Ta’leem 2016 to open with France as guest of honor

Updated 12 April 2016

Ta’leem 2016 to open with France as guest of honor

RIYADH: Under the patronage of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman, the fifth annual Saudi International Exhibition and Forum for Education (Ta’leem 2016) will kick off Tuesday night with France as the guest of honor country.
The three-day event will be launched at the Riyadh International Exhibition and Conference Center at King Abdullah Road here, under the theme “investment in education.”
Around 250 exhibitors from the Kingdom and 25 other countries are participating in the event comprising an exhibition and a forum.
Prominent speakers from both the Kingdom and foreign countries are contributing to the forum.
On choosing France as guest of honor country for this year’s edition of the exhibition and conference, Minister of Education Ahmad Al-Issa said earlier that France is a friendly advanced country in education and educational investment that getting more attention from Saudi education officials as well as from Saudis citizens who are interested in pursuing further studies there, whether on government scholarships or on their own means.
French Ambassador to the Kingdom Bertrand Besancenot told Arab News in exclusive statements that he and his country are very grateful to the Kingdom for selecting France as guest of honor at Ta’leem 2016.
“This is very significant step as France has been a long-time friend of Saudi Arabia, as well as one of the best allies and partners of the Kingdom. Since 2015, we have set up a special Franco-Saudi committee that meets on a regular basis that helps our cooperation move forward in all fields and in the field of education in particular,” he said.
“When Prince Khaled bin Faisal started to reform the education system in 2014, France was one of the first countries to offer support, since we believe progress begins with a modern education system that meets society’s needs,” he added.
Besancenot stressed that Saudi society faces two main challenges today. The first is the “Saudization” of the labor market, which requires a more efficient training and vocational system to fit business needs. And the second is the fight against terrorism and religious extremism, which requires redesigning some education programs.
On his country’s contribution to Ta’leem 2016, he mentioned that France will display a wide range of expertise on how to invest successfully in education through modern facilities (e.g. high tech nurseries, primary and secondary schools, connected campuses, etc.) and vocational training institutions (e.g. technical high schools, technological institutes).
“Many French governmental institutions will attend the event, notably the Ministry of Education and Scientific Research, the Académie of Paris (the local administration in charge of implementing the national education policy for Paris), Campus France (the national agency for the promotion of higher education), the CREDIJ (the “French TVTC”) and some cutting-edge private universities and “grandes écoles,” he said.
“There will also be French companies specialized in education, including start-ups with high development potential in Saudi Arabia. The aim of the French pavilion will be to provide a large number of education advisers and specialists to explain and show how education reform has been dealt with in France. That could be a source of inspiration for Saudi Arabia in its own short- and long-term reforms,” he added.

It was Russia, not Saudi Arabia, that pulled out of OPEC+ deal: Saudi ministers

Updated 04 April 2020

It was Russia, not Saudi Arabia, that pulled out of OPEC+ deal: Saudi ministers

  • Saudi foreign and energy ministers say Moscow's claim that Kingdom withdrew from the OPEC+ deal was unfounded
  • They said it was Russia that abandoned the agreement, leading to a collapse in world oil prices

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia's foreign and energy ministers on Saturday denied Russia's claim that the Kingdom abandoned the OPEC+ deal, leading to a collapse in world oil prices.

In a statement carried by the Saudi Press Agency (SPA), Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan said "a statement attributed to one of the media of President Vladimir Putin of the Russian Federation claimed that one of the reasons for the decline in oil prices was the Kingdom's withdrawal from the deal of OPEC + and that the Kingdom was planning to get rid of shale oil producers."

"The minister affirmed that what was mentioned is fully devoid of truth and that the withdrawal of the Kingdom from the agreement is not correct," the statement said.

In fact Saudi Arabia and 22 other countries tried to persuade Russia to make further cuts and extend the deal, but Russia did not agree, it said.

Prince Farhan expressed surprise that Russia had to resort to "falsifying facts" when Saudi Arabia's stance on shale oil production is known, the statement said.

He pointed out that Saudi Arabia is one of the main investors in the energy sector in United States, implying that there is no reason for the Kingdom "to get rid of shale oil producers" as Russia has claimed.

He further said the Kingdom "is also seeking to reach more cuts and achieve oil market equilibrium for the interest of shale oil producers."

OPEC+ refers to the cooperation between members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and non-OPEC oil producers. The cooperation deal which called for cuts in production by the producers was meant to stabilize oil prices. 

In a separate statement, Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman rejected Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak’s similar claim that the Kingdom refused to extend the OPEC+ deal and withdrew from it.

Novak "was the first to declare to the media that all the participating countries are absolved of their commitments starting from the first of April," Prince Abdulaziz said in a statement.

He said Novak's statement led other countries to decide "to raise their production to offset the lower prices and compensate for their loss of returns." 

On Thursday, Saudi Arabia called for an urgent meeting of oil exporters after US President Donald Trump said he expected the Kingdom and Russia to cut production by 10-15 million barrels per day.

Prince Farhan said he was "hoping that Russia would take the right decisions in the urgent meeting" so that a "fair agreement that restores the desired balance of oil markets" could be achieved.

The global oil market has crashed, with prices falling to $34 a barrel from $65 at the beginning of the year, as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Fuel demand has dropped by roughly a third, or 30 million barrels per day, as billions of people worldwide restrict their movements.

A global deal to reduce production by as much as 10 million to 15 million barrels per day would require participation from nations that do not exert state control over output, including the United States, now the world’s largest producer of crude.

A meeting of OPEC and allies such as Russia has been scheduled for April 6, but details were thin on the exact distribution of production cuts. No time has yet been set for the meeting, OPEC sources said.