AS IT HAPPENED: Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman meets world leaders at G20

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Participants of the G20 Leaders' Summit in Buenos Aires, pose for a family photo. (AFP)
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Russia's President Vladimir Putin (R) and Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman attend the G20 Leaders' Summit in Buenos Aires, on November 30, 2018. (AFP)
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Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (L) is welcomed by Argentina’s President Mauricio Macri at Costa Salguero in Buenos Aires during the G20 Leaders’ Summit, on November 30, 2018. (AFP)
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France's President Emmanuel Macron (L) is welcomed by Argentina's President Mauricio Macri at Costa Salguero in Buenos Aires during the G20 Leaders' Summit, on November 30, 2018. (AFP)
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Russia's President Vladimir Putin (L) is welcomed by Argentina's President Mauricio Macri at Costa Salguero in Buenos Aires during the G20 Leaders' Summit, on November 30, 2018. (AFP)
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Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May is welcomed by Argentina's President Mauricio Macri as she arrives for the G20 leaders summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina November 30, 2018. (Reuters)
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Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (L) is welcomed by Argentina's President Mauricio Macri at Costa Salguero in Buenos Aires during the G20 Leaders' Summit, on November 30, 2018. (AFP)
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Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, left, shakes hands with Argentina’s President Mauricio Macri at the start of the G20 summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Friday, Nov. 30, 2018. (AP)
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India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi (L) is welcomed by Argentina's President Mauricio Macri at Costa Salguero in Buenos Aires during the G20 Leaders' Summit, on November 30, 2018. (AFP)
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Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman gestures during the opening of the G20 leaders summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina November 30, 2018. (Reuters)
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US President Donald Trump and Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman are seen during the G20 summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina November 30, 2018. (Reuters)
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President Donald Trump arrives and joins other heads of state for a family photo at the G20 summit, Friday, Nov. 30, 2018 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. (Reuters)
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Saudi Arabia's crown prince meets with the UK's Prime Minister Theresa May in the sidelines of the summit on Friday evening. (SPA)
Updated 01 December 2018

AS IT HAPPENED: Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman meets world leaders at G20

  • World leaders pose for family photo as meeting in Buenos Aires gets underway
  • Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman holds talks with a number world leaders on the sidelines

BUENOS AIRES: Leaders from the world’s leading economies gathered for the G20  summit in the Argentinian capital on Friday to discuss development, infrastructure and investment. 

Saudi Arabia’s delegation was headed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who was greeted by world leaders including Vladimir Putin and Emmanuel Macron.

The summit is overshadowed by issues including the US-China trade dispute to the conflict over Ukraine. Also expected to loom are tensions between the United States and Europe.

LATEST

 

02:00 GMT

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman met with South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa on the sidelines of the G20. They discussed cooperation in the fields of energy and investment. 

22:00 GMT

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman attended a Gala event at Colon Theatre with other leaders of the G20.


21:00 GMT

Saudi Arabia's crown prince meets with the UK's Prime Minister Theresa May in the sidelines of the summit on Friday evening.

19:55 GMT

Thousands of demonstrators are flooding a downtown avenue in Buenos Aires to protest against the G20 summit, AP reported.
Activists from France, Germany, Italy and several Latin American nations are taking part alongside Argentines in a demonstration organized by left-leaning groups and labor unions.
About 22,000 police officers and other security forces are guarding the world leaders.

19:25

Saudi Arabia's energy minister Khalid Al-Falih has met with the Russian energy minister, Alexander Novak to discuss oil output.

SEE MORE: For the best images of the world's most powerful shaking hands and talking shop, click here.

18:36: 

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman continued his series of meeting with world leaders. He met with Chinese President Xi Jinping and the country's two delegations held talks.

18:35

18:11 GMT

Donald Trump lauded "good signs" ahead of talks with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping on resolving their trade war.
"There's some good signs, we'll see what happens," Trump said. He is due to have dinner with Xi on Saturday.

READ MORE: Mauricio Macri, President of Argentina's full opening address at G20 Summit

17:46

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman held a meeting with the Indonesian Vice President Jusuf Kalla. Earlier he met with the South African President Cyril Ramaphosa.

