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ISSUE 63 OCT 2013


Saudi Arabia marked the 8th anniversary of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah’s accession to the throne on 6th May this year . In the course of these 8 years, the King has done much towards modernising and developing the Kingdom’s economy. The King has implemented a number of reforms this year, the prominent among them, allowing 30 women to take part in the Shura Council for the first time in the country’s history. The most distinguishing feature of the past eight years, has been the huge number of gigantic economic, social and educational projects. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia stands at the top of the pyramid of the countries that exceeded the limits of development by the Millennium Declaration of the United Nations in 2000. It is also on track to achieve a number of them before the proposed dates. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s experience in the era of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud has been characterized by seeking to achieve the Millennium Development Goals through integration of the Millennium Development Goals ( MDGs) within the objectives of the eighth and ninth development plans, and making the MDGs as part of the discourse of development and interim and long-term policies of the Kingdom. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia entered within the twenty major nations in the world as it participated in the summits of twenty which were held in Washington, London and Toronto. Through wisdom and skills in his leadership, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques has strengthened the role of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as well as its distinguished Arab and Islamic stands globally. Over the past eight years, Saudi Arabia has achieved great accomplishments covering every corner of the Kingdom and everyone of its members as well as promoted unity and

cohesion between the people and the leadership. The achievements during the eight years of the reign of King Abdullah bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud included the establishment of a number of economic cities; doubling the number of universities in the Kingdom from eight universities to nearly thirty universities; the opening of colleges, technical and health institutes and faculties of education for girls and the opening of King Abdullah University of Science and Technology and the University of Princess Nora Bint Abdulrahman. Saudi women have been enjoying the support of King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz to fully participate in political life. During the past years, the King has issued orders to boost Saudization, housing, employment, social welfare, health care and efforts to fight corruption. The king’s efforts also aimed at boosting the number of mosques, employees’ salaries, development, aid to citizens, the industry, the Two Holy Mosques, the economy and other areas.

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The Saudi Ambassador in Australia H.E Nabil bin Mohammed Al Saleh held on Thursday 26TH of September 2013 a reception at the Hyatt hotel in Canberra, to celebrate the 83rd National Day of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The Ceremony was attended by a number of Australian public and political figures along with ambassadors and dignitaries of various Arab and Islamic States. All guests, including Saudi students on scholarship, were received by Ambassador Al-Saleh, Deputy Ambassador Faisal Bin Ghazi Hefzi, Cultural AttachĂŠ Dr. Abdul Aziz Ben Taleb along with other members of the embassy. The ceremony started with the Saudi and Australian national anthem; followed by the Ambassador Al- Saleh and head of protocol at the Australian Department of Foreign affairs Ms. Sally Mansfield exchanging congratulations and best wishes to both countries. Ambassador Al Saleh also honored a number of outstanding Saudi students on scholarships for achieving excellence in their studies and research while in Australia by offering them a honorary plaque. The Ambassador also thanked the 12 Saudi student clubs presidents around Australia, along with the MC of the event, Ms Ghada Saad Shememary, by presenting them with an appreciation plaque for their efforts and achievements during their term in 2013.

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ISSUE 63 OCT 2013



n this important occasion of the 83 Saudi National Day of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, I am pleased and honoured to extend on behalf of the members of the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia, culture attachĂŠ, Saudi students in Australia and on my own behalf, our deep congratulations to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz, the Crown Prince His Royal Highness Prince Salman Bin Abdul Aziz, His Royal Highness Prince Muqrin Bin Abdul Aziz, Second Deputy Prime Minister , and the noble people of Saudi Arabia. Also I would like to expressed my sincere thanks to the Australian Governments and people of Australia for providing kind messages and wishes to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the occasion of 83 National Day which reflect the growing, positive and encouraging development in the relationship between the two countries on all levels . The National Day of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia reminds of the great achievements made by the late King Abdulaziz bin Abdulrahman Al Saud whose approach was followed by his sons until the current era of the Custodian of the Two Holy mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz

