Saudi Arabia, Japan leaders exchange views in video summit meeting

Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio held a productive video meeting with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Tuesday. (SPA)
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Updated 22 May 2024
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Saudi Arabia, Japan leaders exchange views in video summit meeting

  • The crown prince expressed his desire to visit Japan as soon as possible to further strengthen ties with Japan
  • Kishida expressed his wishes for King Salman’s early recovery

TOKYO: Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio held a productive video meeting with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the prime minister of Saudi Arabia, on Tuesday.
Kishida offered his best wishes for King Salman’s health, a gesture that was appreciated by the crown prince.
The crown prince expressed his desire to visit Japan as soon as possible to further strengthen ties with Japan. Kishida expressed his wishes for King Salman’s early recovery and said that he was also looking forward to strengthening the strategic partnership between Japan and Saudi Arabia, according to the foreign ministry in Tokyo.
As the two countries approach the 70th anniversary of their diplomatic relations, the Japanese prime minister expressed his desire to work even more closely with Saudi Arabia. He emphasized the shared goal of realizing peace and stability in the Middle East, a sentiment that was echoed by the crown prince. The leaders agreed to establish a “strategic partnership council” chaired by them to further strengthen bilateral relations.
Kishida expressed gratitude for Saudi Arabia’s stable supply of crude oil to Japan over the years. He also expressed his anticipation for Saudi Arabia to continue playing a leading role in stabilizing the global oil market, including through production increases, a sentiment that was appreciated by the crown prince.
Kishida added that he would like to cooperate in establishing a global supply chain for clean energy, such as hydrogen and ammonia, and promote cooperation in the field of mineral resources while using Japanese technology under the “lighthouse initiative” agreed between the two countries in July last year.
The crown prince said that Saudi Arabia would like to cooperate with Japan in various areas, including clean energy, and the Kingdom remained committed to providing a stable supply of crude oil to Japan.
Kishida expressed interest in creating business opportunities in Saudi Arabia, and making direct investments in Japan in a wide range of fields, including construction, power transmission, hydrogen, digital fields, information and communications technology, space, health, medicine, food and agriculture.
He also said that he would like to work together to achieve an early realization of the Japan-GCC free trade agreement. This agreement, once implemented, will significantly boost trade and investment between Japan and the GCC countries, creating new business opportunities and fostering economic growth. Negotiations are scheduled to resume soon.
The crown prince said that he welcomed the resumption of negotiations for the Japan-GCC free trade agreement and cooperation with Japan in fields beyond energy.
On peace and security, Kishida explained Japan’s diplomatic efforts and contributions in Gaza, including humanitarian aid and diplomatic initiatives. The crown prince said that he envisioned continued cooperation with Japan on diplomatic efforts to realize peace and stability, appreciating Japan’s active role in the region.
Kishida said that he would be pleased to hand over the symbolic “torch” of the expo to Saudi Arabia following Expo 2025 in Osaka-Kansai. This act symbolizes the continuation of the spirit of international cooperation and cultural exchange. He added that he would like to encourage cultural exchanges in entertainment, tourism, academia and football.
The crown prince said that Japan was an outstanding country in terms of culture and that he sought to strengthen cooperation with Japan in this area.
Read More: Saudi, Japan discuss ties at Vision 2030 business forum in Tokyo  


Authorities at Halat Ammar crossing see off departing Hajj pilgrims

Saudi authorities at the Halat Ammar border crossing, in the northwest of the Kingdom, continue to bid farewell to pilgrims.
Updated 13 min 16 sec ago
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Authorities at Halat Ammar crossing see off departing Hajj pilgrims

  • Worshippers expressed their gratitude to the Saudi government after being offered copies of the Qur’an, SPA said

RIYADH: Saudi authorities at the Halat Ammar border crossing, in the northwest of the Kingdom, continue to bid farewell to departing pilgrims.

Worshippers expressed their gratitude to the Saudi government after being offered copies of the Qur’an, Saudi Press Agency reported. 

Hajj 2024 ended on Tuesday and those pilgrims who visited Madinah before the annual pilgrimage have started to leave the Kingdom.  


Ministry supervises Riyadh slaughterhouses for Eid

Slaughterhouses in the Riyadh region received 8,623 slaughters on the fourth day of Eid Al-Adha. (SPA)
Updated 35 min 17 sec ago
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Ministry supervises Riyadh slaughterhouses for Eid

  • Ministry said its technical teams carried out 277 regulatory tours of markets and slaughterhouses in Riyadh and 510 visits to shops, stalls and yards

RIYADH: The Saudi Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture said that slaughterhouses in the Riyadh region received 8,623 slaughters on the fourth day of Eid Al-Adha.

This was through both fixed and mobile slaughterhouses supervised by the specialized teams from the ministry’s branch in the region, conducting regulatory operations and providing veterinary inspection services for all livestock.

The ministry said that its technical teams carried out 277 regulatory tours of markets and slaughterhouses in Riyadh and 510 visits to shops, stalls and yards in the region’s markets. These activities resulted in issuing 14 warnings and one violation for non-compliance with health regulations and requirements in slaughterhouses.

In addition, citizens and residents continued to respond positively to the community initiative, “One-third of the sacrifice,” contributing to meat donations for families in need. 

The Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture’s branch in the Riyadh region has made significant efforts during this year’s Eid Al-Adha season.

