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Foreign Minister Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir stressed that the talks, which took place today, with British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond, and the GCC foreign ministers, showed identical views to a large extent on a number of issues of concern to the region’s security .

During a news conference after the joint ministerial meeting of foreign ministers of the GCC with the British Foreign Secretary, the minister said that Iran has isolated itself by launching ballistic missiles, and sent militias to several countries, including Syria and Iraq, stressing that what Iran is doing about interference in the internal affairs of neighboring countries is rejected and it is punished today as a result of its support for terrorism as it smuggled weapons to Bahrain and Yemen.

He pointed out that Iran is smuggling weapons to Bahrain and Yemen, and is thus guilty of violating international laws, and that Iran should change its policy, and its presence in Iraq is unacceptable, and it should not interfere in the affairs of the region, especially the state of Iraq.

He confirmed that Iran refused to sign the agreement organizing the Hajj affairs for this year due to claiming benefits outside the framework of the organization, and this is unacceptable, he said, “The Iranians returned to sign the agreement and they had requests for visas to be granted to the Iranians through the Internet, and it was done, and they demanded to transfer their pilgrims by Iran’s national carrier, and they asked to have a representative, and the kingdom agreed on it, and this is evidence of the kingdom’s keenness to facilitate the needs of the pilgrims, and enable them to perform their rituals; however, they refused to sign the agreement organizing the affairs of the pilgrims.”

He pointed out that Iran’s goal was evasiveness and not enable its pilgrims to perform the rituals, and that’s too bad, stressing that the kingdom attaches great importance to the security of the pilgrims and Umrah performers, and does not prevent anyone from performing the Hajj or Umrah pointing out that the kingdom consults with more than 70 countries in order to coordinate and organize the affairs of Hajj and Umrah.

On the talks with the British Foreign Minister, the Minister Al-Jubeir said, “We discussed with the British Foreign Minister the peace process in the Middle East and the importance of reaching a just and comprehensive solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict based on international legitimacy resolutions, pointing out that positions with Britain are identical to a large extent with the positions of the kingdom and the Gulf Arab states, on the subject of Syria, in addition to discussion of how to apply the Geneva decisions “1” and the resolutions of the Security Council 2254 in Syria.

The Foreign Minister said that he discussed the issue of Iraq, which was agreed upon in 2014, and how to involve all groups and Iraqi communities, and dealing with the Iraqi government in the face of extremism and in particular “Daash,” and discussion of the latest developments in the case of Yemen and the talks in Kuwait.

He praised efforts made by the State of Kuwait in connection with the Yemeni talks and also was discussed the subject of the idea of rebuilding in Yemen which was adopted by the leaders of GCC member states last year and which Britain wants to be a partner with us in it.

The minister stressed the importance of supporting the government of Libyan Prime Minister Faez Seraj, and reconciliation among the Libyan parties and the restoration of Libya’s institutions, particularly the security ones to counter extremism and prevent the “Daash” from spreading in Libya.

Al-Jubeir said, “The relations with Iran and the importance of Iran’s commitment to the principle of good neighborliness and non-interference in the affairs of countries in the region were discussed” as well as the role that could be played by Britain in support of the GCC economic programs.

For his part, the British foreign minister expressed identical views with the Saudi and GCC side.

The British minister expressed his country’s readiness and willingness to contribute to the achievement of the kingdom vision 2030, which he described as daring and ambitious, in order to move the kingdom to a better future, drawing attention to the fact that bilateral relations with the kingdom exceeded 100 years.

The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud received at Al-Salam palace here today United Kingdom Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond.
During the meeting, the bilateral relations and prospects of cooperation between the two countries were reviewed, in addition to discussion of the latest developments in the region.
The audience was attended by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Naif bin Abdulaziz, Deputy Premier and Interior Minister; Minister of State and Cabinet’s Member Dr. Musaed bin Mohammed Al-Aiban; Minister of Culture and Information Dr. Adel bin Zaid Altoraifi; Minister of Foreign Affairs Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir and Britain’s ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Simon Collis.
  • May 30, 2016

Foreign ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states held talks with visiting United Kingdom’s Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond and the accompanying delegation.
At the outset of the meeting, Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir, Minister of Foreign Affairs, confirmed that the GCC member countries and Britain share deep-rooted relations and that cooperation between the GCC and Britain is constructive in economic, security, military, educational and medical fields.
He said today’s meeting comes to enhance the historic ties binding the United Kingdom and GCC countries, particularly in the political, security, military , economic, scientific and educational fields, looking forward to a fruitful meeting to the best service of the peoples of the two countries.
For his part, the British foreign secretary lauded the historic relations which go deep for hundreds of years, expressing pride of the joint ventures implemented between the two sides and looking forward to see the distinguished partnership extend to face the challenges engulfing the region in all security, economic and political fields.

