Political, Economic, Development Successes Mark Prince Mohammed’s First Year as Crown Prince

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. (SPA)
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. (SPA)
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Political, Economic, Development Successes Mark Prince Mohammed’s First Year as Crown Prince

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. (SPA)
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. (SPA)

Crown Prince, Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Defense and Chairman of the Council of Economic and Development Affairs, succeeded during the first year of his appointment as crown prince in revamping the Saudi economy. The new economy will be based on the Kingdom’s abilities and invest in its competitive powers, which has helped it in unveiling its largest ever spending budget, dedicated to 2018.

On the occasion, Saudi Interior Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Saud bin Nayef declared that Prince Mohammed’s successes on the political, economic, military, security, intellectual, cultural and social levels places Saudi Arabia on the doorsteps of modern countries. He has helped it occupy a prestigious standing among nations, while still preserving its Islamic principles and values and Arab identity.

Prince Mohammed, under the guidance of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz, waged a war against terrorist organizations and extremist blocs and their financiers. This culminated in the formation of an unprecedented Arab and Islamic alliance against terrorism.

Coupled with wide international cooperation and understanding, the alliance was formed to counter terror, ISIS, al-Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood and Iran’s targeting of the Arab region.

“His efforts have been a success on various levels,” stressed the interior minister.

After a first year of his appointment as Crown Prince, economic figures and national programs demonstrate the new transformation witnessed by the Saudi economy. The Kingdom announced in this regard the launch of several significant programs, including ones on privatization and quality of life.

During his first year as Crown Prince, Prince Mohammed unveiled the NEOM project, one of the world’s largest projects that has invested in technology. He also invested in tourism, launching the Red Sea and Qiddiya projects.

National Guard Minister Prince Khalid bin Abdulaziz bin Ayyaf said King Salman was successful in appointing Prince Mohammed as his successor, saying the choice reflected the monarch’s wise vision that seeks Saudi Arabia’s national interests.

Deputy Governor of the Makkah region Prince Abdullah bin Bandar said: “Prince Mohammed taught us that ambition has no boundaries. He instilled in us a dream that has no limit and that can be achieved with determination.”

“He is leading us towards a prosperous future to achieve the Kingdom’s Vision 2030,” he stressed, while describing the young Crown Prince as the “engineer of the vision of development.”

He has left his mark on the local, regional and international scenes, while keeping an eye on internal development projects, continued Prince Abdullah.

During his first year as Crown Prince, Saudi Arabia succeeded through Vision 2030 in restoring balance in the oil markets. It managed to bolster cooperation between OPEC members and non-members. This led to a gradual improvement in oil prices and stability in the markets.

During Prince Mohammed’s first year as Crown Prince several leading global companies expressed their desire to invest in Saudi Arabia. The path was cleared for them after a multi-nation tour carried out by Prince Mohammed. Saudi Arabia boasts massive competitive standards that encourage investment.

Moreover, Saudi Arabia achieved a milestone in recent months when FTSE Russell promoted the Kingdom to Secondary Emerging market status. Morgan Stanley said it will soon take similar steps. These developments are a testament to the efficiency of the major economic reforms adopted by the Kingdom.

Furthermore, Prince Mohammed’s chairing of the Public Investment Fund has been an important factor in Saudi Arabia’s reaping of major financial profits as part of Vision 2030. Prince Mohammed worked tirelessly in developing an investment strategy for the Kingdom in order acquire projects that do not demand major economic risks.

Saudi Arabia also achieved positive results on the local and foreign levels due to King Salman’s support of the strategic plans presented by the Council of Economic and Development Affairs that is chaired by Prince Mohammed.



KSrelief Signs Agreement with UNICEF to Ensure Children's Welfare Worldwide

KSrelief and UNICEF sign an agreement to ensure children welfare around the world. (SPA)
KSrelief and UNICEF sign an agreement to ensure children welfare around the world. (SPA)
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KSrelief Signs Agreement with UNICEF to Ensure Children's Welfare Worldwide

KSrelief and UNICEF sign an agreement to ensure children welfare around the world. (SPA)
KSrelief and UNICEF sign an agreement to ensure children welfare around the world. (SPA)

Advisor at the Saudi Royal Court and Supervisor General of King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSrelief) Dr. Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Rabeeah signed on Sunday an agreement with UNICEF Executive Director Catherine Russell to ensure children welfare around the world.

Signed on the sidelines of the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, the agreement stipulates that KSrelief and UNICEF will work together to strengthen their strategic partnership.

Al Rabeeah emphasized that the Kingdom is keen to form strategic partnerships, particularly with UNICEF. This agreement, he said, aims to continue the efforts to reach vulnerable and disadvantaged children and their families through UNICEF programs.