These included early preparations for organizing the main and temporary sheep markets, as well as the regular and mobile slaughterhouses.


Pilgrims hosted by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Guests Program visit historic Madinah sites

Pilgrims hosted by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Guests Program for Hajj, Umrah, and Visit toured holy sites in Madinah
Updated 59 min 31 sec ago
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Pilgrims hosted by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Guests Program visit historic Madinah sites

  • 2,000 pilgrims who are family members of Palestinians killed, injured, or taken prisoner by Israeli authorities are being hosted by the program this year

RIYADH: Pilgrims hosted by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Guests Program for Hajj, Umrah, and Visit toured holy sites in Madinah on Thursday, Saudi Press Agency reported.

The pilgrims visited the site of the Battle of Uhud, Rumah Mountain, the Cemetery of the martyrs of Uhud, and Quba Mosque as part of a cultural program planned by the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Dawah, and Guidance.

They were also informed about the religious significance of each of the sites.

3,322 pilgrims from 88 countries are being hosted by the program for Hajj this year. This figure includes 2,000 pilgrims who are family members of Palestinians killed, injured, or taken prisoner by Israeli authorities. 


Ministry begins issuing Umrah visas for post-Hajj season

Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Hajj and Umrah has started issuing Umrah visas for the post-Hajj season. (@AlharamainSA)
Updated 20 June 2024
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Ministry begins issuing Umrah visas for post-Hajj season

  • The new Umrah season will coincide with the start of the new Islamic year on Muharram 1
  • Move aims to streamline arrival of pilgrims to the Kingdom and ensure a smooth experience

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Hajj and Umrah has started issuing Umrah visas for the post-Hajj season, Saudi Press Agency reported on Thursday.

The new Umrah season will coincide with the start of the new Islamic year on Muharram 1, and the move aims to streamline the arrival of pilgrims to the Kingdom and ensure a smooth and worry-free experience.

The ministry is working diligently to implement the directives of the Saudi leadership and accommodate more Umrah pilgrims and provide services that meet their needs, SPA said. 


Al-Khaleej’s Mo Adams praises ‘incredible’ SPL revolution

Updated 2 sec ago
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Al-Khaleej’s Mo Adams praises ‘incredible’ SPL revolution

  • Eritrean-born British footballer is latest guest on Arab News’ ‘The Mayman Show’
  • Midfielder, 27, describes journey from early setback at Blackburn Rovers to stints in the US

Riyadh:  Eritrean-born British football player Mohammed Adams has praised the “incredible” revolution taking place in Saudi football in his appearance on the latest episode of Arab News’ “The Mayman Show.”

The Al-Khaleej star recalled his journey from the fields of England and the US to the Saudi Pro League.

Adams was set to start his professional career with Blackburn Rovers in England. He took part in a two-week training camp and was offered a professional contract, but a last-minute injury brought an end to his plans.

 

 

“On a Friday I’m supposed to sign the contract. In training, I’m dribbling down the line, cut the ball back. Some guy smashes my ankle. OK, at that point I’m like, damn, this is painful, I can’t walk,” he said.

“So, at that point it was like, go home, get scanned, and then the club rang me. They said ‘Mo, if you snap four ligaments in your left ankle, you can’t sign the contract.’ So, at that point, I was that close from turning pro, and it just gets snatched at the moment, you know what I’m saying?”

 

 

The 27-year-old recalled his somber spirits as a result of the setback. “Just honestly, at that point, I kind of wanted to stop playing football because I felt like everything I’d ever worked for was just snatched from me, like, in an instant,” he said.

Adams contemplated taking his efforts to the US since his attempts at turning professional in UK had hit a roadblock. “But even prior to that, like, you know how competitive it is in the UK, you know, if you get released at a certain age, you can’t expect to jump back at that same age or that same level. It’s like a pyramid. You gotta start at the bottom.”

Despite the setback, he continued playing the sport on a part-time basis. “People were working two jobs at the same time. So, it was like I had this little dream, but this wasn’t the right environment for me. So, that’s when I obviously took the step to the US and inspired a lot of people, because I was one of the first people out of the UK.

 

 

“So, I’d say that was probably like, seeing my actual dream come true and the perseverance that I went through eventually paid off.”

In the US’ Major League Soccer, the 27-year-old enjoyed stints with Chicago Fire, Atlanta United and Inter Miami.

After playing for five years in the US, Adams moved to Al-Shabab in the Kingdom in 2022.

Now at Al-Khaleej, the midfielder is full of praise for the revolution taking place in Saudi football as a result of Vision 2030.

 

 

“It’s incredible, honestly, and I’m honestly blessed to actually be in the Saudi Pro League and even, like, thinking about it —  I came I think in July, and Ronaldo came in December,” he said.

“I was so blessed to come at that time because now to come to Saudi and play in the Saudi league is not easy, man. I got all my friends hitting me up saying ‘yo, what’s the Saudi League like, man? I want to come’.”

The signing of top international players to the Saudi Pro League is more than a marketing strategy, Adam said. “They’re actually able to pull all these world-class players and to see that and to remember like, you know, my debut against Al-Ittihad and then playing against Benzema,” he added.

 

 

Facing off against top players in the Kingdom is adding “skills and knowledge” to Adams’ game.

“But it has so much potential. And I think people are really starting to tap in and pay attention to what Saudi is doing, not just in the sports sector, but in everything, you know, as a whole.”