Saudi crown prince holds talks with Macron in Paris

Saudi crown prince’s visit is expected to be longer and the talks more multifaceted than his previous trip to Paris in July last year. (Reuters)
Short Url
Updated 16 June 2023
Follow

Saudi crown prince holds talks with Macron in Paris

  • French president and prince welcome strengthening of economic relations between two countries
  • Crown prince’s visit punctuated by other events, including International Bureau of Expositions meeting and summit on new Global Financing Pact

PARIS: Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and French President Emmanuel Macron called for a “rapid end to the institutional political vacuum in Lebanon” on Friday.

Lebanese lawmakers on Wednesday failed for a 12th time to elect a new president, as bitter divisions between the Iran-backed Hezbollah and its opponents risk miring the country in a protracted power vacuum.

The prolonged absence of a president “remains the major obstacle to resolving the country’s severe socio-economic crisis,” the French presidency said after the meeting between the president and Prince Mohammed in Paris.

The crown prince and Macron also “reiterated their shared commitment to security and stability in the Near and Middle East and expressed their desire to pursue their joint efforts to bring about a lasting easing of tensions,” a statement said.

The two intend to “develop and deepen the partnership between the two countries,” it added.

France will be prepared “to support Saudi Arabia in strengthening its defense capabilities” Macron said and he stressed “the willingness of French companies to continue to support Saudi Arabia in implementing its ambitious Vision 2030.”




French President Emmanuel Macron welcomes Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at the Elysee Palace in Paris on June 16, 2023. (Reuters)

The meeting followed the recent announcement of the resumption of diplomatic relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran, an event that caught France’s attention. The Elysee responded to it by saying “there is in this normalization of diplomatic relations with Iran a potential for easing tensions in the region that must be verified.”

In the view of the French, “the issue is not so much the normalization of relations with Iran but the demonstration of what Iran and Saudi Arabia together can make of this normalization on certain subjects where the two countries have so far been opposed.”

Therefore, the meeting offered a chance to review the effects this normalization could have on the main issues of common interest between France and Saudi Arabia, in particular the situations in Lebanon, Syria and Iraq, and the ongoing saga of the Iran nuclear deal.

On the situation in Syria, ahead of the meeting the French President was said to be “interested in hearing the crown prince tell him how to get President Bashar Assad to comply with a number of Saudi demands, the details of which are not yet known,” the Elysee said.

Iran’s nuclear program was expected to be discussed as “it is important for us to hear the crown prince's assessment of the intensity of the Iranian threat as he perceives it and what he expects from the restoration of diplomatic relations, as well as how he intends to deal with the Iranians on this issue.”

Outside of the region, the war in Ukraine was expected not to be overlooked despite the density of topics on the agenda. On the issue, Paris said it “does not have specific requests to make to Saudi Arabia, apart from the request made to all our partners to fully consider the fact that the war in Ukraine is a conflict with global implications and risks repercussions throughout the world, including the Middle East.”




French President Emmanuel Macron shakes hands with Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at the Elysee Palace in Paris on June 16, 2023. (Reuters)

It added: “What we ask the Saudis, like all our partners, is to help us speed up the end of the war,” which from a French viewpoint would mean victory for Ukraine on the ground, leading to peace negotiations with Russia aimed at restoring Ukrainian security and sovereignty.

In a broader context, the Elysee notes the crown prince’s visit, which takes place at his request, “aims to define the objectives of bilateral cooperation that are necessary for the partnership we have with Saudi Arabia in perfectly identified areas.”




Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman with Emmanuel Macron in Paris. (Reuters)

These areas include issues related to security and defense, and the energy transition, in particular the Kingdom’s lofty ambitions in terms of energy.

Regarding Saudi Arabia’s bid to host the Expo 2030, a decision on which is not due until autumn next year, France has already announced its support. It remains to be revealed whether the crown prince will attend the summit, organized by France, to discuss a new Global Financing Pact, which us due to take place on June 22 and 23.

During the gathering, Macron aims to assemble a broad coalition of willing countries to “produce the necessary funding shock to address both the needs of poverty reduction in the South, and as fair a green transition as possible,” the Elysee said.

With input from Reuters and Arab News en Francais


Saudi Arabia welcomes statement on agreement between Yemeni parties to lift economic sanctions

Yemen’s government and Houthis agreed to increase the frequency of Yemenia’s flights from Sanaa to Jordan from 1 to 3 a day.
Updated 11 sec ago
Follow

Saudi Arabia welcomes statement on agreement between Yemeni parties to lift economic sanctions

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia welcomed on Wednesday a statement issued by the UN’s special envoy for Yemen about an agreement between the country’s internationally recognized government and the Houthis to 

lift economic sanctions.

Hans Grundberg, the UN’s special envoy for Yemen, said on Tuesday that both parties agreed to ease economic hostilities by canceling their most recent actions taken against banks in areas the other controls and pledged to halt all such measures in the future.

They also agreed to increase the frequency of national carrier Yemenia’s flights from Sanaa to Jordan from one to three a day and to introduce daily flights from the capital to Cairo and India. In addition, the two sides will hold discussions about administrative, technological and budgetary issues related to the airline.