Russell said: "UNICEF is grateful for our partnership with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and KSrelief, which has helped us to reach millions of children in need. Through this cooperation framework, our organizations will continue to collaborate in humanitarian action, knowledge sharing, capacity building, innovation and support for the volunteering program.”

The agreement is part of KSrelief's efforts to increase cooperation with regional and international humanitarian organizations in order to improve humanitarian work.


OIC Condemns Suicide Attack in Central Somalia

An explosives-laden vehicle detonated Saturday at a security checkpoint in the central Somalia city of Beledweyne, killing dozens - Reuters
An explosives-laden vehicle detonated Saturday at a security checkpoint in the central Somalia city of Beledweyne, killing dozens - Reuters
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OIC Condemns Suicide Attack in Central Somalia

An explosives-laden vehicle detonated Saturday at a security checkpoint in the central Somalia city of Beledweyne, killing dozens - Reuters
An explosives-laden vehicle detonated Saturday at a security checkpoint in the central Somalia city of Beledweyne, killing dozens - Reuters

The General Secretariat of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has strongly condemned the suicide attack, which took place in the city of Beledweyne in central Somalia.

The attack resulted in the deaths and injuries of many innocent people.

OIC Secretary-General Hissein Brahim Taha has expressed his "strong condemnation of this heinous terrorist attack," SPA reported.

He extended his condolences to the families of the victims and the government and people of Somalia while also wishing a speedy recovery to the injured.


Saudi Arabia Condemns Extremist Group for Tearing up Quran in The Hague

A man holds a copy of the Holy Quran. (AP)
A man holds a copy of the Holy Quran. (AP)
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Saudi Arabia Condemns Extremist Group for Tearing up Quran in The Hague

A man holds a copy of the Holy Quran. (AP)
A man holds a copy of the Holy Quran. (AP)

Saudi Arabia has strongly denounced the attempt of an extremist group to tear up copies of the Holy Quran in front of a number of embassies in The Hague, in the Netherlands.

The Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs reiterated the Kingdom’s total rejection of such hateful and repeated acts, saying that these cannot be accepted under any justifications.

“Such acts clearly incite hatred and racism, and directly contradict international efforts seeking to spread the values of tolerance, and moderation, apart from rejecting extremism, and undermining the necessary mutual respect for relations between peoples and countries,” the ministry said in a statement reported by SPA.


Albudaiwi, Guterres Discuss GCC-UN Cooperation

Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Jassem Mohamed Albudaiwi has met with UN chief Antonio Guterres. SPA
Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Jassem Mohamed Albudaiwi has met with UN chief Antonio Guterres. SPA
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Albudaiwi, Guterres Discuss GCC-UN Cooperation

Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Jassem Mohamed Albudaiwi has met with UN chief Antonio Guterres. SPA
Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Jassem Mohamed Albudaiwi has met with UN chief Antonio Guterres. SPA

Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Jassem Mohamed Albudaiwi has met with UN chief Antonio Guterres to discuss cooperation and the latest international developments to enhance international peace and security.

The meeting on Saturday was held at the UN headquarters on the sidelines of the 78th session of the General Assembly in New York.

Guterres expressed appreciation and gratitude for the efforts made by the Gulf countries, regionally and internationally, to achieve peace in many conflicts, and praised the humanitarian and development endeavors of GCC member states worldwide.

Albudaiwi expressed appreciation for the efforts exerted by UN to prepare for the General Assembly session.


Saudi FM Asserts Necessity of Adhering to UN Charter, Principles of Int’l Legitimacy

Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan delivering his speech (Reuters)
Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan delivering his speech (Reuters)
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Saudi FM Asserts Necessity of Adhering to UN Charter, Principles of Int’l Legitimacy

Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan delivering his speech (Reuters)
Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan delivering his speech (Reuters)

Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal Bin Farhan asserted the necessity of states adhering to the UN Charter and the principles of international legitimacy, stressing that Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030 aims to enhance construction and development efforts to meet future generations' aspirations.

Speaking at the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York, bin Farhan delivered a speech on behalf of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz.

He expressed the Kingdom's aspirations for a better future for humanity, founded on mutual respect for the sovereignty and independence of states, their values, non-interference in their internal affairs, peaceful dispute resolution, and refraining from the use or threat of force.

Bin Farhan also highlighted how through its developmental approach, the Kingdom aims to create a comprehensive and sustainable renaissance, with its central focus and goal being the human being who will drive present development and shape the future through knowledge.

"The Kingdom places great importance on human rights, as its laws include explicit provisions aimed at promoting and protecting rights," Saudi Press Agency quoted the top diplomat as saying.

Moreover, he expressed the Kingdom's reaffirmation that the security of the Middle East region necessitates the expedited pursuit of a just and comprehensive solution to the Palestinian issue.

