DiplomaticQuarter: Ties between Saudi Arabia and Austria on upward trajectory

The outgoing Austrian Ambassador, Gregor W. Koessler, with the Governor of Riyadh region, Prince Faisal bin Bandar. (Photo/Supplied)
Updated 09 January 2019
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DiplomaticQuarter: Ties between Saudi Arabia and Austria on upward trajectory

  • The annual two-way trade between Riyadh and Vienna is reportedly around SR1.9 billion ($0.5 billion)

RIYADH: Austria’s outgoing ambassador to Saudi Arabia called on Saudi Foreign Affairs Minister Ibrahim Al-Assaf and Riyadh Gov. Prince Faisal bin Bandar to bid farewell at the end of his tenure.
Gregor W. Koessler said issues of mutual interest were discussed and that the two top-level officials wished him success for the future.
“We reviewed the broad range of bilateral relations I was covering in my six-and-a-half years in the Kingdom,” the envoy told Arab News.
“I expressed my deep appreciation for the friendly reception in Saudi Arabia and the many friendships built on to connect our two countries even more.”
He wished King Salman, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the government and nation a prosperous and peaceful future, and every success for the Vision 2030 reform plan.
“We need to continue building bridges between our societies and making every effort for constructive dialogue.”
Koessler previously called on Austrian companies to ensure their “local presence” in the Kingdom for intensive engagement and promoting business. Saudi Arabia and Austria enjoy cordial ties. Last year, Austria pledged to ramp up cooperation in key commercial sectors with Saudi Arabia after a group of business leaders representing about 25 top-notch Austrian companies had wide-ranging talks with Saudi officials and businessmen.
The pledge came within the framework of Saudi Vision 2030, which calls for forging partnerships with foreign companies to achieve the desired objectives of the vision.
The annual two-way trade between Riyadh and Vienna is reportedly around SR1.9 billion ($0.5 billion).
Many Austrian companies have been working closely with Saudi enterprises over the past decades, either as joint ventures or in close collaboration with the Saudi side on a number of projects. As of 2018, there were reportedly 20 joint ventures operating in different sectors.
Austria has been the fastest growing European tourist destination in the Middle East. The number of guests from the Middle East to Austria has increased by 400 percent in the last 10 years.
Klaus Ehrenbrandtner, director Middle East of the Austrian National Tourist Office, said: “In 2016, Austria welcomed 105,000 guests from the Kingdom.”


Muslim World League chief elected as president of LIU in Cairo

Updated 4 sec ago
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Muslim World League chief elected as president of LIU in Cairo

  • The organization’s operations focus on supporting scientific research in the field of Islamic studies, achieving convergence and integration among Islamic universities by monitoring their curricula
CAIRO: The League of Islamic Universities (LIU) elected Dr. Mohammed bin Abdul Karim Al-Issa, secretary-general of the Muslim World League (MWL), as president at its 11th General Conference.
He received congratulations and warm wishes from prominent Islamic and political figures from throughout the Islamic world.
The conference discussed the amendment of some articles of LIU’s statutes and its working regulations, and approved the minutes of the last session held at Alexandria University last year.
LIU was established in 1969 and includes the largest universities from around the world.
The organization’s operations focus on supporting scientific research in the field of Islamic studies, achieving convergence and integration among Islamic universities by monitoring their curricula.
LIU is working to overcome the challenges facing the Muslim world particularly extremist ideology. In addition to its focus on the Muslim world, it has signed exchange and cooperation agreements with Western and Far Eastern universities in regard to cultural studies, intercultural dialogue and oriental studies.