17:20

Saudi Arabia's energy minister Khalid Al-Falih will meet with his Russian counterpart Alexander Novak during the summit to discuss an oil output in 2019, the Russian news agency RIA reported. Novak also said that Russia's 2019 oil output is expected to be at the same level as this year but could be adjusted, depending on a deal between OPEC and non-OPEC members. Producer group OPEC and its allies are meeting in Vienna next week to discuss oil production.




Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman greets Russian president Vladimir Putin at the G20 Summit. (Screenshot)

17:04 GMT

Donald Trump says "the sole reason" he canceled a meeting with Vladimir Putin at the G20 was because of Russia seizing Ukrainian ships

15:55 

G20 leaders including the presidents of the United States, Russia and China opened summit talks on Friday.
Argentinian President Mauricio Macri convened the two-day summit in Buenos Aires with a call for member nations to support international cooperation and multilateralism. He added that it will be an agenda "centered on people."

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Russian President Vladimir Putin both grinned broadly and shook hands robustly as leaders converged for the start of the 2-day summit.

15:28 

Participants of the G20 Leaders' Summit in Buenos Aires, pose for a family photo.

14:55 

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman held talks with a number world leaders on the sidelines of the G20 summit.
The crown prince spoke with French President Emmanuel Macron and others at the summit venue on Friday in Buenos Aires.

 

READ MORE: For an alternative guide to the meeting in Buenos Aires, click on Frank Kane’s G20 diary. Today he discusses the obligatory taxi driver story, the state of Argentina’s economy and some of the fine venues where world leaders will conduct their business.

14:25 

Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman arrived at the G20 summit in the Argentinan capital, Buenos Aires.

14:27 

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday denounced the “vicious” use of sanctions and trade protectionism, in a veiled swipe at Donald Trump at the G20 summit.
“One cannot help but see a dishonest competition increasingly taking the place of honest dialogue based on equality among states,” Putin told leaders of emerging economies as the summit opened in Buenos Aires.
“A vicious practice of returning to illegal, unilateral sanctions and protectionist measures is spreading, going around the UN Charter, the rules of the WTO and internationally recognized legal norms,” Putin said.
Putin said that the result was “an extremely negative effect on the spirit of international cooperation,” discouraging business.

11:36 

British Prime Minister Theresa May will hold a bilateral meeting with Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at the G20 summit in Argentina, her spokesman confirmed on Friday.
The meeting will take place at 20:00 GMT.

Read More: UK PM May to hold bilateral meeting with Saudi crown prince

9:50 

The leaders of the United States, Mexico and Canada on Friday signed a huge regional trade deal to replace the old NAFTA, denounced by President Donald Trump as a killer of US jobs.
“This is a model agreement that changes the trade landscape forever,” Trump said at the signing ceremony in Buenos Aires, on the sidelines of the G20 leaders’ summit.
But he insisted that the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement, or USMCA, was an “incredible milestone” that would aid US workers, especially in the auto industry, while putting in place “intellectual property protection that will be the envy of nations all around the world.”
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was less effusive about the renegotiated pact, but said the USMCA would resolve the threat of “serious economic uncertainty” that “would have gotten more damaging.”
Mexican President Pena Nieto, on his last day in office, called the revamped version of NAFTA important in shoring up “the view of an integrated North America with the firm belief that together we are stronger and more competitive.”

Read More: Trump joins leaders of Canada, Mexico to sign new trade pact

3:05 

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi met in Argentina and discussed cooperation between the two countries in security, energy and investments, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) said on Friday.


The two leaders, who are attending the G20 Summit in Buenos Aires, also discussed Saudi Arabia’s readiness to supply India with all its needs of oil and petroleum products and Saudi oil giant Aramco’s investments in the fields of oil refining and oil storage in India, SPA said. 

