Saudi Foreign Minister Meets with French Counterpart

Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan and his French counterpart reviewed the strong relations between the two countries. SPA
Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan and his French counterpart reviewed the strong relations between the two countries. SPA
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Saudi Foreign Minister Meets with French Counterpart

Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan and his French counterpart reviewed the strong relations between the two countries. SPA
Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan and his French counterpart reviewed the strong relations between the two countries. SPA

Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah met on Thursday with his French counterpart, Catherine Colonna, on the sidelines of the ministerial meeting of the Global Coalition against ISIS in Riyadh.

They reviewed the strong relations between the two countries and ways to enhance them in various fields. The two ministers also discussed the latest developments in the world and addressed the most prominent topics at the ministerial meeting of the Global Coalition against ISIS.

Saudi Undersecretary of the Foreign Ministry for Political Affairs Ambassador Dr. Saud Al-Sati attended the meeting.



World Bank, UAE Lead Climate Financing Boost at COP28

COP28 president Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber speaks during the Transforming Food Systems in the Face of Climate Change event on the sidelines of the COP28 climate summit at Dubai Expo on December 1, 2023. (AFP)
COP28 president Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber speaks during the Transforming Food Systems in the Face of Climate Change event on the sidelines of the COP28 climate summit at Dubai Expo on December 1, 2023. (AFP)
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World Bank, UAE Lead Climate Financing Boost at COP28

COP28 president Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber speaks during the Transforming Food Systems in the Face of Climate Change event on the sidelines of the COP28 climate summit at Dubai Expo on December 1, 2023. (AFP)
COP28 president Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber speaks during the Transforming Food Systems in the Face of Climate Change event on the sidelines of the COP28 climate summit at Dubai Expo on December 1, 2023. (AFP)

Governments, development banks and companies announced on Friday initiatives to mobilize billions in climate cash at the COP28 summit where the UAE has made increasing financing central to its leadership of the UN talks.

So far the world has barely begun to deliver the vast amounts of money needed to help the world pay for the transition away from fossil fuels and deal with the impact of climate change.

Developing countries will need an estimated $2.4 trillion in annual climate finance by 2030, the Climate Policy Initiative non-profit organization said.

To try to end years of deadlock on the financing issue, COP28 summit host the United Arab Emirates said it would invest $30 billion in a new climate investment venture.

Named ALTÉRRA, it will aim to mobilize $250 billion in investment by the end of the decade, in what COP28 President Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber described as a "defining moment" for climate finance.

Calling it "the world's largest private investment vehicle for climate change action," Al Jaber said it included $5 billion to be allocated to poorer countries.

BANK ROLL

The World Bank stepped up with a promise to increase the amount it spends annually on climate-related projects to 45% of its financing over 2024 to 2025, up from 35% now, as part of a policy overhaul to better respond to climate change.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres also backed the broader effort to reform the world's multilateral development bank system to "leverage far more private finance at reasonable costs."

Average annual climate finance hit almost $1.3 trillion in 2021-22, but only around $30 billion – just 2% - went to developing countries, a November report by the Climate Policy Initiative said.

Another report released Friday by the Independent High-Level Expert Group on Climate Finance also said investment was too little and too much of that "is still misdirected".

Emerging market and developing countries were being "left behind on clean energy," it said.

To help channel support to emerging market financial firms, the World Bank and other multilateral lenders including the International Monetary Fund launched the Global Capacity Building Coalition on Friday.

Also to try to ensure climate funding is not wasted on spurious projects, the World Bank on Friday announced a plan to expand the growth of "high-integrity global carbon markets," helping five countries in 2024 to develop robust offset credits that they can sell into the market.

PLEDGE'S FROM WORLD'S WEALTHIEST

To help support smallholder farmers in Africa and South Africa who face severe consequences from global warming, the Gates Foundation, the charitable foundation of Microsoft founder Bill Gates, and the UAE together committed $200 million.