The Minister explained that the solution should be built upon the foundation of international legitimacy resolutions and the Arab Peace Initiative, guaranteeing the Palestinian people's right to establish their independent state based on the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital.

"The Kingdom reiterated its rejection and condemnation of all unilateral actions, considered violations and blatant breaches of all international laws."

"These actions contribute to undermining regional and international peace efforts and hinder the paths of political solutions," he added.

Bin Farhan confirmed the Kingdom's keenness to support efforts of establishing security and stability, focusing on comprehensive development, making room for dialogue, calming and easing tensions, and urging countries in the region to avoid escalation.

He indicated that exchanging interests and benefits helps achieve the hopes and aspirations of the region's people.

The Kingdom worked to consolidate the principle of collective action to build a better future for the region and the World by hosting several joint regional summits within the framework of the Gulf Cooperation Council and the League of Arab States with the participation of all countries, including Syria, he said.

He renewed the Kingdom's call for removing weapons of mass destruction, noting that the international community must realize the importance of adhering to existing conventions and legal frameworks to arrive at a World free of nuclear weapons, especially in the Middle East.

The Foreign Minister also addressed climate change in his speech, noting that Saudi Arabia contributes to reducing emissions and supports the gradual and responsible transition towards clean, low-emission energy systems that use all sources to be more sustainable.

He indicated that the Kingdom announced the "Saudi Green" and "Middle East Green" initiatives to lead global efforts to protect the environment, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, enhance public health and quality of life, improve renewable energy, and achieve sustainable development.


Saudi Foreign Minister Meets with Iranian Counterpart

The Saudi and Iranian Foreign Ministers met in New York. SPA
The Saudi and Iranian Foreign Ministers met in New York. SPA
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Saudi Foreign Minister Meets with Iranian Counterpart

The Saudi and Iranian Foreign Ministers met in New York. SPA
The Saudi and Iranian Foreign Ministers met in New York. SPA

Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah has met with his Iranian counterpart, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian.

The meeting was held on Saturday on the sidelines of the 78th Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

The talks focused on discussing Saudi-Iranian relations and finding ways to enhance cooperation in all areas.

The two ministers also reviewed strategies to intensify consultative meetings at multilateral levels, aimed at creating more positive prospects and serving the interests of both countries.

The meeting was attended by Saudi Arabia's Permanent Representative to the UN Abdulaziz Al-Wasil and Director General of the Foreign Minister's Office Abdulrahman Al-Dawood.


GCC Stresses Importance of Strengthening Relations with UK

Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Jasem Mohamed Albudaiwi
Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Jasem Mohamed Albudaiwi
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GCC Stresses Importance of Strengthening Relations with UK

Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Jasem Mohamed Albudaiwi
Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Jasem Mohamed Albudaiwi

Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Jasem Mohamed Albudaiwi has stressed the importance of strengthening ties between the Council and the United Kingdom, including the Free Trade Agreement (FTA), which is an essential element of the strategic partnership and will contribute to achieving common interests.

This came during Albudaiwi’s meeting with Minister of State for the Middle East, North Africa, South Asia and United Nations at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) Lord Tariq Ahmad on Saturday, on the sidelines of the 78th session of the UN General Assembly in New York.

Albudaiwi stated that several topics were discussed during the meeting, most notably following up on the developments in the negotiations of the FTA between the Council and the UK and Northern Ireland, in addition to following up on the outcomes of the recently held GCC-British ministerial meeting.

The two sides also reviewed the latest developments in the region and the world, especially enhancing regional and global security and stability.


OIC Secretary General Meets with Iranian Foreign Minister in New York

 Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian speaks during a joint news briefing with his Iraqi counterpart Fuad Hussein in Tehran, Iran, Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2023. (AP)
Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian speaks during a joint news briefing with his Iraqi counterpart Fuad Hussein in Tehran, Iran, Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2023. (AP)
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OIC Secretary General Meets with Iranian Foreign Minister in New York

 Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian speaks during a joint news briefing with his Iraqi counterpart Fuad Hussein in Tehran, Iran, Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2023. (AP)
Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian speaks during a joint news briefing with his Iraqi counterpart Fuad Hussein in Tehran, Iran, Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2023. (AP)

Secretary-General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Hissein Brahim Taha held talks on Friday with Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian on the sidelines of the United Nations 78th General Assembly in New York.

The officials discussed cooperation between the OIC and Iran, and ways to boost joint Islamic action.

They also tackled a number of issues of common interest, including the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, the situation in Afghanistan, and OIC’s efforts to combat Islamophobia.


