KSA, Kyrgyzstan to sign 5 major agreements

KSA, Kyrgyzstan to sign 5 major agreements
Updated 30 November 2014

KSA, Kyrgyzstan to sign 5 major agreements

KSA, Kyrgyzstan to sign 5 major agreements

In a move to boost bilateral links, Saudi Arabia and Kyrgyzstan have agreed to sign five major agreements during the visit of Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambayev, who arrives here on Tuesday.
“The agreements include a cooperation accord in the aviation sector and an avoidance of double taxation treaty,” said Aibek Toktobolotov, spokesman of the Kyrgyz Embassy, on Saturday.
During his maiden visit to the Kingdom, the president will hold talks with senior Saudi officials on prospects of bilateral relations in political, trade, economic, cultural and humanitarian spheres, he added. The Kyrgyz president will also visit the UAE and Qatar during his regional tour, said a statement released by the Kyrgyz Department of Information Policy Office. “Several bilateral accords will be signed during the presidential visit with an aim to boost cooperation in trade, economic and investment fields,” said the statement.
“Atambayev’s visits to Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Qatar will be the first high-level visits in the history of Kyrgyzstan, and are intended to give a new impetus to the development of bilateral relations,” it added.
The Kingdom is also working to forge closer ties in different fields with Kyrgyzstan, a member of the Jeddah-based Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) said. Muslims are the largest religious group in the central Asian republic, representing about 85 percent of the total population. It is worthy of note that the Kingdom has requested four hectares of land from Kyrgyzstan in Bishkek for the construction of an Islamic Cultural Center.
The center which will include a school, a mosque, a gymnasium, a conference room and other amenities will be entirely funded by the Kingdom. On the other hand, Saudi Arabia has also finalized plans to build a logistics center in Kyrgyzstan to ensure the supply of quality meat to the Kingdom and enhance cooperation in the field of agriculture, animal husbandry and fisheries.


Saudi Arabia’s first COVID-19 vaccine set for clinical trials

Saudi Arabia’s first COVID-19 vaccine set for clinical trials
Updated 21 min 54 sec ago

Saudi Arabia’s first COVID-19 vaccine set for clinical trials

Saudi Arabia’s first COVID-19 vaccine set for clinical trials
  • It will go through rigorous testing and several trial stages before it is approved for use by the Saudi Food and Drug Authority

RIYADH: Preclinical studies on the first Saudi vaccine against COVID-19 have been completed.

Professor of epidemiology Dr. Iman Almansour, who heads the team of researchers working on the vaccine at the Institute for Research and Medical Consultations (IRMC), affiliated with Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University (IAU), confirmed to Arab News on Friday that the studies were complete, and said clinical trials would begin as soon as “the proper approvals” had been given.

She did not specify when that is expected to happen.

The Ministry of Education is financing the team’s project. The team’s research paper has been published in the peer-reviewed journal Pharmaceuticals.

According to the published paper, the vaccine has so far proven effective, when used on animals, in eliciting antibodies that will target the virus. “The vaccine is given to the body to build protein inside cells, which stimulate the body to produce immunity specific to the S antigen,” Dr. Almansour explained.

Dr. Turki Almugaiteeb, director of Healthcare and Life Sciences at RPD Innovations, which runs the National Vaccine and Biomanufacturing Center, told Arab News: “There is a great focus on the results of medical research because of the pandemic. Research can play a great role in developing a vaccine that can be adopted and further developed in the future. We can say that the Kingdom has a strong infrastructure, which can help produce and manufacture a national vaccine.”

Both Almugaiteeb and Almansour stressed that the experimental vaccine will need to go through rigorous testing and several trial stages before it is approved for use by the Saudi Food and Drug Authority.

Prof. Nasser Al-Aqeeli, the deputy minister of education for research and innovation, said the ministry supported programs at the Kingdom’s universities with more than SR500 million ($133.3 million) in 2020.