainability of demand for global energy supplies. The Kingdom thanked Qatar for supporting important green initiatives in the Middle East, including its announcement to plant one million trees before the World Cup next year, and to plant 10 million trees by 2030.
Other areas of cooperation both counties pledged to develop include air transport, telecommunications and information technology, cybersecurity, financial technologies, digital marketing, and providing incentives to the business sectors in both countries, “especially during Qatar’s hosting of the 2022 World Cup, in a way that contributes to the success of this major event and achieves the two countries’ 2030 visions,” the statement said.
“The two sides agreed on the need to coordinate efforts to highlight the positive image of the citizens of the two countries, especially the youth,” the statement added, including organizing festivals, seminars, and cultural and entertainment conferences.
Riyadh and Doha also agreed to coordinate their positions on regional and international issues “to serve their interests and enhance security and stability in the region and the world.”
They affirmed their commitment to the AlUla declaration, achieving peace in the Middle East, and the importance of reaching a comprehensive settlement of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. They also called for concerted international efforts to provide humanitarian aid to the Palestinian people. 
On Yemen, the two sides said they were united in their efforts to find a comprehensive political solution to the crisis, and Qatari praised the Kingdom’s initiative to end the war and the suffering of the Yemeni people.
Saudi Arabia and Qatar welcomed the success of the recent elections in Iraq, and said they hoped the new Iraqi government will continue to work for the security, stability and development of the country. They also welcomed the agreements reached by the parties to the transitional phase in Sudan, and affirmed their continued support for its security and stability and the prosperity of the Sudanese people.
“The two sides stressed the importance of carrying out comprehensive reforms to ensure that Lebanon overcomes its crises, and that it does not become a launch pad for any actions that destabilize the security and stability of the region or a corridor for drug trafficking,” the joint statement said.




Saudi Arabia’s Prince Mohammed bin Salman leaves Doha following a two-day visit and is seen off by Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad. (Twitter/@KSAMOFA)

They also called for the need to reach a political solution to the Syrian and Libyan crisis, and expressed support for the efforts of the UN special envoy for Syria. 
Saudi Arabia and Qatar said they would continue to support security and stability in Afghanistan so it does not become a safe haven for terrorists and extremists, and called for increased international efforts to combat terrorism and support relief and humanitarian work.
The Kingdom praised the Qatar-led mediation efforts to achieve peace in Afghanistan and its vital role in evacuating foreign citizens and resuming operations at Kabul Airport.
Qatar praised the Kingdom for calling an extraordinary meeting for the Organization of Islamic Cooperation countries to discuss the situation in Afghanistan, which will be held in Pakistan on Dec. 19. 
They also stressed the need to cooperate and seriously and effectively deal with Iran’s nuclear and missile program with all its components and repercussions in a way that contributes to achieving regional and international security and stability. They emphasized the principles of good neighborliness and respect for UN resolutions and international legitimacy, and sparing the region from all destabilizing activities.
Prince Mohammed sent a cable to Sheikh Tamim following his visit, thanking him for the warm reception and hospitality he and his accompanying delegation received.
He said the talks he held over the past two days “confirmed the strength of the relations between the two brotherly countries and the common desire to deepen cooperation in all fields,” Saudi Press Agency reported.
Qatar was the fourth stop in the crown prince’s tour of Gulf countries, following the UAE and Oman. His whirlwind tour also includes visits to Bahrain and Kuwait.


‘Exciting time’ for renewable energy collaboration between UK and Saudi Arabia, experts tell London forum

‘Exciting time’ for renewable energy collaboration between UK and Saudi Arabia, experts tell London forum
Updated 16 sec ago

‘Exciting time’ for renewable energy collaboration between UK and Saudi Arabia, experts tell London forum

‘Exciting time’ for renewable energy collaboration between UK and Saudi Arabia, experts tell London forum
  • UK-Saudi Renewable Energy Forum on June 28, organized by Saudi British Joint Business Council, brought together Saudi and UK investors and business leaders

LONDON: It is an “exciting time” to be working with Saudi Arabia and “exploring collaboration” in renewable energy, experts said at a joint UK-Saudi panel on Tuesday.

The UK-Saudi Renewable Energy Forum on June 28, organized by the Saudi British Joint Business Council, brought together Saudi and UK investors and business leaders to discuss clean energy programs in both countries and the finance available to support decarbonization and the energy transition.

Attended by a high-level Saudi official delegation, as well as a private sector delegation, the event built on the success of SBJBC’s Sustainable Investment Forum in July last year.

