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JULY 2012 ISSUE 55 VOL 7


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he appointment of Prince Salman as crown prince of Saudi Arabia by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah sends a strong message to the world, while ensuring a smooth transition in the Kingdom and proving it is a haven of stability in a region that’s been boiling with political unrest. Prince Salman, a veteran statesman and administrator, has been appointed the new crown prince of Saudi Arabia following the death of Prince Naif. “We have selected Prince Salman bin Abdul Aziz as crown prince and appointed him as deputy prime minister and minister of defense,” King Abdullah said yesterday in a royal decree. King Abdullah issued another decree appointing Prince Ahmed as interior minister, a post held by the late Prince Naif since 1975. Prince Ahmed was hitherto the deputy interior minister. After the burial of Prince Naif in Makkah on Sunday, the quick elevation of Prince Salman to the second most powerful position, though expected the world over, signaled that the royal family is a real political institution by displaying unity and continuity. Their move yet again fulfilled the aspiration of the Saudi people by providing a smooth change. “It was widely expected, so it came to confirm an expectation. I think that’s an indication of the strength of the element of continuity within the system,” said Asaad AlShamlan, a political science professor in Riyadh. Many analysts felt that Prince Salman would take a cautious approach to reforms, while stressing the key role he plays in handling major issues within the family. Eleanor Gillespie, a contributing editor of the Londonbased Gulf States Newsletter, said that Prince Salman’s

job as Riyadh governor has allowed him to serve as a generally very well-respected arbiter of Al-Saud family affairs, as well as overseeing the city’s emergence as Saudi Arabia’s capital. “Salman has a reputation for probity and for being ‘clean’ when it comes to money,” she added. “Prince Salman advocates a cautious approach to social and cultural reform. It appeared to me he had a good handle on the delicate balancing act he had to do to move society forward while being respectful of its traditions and conservative ways,” said Robert Jordan, who was US ambassador in Riyadh from 2001-03. “He doesn’t blindly accept everything the United States says, but at the same time he understands the importance of the relationship, which goes beyond oil,” Jordan added. Jane Kinninmont, a Middle East and North Africa senior research fellow from London’s Chatham House, said: “The new crown prince may adopt a more reform-

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“Prince Salman advocates a cautious approach to social and cultural reform. It appeared to me he had a good handle on the delicate balancing act he had to do to move society forward while being respectful of its traditions and conservative ways,” Robert Jordan, Former US Ambassador in Riyadh

ist approach... But don’t expect change to come quickly or dramatically.” “Crown Prince Salman is obviously the correct choice based on Saudi succession…He is well known within Saudi Arabia, but also to international delegations,” said Theodore Karazik, director of research at the Institute for Near East and Gulf Military Analysis in Dubai. “He will be able to help pick the second generation of Saudi princes to be promoted to national level office so that the succession process continues to be steady...and will likely advance King Abdullah’s reform agenda.” Karazik said. Prince Salman’s appointment as crown prince has been widely welcomed by Saudis, expatriates and foreign diplomats. He has established strong relations with tribal leaders across the Kingdom and with many foreign heads of state. Last April, he visited the United States and Britain and met with President Barack Obama and Prime Minister David Cameron. Prince Salman was born in Riyadh on Dec. 31, 1935, and received his education at the Prince’s School in the Saudi capital. He served as deputy governor of Riyadh from

