Saudi Arabia seeks better world via engagement on shared values: Kingdom’s first US embassy spokeswoman

Saudi Arabia seeks better world via engagement on shared values: Kingdom’s first US embassy spokeswoman
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Updated 16 February 2024
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Saudi Arabia seeks better world via engagement on shared values: Kingdom’s first US embassy spokeswoman

Saudi Arabia seeks better world via engagement on shared values: Kingdom’s first US embassy spokeswoman
  • Empowering women only a part of Saudi Arabia’s rapid transformation, says Fatimah Baeshen
  • Determined to address biased reporting on Kingdom and Middle East North Africa region

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia is transforming at a rapid pace on all fronts, not only in terms of ensuring the empowerment of women, and there is a focus on engaging globally around shared values for a better world.

This is the view of Fatimah Baeshen, the first spokeswoman for the Saudi Arabian Embassy in Washington D.C., who was speaking during a recent interview on Arab News’ podcast, The Mayman Show.

Reflecting on her role as press secretary, she emphasized that it was not solely about being the first female appointment, but rather the manner in which public-sector institutions were being transformed in the Kingdom. This includes women being placed in prominent positions.

Baeshen told Arab News that she believes the country has reached a point where it was not about how others perceived it.

“It’s a matter of cooperation around common interests or common challenges and shared interests. And that’s really it. And that, for me, is a beautiful trajectory,” she said.

Baeshen’s involvement in the media announcements around Vision 2030 and fiscal reforms ignited her interest in pursuing a career in the industry.

She noted the reception of the Kingdom’s messaging on fiscal policy reform in the international media space. She believes many global issues stem from the disconnect between subject-matter experts and communication experts, which leads to a plethora of problems.

When Baeshen became press secretary, she was determined to address what she viewed as persistent biased reporting on the Middle East and North Africa region, including Saudi Arabia. She said that since 2020, there have been rapid changes taking place in the Kingdom.

On the personal front, Baeshen embarked on a new journey during the COVID-19 pandemic. With a background in management consulting, public affairs, and economic development, she wrote the book “140 Life Lessons I Wish I Knew at 20.” This 15-minute read, or audiobook available online, comprises aphorisms, as a collection of pearls of wisdom and guiding principles.

Baeshen found writing it to be cathartic during a time when many were encouraged to self-reflect and unwind.

“At the time when I wrote this, I was 42 and I thought to myself, I wish I knew these in my twenties. And so I don’t have kids. And I thought to myself, this is what I’m going to leave behind,” she said.

For her, some of the most valuable life lessons in the book involve embracing every aspect of oneself. She compares it to the concept of yin and yang, explaining that what may seem wholly negative often contains elements of positivity, and vice versa.

Another lesson she holds dear is the importance of persevering through life’s challenges, to take rest when needed but to keep pushing forward.

One of the most important elements of her book is Lesson 13, which delves into the nuanced differences between self-confidence, self-esteem, and self-assuredness.

She emphasized that it was important that change comes from within. Baeshen said that lacking this internal grounding can lead individuals to seek external validation constantly, trapping them in a cycle devoid of genuine affirmation.

She said that people should encourage and support all contributions to the Kingdom’s long-term goals.

It was important for people to pursue their passions and live holistically, said Baeshen.

 

 


Saudi, Ireland foreign ministers discuss Gaza developments in Brussels

Saudi, Ireland foreign ministers discuss Gaza developments in Brussels
Updated 27 May 2024
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Saudi, Ireland foreign ministers discuss Gaza developments in Brussels

Saudi, Ireland foreign ministers discuss Gaza developments in Brussels

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan on Monday met his Irish counterpart Micheal Martin in the Belgian capital, Brussels, to discuss developments in the situation in the Gaza Strip and the efforts made to solve the conflict.

During the meeting, they also discussed bilateral relations between their two countries and ways to strengthen and develop them in various fields, the Kingdom’s foreign ministry said.

The meeting was held on the sidelines of a meeting of the ministerial committee, headed by Prince Faisal, which was assigned by the Joint Arab-Islamic Extraordinary Summit with the EU’s Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels.

It also comes a day before Ireland, along with Spain and Norway, plan to make official their recognition of a Palestinian state.


