King Salman: A timeline of his second year in office

Author: 
Arab News
Sun, 2017-01-01
ID: 
1483225725833206800

• Jan. 18: King Salman meets with Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and discusses key bilateral and regional issues including Iran.

• Jan. 20: King Salman receives Chinese President Xi Jinping and confers on him King Abdulaziz Medal in Riyadh. During the Chinese president’s visit, the two countries sign 14 energy and industrial pacts.

• Feb. 1:  King Salman receives Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu in Riyadh and they review bilateral relations, regional issues and international issues.

• Feb. 14: King Salman is presented with International Telecommunication Union’s (ITU) Sustainable Development Award by ITU Secretary-General Houlin Zhao.

• March 9: King Salman arrives  in Hafr Al-Batin to attend the final maneuvers of the “Operation North Thunder” aimed at ensuring combat-readiness of the Kingdom and its allies. The drill involves 2,500 warplanes, 20,000 tanks and 350,000 troops.

• March 10: King Salman meets leaders of the countries joining the Islamic alliance.

• March 28: King Salman and South African President Jacob Zuma stress the importance of continued cooperation on international and regional issues, notably the UN reforms and the fight against terrorism and extremism.

• April 3: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi holds talks with King Salman; the Kingdom and India signs five agreements in Riyadh.

• April 7: King Salman arrives in Egypt during which the two countries sign an investment fund pact and announce a $3 billion causeway project.

• April 20: King Salman holds talks with US President Barack Obama in Riyadh. The two leaders discuss key bilateral and regional issues including terrorism, Iran, Yemen and Syria.

• April 25: Saudi Cabinet chaired by King Salman approves the Saudi Vision 2030, which aims to reduce dependence on oil and ensure sustainable development.

• April 28: King Salman receives Jordanian King Abdallah and the two countries sign an agreement to establish a Saudi-Jordanian Coordination Council.

• May 2: The Saudi government announces plans under which 75 percent of Saudi citizens will own houses within five years.

• Aug. 15: King Salman announces a one-month salary bonus for all Saudi soldiers fighting in the Operation Decisive Storm and Operation Restoring Hope in Yemen.

• Oct. 26: King Salman and Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev hold talks and witness the signing of 16 mutual agreements in different areas.

• Oct. 27: King Salman meets with IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde in Riyadh.

• Nov. 29: King Salman inaugurates multibillion riyal new projects in Alkhobar.

• Nov. 30: King Salman inaugurates a number of mega projects in Jubail and Ras Al-Khair.

• Dec. 2: Two major national institutions — Shoura Council and Council of Senior Scholars — are reshuffled by the king.

• Dec. 4: King Salman leaves on a four-nation Gulf tour. He starts his tour in Abu Dhabi.

• Dec. 6: King Salman arrives in Bahrain for the 37th  GCC summit, delivers a speech urging world’s action to end the bloodshed in Syria.

• Dec. 13: Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) officially launches new currency of different denominations to mark the era of King Salman.

• Dec. 15: King Salman delivers the annual speech at the opening ceremony of the Shoura Council, saying that terror peddlers won’t be allowed to exploit the youth.

• Dec. 23: King Salman chairs an extraordinary session of the Cabinet, during which he approves the state budget for 2017.

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Father of Egyptian twins thanks king

Author: 
ARAB NEWS
Sun, 2017-01-01
ID: 
1483223339153022500

JEDDAH: Islam Saqr Ramadan, father of Egyptian conjoined twins Mina and Mai, said the decision by King Salman to treat his children at the Kingdom’s expense has returned happiness to his family.
King Salman ordered that the twins be transferred to Riyadh-based King Abdulaziz Medical City for treatment.
An Egyptian website quoted Ramadan as saying that he received a phone call from the Saudi ambassador in Cairo, Ahmed Qattan, inviting him to come and finalize his papers to travel to Riyadh.
The father added that he received a call from Abdullah Al-Rabeeah, the head of the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center, which specializes in such cases, who stated the center’s readiness to deal with the expenses and the parents’ accommodation costs.
The Saudi Press Agency said King Salman ordered that the Egyptian conjoined twins undergo necessary medical tests to assess the possibility of a separation.
“This is a kind and noble gesture of the king toward needy people in the Kingdom, Arab, Islamic and friendly countries,” Al-Rabeeah told the agency.
The Egyptian media have highlighted the issue of the twins, who are joined in the head and share some membranes around the brain and veins.
The family faced a difficult time in Egypt, partly due to the high medical expenses incurred.

