Publication Date: 
Wed, 2010-05-26 03:35

At the inauguration ceremony in Alkhobar, French Ambassador Bertrand Besancenot said he was delighted at the opening of the new consulate in the Eastern Province.
 “We realized it was important to open this office because of the increasing economic, cultural and social activities in this region,” he said. “And since around 200 French citizens are working in this province with various companies, this consulate will come as a great relief to them.”
Besancenot said the new office will act as a bridge between French nationals and Saudis. “I believe the consulate here in Alkhobar will link the French community with the French Embassy in Riyadh and bring together the trade missions of both countries,” he said. “The new consulate will also support and promote cultural events.”
On the selection of Albinali as the honorary consul, Besancenot said: “We have chosen him because of his special relationship with France as also his strong business ties with our republic.”
The ambassador acknowledged the role of other businessmen in the area and said the new office will bolster Saudi-French ties.
Albinali thanked Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal for confirming him as the French honorary consul. “The new consulate came into being after a thorough study conducted over two years,” he said. “Being an honorary consul is a huge responsibility, and I will try to do my best.”
The consulate will take care of the day-to-day affairs of French nationals in the Eastern Province and spare them the difficulty of heading to Riyadh all the time for consular work.
However, Albinali clarified that the consulate will not issue visas. “That task will only be carried out at the French Embassy in Riyadh,” Albinali said. “Having a French consulate in Alkhobar means Saudis have their own French home in the Eastern Province.”

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