In a first for blended finance, bringing together public and private lenders, leading climate-focused donors including the Bezos Earth Fund joined forces to launch the Allied Climate Partners investing platform. The aim is to generate $11 billion in investments in developing countries.

The transition to electric vehicles also drew impetus as Tata Motors said it would work with affiliated banks under the Climate Finance Leadership Initiative India (CFLI India) to boost sales.

Part of broader coalition of Indian and international companies, CFLI plans to mobilize more than $6.5 billion into sectors including e-mobility, green hydrogen, and renewables.

FINANCING A SHIPPING TRANSITION?

Decarbonizing shipping and how to finance it also came into focus at Friday's talks.

Some of the world's biggest container shipping lines set out commitments on how to decarbonize shipping, after a global deal reached in July was criticized for lacking substance.

Countries through the UN's International Maritime Organization (IMO) to aim for net-zero shipping emissions by around 2050, but they failed to reach consensus on issues such as a carbon levy.

In a declaration on Friday, shipping lines CMA CGM, Hapag Lloyd, Maersk and MSC, and backed by France, Denmark and South Korea called for a global marine fuel emissions intensity standard. They also sought a pricing mechanism to reduce the price gap between fossil fuels and alternative fuels for shipping.

The companies also pledged to aim for one or more of the highest targets in the IMO deal en route to net zero - including a 30% emissions reduction by 2030 and an 80% decrease by 2040 - and called for a firm date to end the construction of vessels based on fossil fuel.

"By collaborating with others, we each take a new step in our energy transition, while ensuring a collective level playing field and access to greener fuels for the industry," CMA CGM's Chairman and CEO Rodolphe Saade said.

Shipping transports around 90% of world trade and accounts for nearly 3% of global carbon dioxide emissions.


Erdogan Meets UAE President, Says Israel Restarting Attacks on Gaza Is ‘Very Negative’

A handout photo made available by Turkish Presidential Press office shows Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (L) and President of the United Arab Emirates Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan during their meeting at the UN Climate Change Conference COP28, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 01 December 2023. (Turkish Presidential Press Office /Handout/EPA)
A handout photo made available by Turkish Presidential Press office shows Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (L) and President of the United Arab Emirates Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan during their meeting at the UN Climate Change Conference COP28, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 01 December 2023. (Turkish Presidential Press Office /Handout/EPA)
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Erdogan Meets UAE President, Says Israel Restarting Attacks on Gaza Is ‘Very Negative’

A handout photo made available by Turkish Presidential Press office shows Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (L) and President of the United Arab Emirates Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan during their meeting at the UN Climate Change Conference COP28, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 01 December 2023. (Turkish Presidential Press Office /Handout/EPA)
A handout photo made available by Turkish Presidential Press office shows Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (L) and President of the United Arab Emirates Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan during their meeting at the UN Climate Change Conference COP28, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 01 December 2023. (Turkish Presidential Press Office /Handout/EPA)

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told his Emirati counterpart Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan that Israel restarting its attacks on Gaza after the collapse of a week-long truce was "very negative", his office said on Friday.

The Turkish and Emirati leaders met on the sidelines of the COP28 summit in Dubai. Erdogan also met the prime ministers of Japan and Italy to discuss Gaza, as well as with his counterpart from Uzbekistan, the presidency said.

"President Erdogan, who noted that the restarting of clashes was very negative, said Turkey was working to achieve a lasting ceasefire and for humanitarian aid to reach Gaza," it said in a statement, adding Erdogan also said Türkiye was doing its best to stop Israel's "massacre".


24th Saudi Relief Plane for Palestinians in Gaza Arrives in Egypt

24th Saudi relief plane to Gaza - SPA
24th Saudi relief plane to Gaza - SPA
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24th Saudi Relief Plane for Palestinians in Gaza Arrives in Egypt

24th Saudi relief plane to Gaza - SPA
24th Saudi relief plane to Gaza - SPA

The 24th Saudi relief plane, operated by the Riyadh-based King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSrelief), has arrived in Egypt on Friday.