Saudi industry minister begins official trip to Netherlands

Saudi industry minister begins official trip to Netherlands
Updated 27 May 2024
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Saudi industry minister begins official trip to Netherlands

Saudi industry minister begins official trip to Netherlands
  • Bandar bin Ibrahim Alkhorayef’s visit seeks to strengthen ties in industrial, mining sectors

RIYADH: Saudi Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources Bandar bin Ibrahim Alkhorayef traveled to the Netherlands on Monday for an official visit with the objective of strengthening cooperation in the industrial and mining sectors, Saudi Press Agency reported.
The visit aims to explore and expand joint investment opportunities between the two countries.
Alkhorayef is scheduled to meet with several Dutch ministers and senior government officials, along with key leaders from the private sector, to discuss collaboration in the industrial and mining sectors.
The minister’s itinerary will also include several visits to Dutch factories and companies operating within these sectors with the hopes of fostering collaborative ventures between private sector entities in both countries.
The visit underscores Saudi Arabia’s commitment to diversifying its economy and strengthening international ties, SPA added.
In 2023, the Kingdom’s non-oil exports to the Netherlands were valued at about SR2.6 billion ($706 million), while its non-oil imports from the Netherlands amounted to almost SR8.5 billion.


Arab Inter-Parliamentary Union praises Saudi Arabia’s ‘tremendous effort’ to support Palestinian cause

Arab Inter-Parliamentary Union praises Saudi Arabia’s ‘tremendous effort’ to support Palestinian cause
Updated 27 May 2024
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Arab Inter-Parliamentary Union praises Saudi Arabia’s ‘tremendous effort’ to support Palestinian cause

Arab Inter-Parliamentary Union praises Saudi Arabia’s ‘tremendous effort’ to support Palestinian cause

RIYADH: The Arab Inter-Parliamentary Union has praised the “tremendous efforts of Saudi Arabia, led by King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, in supporting the Palestinian cause,” the Saudi Press Agency reported.

The AIPU released a final statement following the 36th Arab Parliamentary Union Conference, which ended on Monday in Algiers.

A Saudi delegation, headed by the chairman of the Shoura Council, Sheikh Abdullah Al Al-Sheikh, took part in the conference alongside heads of parliaments and councils, and several regional and international organizations and institutions.

During its sessions, the conference discussed developments in the Palestinian issue and the current situation in the Arab region.

The statement also praised the Kingdom’s hosting of a number of Arab, Islamic and African summits to support the Palestinian cause and put an end to the aggression against the Palestinian people.

On Yemen, the statement stressed the importance of the initiatives undertaken by the Kingdom, which call for constructive dialogue to achieve sustainable peace and a comprehensive political solution.

The conference endorsed the recommendations of the political committee, “which highly praised the pivotal and leading role played by Saudi Arabia, which has never hesitated in its significant achievements, contributions, initiatives, and authentic Arab stances aimed at unifying Arab ranks and elevating the status of the Arab and Islamic nations in all international forums,” SPA said.

The conference also praised the Kingdom’s hosting of Sudanese talks in Jeddah between the two conflicting parties to consolidate a truce and reach a final ceasefire agreement to end the crisis in a way that preserves Sudan’s sovereignty and unity and enables it to restore its security and stability.


Saudi economy minister holds talks with UN, OPEC officials in Austria

Saudi economy minister holds talks with UN, OPEC officials in Austria
Updated 27 May 2024
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Saudi economy minister holds talks with UN, OPEC officials in Austria

Saudi economy minister holds talks with UN, OPEC officials in Austria

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Economy and Planning Faisal Al-Ibrahim on Monday met Executive Director of the UN Office in Vienna Ghada Waly in the Austrian capital, Vienna.

During the meeting, the two discussed “collaboration between the Kingdom and the UN on the Sustainable Development Goals and other topics of common interest,” the ministry said in a statement.

The meeting was held on the sidelines of the minister’s visit to Austria to participate in the ninth session of the Saudi-Austrian Joint Committee.

Al-Ibrahim also met Abdulhamid Alkhalifa, president of the OPEC Fund for International Development, to explore the fund’s upcoming initiatives.

He also held talks with Austrian Minister of Labor and Economy Martin Kocher on strengthening trade and economic cooperation between the two countries, and the latest developments of joint interest.

The meetings were attended by the Kingdom’s Ambassador to Austria Abdullah Tawlah.


Kuwait emir receives Saudi minister of state

Kuwait emir receives Saudi minister of state
Updated 27 May 2024
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Kuwait emir receives Saudi minister of state

Kuwait emir receives Saudi minister of state

Emir of Kuwait Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah received Saudi Minister of State Prince Turki bin Mohammed bin Fahd bin Abdulaziz and his accompanying delegation on Monday at Bayan Palace in Kuwait.

Prince Turki conveyed the greetings of King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

They reviewed the strong fraternal relations between their countries and ways to strengthen them across various fields.

The meeting was also attended by Saudi Ambassador to Kuwait Prince Sultan bin Saad bin Khalid and dignitaries from both sides.