The fourth round of the Strategic Dialogue between Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the GCC member states and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation took place in Moscow on May 26, 2016.

The meeting was co-chaired by Adel bin Ahmad AL-Jubeir, Minister of Foreign Affairs, who is also chairman of the current GCC Presidency (for the GCC side) and Sergei Lavrov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation (for the Russian side), with participation of the Foreign Ministers of the GCC States and Dr. Abdullatif bin Rashid Al-Zayani, GCC Secretary General.

The Ministers reaffirmed their shared intention to strengthen and develop friendship and collaboration between the two parties in various fields and commended the established mechanism for cooperation within the strategic dialogue between Russia and the GCC in this regard.

The Ministers agreed to continue their work in the current format for further coordination of approaches to topical aspects of mutual interest on the international and regional agendas and enhanced practical bilateral business and humanitarian cooperation.

Regional and international challenges

The Ministers reaffirmed that relations between states should be based on the principles of good-neighborliness and full respect for sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and interests of each of them, in accordance with International Law and the United Nations Charter. The resolution of persistent challenges and crises should be reached through peaceful means within the framework of a wide national dialogue.

The Ministers agreed to combat terrorism and to work together to prevent and suppress terrorist acts through increased international cooperation, in full recognition of the UN’s central role and in accordance with UN Charter as well as through the full implementation of the relevant UN Security Council Resolutions, in particular 2170 (2014), 2178 (2014), 2199 (2015) and 2253 (2015) and UN Global Counter Terrorism Strategy, supported the efforts of the UN Counter-Terrorism Center and the UN Counter-Terrorism Committee [CTC], and adoption of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism [CCIT], at the earliest.

The Ministers condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, reaffirming that any acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable regardless of their motivations, and rejected associating terrorism with any religion, culture or ethnic group, emphasized the need for concerted regional and international efforts to combat terrorism and to address factors conductive to its spread, eliminate the sources and any kind of support for terrorism and violent extremism including its funding, as well as combating organized cross-border crime.

The Ministers welcomed the initiative put forward by the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin to establish a large-scale anti-terrorist front based on international legal standards and the UN Charter and operating with the consent and in close coordination with regional states that bear the brunt of burden in resisting terrorists and extremists.
The Ministers welcomed the establishment of the Islamic Military Alliance to Fight Terrorism and supported cooperation between the Russian Federation and the USA-led International Coalition against ISIS.

The Ministers took note of counter-terrorism efforts undertaken by various international fore, including the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), Global Counter Terrorism Forum (GCTF) under the auspices of the UN.

The Ministers commended the outcome of the consultations between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation and the General Secretariat of the OIC held in Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, in January 2016 on the issue of combating terrorism, extremism and organized crime.

The Ministers welcomed the beginning on the 16th of January, 2016 of practical implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) concluded on the 14th of July, 2015 in Vienna and aimed at final settlement of the Iranian nuclear issue. They urged all parties concerned to faithfully implement their respective commitments to ensure sustainability of the JCPOA and called upon all countries to support its implementation.

  • May 27, 2016

The Minister of Foreign Affairs Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir stressed that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, under the leadership of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, attaches great interest to Syrian refugees.

Addressing the World Summit for Humanitarian Action held in the Turkish capital of Istanbul, he said: Since the beginning of the crisis, the Kingdom has been visited by as many as two million Syrians, pointing out that “there is no camp or tents dedicated for Syrian refugees, in the Kingdom, rather, they enjoy the same rights to health care, education and employment.”

Jubeir indicated that the World Summit for humanitarian action is the first of its kind and an important step fore the good of mankind in the development  in the field of charitable and humanitarian work.

  • May 27, 2016

EU Counter-Terrorism Coordinator Gilles de Kerchove said on Tuesday 25 May that the EU is stepping up its anti-terrorism cooperation with the Arab world and praised the anti-radicalisation programmes in Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries such as Saudi Arabia.

During a joint meeting of the European Parliament’s committees on Foreign Affairs and Development, Mr De Kerchove, the EU’s top anti-terror official, explained that more and more countries in the Middle East and North Africa want to engage with the EU in counter-terrorism and deradicalisation programmes.

During the debate , the chair of the Parliament’s Delegation for relations with the Arab Peninsula, Michèle Alliot-Marie asked whether Mr De Kerchove planned exchanges with Gulf countries on the matter given their track record in deradicalisation and their position in the region and religion?”

They have an impressive success rate. We can draw inspiration from their experiences. We want to and do cooperate with Saudi Arabia on many fronts.

