TOKYO: Japan Prime Minister Kishida Fumio and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman confirmed strong bilateral ties during a telephone call held on Feb. 3, the Foreign Ministry in Tokyo said in an official statement.
Prime Minister Kishida stated that Japan and Saudi Arabia are strategic partners and expressed his intention to foster close ties with Crown Prince Mohammed.
In response, Crown Prince Mohammed congratulated Kishida on his appointment as Prime Minister and expressed his renewed hope for strengthening bilateral relations with Japan.
During the talks, Prime Minister Kishida expressed his appreciation for the secure supply of oil from Saudi Arabia to Japan and stated that Japan seeks to cooperate with Saudi Arabia as it plays a leading role in stabilizing the international oil market as a member of the OPEC +.
Kishida also stated that Japan will support Saudi Arabia’s efforts towards the diversification of its industry and its domestic economic and social reforms.
In response, Crown Prince Mohammed stated that he would like to strengthen further bilateral cooperation across a wider range of areas beyond the energy area under the Saudi-Japan Vision 2030 framework and that Saudi Arabia will contribute towards realizing the stabilization of the international oil market.
“Both leaders exchanged views on regional issues in the Middle East, including the situation in GCC countries, Iran and Yemen, and shared the view to continue close cooperation.
They also exchanged views on North Korea, including its nuclear and missile activities and affirmed that they would continue to coordinate in dealing with North Korea, including on the abductions issue, according to the statement.
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
Updated 29 June 2022
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
Deborah Lipstadt discusses role and religious tolerance at roundtable with Saudi journalists
Updated 29 June 2022
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.
“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.
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.
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.
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.
Al Jouf University included in QS world university rankings 2023
The university’s president attributed its success to the Kingdom's leadership for their unwavering support for the education sector
Updated 28 June 2022
AL JOUF: Al Jouf University, for the second year in a row, was included in the QS world university rankings for 2023, Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported on Tuesday.
The university also ranked 701st globally and 8th locally, and was included in the Times World University Rankings for the second year in a row for achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
Dr. Muhammad bin Abdullah Al-Shaya, president of the university, praised the institution's international classifications team as well as the Kingdom's leadership for their unwavering support for the education sector, which contributed to the university's success.
The president was presented with a certificate for the international classification QS.The Governor of Al-Jawf region and the Minister of Education both stated that the university is continuing to expand on its current position and is working continuously to advance in all fields within the Vision 2030 goals, SPA reported.
The Dean of Scientific Research and Supervisor of the International Classification Unit at the University, Dr. Nabil Al-Ruwaili said Al Jouf’s classification is a reflection of its qualitative practices on an educational, research and scientific level.
Misk fellowship competition bootcamp underway in London
Both bootcamps are designed to equip young Saudis with the skills needed to become effective leaders
Misk Fellowship Program 2022 runs for six months and ends in December
Updated 28 June 2022
LONDON: Saudi students are participating in a competition bootcamp in London this week as part of the Misk Fellowship Program 2022.
It started on Monday and followed the first week of the program, which saw the 60 students participate in a leadership bootcamp.
Both bootcamps, spanning a total of 10 days, are designed to equip young Saudis with the skills and behavior needed to become effective leaders.
Critical thinking, problem-solving, self-motivation, self-awareness, teamwork, and leadership best practices are some of the competencies the bootcamps will focus on.
Abdulrahman Alhenaki, the project officer for the Misk Fellowship Program, told Arab News that the competition kickoff bootcamp would focus on helping fellows find sustainable development solutions to challenges faced by Saudi Arabia with assistance and guidance from Misk partners.
These partners include the Saudi Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology, the Kingdom’s Research, Development, and Innovation Authority, the UN Development Programme, the Small and Medium Enterprises General Authority (Monsha’at), and management consulting firms Bain & Company and Strategy&.
He said the fellows would return to the countries where they were studying once the current bootcamp was over and start the second part of the fellowship program virtually.
“They will start thinking about what kinds of solutions they will come up with to fix these challenges and also participate in other components of the program, including being coached and mentored. We also have placement opportunities to enhance their journey and to make them ready for the job market in the future.”
Fellows will work in groups of six on their solutions and present them in early September.
“There will be three winners chosen by the judges who will win internships, incentives, and opportunities to participate in other Misk programs. There will also be two other winners. The first will be selected by the audience that day for the best presentation and the other will be selected by the social media audience.”
Dr. Basem Hassan, general manager for technology transfer and commercialization at the King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology, said his organization was helping to guide the students in their challenges.
“Our role in this program is to define the Sustainable Development Goals and challenges facing Saudi Arabia. We defined 12 challenges and, on Monday, we had a session with the students. We presented the innovative ecosystem in Saudi Arabia and all the transformations happening in the ecosystem.
“We also presented some of the latest technologies and projects in Saudi Arabia addressing global challenges and sustainable climate solutions. Then we talked about the 12 challenges that have been defined for them for the competition, and presented some of the innovative solutions from around the world that address parts of these challenges.”
The director of the women’s and social entrepreneurship department at Monsha’at, Afnan Ababtain, presented a session on Tuesday.
“We are happy to be part of the Misk fellowship. Today we are sharing with the fellows Monsha’at’s strategy in social entrepreneurship and what kinds of services we are providing for social entrepreneurs to make sure that we will have scalable businesses owned by social entrepreneurs,” she said.
Misk fellow Nawaf Bin Awshan told Arab News he was glad to be part of the program.
“It is an insightful program that provides the next generation of leaders with focused points of leadership. This program focuses on how to move students from the student stage to the leader stage. I really enjoyed the first part of the fellowship, the leadership bootcamp. This week, we have started a competition and we will deal with how to solve some of the challenges faced by Saudi Arabia.”
Another Misk fellow, Dana Almudayfi, described the program as “informative and wonderful.”
“This has been a really informative and wonderful program insofar as it has given us the tools to be leaders, which is the most important thing.”
She said she was looking forward to using the skills she had learned over the last two weeks in the workplace.
The program runs for six months and ends in December.