Djibouti committed to working with Saudi Arabia on Red Sea maritime security, fighting terrorism: president

Djibouti committed to working with Saudi Arabia on Red Sea maritime security, fighting terrorism: president
Hundreds of cargo ships and tankers are being rerouted around the southern tip of Africa to avoid Houthi attacks in the Red Sea (AFP)
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Updated 12 February 2024
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Djibouti committed to working with Saudi Arabia on Red Sea maritime security, fighting terrorism: president

Djibouti committed to working with Saudi Arabia on Red Sea maritime security, fighting terrorism: president
  • Guelleh highlighted relations with Saudi Arabia dated back to 1977

RIYADH: Djibouti’s president has pledged his country’s commitment to helping bring about maritime security in the Red Sea, while also fighting terrorism.

Ismail Omar Guelleh noted that the East African nation was cooperating with major powers, including Saudi Arabia, to ensure safe passage for international shipping in the Bab El-Mandeb (the strait that connects the Red Sea with the Gulf of Aden), and the Gulf of Aden.

“It’s crucial to resolve regional crises and work together to keep navigation safe in the Red Sea,” Guelleh told Asharq Al-Awsat.

He said that Djibouti’s strategic position meant it played a vital role in facilitating global trade, adding that his country was cooperating with nations such as the US, France, the UK, and Red Sea coastal states, particularly Saudi Arabia, in combating terrorism and ensuring maritime security.

Guelleh said: “Our focus is on regional and global cooperation to maintain security and smooth navigation in the Red Sea, crucial for international maritime transport.” And he pointed out that Djibouti had “a pivotal role in safeguarding Red Sea security.”

He added: “With balanced relationships and a strong reputation for stability and peacekeeping in a tumultuous region, Djibouti stands as a key player.

“Saudi Arabia, being a fraternal state, holds significant religious, political, and economic influence.

“The two brotherly nations cooperate in various fields, including security, trade, and energy. Undoubtedly, this bilateral cooperation plays a vital role in achieving stability in this critical region.”

On Djibouti’s ties with Saudi Arabia, Guelleh highlighted those relations dated back to 1977 when his country gained independence.

He said: “Cooperation is ongoing across various sectors, including security, military, and business. Since 2008, both countries have signed around 30 agreements covering diverse areas.”

Djibouti, he added, was looking to further strengthen collaboration with Saudi Arabia, “particularly in maritime transport, logistics, and port services, building on our significant progress in port development.”

Guelleh also revealed that moves were underway to develop joint maritime and air transport projects, along with establishing a free zone and warehouses for Saudi exports within Djibouti’s International Free Trade Zone, with the aim of boosting Saudi exports to Africa.

On the crisis in Sudan, he said Djibouti, as a member of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, was actively working to end the conflict in the North African country, adding that Sudan, also a key IGAD member, was crucial for regional stability.

Guelleh said: “Since the conflict (in Sudan) erupted in April 2023, Djibouti has been urging an immediate ceasefire and negotiations between the parties involved.

“As the current head of the IGAD, Djibouti is working closely with member states and the global community to find a solution to Sudan’s crisis.

“We’ve hosted talks with representatives from all sides of the Sudanese conflict, all expressing a strong desire to end the war due to its severe impact on the country and its people.

“We’re hopeful that our efforts will lead to a lasting ceasefire and solutions to Sudan’s challenges.

“It’s essential to prevent Sudan from descending into civil war, given its significant regional influence. We urge everyone to support international calls for peace in Sudan,” he added.

While Djibouti maintained a neutral policy in the Horn of Africa, it hosted several military bases that helped the country’s efforts to fight terrorism and piracy, Guelleh noted.

On hosting both American and Chinese bases nearby, he said: “We maintain balanced relations with major powers, cooperating or making agreements with any party within the framework of national sovereignty and interests.

“This approach demonstrates that coexistence is possible if there’s a willingness to do so.

“International military bases in Djibouti primarily aim to cooperate in maintaining security in the Red Sea region, the Gulf of Aden, and Africa as a whole.

“Many countries with military bases in Djibouti emphasize protecting their commercial and investment interests,” Guelleh added.


Saudi Arabia launches project to help citizens find jobs in top global organizations

Saudi Arabia launches project to help citizens find jobs in top global organizations
Updated 5 sec ago
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Saudi Arabia launches project to help citizens find jobs in top global organizations

Saudi Arabia launches project to help citizens find jobs in top global organizations

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has launched a recruitment platform aimed at helping citizens find jobs in top organizations worldwide.