The event followed the recent launch of the Saudi Green and Middle East Green initiatives and the ongoing commitment from both the Saudi and British governments to invest in carbon capture, hydrogen and clean fuels in order to address climate change and meet net-zero emission targets.

“There’s been a strong regulatory evolution [in this field] across the GCC, so I think it’s a really exciting time to be getting involved in Saudi Arabia,” managing partner at Ashurst Middle East David Charlier said.

Orral Nadjari, founder and CEO at Britishvolt, agreed now was the time to be working closely with the Kingdom in the sector.

“We need to localize manufacturing and reinvent outdated supply chains, so we’re very interested in exploring collaboration with Saudi Arabia,” he said.

UK Minister for Investment Lord Grimstone was a key speaker at the event, and he said the global political will to enact change has been visible in recent years.

“We need to see more partnership between our countries. There’s a real desire for change,” he said.

“From hosting COP26 in Glasgow to welcoming key investors to the Global Investment Summit in London, the UK is deeply committed to tackling climate change at all levels.

“Investment is crucial to this, through nurturing technological developments and propelling our economy towards a cleaner, greener future.

“I’m looking forward to working with Saudi Arabia and countries the world over to commit to increasing cooperation in green technology and clean energy to work towards a more sustainable future for all,” he added.

Ahead of the forum, Lord Mayor of the City of London Vincent Keaveny said: “As we pass the halfway point between COP26 and COP27, this forum will be essential for driving progress towards global net-zero. As the world’s largest oil exporter, it’s vital that Saudi Arabia is part of the solution towards tackling climate change.”


‘Holodoctor’ service for Hajj pilgrims

‘Holodoctor’ service for Hajj pilgrims
Updated 29 June 2022

‘Holodoctor’ service for Hajj pilgrims

‘Holodoctor’ service for Hajj pilgrims
  • Consultations, diagnoses and medicine prescriptions to be done virtually
  • Health Ministry partners with Saudi telecoms firm and Seha Virtual Hospital

RIYADH: Saudi Health Minister Fahad Al-Jalajel has launched a “holodoctor” service, in partnership with the Saudi Telecommunications Co., that would allow medical practitioners to treat Hajj pilgrims virtually.

These services include “inspection, diagnosis, and disbursing medicines” through direct contact with the Kingdom’s first Seha Virtual Hospital in Riyadh, the Saudi Press Agency reported the minister as saying.

The minister thanked King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for continuing to provide the services and facilities needed by pilgrims to complete their Hajj in comfort and safety.

Al-Jalajel said the Ministry of Health has prepared meticulously for medical care at the holy sites, including several hospitals and health centers, which are equipped with ambulances under the supervision of experienced personnel.

He said Seha Virtual Hospital provides 24-hour access for x-rays, and can deal with strokes and other serious medical situations. Doctors can communicate directly with patients and check all biomarkers.

Those needing information on care can telephone the number 937, access the Sehhaty application, or check the ministry’s Twitter account.


No permit, no Hajj pilgrimage, Saudi authorities warn

No permit, no Hajj pilgrimage, Saudi authorities warn
Updated 29 June 2022

No permit, no Hajj pilgrimage, Saudi authorities warn

No permit, no Hajj pilgrimage, Saudi authorities warn
  • Hajj violators face 10,000 Saudi riyal fine

RIYADH: People attempting to perform the Hajj pilgrimage without a permit face a $2,666 fine, Saudi Arabia’s general security said in a statement on Wednesday.

The authority’s official spokesperson said pilgrims must obtain a Hajj permit from the relevant entities before attempting to perform the Muslim rituals. 

 

 

In the statement posted on Twitter, Brigadier Sami bin Mohammed Al-Shuwairkh urged pilgrims to strictly follow Hajj instructions, while stressing that security forces would “fulfill their duties” in securing routes leading to the Grand Mosque in Makkah and the rest of the holy premises to prevent any violations.

Saudi Arabia earlier said it permitted over one million pilgrims from overseas to perform Hajj this year for the first time in two years of COVID-19 restrictions, which limited the pilgrimage to residents of the Kingdom.


Makkah Health Cluster ready for Hajj with 10 hospitals and 82 health centers

Makkah Health Cluster ready for Hajj with 10 hospitals and 82 health centers
Updated 29 June 2022

Makkah Health Cluster ready for Hajj with 10 hospitals and 82 health centers

Makkah Health Cluster ready for Hajj with 10 hospitals and 82 health centers

RIYADH: The Makkah Healthcare Cluster announced its readiness for this year’s Hajj season by completing the operational plans for all hospitals and health centers affiliated to it, the Saudi Press Agency reported. 

