Saudi minister meets Canadian official in Riyadh

Saudi minister meets Canadian official in Riyadh
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Updated 22 November 2023
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Saudi minister meets Canadian official in Riyadh

Saudi minister meets Canadian official in Riyadh

Saudi Deputy Minister for Political Affairs Saud Al-Sati on Wednesday received the executive director of Middle East relations at the Canadian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Martine Larose, in Riyadh.

During the meeting, the two sides reviewed recent developments in the Middle East, along with bilateral relations and topics of common concern.

Canadian Ambassador to the Kingdom Jean-Philippe Linteau was also present in the meeting.


Two-state solution will solve problems in the Middle East, says Chinese envoy to KSA

Chang Hua expressed strong support for the establishment of an independent, fully sovereign state of Palestine. (Supplied)
Chang Hua expressed strong support for the establishment of an independent, fully sovereign state of Palestine. (Supplied)
Updated 3 min 51 sec ago
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Two-state solution will solve problems in the Middle East, says Chinese envoy to KSA

Chang Hua expressed strong support for the establishment of an independent, fully sovereign state of Palestine. (Supplied)
  • Chang Hua emphasizes strategic partnership, advocates for global stability

RIYADH: The newly appointed Chinese ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Chang Hua, said that the issue of Palestine must be resolved.

Speaking at his residence in Riyadh, Hua expressed strong support for the establishment of an independent, fully sovereign state of Palestine.

“This is a basic solution to solve all the problems in the Middle East,” the envoy said.

The seven-month war in Gaza has killed more than 35,000 people and displaced hundreds of thousands of Palestinians.

“As a former ambassador to Iran and currently an ambassador to the Kingdom, I am honored to personally participate in establishing a mechanism — a joint Chinese-Saudi-Iranian committee. I will make more efforts to advance the mechanism to achieve further results.”

The resumption of relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran was established on March 10, 2023 in a deal brokered by China.

“China, as an important party to the Beijing Agreement, will continue to push Saudi-Iranian relations to progress continuously. We restore it to make joint efforts with Saudi Arabia in creating beneficial conditions to advance the implementation of the Beijing Agreement and enhance tripartite dealings.”

The ambassador added: “I think this mechanism could be a model for peace in the Middle East. In fact, in 2021, the minister of foreign affairs visited Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Turkiye on a tour in this region, and presented peace proposals to me within five points. We are still continuing this talk and we want to enhance stability and security in this region.”

Hua has decades of experience in the Middle East, having served as an ambassador in Yemen, Iran, and the UAE.

Addressing the relations between the two countries, the envoy said: “China and Saudi Arabia enjoy a comprehensive strategic partnership. In politics, the two sides have exchanged firm support on issues related to the other side’s core interests and major concerns.

“China views Saudi Arabia as an important power in a multipolar world, and places the development of relations with Saudi Arabia as a priority in its overall foreign policy, especially within its diplomacy in the Middle East.

“In addition, China and the Kingdom pursue an independent foreign policy. It calls on the two countries to preserve the international order based on the ‘United Nations Charter’ and international law. In the United Nations, the G20, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and other international platforms and international and regional hot issues, China and Saudi Arabia have long maintained constant communication and close coordination, and we have worked together to promote global peace and stability and achieve development and prosperity.”

In December 2022, the first China-Arab Summit was held in Riyadh. “They (both sides) continue to work collectively to build the Chinese-Arab community with all its potential toward a new era. The Arab-Chinese summit is the first to amplify the driving force for the development of Chinese-Arab relations, but it is the forum in the new phase.”

The 10th session of the China-Arab Cooperation Ministerial Forum will be held soon. The Chinese side is prepared to work together with the Arab side to continue fostering the spirit of Arab friendship, strengthening and enriching China-Arab cooperation, thereby advancing the interests of the Chinese-Arab community at an elevated level for the future.

 


Saudi Arabia launches 1,000 Qur’an memorization sessions for Hajj season

Saudi Arabia launches 1,000 Qur’an memorization sessions for Hajj season
Updated 19 May 2024
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Saudi Arabia launches 1,000 Qur’an memorization sessions for Hajj season

Saudi Arabia launches 1,000 Qur’an memorization sessions for Hajj season
  • Qualified Saudi teachers will lead these efforts to enrich the experience of pilgrims

RIYADH: Sheikh Abdulrahman Al-Sudais, head of the Presidency of Religious Affairs at the Grand Mosque and the Prophet’s Mosque, has approved the launch of 1,000 sessions dedicated to Hajj pilgrims memorizing the Qur’an, Saudi Press Agency reported on Sunday.

This initiative aligns with the presidency’s plans for this year’s Hajj season to disseminate the morals of the Qur’an and its moderate message globally. Qualified Saudi teachers, who have memorized the holy book, will lead these efforts to enrich the experience of pilgrims.

Al-Sudais said that this initiative reflected the Kingdom’s leadership’s commitment to teaching, memorizing, interpreting and enhancing understanding of the Qur’an. He said that the sessions in the Two Holy Mosques were designed to provide educational and pedagogical content, as well as methodological approaches to spreading the Qur’an’s message and guidance.

The Presidency of Religious Affairs also aims to broaden the scope of education within these Qur’anic sessions, incorporating recitations and holidays related to the Prophet Muhammad.
 