 

The Dawli platform was launched on Monday during the LEAP 2024 technology conference in Riyadh, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

 

Announcing the platform, government official Abdulhadi Al-Mansouri said the aim was to ensure citizens gain international experience.

 

Al-Mansouri thanked King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for initiating and supporting the project.


Saudi Interior Minister meets with Korean Minister of Interior and Safety

Saudi Interior Minister meets with Korean Minister of Interior and Safety
Updated 05 March 2024
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Saudi Interior Minister meets with Korean Minister of Interior and Safety

Saudi Interior Minister meets with Korean Minister of Interior and Safety

RIYADH: Saudi Minister of Interior Abdulaziz bin Abdulaziz received the Korean Minister of Interior and Safety Lee Sang-min in Riyadh on Monday.

The ministers discussed ways to enhance existing security cooperation between the nations, in addition to addressing a number of issues of common interest.


Saudi Shura Council Foreign Affairs Committee meets with British politicians

Saudi Shura Council Foreign Affairs Committee meets with British politicians
Updated 05 March 2024
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Saudi Shura Council Foreign Affairs Committee meets with British politicians

Saudi Shura Council Foreign Affairs Committee meets with British politicians

RIYADH: Shura Council's Foreign Affairs Committee met with a delegation from the Foreign Affairs Select Committee at the United Kingdom (UK) Parliament in Riyadh on Monday.

The committee was chaired by council member Wael Al-Idrisi and the British delegation was headed by select committee chairman Alicia Kearns.

During the meeting, Al-Idrisi reviewed the historical relations between the Kingdom and the UK and stressed the importance of strengthening relations in all fields to achieve common interests.


Reading marathon promotes library culture, greener future

Reading marathon promotes library culture, greener future
Updated 04 March 2024
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Reading marathon promotes library culture, greener future

Reading marathon promotes library culture, greener future
  • Bookworms’ efforts over three days concluded with pledge to plant over 2,500 trees in Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Morocco

DHAHRAN: A reading marathon to promote library culture and environmental awareness was recently organized in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Morocco, with over a quarter of a million pages read.

The Arab libraries that participated in the three-day event were King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture, also known as Ithra, the Bibliotheca Alexandrina in Egypt and the National Library of Morocco.

The goal of the marathon was to plant one tree for every 100 pages read, which Ithra estimates would take an average reader one hour. The center said that 326,250 pages were read during the reading marathon, equivalent to 2,504 trees.

The largest reading marathon in Arab libraries was organized ‘to inspire the society to read in public libraries, believing in the library’s role in enriching the scientific and cultural life.’ (Supplied/AN photos)

The printing of physical books consumes a large percentage of trees, so the planting of new ones directly arrests some of that loss.

Upon arrival at the designated library during operating hours, participants registered at the reception and received a QR code which they used throughout the experience. They were gifted a bookmark and a notebook to log their details. Upon completing their reading for the day, they returned to the reception area to declare the number of pages they read, which were then logged.

HIGHLIGHTS

• According to Ithra, 326,250 pages were read during the reading marathon, equivalent to 2,504 trees.

• Ithra will plant the trees on the readers’ behalf in collaboration with the National Center for Vegetation Cover Development and Combating Desertification in Saudi Arabia.

• A token of appreciation was awarded to those who read 100 pages, 200 pages, 500 pages and 1,000 pages.

In an effort to encourage reading in public spaces, all had to read books in-person in order for it to count, participating on one, two or all three days depending on availability.

The largest reading marathon in Arab libraries was organized ‘to inspire the society to read in public libraries, believing in the library’s role in enriching the scientific and cultural life.’ (Supplied/AN photos)

A token of appreciation was awarded to those who read 100 pages, 200 pages, 500 pages and 1,000 pages.

At Ithra, a large screen updated the number of pages completed in real time, as well as showing the updated numbers from Morocco and Egypt.

“This is the largest reading marathon in Arab libraries, held for three days from Feb. 29 to March 2. It seeks to inspire the society to read in public libraries, believing in the library’s role in enriching the scientific and cultural life,” an official statement by Ithra said.

The largest reading marathon in Arab libraries was organized ‘to inspire the society to read in public libraries, believing in the library’s role in enriching the scientific and cultural life.’ (Supplied/AN photos)

Abdulrhman Al-Qahtani was one of the participants at Ithra. An avid reader, he drove a short distance to the center to join in the fun after coming across a post about it on social media. With his cup of black coffee situated on a small round table, he found a comfortable spot in a plush seat in the middle of the plaza and was immediately immersed in a book written by the late, great Egyptian author Taha Hussein.