The plane carries 31 tons of relief aid, including food and shelter materials, to be transported to the Palestinian people in Gaza Strip, SPA reported.

The assistance, which was dispatched Thursday, is in keeping with Saudi Arabia's historic role in supporting the brotherly Palestinian people in times of crisis.


South Korean President Congratulates Saudi Crown Prince on Riyadh Expo 2030 Selection

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman welcomes South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol in Riyadh last October. SPA
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman welcomes South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol in Riyadh last October. SPA
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South Korean President Congratulates Saudi Crown Prince on Riyadh Expo 2030 Selection

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman welcomes South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol in Riyadh last October. SPA
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman welcomes South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol in Riyadh last October. SPA

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has received a phone call from South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

During the call on Thursday, Yoon congratulated the Crown Prince on Saudi Arabia's selection as host of the World Expo 2030 in Riyadh, which was announced on Tuesday, SPA said.

Prince Mohammed thanked Yoon for his congratulations.

Riyadh will host the Expo 2030 world fair, the vote results from 182 members of the Bureau International des Expositions showed on Tuesday.

South Korea's Busan and Italy's Rome were also in the running to host the world fair, a five-yearly event that attracts millions of visitors and billions of dollars in investment.

Riyadh was picked by a majority of 119 out of 165 votes. Busan won 29 and Rome 17.


Khalid bin Salman, Grundberg Discuss Saudi Efforts to End Yemeni Crisis

Saudi Minister of Defense Prince Khalid bin Salman bin Abdulaziz met in Riyadh on Thursday with UN Special Envoy for Yemen Hans Grundberg.
Saudi Minister of Defense Prince Khalid bin Salman bin Abdulaziz met in Riyadh on Thursday with UN Special Envoy for Yemen Hans Grundberg.
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Khalid bin Salman, Grundberg Discuss Saudi Efforts to End Yemeni Crisis

Saudi Minister of Defense Prince Khalid bin Salman bin Abdulaziz met in Riyadh on Thursday with UN Special Envoy for Yemen Hans Grundberg.
Saudi Minister of Defense Prince Khalid bin Salman bin Abdulaziz met in Riyadh on Thursday with UN Special Envoy for Yemen Hans Grundberg.

Saudi Minister of Defense Prince Khalid bin Salman bin Abdulaziz met in Riyadh on Thursday with UN Special Envoy for Yemen Hans Grundberg.

The meeting reviewed the Kingdom's efforts to support peace and the roadmap between the Yemeni parties to reach an inclusive political solution to end Yemen’s crisis under the supervision of the United Nations, ensure comprehensive peace, and ensure its sustainability.

The meeting was attended by Saudi Ambassador to Yemen Mohammed bin Saeed Al Jaber and the Director-General of the Office of the Minister of Defense, Hisham bin Abdulaziz bin Saif.

From the UN side, the attendees were Special Assistant to the UN Special Envoy for Yemen Linnea Hincks, Chief of Political Affairs in the Office of the UN Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Yemen Roxaneh Bazergan, and Advisor to the UN Special Envoy to Yemen April Alley.


Saudi Defense Minister, Iranian Chief of Staff Discuss Ties Between 2 Countries

Saudi Minister of Defense Prince Khalid bin Salman bin Abdulaziz. SPA
Saudi Minister of Defense Prince Khalid bin Salman bin Abdulaziz. SPA
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Saudi Defense Minister, Iranian Chief of Staff Discuss Ties Between 2 Countries

Saudi Minister of Defense Prince Khalid bin Salman bin Abdulaziz. SPA
Saudi Minister of Defense Prince Khalid bin Salman bin Abdulaziz. SPA

Saudi Minister of Defense Prince Khalid bin Salman bin Abdulaziz received a phone call from Iranian Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Bagheri, the Saudi Press Agency reported Thursday.
During the phone call, the two sides reviewed relations between the two countries in the military and defense fields and discussed other issues of mutual concern, SPA said.