Read More: Saudi crown prince and Indian PM meet in Buenos Aires


Saudi Arabia announces 5 more COVID-19 deaths

Updated 12 min 16 sec ago

Saudi Arabia announces 5 more COVID-19 deaths

  • The total number of recoveries in the Kingdom has increased to 369,922
  • A total of 6,519 people have succumbed to the virus in the Kingdom so far

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia announced five deaths from COVID-19 and 384 new infections on Friday.
Of the new cases, 187 were recorded in Riyadh, 68 in the Eastern Province, 55 in Makkah, 24 in the Northern Borders region, 10 in Madinah, six in Hail, five in Asir, five in Najran and three in Jazan.
The total number of recoveries in the Kingdom increased to 369,922 after 309 more patients recovered from the virus.
A total of 6,519 people have succumbed to the virus in the Kingdom so far.


Saudi Arabia’s AlUla airport to receive international flights

Updated 05 March 2021

Saudi Arabia’s AlUla airport to receive international flights

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) has approved the landing of international flights at Prince Abdul Majeed bin Abdulaziz Airport in AlUla.

The airport’s annual capacity has increased from 100,000 passengers to 400,000 and its area has increased to 2.4 million square meters, Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.

The airport is among the 10 biggest airports in the Kingdom and can accommodate up to 15 commercial aircraft at any one time.


After miracle saves daughter’s life, Saudi father champions organ donation cause

Updated 05 March 2021

After miracle saves daughter’s life, Saudi father champions organ donation cause

  • Citizens need to educate themselves about the process and urgent need for organ donors

RIYADH: After a liver transplant saved his 70-day-old daughter’s life, a Saudi father has made it his life mission to ensure that others have the same chance.

Soliman Saidi, whose daughter Salma turns three this year, is campaigning to have more Saudis step up to the plate and sign up to become organ donors.
Saidi, a motivational speaker who has been advocating for the cause of organ donation, spoke to Arab News about the urgent need for more volunteers in the Kingdom to donate organs after death in order to help save lives.
“Most people have a lot of misconceptions about organ donation,” he said. “They assume that signing up to be a donor means that they will have to sacrifice body parts that they need to survive, but that’s never the case. While some organs can be donated while a person is still alive, like a kidney or part of the liver, organs like the heart and lungs can only be donated after a person is dead.”
Saidi added that, from a religious point of view, there is nothing to prevent potential donors from signing up.
A 1982 fatwa (religious edict) by the Senior Ulama Commission concerning organ donation and transplantation granted “the permissibility to remove an organ or part thereof from a dead person,” and the permissibility of a living person donating an organ or part of it.
The Kingdom’s primary organization for organ transplants was founded in 1984, the Saudi Center for Organ Transplantation (SCOT). Since then, the organization has worked to raise awareness of the importance of organ donation and has given Saudis a platform where they can sign-up to become donors.

Soliman Saidi is grateful to still have his daughter in his life every single day. (Supplied)

However, statistics suggest that more citizens need to educate themselves about the process and the urgent need for organ donors.
A 2019 study published in the Saudi Journal of Kidney Diseases and Transplantation showed that the majority of the Kingdom’s population are unaware of any local or international organ donation legislation. The level of knowledge was as low as 12.6 percent, which the study claims has led to a low number of potential organ donors in the country.
The same study indicates that Saudi Arabia has a low organ donation rate, estimated at 2 to 4 per million population (PMP). Compared with other countries, such as the US with a 26 PMP donor rate, the number is fairly low.
However, SCOT has nonetheless seen success in the Kingdom. According to figures recorded between 1986 and 2016, there were 13,174 organs transplanted from living and deceased donors, including 10,569 kidneys, 2,006 livers, 339 hearts, 213 lungs and 46 pancreases.
Saidi was motivated to start campaigning for the cause in 2018 after he received what he said was “the worst news of his life” just months after the birth of his youngest child.
“Two months after Salma was born, she experienced liver failure. By the time we realized what was happening, her liver was already failing by about 70 percent,” he said.
Saidi recalled the desperation he felt after being told that Salma needed a Kasai procedure, a risky operation that involves the removal of blocked bile ducts and the gallbladder, and replacing them with a segment of the small intestine.
Doctors informed him that the procedure had a 1 percent chance of saving her life, but he was willing to take the risk.
“She was barely 70 days old,” he said. “I remember thinking ‘dear God, if she has to go under the knife tomorrow, let her live. I want to see her as a bride someday, let her have a chance.’”