Speaking to Arab News, Al-Qahtani said: “I have a ritual of reading every afternoon during the weekend, but this time, it’s with an even greater purpose. Normally, people read for their own personal pleasure or growth but this was an opportunity to do what I already do — and the world would also benefit.

Planting trees is going to help make the world more beautiful, but the lasting impact on our planet will be immense.

Abdulrhman Al-Qahtani, Reading marathon participant, Ithra

“Planting trees is going to help make the world more beautiful, but the lasting impact on our planet will be immense. I’m happy to do my part.”

Talking about the experience, he added: “Usually, I read on my own at various places with the sounds of laughter swirling around me. Here, I’m amongst other readers. Ithra did a great job in making this a suitable environment for reading. Instead of reading 100 pages, you’ll read 200.

“This is my first time participating and it has been such a great experience. I brought my own book but once I’m done, I’ll browse the books available here and I’m sure I’ll read pages from those, too,” he concluded.

The largest reading marathon in Arab libraries was organized ‘to inspire the society to read in public libraries, believing in the library’s role in enriching the scientific and cultural life.’ (Supplied/AN photos)

While many of the books on the shelves at Ithra were in Arabic, readers were encouraged to read any book in any language. They could bring their own, like Al-Qahtani, or borrow some from the shelves. The pages could also be from the same book or from multiple books.

The space directly beneath the iconic Ithra library also had seats for people to sit and read on. Ithra added temporary booths with books in the middle of the plaza for easy access.

Ithra will plant the trees on the readers’ behalf at a later date, in collaboration with the National Center for Vegetation Cover Development and Combating Desertification in Saudi Arabia. The other participating countries will also plant trees in their local communities.

 


Exhibition at Saudi creative hub shows anonymous artist’s personality

‘Finally it’s my incomplete exhibition’ is at Huna Takhassusi until march 7. (AN photos by Rahaf Jambi)
‘Finally it’s my incomplete exhibition’ is at Huna Takhassusi until march 7. (AN photos by Rahaf Jambi)
Updated 04 March 2024
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Exhibition at Saudi creative hub shows anonymous artist’s personality

‘Finally it’s my incomplete exhibition’ is at Huna Takhassusi until march 7. (AN photos by Rahaf Jambi)

RIYADH: A collaboration between Saudi creative hub Burble and anonymous artist Mo Lazim Tearef has brought a personality-themed art exhibition to Riyadh.

“Finally it’s my incomplete exhibition” is at Huna Takhassusi until March 7. It features seven blue and red paintings created with acrylics, along with a bare space representing unfinished works. Together, the works tell MLT’s story (whose name translates as “You don’t need to know”) as he confronts two traits that annoy him about his own character — haste and excuses.

Mohammed Al-Kabeer, curator and founder of the exhibition, said this was the third and final episode of MLT’s story, following on from “Grandpa’s Kid” and “My friend is a vampire.”

‘Finally it’s my incomplete exhibition’ is at Huna Takhassusi until march 7. (AN photos by Rahaf Jambi)

“MLT created this exhibition (by) rushing everything with an incomplete vision, which showcases how hasty he is,” he said.

The artist has created square characters to symbolize his excuses. The blue one is “the father of excuses” while the red ones are the small ones who follow.

Al-Kabeer said: “Father of excuses is a character that resides within each of us. He constantly rationalizes our actions, providing excuses that enable us to persist and persuade ourselves of the righteousness of our deeds regardless of their merit. He holds excuses in high regard, treating them as his own offspring.

‘Finally it’s my incomplete exhibition’ is at Huna Takhassusi until march 7. (AN photos by Rahaf Jambi)

“The persona takes inspiration from the (purple) dot on the Burble logo. MLT opted for blue and red (because the) amalgamation results in the color Burble (purple).”     

The exhibition walks viewers through MLT’s perception of excuses in every action he performs, touching their hearts along the way. The abandoned paints, brushes and mop in one corner represent his unfinished work.

“We have collaborated with more than 30 artists, but MLT is the only (one we have) adopted and who we have a lifetime contract with,” Al-Kabeer added.

Burble is a multidisciplinary creative hub that focuses on exhibitions, talks, courses and pop-ups.