14 Ambulances Head to Gaza as Part of Saudi Aid

Fourteen out of the planned 20 ambulances provided by KSrelief are en route to the Gaza Strip. SPA
Fourteen out of the planned 20 ambulances provided by KSrelief are en route to the Gaza Strip. SPA
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14 Ambulances Head to Gaza as Part of Saudi Aid

Fourteen out of the planned 20 ambulances provided by KSrelief are en route to the Gaza Strip. SPA
Fourteen out of the planned 20 ambulances provided by KSrelief are en route to the Gaza Strip. SPA

Fourteen out of the planned 20 ambulances provided by the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSrelief) are en route to the Gaza Strip through the Rafah border crossing, the Saudi Press Agency reported Thursday.

These ambulances carry crucial medical supplies including biometric devices, oxygen devices, first aid kits, burn treatment kits, transport beds, splints, and straps, among others, SPA said.

This aid is part of the ongoing Saudi Campaign for the Relief of the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip, the news agency added.


Saudi FM: What Brings Us Closer to a Solution in Gaza is a Ceasefire

Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud speaks during a UN Security Council meeting on the situation in the Middle East at the United Nations headquarters on November 29, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by Andrea RENAULT / AFP)
Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud speaks during a UN Security Council meeting on the situation in the Middle East at the United Nations headquarters on November 29, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by Andrea RENAULT / AFP)
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Saudi FM: What Brings Us Closer to a Solution in Gaza is a Ceasefire

Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud speaks during a UN Security Council meeting on the situation in the Middle East at the United Nations headquarters on November 29, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by Andrea RENAULT / AFP)
Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud speaks during a UN Security Council meeting on the situation in the Middle East at the United Nations headquarters on November 29, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by Andrea RENAULT / AFP)

Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah has participated in the UN Security Council’s emergency session on the situation in the Middle East, stressing the importance of a permanent ceasefire in the Gaza Strip.

In his statement at the session, Prince Faisal said that the Security Council’s meeting on Wednesday was the second to be held under the same difficult and painful circumstances in Gaza, adding that, since the previous session, the death toll in Gaza has reached more than 14,000, 67% of whom were women and children, with the total number of the displaced exceeding half a million people as a result of the horrific military escalation by the Israeli occupation forces and their continued violation of international charters and resolutions.

The Saudi Minister also underlined that the complete absence of international accountability mechanisms prevails in light of the Council’s inability to take any deterrent measures against these violations.

He also noted that the Kingdom hosted the Joint Arab-Islamic Summit in Riyadh on November 11.

He said the resolutions of the summit represent the will of Arab and Islamic peoples that seek to end bloodshed and unconditionally deliver relief assistance, end the violations and the large-scale suffering of the Palestinian people and support them in realizing their legitimate rights and establishing their independent state.
Prince Faisal further said that the message of the Joint Arab-Islamic summit is clear and unified: an immediate and permanent ceasefire that establishes a genuine and credible peace process.

He added: “Countries that seek peace and justice, and seek to preserve the legitimacy and solidity of the international system, whose credibility has been shaken as a result of its slow approach to this humanitarian crisis must add their voices to ours."

The Saudi Foreign Minister also welcomed the humanitarian truce reached in Gaza, voicing in the efforts of Qatar, Egypt and the US, which came as the first step to free prisoners and detainees and enable the return of the displaced and deliver adequate assistance to them. Prince Faisal said this step is not enough in light of the ongoing restrictions of the numbers of trucks entering Gaza.

He underlined the need for an unobstructed and sustainable delivery of humanitarian aid into Gaza and removing all unjustified restrictions and additional complications as the situation of civilians can no longer tolerate any delay in the arrival of urgent aid to them, stressing the importance of implementing Security Council Resolution 2712, and building on it to reach a comprehensive and immediate ceasefire.

The Prince said that the truce does not relieve the Israeli side of its responsibilities within the framework of international law and international humanitarian law, and that the baseless pretexts for self-defense are unacceptable and unreasonable in light of the humanitarian tragedies repeated on a daily basis in Gaza.

