Saudi Arabia to Establish Regional Center for Chinese Factories in Riyadh

Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman (Asharq Al-Awsat)
Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman (Asharq Al-Awsat)
TT

Saudi Arabia to Establish Regional Center for Chinese Factories in Riyadh

Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman (Asharq Al-Awsat)
Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman (Asharq Al-Awsat)

Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said on Wednesday that relations between Saudi Arabia and China are witnessing a paradigm shift, which reflects the keenness of both countries’ leaderships to develop them.

Prince Abdulaziz said both sides seek to bolster cooperation in the energy supply chains by establishing a regional center in Saudi Arabia for Chinese factories to benefit from its distinguished location that links three continents.

The minister spoke as the Chinese leader visited the Kingdom.

In remarks to the Saudi Press Agency SPA about holding the Saudi-Chinese Summit in Riyadh, Prince Abdulaziz said Riyadh has strong and close strategic relations with Beijing in many fields, the most important of which is energy.

China has become the top destination for Saudi oil exports as part of their high volume of trade exchange, with continued annual growth over the past five years, he said, adding that Saudi-Chinese energy ties include multiple joint investments.

Prince Abdulaziz further pointed to the efforts of both countries to enhance bilateral cooperation in the fields of energy.

He stressed that cooperation between China, the world's biggest energy consumer, and the Kingdom, the world’s top oil exporter, had helped maintain global oil market stability.

“The Kingdom will remain, in this area, a trusted and reliable partner for China,” the agency quoted him as saying.

The minister also reviewed areas of bilateral cooperation, mainly through projects to convert crude oil into petrochemicals, renewable energy, clean hydrogen, electricity projects and peaceful uses of nuclear energy.

He underlined the collaboration and joint investments with the countries included in China's Belt and Road Initiative, as well as the investment in integrated refining and petrochemical complexes in both countries.

He also underlined their keenness to strengthen joint cooperation in the field of renewable energy, noting China’s major role in the field.

Saudi Arabia targets generating 50% of its energy from renewables by 2030.

In addition, Prince Abdulaziz indicated cooperation of the two sides in the field of clean hydrogen, in light of the significant and growing role of clean hydrogen energy in achieving their aspirations to obtain clean, sustainable and low-carbon energy and promote sustainable energy development, enabling the Kingdom to attain its national contributions in this field.

Riyadh and Beijing seek to enhance cooperation to address climate challenges, Prince Abdulaziz said, adding that the Kingdom focuses on the circular carbon economy approach, as an integrated and comprehensive framework to address the challenges caused by emissions through various available clean techniques.



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)
TT

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
TT

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)
TT

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
TT

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)
TT

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
TT

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
TT

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)
TT

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)
TT

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)
TT

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.