Saudi Foreign Minister Meets French, Polish Counterparts in New York

Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah meets with his French counterpart Catherine Colonna on the sidelines of the 78th session of the UN General Assembly in New York City on Friday. (SPA)
Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah meets with his French counterpart Catherine Colonna on the sidelines of the 78th session of the UN General Assembly in New York City on Friday. (SPA)
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Saudi Foreign Minister Meets French, Polish Counterparts in New York

Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah meets with his French counterpart Catherine Colonna on the sidelines of the 78th session of the UN General Assembly in New York City on Friday. (SPA)
Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah meets with his French counterpart Catherine Colonna on the sidelines of the 78th session of the UN General Assembly in New York City on Friday. (SPA)

Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah held talks with French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna on the sidelines of the 78th session of the UN General Assembly in New York City on Friday.

The FMs reviewed bilateral relations and ways of bolstering and developing them in various fields. They discussed means of consolidating bilateral and multilateral action and the latest international developments.

They tackled opportunities for economic cooperation under Saudi Vision 2030 and the importance of supporting common interests to achieve sustainable development, prosperity, and well-being for the two countries.

The meeting was attended by Minister of Economy and Planning Faisal bin Fadel Al-Ibrahim, Saudi Arabia's Permanent Representative to the United Nations Dr. Abdulaziz Al-Wasel, and Director General of the Foreign Minister’s Office Abdulrahman Al-Daoud.

Prince Faisal also met with his Polish counterpart Zbigniew Rao in New York City.

They tackled bilateral relations between their countries and ways of developing them in various fields. They also discussed opportunities for economic cooperation.


King Abdulaziz’s Maiden Flight Aboard ‘Dakota’ Aircraft

King Abdulaziz descending from the Dakota aircraft in one of his air travels (Saqer Al Jazeera Museum)
King Abdulaziz descending from the Dakota aircraft in one of his air travels (Saqer Al Jazeera Museum)
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King Abdulaziz’s Maiden Flight Aboard ‘Dakota’ Aircraft

King Abdulaziz descending from the Dakota aircraft in one of his air travels (Saqer Al Jazeera Museum)
King Abdulaziz descending from the Dakota aircraft in one of his air travels (Saqer Al Jazeera Museum)

After the late King Abdulaziz bin Abdul Rahman Al Saud dismounted from his steed “Ubayyah,” declaring the unification of the kingdom of Saudi Arabia and charting its geographic boundaries to the world, he ascended the heights of the skies aboard his “Dakota DC-3” aircraft.

Through this remarkable journey, he aimed to connect the kingdom with the world and draw the political map of the state.

The tale of the “Dakota DC-3” begins with a decision by then US President Franklin Roosevelt to give King Abdulaziz a present.

He sought advice from White House advisors on what kind of gift to offer to a “Saudi king residing in a desert region.” One of his advisors suggested that the best gift for this king would be an airplane.

The Director-General of Communication and Media Affairs at Saudi Arabia’s flag carrier, Saudia, Engineer Abdullah Al-Shahrani, explained to Asharq Al-Awsat that this idea was initially rejected due to its substantial budget.

Nevertheless, on February 14, 1945, the Dakota aircraft, gifted by President Roosevelt to King Abdulaziz, touched down at the makeshift airstrip in what is now known as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs area in the city of Jeddah.

It was received by Prince Mansour bin Abdulaziz on behalf of King Abdulaziz.

On September 30, 1945, King Abdulaziz boarded the gifted Dakota aircraft for the first time.

Departing from the city of Afif near Riyadh, he headed towards Al-Hawiya in the city of Taif.

This flight was led by American pilot Captain Joey Grand, accompanied by his Saudi counterpart, Captain Hamza Tarabzoni. One of the most notable features of this aircraft was its ability to land on any prepared terrestrial area.

According to Al-Shahrani, this feature facilitated the aviation sector in seamlessly connecting the various regions and administrative areas of the kingdom.

He emphasized that this aircraft made a significant impact in the aviation world, particularly within the kingdom, laying the foundation for the concept of civil aviation in Saudi Arabia.

During that flight, King Abdulaziz became convinced that, after experiencing the speed of travel, ease of connectivity, and the convenience of takeoff and landing, this was the appropriate means to link the various parts of his nation.

He then decided to purchase two additional aircrafts.

This journey marked the inception of civil aviation for connecting the Kingdom’s regions, realizing King Abdulaziz’s initial vision, which was the localization of migration.

The “Dakota DC-3” aircraft was first manufactured by Douglas Aircraft Company in 1935.

It is a twin-engine, low-wing monoplane produced by the Pratt & Whitney company, with a capacity for 28 passengers, roughly equivalent to 2725 kg.

The aircraft measures approximately 20 meters in length, with a wingspan of 30 meters, and it cruises at a speed of 370 kilometers per hour.