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Archive for Saudi Arabia

Newsline: Saudi King Appoints Son as Country’s Ambassador to US

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman has appointed his son, Prince Khaled bin Salman, as the country’s ambassador to the US, in a move said to point to strengthening ties to President Donald Trump. Prince Khaled is an Air Force pilot who has taken part in operations in Yemen and against ISIS, AP reports. The prince, who studied military aviation in the US and briefly attended both Harvard University and Georgetown, has been working as an adviser at the Saudi Arabian Embassy in Washington since last year. Khaled’s position will allow Trump a direct line to the Saudi monarchy, further signalling warmer relations between the two powers after a cooling following the Obama administration’s nuclear agreement with regional rival Iran.


Newsline: Saudi Embassy Confirms UK Attacker Had Been in Saudi Arabia

The man who killed four people outside Britain’s Parliament was in Saudi Arabia three times and taught English there, the Middle Eastern country’s embassy said. A Saudi Embassy statement released late Friday said that Khalid Masood taught English in Saudi Arabia from November 2005 to November 2006 and again from April 2008 to April 2009. The embassy said that he had a work visa. It said he returned for six days in March 2015 on a trip booked through an approved travel agent. The Saudi Embassy said that he wasn’t tracked by the country’s security services and didn’t have a criminal record there.


Newsline: Turkey’s Ambassador pledges to nab killers of Saudi Arabian

Ankara has stepped up efforts to bring the murderers of a Saudi citizen in Turkey to justice, said a top Turkish diplomat. Turkish Ambassador Yunus Demirer said: “My government will do all it can to apprehend those involved in this heinous crime.” Speaking on behalf of the Turkish government and its diplomatic mission in Riyadh, Demirer offered his “heartfelt condolences” to the bereaved family of Fahad Ibrahim Al-Doweirij, who was killed in the southern Turkish city of Mardin after a demonstration went on a rampage. The bodies of the Saudi victim and a Syrian were found on Oct. 8. He, however, said “this is an individual incident, which will not affect our ties.” Turkish authorities have announced that the Saudi citizen and the Syrian national had been killed by a group affiliated with the banned Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) group. The Saudi Embassy in Turkey is also closely following up on the case, said an SPA report.


Newsline: All embassy jobs to be Saudized

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs plans to Saudize all contract jobs at embassies abroad, including allocating a third of all positions for women. Deputy Foreign Minister Prince Khaled bin Saud said the plan would ensure 100 percent Saudization in Arab countries and 75 percent in missions in non-Arab countries. He said the ministry is “closer than ever to achieving these numbers,” and that it had previously not “employed non-Saudi citizens in official positions, be they diplomatic or administrative.” He said the ministry was working to ensure gender equality in the diplomatic corps. “The ministry does not distinguish between men and women in the Foreign Ministry. Women are given the same career options and are able to reach high positions like their male counterparts. In this regard, and as per the directives of the minister, we aim to allocate one third of all positions for women.”


Newsline: Saudi Arabia diplomats rack up the most unpaid traffic fines in Australia

Saudi Arabians posted to their embassy in Canberra appear to flout official requests to pay traffic and parking fines. Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade data shows staff at Middle Eastern missions rack up most of the overdue fines among the capital’s diplomatic community. Saudis attached to the nation’s embassy had amassed 125 outstanding infringement notices as of March, far more than any other country’s diplomatic corps. The Saudi tally was followed by Russia’s (49 fines), Jordan’s (35) and Kuwait’s (27). Some fines had gone unpaid for more than 15 months. Yet Saudi ambassador Nabil Al Saleh made it clear the practice of ignoring traffic and parking infringements was against his wishes. Most nations, including Australia, tell their envoys to pay such fines, deferring to the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations’ request that posted officials “respect the laws and regulations of the receiving state”.


Newsline: Saudi Arabia to reopen embassy in Baghdad

Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Ministry says the kingdom plans to reopen its embassy in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad once the situation improves in Iraq. Saudi Foreign Ministry spokesman Osama Nugali said on Saturday that the decision was made following a meeting between Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal and his Iraqi counterpart Ibrahim al-Jaafari in the Saudi Red Sea port of Jeddah earlier this year, English-language newspaper Arab News reported. “Prince Saud has assured al-Jaafari that the Saudi Embassy would be reopened in Baghdad,” he added. Nugali further noted that Riyadh has not given any time frame for the embassy’s reopening. Saudi Arabia needs to resolve “technical, administrative and security” issues before it can re-establish the mission and assign an ambassador, the senior Saudi official stated. The Saudi government, which has not dispatched an ambassador to Baghdad since 1990, named a non-resident ambassador, Fahd bin Abdul Mohsen al-Zaid, to the Iraqi capital in March 2012. Senior Iraqi officials have blamed Saudi Arabia, Qatar and some Persian Gulf Arab states for the growing terrorism in their country.


Newsline: Saudi Arabia shuts down embassy in Yemen

Saudi Arabia issued orders to shut down its embassy in Sana’a and evacuate Saudi nationals from Yemen, due to the country’s volatile security situation. “Orders were given to shut down the Saudi embassy in Sana’a and evacuate all officials and employees in the embassy until the situation in Yemen improves,” the Saudi newspaper Al-Watan cited an anonymous high-ranking Saudi diplomat as saying. “The charge d’affairs [acting ambassador] at the Saudi Embassy to Yemen, Haza’a Al-Mutairi, along with 50 other Saudi nationals working in the embassy left Sana’a,” said the diplomat. The embassy’s closure follows growing tensions between the Yemeni government and Houthi protesters in Sana’a who are calling for a new government and the reinstatement of fuel subsidies. The closure of the embassy affects Yemeni residents who want to get visas to work in Saudi Arabia.