It said 10 hospitals and 82 health centers have completed all preparations to implement operational plans prepared for the Hajj season.

Three emergency centers, as well as two more emergency hospitals will be operating inside and near the Grand mosque 24 hours a day to provide health care for pilgrims.


White House envoy for antisemitism Deborah Lipstadt conducts roundtable discussion at Arab News

White House envoy for antisemitism Deborah Lipstadt conducts roundtable discussion at Arab News
Updated 29 June 2022

White House envoy for antisemitism Deborah Lipstadt conducts roundtable discussion at Arab News

White House envoy for antisemitism Deborah Lipstadt conducts roundtable discussion at Arab News
  • Deborah Lipstadt discusses role and religious tolerance at roundtable with Saudi journalists

RIYADH: Ambassador Deborah Lipstadt, US special envoy to monitor and combat antisemitism, expressed her delight to be in the Kingdom and said that she deliberately chose Saudi Arabia as her first foreign visit to help generate dialogue and normalize the coexistence of Muslims and Jews.

Ambassador Deborah Lipstadt, US special envoy to monitor and combat antisemitism, and Arab News Editor-in-Chief Faisal J. Abbas at the roundtable discussion at Arab News headquarters in Riyadh on Tuesday. (AN photo by Basheer Saleh)

“I'm overwhelmed by the changes the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is undertaking. You have got a long road, but you are certainly working down that road,” she told Arab News.

HIGHLIGHT

Ambassador Deborah Lipstadt believed the newer generations are actively changing and shifting perspectives, which is something she admired.

Lipstadt was talking on the sidelines of a roundtable discussion held at the Arab News headquarters in Riyadh, where the history of antisemitism and her work confronting it was discussed.

She focused on acknowledging her country’s past shortcomings and hoped that this trip would help start repairing the previous hostile viewpoint of Jews in the region.

She believed the newer generations were actively changing and shifting perspectives, which is something she admired.

The roundtable was moderated by Arab News Assistant Editor-in-Chief Noor Nugali and attended by Adel Al-Harbi, a prominent Saudi media adviser, Saudi columnist Noor Abdullah, and communications consultant and founder of SMZ International Group Sarah Elzeini.

Journalists from Arab News who attended included Nada Al-Turki and Arkan Al-Adnani, as well as members of the visiting delegation from the US embassy in Riyadh.

Arab News editor-in-chief Faisal J. Abbas with Ambassador Deborah lipstadt. (AN photo by Basheer Saleh)

Lipstadt also met Arab News Editor-in-Chief Faisal Abbas and conducted a tour of the newsroom, where she met journalists and editors on staff and was briefed on the newspaper’s own efforts in combating hate speech and promoting religious tolerance.

“I've seen some of the work you've done (at Arab News), the covers, the Minority report: The Jews of Lebanon. You're putting the Hebrew greeting for the new year ‘Shana Tova’ on your front page. That's unimaginable,” she said. “My country is not perfect; your country is not perfect. We have a long way to go, but what I've seen here certainly at Arab News is a great beginning.”

For his part, Abbas welcomed Lipstadt and her accompanying delegation and lauded her remarkable career in standing up against antisemitism.

“We are delighted to receive a guest of the caliber and accomplishments of Ambassador Deborah Lipstadt visit our headquarters in Riyadh, and we are keen to have more such interactions and offer any insight she and her team might need toward this noble cause, which falls in line with the huge reforms we are witnessing in our country,” said Abbas.

Arab News editor-in-chief Faisal J. Abbas with Ambassador Deborah lipstadt. (AN photo by Basheer Saleh)

Prior to Lipstadt’s visit to the Kingdom, she met the Saudi ambassador to the US Princess Reema Bint Bandar in Washington, where they discussed “Saudi Arabia's meaningful strides in promoting peace, tolerance, and interfaith dialogue.”

This is Lipstadt’s first international trip since assuming her role in April 2022. The 11-day trip will include dialogue with senior government and civil society in Saudi Arabia, Israel, and the UAE.

Her engagements during this tour aim to emphasize the need for interfaith understanding and religious tolerance, as well as to combat distrust and anti-Jewish sentiment.

Arab News will publish an in-depth interview with her tomorrow.