Al Saud. The National Day of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, represents crowning moment since the hand of our founding father King Abdulaziz bin Abdulrahman Al Saud, by the grace of Allah, signed the Royal Decree uniting the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia under the banner of Islam and declaring that day a national day. Since that day, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has successfully achieved the required balance between the developmental needs of our great nation and the values that underpin Saudi society. Importantly, the Kingdom and its citizens have managed to keep their values in the face of massive cultural, economic and developmental changes. As a result, the Kingdom has attained a very real and visible renaissance in all areas, and has enhanced its standing amongst nations. This achievement is reflected in the strong bond between the Kingdom’s leadership and its people. The national spirit and allegiance of all citizens to the country have helped push the nation forward in prosperity and progress. The relationship between Saudi Arabia and Australia , has continued to maintain a strong and cordial relationship that grows day by day in a positive way in building real partnerships between the two countries and developing it in more than one field. I am personally pleased to witness the growing number of Saudi students and their companions, who currently studying and staying in Australia, it now has reached over 17000 people. This not only strengthened people-to-people links, but has also created a unique and dynamic cultural bridge between our two countries. Likewise the balance of the trade exchange between the two countries showed a huge increase in the last few years and there is a true desire to sign up a free trade partnership between Australia and the Gulf Cooperation Council whose job is to increase trade exchange and economic relationships between the two sides.

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MESSAGE FROM FOREIGN MINISTER JULIE BISHOP ON NATIONAL DAY On the occasion of the National Day of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, it is with great pleasure that I convey my warm congratulations to His Majesty King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, and to the people of Saudi Arabia. Our bilateral relationship is based on friendship, deepening cooperation and mutual respect, recognising Saudi Arabia’s important role in Middle East and global affairs. Strong trade and investment links underpin our relations, with significant potential for expansion. Australian agriculture exports support Saudi Arabia’s food demands and Saudi Arabia is Australia’s largest global export market for passenger motor vehicles. We are pleased to host more than 11,000 Saudi tertiary students in Australia, which will have the effect of developing Saudi Arabia’s skills base while deepening people-to-people links between our two countries. We also welcome the growth in Saudi tourism to Australia and hope this develops even further. I note that many thousands of Australians will travel to Saudi Arabia next month to undertake the annual Hajj pilgrimage, highlighting our friendship. Our common membership of the G20 provides a welcome opportunity for close cooperation in addressing issues of global concern. I look forward to working closely with my Saudi Arabian counterpart in the lead up to and during Australia’s term chairing the G20 in 2014. I would like to take this opportunity to register my commitment to further strengthening our bilateral relationship, including our economic ties.

MESSAGE FROM TOM HARLEY AUSTRALIA SAUDI BUSINESS COUNCIL ON SAUDI NATIONAL DAY This year’s Saudi Arabian National Day marks a year of great achievement in the Kingdom and the Commonwealth’s relations. In February during the joint ministerial meeting a memorandum was executed establishing the Saudi Australian Business Council. The formation of the Council is a recognition of the developing relations between the two countries and the intent of business and community figures in both countries to develop relations further. The Council in Australia includes representatives of Austal, Australian Industry Group, the Australian National University, BAE Systems, Lend

Lease, Leighton Holdings, Toyota and WorleyParsons. In September the Council held a reception hosted by the Victorian Government to welcome the new Saudi Arabian Ambassador to Australia His Excellency Mr Nabil Saleh. On the occasion of the Saudi National Day the Australia Saudi Business Council offers its respects, felicitations and best wishes to The Custodian of the Holy Mosques - His Majesty the King Abdullah, the Government and people of Saudi Arabia every success and happiness for the year ahead.