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Father of Egyptian twins thanks king

Author: 
ARAB NEWS
Sun, 2017-01-01
ID: 
1483223339153022500

JEDDAH: Islam Saqr Ramadan, father of Egyptian conjoined twins Mina and Mai, said the decision by King Salman to treat his children at the Kingdom’s expense has returned happiness to his family.
King Salman ordered that the twins be transferred to Riyadh-based King Abdulaziz Medical City for treatment.
An Egyptian website quoted Ramadan as saying that he received a phone call from the Saudi ambassador in Cairo, Ahmed Qattan, inviting him to come and finalize his papers to travel to Riyadh.
The father added that he received a call from Abdullah Al-Rabeeah, the head of the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center, which specializes in such cases, who stated the center’s readiness to deal with the expenses and the parents’ accommodation costs.
The Saudi Press Agency said King Salman ordered that the Egyptian conjoined twins undergo necessary medical tests to assess the possibility of a separation.
“This is a kind and noble gesture of the king toward needy people in the Kingdom, Arab, Islamic and friendly countries,” Al-Rabeeah told the agency.
The Egyptian media have highlighted the issue of the twins, who are joined in the head and share some membranes around the brain and veins.
The family faced a difficult time in Egypt, partly due to the high medical expenses incurred.

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Homemade products of Saudi women impress ambassadors’ wives

Author: 
Arab News
Sun, 2017-01-01
ID: 
1483223339123021900

RIYADH: The wives of several ambassadors to the Kingdom have hailed the “Producers-4” exhibition as a genuine annual opportunity for Saudi families to market their products.
The diplomats’ wives said that the exhibition, organized by the Riyadh Center for Development of Small- and Medium-size Enterprises at the Riyadh International Convention and Exhibition Center, showcases handmade works executed in a modern, creative fashion and encourages small enterprises.
Omayma Al-Busaidi, wife of the Omani ambassador, commended the efforts of the organizers of “Producers-4,” saying that she eagerly awaits the exhibition every year.
This is her third annual visit to the exhibition, Al-Busaidi said, adding that every year she sees new ideas, products and marketing methods.
“Producers-4 helps encourage talented and creative Saudi women and gives them the opportunity to showcase and market their products in one organized place, making it easier for buyers to purchase all what they need,” she added.
Nafisah Ahmed, president of the Arab group of wives of representatives of diplomatic missions in Riyadh, expressed admiration for the exhibition, stressing that Saudi women display distinguished works and products of perfect quality, and use original marketing methods.
“The exhibition supports Saudi families, provides them with a guaranteed source of income, contributes to boosting the country’s economy and introduces the participants to senior investors, opening future prospects for them in the labor market,” she said.
The wife of the Palestinian ambassador, Nagwa Al-Agha, said she liked most the various handicrafts representing different regions of the Kingdom, and stressed that marketing is one of the goals productive families often seek.
She added that the ultimate benefit of the exhibition is that it generates income for these families, and that modern means of social communication help in marketing the products.
The wife of the Tunisian ambassador, Sumaiya Baatour, praised the skill of Saudi women involved in the maintenance of mobile phones and smart devices, and pointed out that paying attention to productive families’ projects contributes to the development of their capabilities, and provides them with income through personal training that hones their skills.

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Homemade products of Saudi women impress ambassadors’ wives

Author: 
Arab News
Sun, 2017-01-01
ID: 
1483223339123021900

RIYADH: The wives of several ambassadors to the Kingdom have hailed the “Producers-4” exhibition as a genuine annual opportunity for Saudi families to market their products.
The diplomats’ wives said that the exhibition, organized by the Riyadh Center for Development of Small- and Medium-size Enterprises at the Riyadh International Convention and Exhibition Center, showcases handmade works executed in a modern, creative fashion and encourages small enterprises.
Omayma Al-Busaidi, wife of the Omani ambassador, commended the efforts of the organizers of “Producers-4,” saying that she eagerly awaits the exhibition every year.
This is her third annual visit to the exhibition, Al-Busaidi said, adding that every year she sees new ideas, products and marketing methods.
“Producers-4 helps encourage talented and creative Saudi women and gives them the opportunity to showcase and market their products in one organized place, making it easier for buyers to purchase all what they need,” she added.
Nafisah Ahmed, president of the Arab group of wives of representatives of diplomatic missions in Riyadh, expressed admiration for the exhibition, stressing that Saudi women display distinguished works and products of perfect quality, and use original marketing methods.
“The exhibition supports Saudi families, provides them with a guaranteed source of income, contributes to boosting the country’s economy and introduces the participants to senior investors, opening future prospects for them in the labor market,” she said.
The wife of the Palestinian ambassador, Nagwa Al-Agha, said she liked most the various handicrafts representing different regions of the Kingdom, and stressed that marketing is one of the goals productive families often seek.
She added that the ultimate benefit of the exhibition is that it generates income for these families, and that modern means of social communication help in marketing the products.
The wife of the Tunisian ambassador, Sumaiya Baatour, praised the skill of Saudi women involved in the maintenance of mobile phones and smart devices, and pointed out that paying attention to productive families’ projects contributes to the development of their capabilities, and provides them with income through personal training that hones their skills.