The Kingdom affirmed its continued support for Yemen, its government, and people, and its keenness to encourage efforts to reduce escalation and maintain calm.

The Kingdom hopes the agreement will contribute to dialogue between the Yemeni parties under the auspices of the Office of the UN Special Envoy for Yemen to discuss all economic and humanitarian issues in order to reach a comprehensive political solution to the Yemeni crisis within the framework of the road map to support the peace process in Yemen.


Camel culture comes to life at Jeddah Season 

Updated 18 min 4 sec ago
Follow

Camel culture comes to life at Jeddah Season 

  • Special pavilion highlights camels’ economic, cultural significance in Saudi society
  • Through illuminated murals and interactive touch screens, visitors are invited to delve into history

JEDDAH: The Ministry of Culture is bringing the “Year of the Camel” to life at Jeddah Season 2024 with a dedicated pavilion offering visitors an immersive experience of these iconic animals.

From life-size camel sculptures to interactive displays, the pavilion in City Walk, one of the Jeddah Season zones, showcases the camel’s enduring significance in society, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

Through illuminated murals and interactive touch screens, visitors are invited to delve into history and understand why 2024 was designated as the “Year of the Camel.”

These displays offer insights into the objectives behind honoring camels, and are provided in Arabic and English to provide access for a global audience.

The pavilion provides historical inscriptions dedicated to the animal, and the vast camel-related vocabulary in the Arabic language, the SPA stated.

One of the highlights of the pavilion is audio of camel sounds, each with its own name. These hold special significance in the daily lives of those who have long cherished the companionship of these remarkable animals.

The displays showcase the economic importance of camels, their role in ensuring food security, and the unique capabilities that have cemented their place in Saudi Arabia culture.


Design program for architects wraps up in Riyadh

Updated 24 July 2024
Follow

Design program for architects wraps up in Riyadh

  • A presentation showcased the journey of the participants during the program and highlighted the activities they took part in
  • Commission CEO Sumayah Al-Solaiman delivered a speech highlighting the commission’s “unwavering commitment” to investing in the development of Saudi architects and designers

RIYADH: The Architecture and Design Commission concluded the first Design Leadership Program with a ceremony in Riyadh attended by architecture and design experts, as well as program participants.

A presentation showcased the journey of the participants during the program and highlighted the activities they took part in, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Wednesday.

Commission CEO Sumayah Al-Solaiman delivered a speech highlighting the commission’s “unwavering commitment” to investing in the development of Saudi architects and designers.

Improving the skills of Saudis in the industry will allow them to become influential leaders, she added.

The developer of the Creative Leadership Course at the Future London Academy, Matt Hexemer, said in a speech that the Saudi program is a “pioneering initiative” that nurtures the Kingdom’s talents and fosters creativity.

Dialogue sessions were held at the ceremony, led by prominent speakers including Sarah Fayad, strategy and urban design senior manager at The Line in NEOM; and Ali Al-Shuaibi, president and founder of BEEAH Planners, Architects and Engineers Co.

The commission launched the program in May to cultivate the leadership skills of architects and designers, bolster their capacity to lead projects, and foster an environment that promotes collaboration in the local architecture and design community.


Saudi foreign deputy minister receives representatives of UN Syria envoy

Updated 24 July 2024
Follow

Saudi foreign deputy minister receives representatives of UN Syria envoy

RIYADH: Saudi Foreign Affairs Deputy Minister Saud Al-Sati received in Riyadh on Wednesday representatives from the office of the UN special envoy for Syria.

Al-Sati discussed the latest developments in Syria in a meeting with Chief Political Affairs Officer Robert Dunn and Political Affairs Officer Marwa Fouad, the ministry said on its official account on X.


More than 12 million liters of water pumped into Yemen by KSrelief

Updated 24 July 2024
Follow

More than 12 million liters of water pumped into Yemen by KSrelief

RIYADH: A water supply and environmental sanitation project in Yemen by Saudi aid agency KSrelief has continued to improve conditions for those living there.

From June 19-25, some 1,033,550 liters of drinking water and 10,849,000 liters of non-drinking water were provided in Hajjah. The project group worked in the Midi, Haradh, Hayran and Abs districts, as well as As-Ashour camp in the Razih area of Saada.

There were 38 trips to remove waste from displaced people’s camps, while in Saada 70,000 each of drinking and non-drinking water were pumped through, to the benefit of 30,100 people.

KSRelief pumps over 12 million liters of water into Yemen as part of water and sanitation project. (SPA)

KSrelief also launched a volunteer medical project for ear, nose, and throat surgeries and tumor removal in Mukalla, in the province of Hadhramaut.

The initiative, which started on July 20 for one week, involves 22 volunteers from various medical specialties. To date, the medical team has successfully performed 60 specialized surgeries.

Meanwhile, in Sudan, KSrelief concluded its project for urological surgeries in Port Sudan. The week-long scheme involved 11 volunteers with 119 successful specialized surgeries being carried out. 

KSrelief concluded the voluntary medical project for urological surgeries in Port Sudan. (SPA)