Saudi energy minister visits Pakistan’s Gwadar oil refinery site

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Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Energy Khalid A Al-Falih is received by Pakistan Petroleum Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan and Port and Shipping minister Ali Zaidi. (Twitter photo)
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Pakistan and Saudi officials discuss prospects of oil refinery and development of Gwadar in a meeting held in Gwadar. (Twitter photo)
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Pakistan’s minister of Port and Shipping, Syed Ali Haider Zaidi, takes selfie with Saudi minister of energy, Khalid A Al-Falih. (Photo Courtesy: BoI)
Updated 15 January 2019
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Saudi energy minister visits Pakistan’s Gwadar oil refinery site

  • Pakistan, Saudi Arabia in talks over oil refinery in Balochistan’s Gwadar district
  • MoU to be signed next month

KARACHI: Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Energy Khalid A Al-Falih on Saturday visited the port city of Gwadar to witness development work and the area allocated for a multibillion oil refinery.
Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are in talks over an agreement to install the Saudi Aramco Oil Refinery in Balochistan’s Gwadar district. 
Last year, the Saudis also offered Pakistan a $6-billion rescue package to help shore up the economy. 
The Saudi delegation was received by Pakistan petroleum minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan, port and shippings minister Syed Ali Haider Zaidi and Baluchistan information minister Zahoor Buledi.
“Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are the two sound foundations of peace and stability”, Khalid A Al-Falih, said while speaking to media in Gwadar.
Al Falih, who is also chairman of the Board of Saudi Aramco, said bilateral relations between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are very strong and Saudia Arabai would "play its role for the development and prosperity of Pakistan."
“The Saudi delegation led by Al Falih has come to see the area allocated for the oil refinery in Gwadar. Soon a state of the art oil refinery would be set up in Gwadar”, Ghulam Sarwar said, according to a statement issued by the ministry of petroleum.
The petroleum minister said he hoped that a memorandum of understanding about the oil refinery would be signed between the two governments next month: “This would be the biggest investment of Saudi Arabia in Pakistan."
The government of Pakistan has already given approval for the MoU.
The visiting Saudi delegation was briefed by the chairman of Gwadar Development Authority, Dostain Jamaldini, about the development of the country’s deep sea port being constructed with the help of China.
Earlier, Pakistan’s Finance minister had said that Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Energy and the Chairman of the Board of Saudi Aramco, had arrived in Pakistan to meet with officials and new investments would be announced as the "next step."
Umar was speaking at the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry and called the Saudi minister the "world’s most powerful minister of energy."
“In the next step, the announcement of investment will be made,” Umar said. “The bilateral support our country has received from friendly countries in last five months has never happened in our history."
Saudi Aramco will construct the petrochemical complex which will house the multibillion oil refinery. 
“Overall directions of agreement (MoU) have been agreed upon and the agreement will be signed at the appropriate time,” Haroon Sharif, Chairman of Pakistan Board of Investment, had recently told Arab News.
“I am expecting around $15 billion investment from Saudi Arabia in the next three years. The inflow of investments for the oil refinery and petrochemical complex in Pakistan is estimated to be between $6 billion to $10 billion,” Sharif said.
Pakistan is hoping to attract more than $40 billion foreign direct investment in the next five years, he said. 
“We estimate that roughly around $40 billion investment will be made by these three countries (Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and China) during the next three to five years,” Sharif added.


Two Saudis among 31 foreigners killed in Easter Day attacks in Sri Lanka

Updated 23 April 2019
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Two Saudis among 31 foreigners killed in Easter Day attacks in Sri Lanka

  • Mohamed Jafar and Hany Osman, cabin crew with Saudi Arabian Airlines, were in transit and staying at one of the three hotels targeted
  • Saudi Ambassador Abdulnasser Al-Harthi says officials are awaiting the results of DNA tests

COLOMBO: Two Saudis were among 31 foreigners killed in a string of Easter Sunday suicide bombings in Sri Lanka, the Sri Lankan Foreign Ministry said on Monday, a day after the devastating attacks on hotels and churches killed at least 290 people and wounded nearly 500.

The extent of the carnage began to emerge as information from government officials, relatives and media reports offered the first details of those who had died. Citizens from at least eight countries, including the United States, were killed, officials said.

Among them were Saudis Mohammed Jafar and Hany Osman. They worked as cabin crew on Saudi Arabian Airlines, and were in transit and staying at one of the three hotels that were hit.

Saudi Ambassador Abdulnasser Al-Harthi said that officials are awaiting the results of DNA tests on the two Saudi victims, and only after these are received will their names be confirmed.

Cabinet spokesman Rajitha Senaratne said the Sri Lankan government believes the vast scale of the attacks, which clearly targeted the minority Christian community and outsiders, suggested the involvement of an international terrorism network.

“We don’t think a small organization can do all that,” he said. “We are now investigating international support for them and their other links — how they produced the suicide bombers and bombs like this.”

The attacks mostly took place during church services or when hotel guests were sitting down to breakfast. In addition to the two Saudis, officials said the foreign victims included one person from Bangladesh, two from China, eight from India, one from France, one from Japan, one from The Netherlands, one from Portugal, one from Spain, two from Turkey, six from the UK, two people with US and UK dual nationalities, and two with Australian and Sri Lankan dual nationalities.

Three of Danish billionaire Anders Holch Povlsen’s four children were among the foreigners who were killed, a spokesman for the family confirmed. Povlsen is the wealthiest man in Denmark, the largest landowner in Scotland and owns the largest share of British online fashion and cosmetics retailer Asos.

Two Turkish engineers working on a project in Sri Lanka also died in the attacks, the English-language Daily Sabah newspaper reported. Turkey’s foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu gave their names as Serhan Selcuk Narici and Yigit Ali Cavus.

Fourteen foreign nationals remain unaccounted for, the Sri Lankan foreign ministry said, adding that they might be among unidentified victims at the Colombo Judicial Medical Officer’s morgue.

Seventeen foreigners injured in the attacks were still being treated at the Colombo National Hospital and a private hospital in the city, while others had been discharged after treatment.