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Saudi police arrest 6 in ATM fraud case

Author: 
ARAB NEWS
Sat, 2016-12-31
ID: 
1483139865466322600

JEDDAH: Six people have been arrested as part of an investigation into ATM fraud, Makkah police said.
Local police have dealt with several reports of bank embezzlement involving ATMs, police spokesman Col. Ati Al-Qurashi said Friday.
An investigation into bank fraud found the accused persons allegedly installed electronic devices on ATM machines at banks in Jeddah to steal customers’ card details.
The spokesman explained that the police department had put in place a security plan to monitor such fraudulent operations, after receiving reports of such offenses in other provinces.
The job of the police team involved the search and monitoring of banks and visits to ATM sites. Suspicions were raised over six persons of Syrian nationality. Upon searching them, police found meter readers and other equipment in their possession.
The suspects, who entered the Kingdom on business visas, were arrested and delivered to police stations pending referral.

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Ancient mountain inscriptions fascinate visitors to Al-Qassim region

Author: 
Arab News
Sat, 2016-12-31
ID: 
1483134659196089500

AL-RASS: Some ancient mountain inscriptions in Saudi Arabia’s Al-Qassim region are proving a source of fascination for some.
The area is home to a 1,254-meter-high mountain known as Mount Sowaj, and various other names. It contains many inscriptions dating back to the ancient Thamud era.
The sketches that can be seen on the northwestern side of the mountain include drawings of a number of animals, such as camels and cows, and writings that can be translated by specialists.
In other areas, the mountain includes a set of lines and drawings, colored in blue, red and orange.
These unique inscriptions were discussed by academics and history experts at the King Saud University.
Researcher Abdullah Al-Aqeel said the inscriptions, drawings and important writings are often tampered with by individuals who do not know their value and significance, emphasizing the fact that there is need to do more to protect them.
On the southeastern side of the mountain lie the remains of water wells. Elsewhere there is an archaeological painting etched in the rocks, which is one of the largest historical archaeological paintings in Al-Qassim.
From observing these drawings, it is evident that the region was abundant in water and vegetation, and grazed by camels, cows, goats, ostriches, deer, mules and other animals.

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Saudi residents welcome cease-fire in Syria

Author: 
Rodolfo C. Estimo Jr.
Sat, 2016-12-31
ID: 
1483134109836039700

RIYADH: Residents of Saudi Arabia quizzed by Arab News have welcomed the Syria cease-fire brokered by Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
The US State Department earlier welcomed the signing of the new agreement, which took effect on midnight Friday.
Russia and Turkey, which brokered the nationwide Syrian cease-fire in the nearly six-year-old conflict, back opposing sides in the brutal war.
Mohsin Shaikh Al-Hassan, a Saudi Islamic scholar, TV host and author, said: “The new Syrian cease-fire signing is great news, to say the least. In fact, it’s long overdue but it’s better late than never.
“So many people have died due to the war that has caused great devastation and psychological repercussions to Syrians who have been displaced and lost relatives in the brutal conflict.”
Estimates on the number of deaths vary but the Syrian Center for Policy Research said that 470,000 died between March 15, 2011 and Feb. 11, 2016.
Al-Hassan added: “Syria is considered the base of strength of the Arab population but it’s people have suffered much and still suffering until nobody knows when.”
He added that many Syrians “who were caught in the crossfire fled their beloved country to seek haven elsewhere and the Kingdom received over 1 million of them.”
“Saudi Arabia gave them shelter and jobs so that they could fend for themselves. The Kingdom also gave education to their children who are now enjoying a peaceful life.”
Jameel Daghestani, who works as a management consultant in the Saudi capital, added that Syrians in the Arab Gulf states are happy over the lull in the fighting as a result of the cease-fire.
Daghestani is also the co-founder of the Syrian Communities in Arab Gulf Countries (SCAGC), which is a cultural association devoted to the promotion of Syrian welfare, and editor in chief of a Syrian community e-magazine.
“We’re also thrilled beyond words that the moderate opposition forces have declared their unity under one command and their acceptance of the cease-fire resolution,” Daghestani said.
He added that he hopes Russia and Turkey complete their mission and work for the removal of Syrian President Bashar Assad from power because “he ignited the war in Syria and supports terrorism and sectarianism.”
“We also seek the expulsion of all foreign militias from Syria, especially those from Iran, Iraq and Lebanese Hezbollah to enable Syrians to understand and solve their problems away from foreign interference,” said Daghestani, who comes from the city of Homs.
He took the opportunity to thank King Salman and the Saudi people for all the help the Kingdom had extended to Syrians not only in other countries like Jordan but also inside Syria itself.

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