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NATIONAL DAY MESSAGE FROM FORMER FOREIGN MINISTER CARR On the occasion of the National Day of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, I wish to extend my best wishes to the Government and the people of Saudi Arabia. Australia enjoys extensive ties with Saudi Arabia, a country of major strategic importance to the global economy and to regional stability. Our relationship is underpinned by shared common interests, trust and mutual respect. Australia was pleased to welcome the Saudi Minister for Agriculture, His Excellency Dr Fahd Abdurahman Balghunaim, in March this year for the ninth meeting of the Saudi Arabia-Australia Joint Ministerial Commission. Discussions focused on our economic engagement. Our countries enjoy strong bilateral trade and investment and robust cooperation in agriculture, energy and resources. It is expected that these links will continue to broaden in scope. It is important to note that our two countries are linked by more than formal diplomatic and commercial ties. We are more and more connected by family and kin. People-to-people links between Australia and Saudi Arabia are deepening and flourishing. Saudi Arabia hosts over 4,000 Australian expatriates and welcomes thousands of Australian Muslim pilgrims for the Hajj annually. Migration by Saudi Arabians to Australia is steadily increasing, as are the number of Saudi scholarship students choosing to study here. SaudiAustralians are making important contributions to the Australian community – in professional, skilled managerial and trade occupations. The friendship between Australia and Saudi Arabia is one that will endure and grow in strength year by year.

MESSAGE FROM ROLAND JABBOUR AUSTRALIA ARAB CHAMBER OF COMMERCE & INDUSTRY (AACCI) Australia and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia have their National Day. a long history of friendship, understanding and Roland Jabbour, National Chairman (AACCI) cooperation, and this relationship is vitally important. Australia also greatly values its close cooperation with Saudi Arabia in key international bodies, including the United Nations and the G20. There is a long and successful history of trade between our two countries. Bilateral trade in both directions continues to increase. We send our warmest greetings to His Majesty Kind Abdullah, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and the Government and people of Saudi Arabia on

October 2013 Issue 63 Vol 8


In celebration of 100 years of Canberra, the Saudi Arabian Embassy in Australia opened its doors to the public. This was the first official open day for the Saudi Embassy and it attracted almost 500 participants. It was an insightful experience with food, dates, Arabic coffee, posters and traditional Saudi items on display. Guided tours were also conducted by a number of embassy staff including Deputy Ambassador Faisal Bin Ghazi Hefzi and many other members along with their families. A video showcasing the event was also placed on YouTube highlighting the day and also positive community feedback.

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The Saudi ambassador to Australia Nabil bin Mohammed Al Saleh and the NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell coopened today the 3rd Peace & Harmony Interfaith International Conference , held by Al-Faisal Islamic College and the Australian Islamic Cultural Centre in Sydney. A number of senior dignitaries from the government, religious and social circles, led by the Mufti of Australia Dr. Ibrahim Abu-Mohammed, Chairman of Al-Faisal Islamic College Sheikh Shafiq Abddullah Khan and the leader of the parliament minority in the State John Robertson also attended the event. Addressing the gathering, Ambassador Al Saleh highlighted the efforts being exerted by the Kingdom, encouraging constructive dialogue and cultural contacts among the followers of religions in all societies. He also dealt with the role of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the field of terror combating and religious extremism in all its forms, particularly the role of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud to enhance dialogue among followers of religions and cultures, citing his initiative to establish King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz International Center for dialogue among

followers of religions and cultures in the Austrian capital of Vienna. The ambassador wished the conference every success. For his part, the NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell emphasized the role of dialogue and harmony among religions in the formation of the multi-civilization Australian society, praising the achievements reached by the State of Sidney in the field of co-existence initiatives.

UNIVERSITY OF CANBERRA HONOURS AMBASSADOR Saudi Ambassador to Australia Nabil Al Saleh has commended the scientific and cultural cooperation between Saudi and Australian universities and institutes, highlighting the extension of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Scholarship Program for another five years. This came during a dinner banquet held in Canberra by Dr. Stephen Parker, Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of Canberra in honor of Ambassador Al Saleh, which was also attended by the Deputy Ambassador Mr Faisal Hifzi , the Culture Attaché Dr Abdulaziz Bin Taleb and the Embassy staff and a number of Saudi schol-

arship students. For his part, Dr. Parker praised the Saudi students who receive their education at Canberra university as distinguished students. He also noted their eagerness to provide a bright and honorable picture of the cultural and developmental shift taking place in the Kingdom.

October 2013 Issue 63 Vol 8

Saudi Australia Bulletin Issue 63  

Bilateral News from Saudi Arabia to Australia. Featuring the Saudi National Day Celebrations at Canberra, Australia.