Saudi Arabia leads offers to help Iran after crash of helicopter carrying President Raisi

Video footage shows Iran's President Ebrahim Raisi (L) with an unidentified memeber of his delegation on board a helicopter.
Video footage shows Iran's President Ebrahim Raisi (L) with an unidentified memeber of his delegation on board a helicopter.
Updated 29 min 50 sec ago
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Saudi Arabia leads offers to help Iran after crash of helicopter carrying President Raisi

Video footage shows Iran's President Ebrahim Raisi (L) with an unidentified memeber of his delegation on board a helicopter.
  • The Foreign Ministry said the Kingdom was following reports about the crash with “great concern” 
  • Qatar said it is ready to provide “all forms of support” for Iran’s search efforts after the helicopter crash

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia expressed its support for Iran and said it was ready to provide any assistance required after a helicopter carrying Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi crashed on Sunday.

The Foreign Ministry said the Kingdom was following reports about the crash with “great concern.” 

Meanwhile, the Iraqi government said in a statement it had instructed its interior ministry, the Red Crescent and other relevant bodies to offer help to neighboring Iran in the search mission.

Iranian search and rescue teams were scouring a fog-shrouded mountainside after the helicopter carrying the president and Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian went missing in an “accident” on Sunday, state media said.

Fears grew for Raisi after contact was lost with the helicopter carrying him in East Azerbaijan province, reports said.

Raisi was visiting the province where he inaugurated a dam project together with Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev, on the border between the two countries.

“Today, after bidding a friendly farewell to the (visiting) President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Ebrahim Raisi, we were profoundly troubled by the news of a helicopter carrying the top delegation crash-landing in Iran,” Aliyev said.

“Our prayers to Allah Almighty are with President Ebrahim Raisi and the accompanying delegation. As a neighbor, friend, and brotherly country, the Republic of Azerbaijan stands ready to offer any assistance needed,” he added.

Qatar said it is ready to provide “all forms of support” for Iran’s search efforts after the helicopter crash.

The UAE foreign ministry said in a statement that the country stands by Iran and is ready to provide support in efforts to find the helicopter carrying Raisi. 

The Turkish Foreign Ministry said it was following developments in Sunday’s Iran helicopter accident with sadness and hoping for the president’s wellbeing, adding that action had been taken to provide all kinds of support to search and rescue activities.

The European Union said it had activated its “rapid response mapping service” to help Iran search for the helicopter.

Russia also said it is ready to extend help to Iran in connection with the crash. 

“Russia is ready to extend all necessary help in the search for the missing helicopter and the investigation of the reasons for the incident,” foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova wrote on the Telegram messaging app.


Saudi minister meets EU’s director-general for environment

Saudi minister meets EU’s director-general for environment
Updated 9 sec ago
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Saudi minister meets EU’s director-general for environment

Saudi minister meets EU’s director-general for environment
  • During the meetings, Al-Fadhli discussed various aspects of cooperation in the fields of water and environment

JAKARTA: Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Environment, Water, and Agriculture Abdulrahman Al-Fadhli held several bilateral meetings at the 10th World Water Forum in Jakarta on Sunday.

He met with the director-general of the EU’s environment department, Florika Fink-Hooijer, and Amy Khor, Singapore’s senior minister of state for sustainability and environment affairs, among other officials.

During the meetings, Al-Fadhli discussed various aspects of cooperation in the fields of water and environment, calling on countries to contribute to achieving the goals of the World Water Organization.

 


Hajj media center launched for local, international journalists at Jeddah airport

Hajj media center launched for local, international journalists at Jeddah airport
Updated 19 May 2024
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Hajj media center launched for local, international journalists at Jeddah airport

Hajj media center launched for local, international journalists at Jeddah airport
  • 24/7 operated center offers journalists shared workspaces and real-time updates during the Hajj season

JEDDAH: The Ministry of Transport and Logistic Services launched the media center for the 2024 Hajj season on Sunday at the Hajj and Umrah terminals at King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah.

The center aims to support and assist more than 1,300 journalists from 16 countries during the arrival and departure of pilgrims via the airport throughout the Hajj season.

Operating 24/7, the center offers journalists shared workspaces and real-time updates, enhancing media efficiency during the Hajj season. This is complemented by the Makkah Route Initiative led by the Ministry of Interior in a dedicated pavilion, alongside the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah and the General Authority of Media Regulation.

It also caters to local and international media outlets, including news agencies, television channels, journalists, correspondents and photographers.

Saleh Al-Zuaid, official spokesman for the Ministry of Transport, told Arab News: “The importance of the center lies in providing a place for journalists, offering multiple studios, shared workspaces, showcasing comprehensive digital transportation technologies and delivering media messages in five languages: Arabic, English, French, Urdu and Persian.”

Al-Zuaid discussed the technological advancements that will revolutionize transportation and logistics systems for pilgrims. Last year, 19 technologies were introduced to enhance the pilgrim experience, with plans to implement 32 more this year.

Notable innovations include road-cooling technology, virtual glasses for bus inspections and automatic monitoring technology, which significantly reduce bus inspection time. The implementation of these technologies aims to improve efficiency, safety and comfort for pilgrims during their journey.

Al-Zuaid said: “There are technologies we will announce for feasibility study for implementation in the coming years, some of which were launched last year and achieved high success, and will be implemented this year as well, such as the automatic monitoring technology, which reduced the bus inspection time from 60 seconds to 6 seconds, as well as the road-cooling technology implemented last year which contributed to reducing street temperatures by 12 degrees Celsius.”

Other important technologies include the luggage-free Hajj initiative, which facilitates the departure of pilgrims, to be implemented this year at King Abdulaziz International Airport and Prince Mohammed bin Abdulaziz International Airport in Madinah.

The Ministry of Transport is exploring innovative initiatives to further enhance the pilgrimage experience, such as the rubberized sidewalk initiative, the taxi app for convenient transportation, and the use of self-driving vehicles for order delivery among the new projects set to be introduced.

These initiatives focus on improving pilgrims’ overall well-being, reducing logistical challenges and enhancing accessibility to essential services.