HIGHLIGHTS

• A 1982 fatwa (religious edict) by the Senior Ulama Commission concerning organ donation and transplantation granted ‘the permissibility to remove an organ or part thereof from a dead person,’ and the permissibility of a living person donating an organ or part of it.

• Those interested in signing up as organ donors after death in Saudi Arabia can register with SCOT on their website.

However, the procedure was only a temporary solution, and it eventually became clear that what Salma needed was a liver transplant.
“There was nothing we could do at that point but leave it up to Allah,” he said. “At that point, we were fully desperate, and feeling so helpless. All we could do was ask Allah to spare her life.”
Miraculously, Saidi, together with his wife Hajer, were able to arrange for Salma to be moved to the King Faisal Specialist Hospital in Riyadh. They also flew to the capital from their home in Jeddah in the hopes that they would find a donor for their daughter.
“Finding any type of organ donor is a long process, but liver donors in particular are rare. It normally takes ages,” said Saidi. “And this was happening during the Eid Al-Adha holiday. We were fast losing hope that we would find a donor in time.”
However, through the dedicated efforts of hospital staff, Hajer was picked as a viable donor and the family were informed that they could begin preparations almost immediately.
Saidi said that one of the most emotional experiences of the whole process was the way people online had reacted to his plight, and the number of people who reached out when he posted about the issue on social media.
“People were calling me and literally pleading with me to allow them to donate,” he said, growing emotional as he recounted the story. “One of the most incredible gestures I received was a man who called from Tabuk and asked me only to arrange things with hospital staff to allow him to fly in and donate part of his liver, and specifically requested that I not meet with him in order to maintain
anonymity.”
The experience moved him, and when it became clear that both mother and daughter would make a full recovery, Saidi decided to become a champion for
the cause of organ donation in the Kingdom.
“I learned very quickly that convincing people to donate a part of themselves after death was hard enough on its own, let alone trying to convince them to donate while they’re alive,” he said. “But after my own experience, I was determined to do whatever I could to help.”
Saidi is also an adviser to a nonprofit organization, Awad Al-Amal, which enables young patients and their families to overcome disease and difficulties by providing rehabilitation programs and voluntary health services.
Today, Saidi says he has made peace with what happened, and is grateful to still have his daughter in his life every single day.
“I believe everything happens for a reason,” he told Arab News, “I think this experience taught me to never take anything for granted, and it humbled me and reminded me that no one is untouchable in this life.”
Those interested in signing up as organ donors after death in Saudi Arabia can register with SCOT on their website at scot.gov.sa/ar/Register/Index?type=AfterDie.


Saudi scouts in environmental protection project

Updated 05 March 2021

Saudi scouts in environmental protection project

RIYADH: The Saudi Arabian Boy Scouts Association is continuing with an environmental protection project throughout the Kingdom. The national program being operated under the title, “My Environment is My Responsibility,” will run until March 11.
The scouting organization’s commissioner for service and community development, Ahmed Al-Asiri, said that in cooperation with relevant sectors the association wanted to promote the values of belonging, responsibility, positivity, working together, love for others, volunteering, and hygiene.

Related


Saudi ministry closes 366 shops in virus crackdown

Updated 05 March 2021

Saudi ministry closes 366 shops in virus crackdown

RIYADH: The Saudi Ministry of Municipal, Rural Affairs and Housing has closed 366 establishments in the Kingdom that violated precautionary health measures to limit the spread of coronavirus.
The ministry said that field teams in various regions and governorates of the Kingdom carried out 24,066 inspection tours of shops, food establishments and public utility markets.
Inspections resulted in the detection of 1,226 violations of health measures issued by the ministry and relevant public health authorities as part of the Kingdom’s anti-coronavirus efforts. The ministry said that municipalities had shut 366 establishments, and applied penalties according to regulations.