Prince Faisal also stressed that allowing the military escalation to continue immediately after the end of the truce, and taking two steps back, would constitute a disgrace to the United Nations and the Security Council.

“We heard during this session that water, food, and medicine will not bring us a solution, so what will lead to a solution? More deaths, more suffering for civilians. No, what brings us closer to the solution is a ceasefire, and Israel’s response to decades-long peace efforts,” the minister said.

“The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia presented the Arab Peace Plan at the Fez Arab Summit in 1982. The Arab Peace Initiative was also presented at 2002 Arab Summit in Beirut, and was supported by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. The Palestine Liberation Organization also recognized the state of Israel in 1993. Where is the Israeli peace plan? Where is the Israeli recognition of the state of Palestine? We are advocates of peace, and peace has always been our strategic choice, and we want it to be the choice of the other side as well.”

Prince Faisal called for an international recognition under a Security Council resolution of the independent state of Palestine, and for it to gain full UN membership, renewing the call for holding a UN-organized international peace conference through which a serious and reliable peace process would be launched to guarantee the implementation of the two-state solution on the basis of international legitimacy resolutions.


Emir of Qatar, German President Stress Need to Resume Regional Peace Process

Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani and German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier (QNA)
Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani and German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier (QNA)
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Emir of Qatar, German President Stress Need to Resume Regional Peace Process

Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani and German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier (QNA)
Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani and German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier (QNA)

Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani and German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier have emphasized the necessity of resuming the comprehensive peace process in the Middle East, to ensure the establishment of an independent Palestinian state.

Sheikh Tamim announced in a post on his official X account on Wednesday that he had had extensive talks with the German President, focusing on the cooperation between the two countries in investment and energy.

They discussed the latest developments in Gaza, emphasizing together the need to resume the comprehensive peace process in the Middle East, ensuring the establishment of an independent Palestinian state under international legitimacy resolutions.

The German President arrived in Doha from Muscat, where he spent an official three-day visit and met with Sultan Haitham bin Tariq.

The two sides reviewed bilateral relations and ways to enhance and develop them in all fields, Oman News Agency (ONA) reported.

They also addressed the latest regional and international developments and matters of mutual interest.

Omani Foreign Minister Badr al-Busaidi said on X that the German President’s visit to Oman and the comprehensive discussions will undoubtedly deepen and expand the partnership, especially in energy and tourism.

The German President and his wife visited the Oman Across Ages Museum in the Wilayat of Manah in the al-Dakhiliyah Governorate.

They were briefed on the facility’s design inspired by the rugged topography of the al-Hajar Mountains. They toured the History Hall and the Renaissance Hall, which present interactive displays to the visitors.

They saw antiques and manuscripts demonstrating the depth and authenticity of Omani history. They were briefed about modern technologies that characterize the museum and the services that the museum provides for visitors.

They also visited the Nizwa Fort and listened to a brief explanation of its history.

After their visit, Steinmeier and his spouse signed the Senior Visitor’s Register, conveying their thanks for the hospitality and expressing happiness at learning about the history of the Sultanate of Oman.


Kuwait’s Emir Hospitalized Due to Emergency Health Problem

Emir Sheikh Nawaf Al Ahmad Al Sabah. Kuna
Emir Sheikh Nawaf Al Ahmad Al Sabah. Kuna
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Kuwait’s Emir Hospitalized Due to Emergency Health Problem

Emir Sheikh Nawaf Al Ahmad Al Sabah. Kuna
Emir Sheikh Nawaf Al Ahmad Al Sabah. Kuna

The Emir of Kuwait was hospitalized Wednesday “due to an emergency health problem” but later reported to be in stable condition.

Wednesday night, authorities put out a new statement urging the public to only take information from “official sources” about Sheikh Nawaf Al Ahmad Al Sabah’s health.

They also added he was receiving the medication he needed.