In response De Kerchove said “We have much to learn,” and noted that he has visited the Saudi deradicalisation centre in Riyadh. “They have an impressive success rate. We can draw inspiration from their experiences. We want to and do cooperate with Saudi Arabia on many fronts. However, Europe has to define its own model,” he added. “Let us explore with our partner countries in the Arab world how together we can connect our thoughts in the fight against this perversion of Islam and Daesh.”

To address the problem of terrorism at its root, Saudi Arabia in 2005 launched a large-scale national campaign to raise public awareness of the risks of extremist ideology, which continues to this day. Through cooperation, European countries stand to benefit from the Saudi experiences of fighting extremism and radical thought. For instance, there is rich expertise to be tapped from the Prince Mohammed bin Naif Counselling and Care Center which rehabilitates extremists and the Assakina Campaign for Dialogue, which works to correct misinterpretation of Islamic doctrines about violence, reject excess and promote moderation.

Ambassador Abdulrahman AlAhmed participated to the inaugural EU-GCC Business Forum that took place in Brussels on 23 and 24 May at the European Economic and Social Committee. Amongst the panellists were Mr. Imad Al Abdul Qader, Director Investor Attraction, SAGIA and H.E. Mr. Nabil Molla, Secretary General, Gulf Standard Organisation, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, who spoke in a panel on enhancing trade, investments and competitiveness, as well as Mr Tarik Al Haidari, Board member, Council of Saudi Chambers, who intervened in a panel on fostering innovation and entrepreneurship.

Former US Presidential candidate and current chairman of the US Senate’s Armed Services Committee John McCain said last week that Yemen would have faced a much worse fate had Saudi Arabia not intervened.

Mr McCain made his statement following a meeting with the Saudi Deputy Chairman of the Shura Council Dr. Mohammed Al-Jafari, who led a delegation visit to the US.

McCain lauded Saudi efforts to back the course of constitutional legitimacy in Yemen, and protect Yemenis from the Houthi militia. Senator McCain said Saudi Arabia is a main factor playing in the war against terrorism.

Dr. Al-Jafari emphasized that the Saudi-led coalition’s efforts in Yemen were launched based upon the request of the legitimate Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, and reiterated the importance of sustaining Yemen’s stability being a part of upholding regional peace and security.

  • May 24, 2016

His Excellency Abdulrahman Bin Suleiman Al AHMED, Ambassador of the Custodian of the two Holy Mosques to the Kingdom of Belgium, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and head of the Kingdom Mission to the European Union received on May 20, 2016, in his office, H. E. Mr. Lurie RENITA, the Ambassador of the Republic of Moldova to the Kingdom of Belgium.

During this meeting, Ambassador ALAHMED handed the Moldovan Ambassador Saudi Arabia’s Contribution for the implementation of the Moldova 3 Project which aims to destroy 1,269 tonnes of pesticides and dangerous chemicals (PDCs) from 16 sites and to improve the quality of life of one fourth of the Moldovan population.

Destruction of Pesticides and Dangerous Chemicals in the Republic of Moldova  Trust Fund project is one of the concrete and beneficial results of the cooperation between NATO and the Republic of Moldova. The Moldovan Ambassador thanked the Saudi Arabia Government for its donation and contribution to the implementation of the project in the framework of its commitment and its concern to eliminate the chemicals and hazardous materials and to protect civilians, knowing that the kingdom was one of the first countries to adhere to the international treaties that work on non-proliferation and banning weapons of mass destruction, as well as the conventions for regulating and prohibiting hazardous materials and promoting international cooperation to protect against them.

  • May 20, 2016

Following the announcement of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 – an economic roadmap to secure the long-term economic stability of the Kingdom – Saudi Arabia now plans to issue select visas to welcome tens of thousands of tourists a year as part of a national reform plan aimed at showcasing the country’s rich heritage, including pre-Islamic sites, and encouraging Saudis to spend some of their tourist money at home.

Speaking at the ArabianTravel Market exhibition in Dubai recently, Prince Sultan bin Salman, head of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage, explained that the country is open for people doing business, people working in the Kingdom, individuals investing in Saudi Arabia, and those visiting for special purposes. Now, it will be open to tourism again on a selected basis.

According to the Saudi tourism commission’s figures, approximately 245,000 Saudis work in the tourism sector. The target is to boost that to 352,000 by 2020 and to see investment in tourism upped by $8 billion (€7.2bn) to reach nearly $46 billion (€41bn).

Promoting domestic tourism among Saudis also aims to enhance a stronger national identity among the country’s youth. “Smelling and hearing the sounds of their country and tasting this fantastic multicultural country is something that’s important for any nation that wants to go to the future confidently,” Prince Sultan said.

  • May 19, 2016