March 1954 to April 1955, and governor of Riyadh from April 1955 to December 1960 and again from February 1963 to Nov. 5, 2011, when he was appointed minister of defense. Prince Salman has played a significant role in the remarkable development of the Riyadh Province. He also made considerable efforts to strengthen Saudi Arabia’s relations with countries in the East and the West. Since 1956, he has chaired various humanitarian and service committees that alleviated the suffering of the victims of natural and man-made disasters. He has received many medals and honors from Bahrain, Bosnia, France, Morocco, Palestine, the Philippines, Senegal, the United Nations and Yemen as well as the King Abdulaziz Medal of the First Order. He is a recipient of several honorary degrees and academic awards, including an honorary doctorate from the Islamic University of Madinah and the Kant Medal by the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities. Under Prince Salman’s leadership, the Defense Ministry announced plans to modernize the armed forces and also bought sophisticated fighter jets and other aircraft from both the US and UK. In May the Kingdom signed a $ 3 billion deal with Britain to buy trainer jets for its air force. A few days ago, Salman visited Spain to strengthen military cooperation with the country. In the summer resort of Taif, King Abdullah yesterday received a number of Saudi and foreign dignitaries, who came to convey their condolences on the death of Prince Naif. They included King Juan Carlos of Spain, King Hamad of Bahrain, Malaysian Prime Minister Muhammad Najib, Senegalese Prime Minister Abdoul Mbaye, Vice President of Comoro Islands Muhammad Ali Saleh, former Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, Indonesian Interior Minister Gamawan Fauzi, Yemeni Foreign Minister Abu Bakr Al-Qirbi and Interior Minister Maj. Gen. Abdul Qader Qahtan, Omani Minister of Heritage and Culture Haithem bin Tarek, and Vice Chairman of Libyan National Council Mustafa AlHawni.

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inister for Foreign Affairs, Bob Carr visited the Sultanate of Oman and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, strengthening Australia’s ties with the Middle East. Senator Carr’s visit to Oman was the first by an Australian Foreign Minister in at least two decades. Senator Carr’s discussions with his Omani hosts, including the Minister Responsible for Foreign Affairs, HE Yousuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah, covered a range of bilateral issues, including the potential for growth in our economic and education links. “Agriculture, aquaculture and mining were identified as areas for expanded commercial engagement,” Senator Carr said. “Oman is delivering a strong message that the nation is “open for business”.” Regional security issues, including piracy were also discussed. The Minister highlighted Australia’s ongoing support for regional counter-piracy efforts, reinforcing Australia interest in working with Oman to pursue a common approach on piracy among countries of the Indian Ocean rim. Senator Carr also met Oman-based members of the Australian business community. “I commend the recent establishment of an Australian Business Group in Oman as “a positive step” for bilateral commercial ties,” Senator Carr said. Senator Carr’s visit to Saudi Arabia reinforced Australia’s commitment to expanding our extensive ties with a country of major strategic importance to the global economy and to regional stability.

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Senator Carr and his Saudi counterpart HRH Prince Saud Al-Faisal also had a productive exchange on regional security developments, including the situation in Syria. “Saudi Arabia is our second largest trading partner in the Gulf,” Senator Carr said. “Total bilateral trade was $1.9 billion in 2011. “Saudi scholarship students studying in Australia under the King Abdullah Scholarship Program (around 11,000) make up the largest group of students from the Middle East.”

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l-Faisal Islamic College and the Australian Islamic cultural Center in Sydney have organized a farewell Ambassador Nazer with Dr Ibrahim dinner in honor of H.E. HasAbu Mohammad, Mufti of Australia san Talat Nazer the AmbassaAmbassador Nazer with Mr. Shafiq dor of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to Australia, at the end Rahman Abdullah Khan of his term as ambassador in the Australian capital Canberra. Mr. Shafiq Rahman Abdullah Khan, The founder and president of Al-Faisal College and the Islamic Cultural Center in Australia, delivered a speech welcoming H.E Nazer,; he also praised the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s contribution and substantial role in the dissemination of respect, dialogue and cooperation, which make the Ambassador Nazer with Mr. Ali Roude Kingdom earn respect and appreciation of all Muslims and countries in the world. Ambassador praising both the Saudi Arabia leaderships. Abdullah Khan praised the initiatives of the CustoThere were also speeches by Australian officials and redian of the Two Holy Mosques and the global conferligions’ representatives who expressed their thanks and ences held under his auspices for better understanding appreciation to Ambassadors Nazer. between all religions and cultures, in service to society At the end of the ceremony Shafiq Al-Rahman Abdullah humanity. Khan, the President of Al-Faisal college, grant shields for The Mufti of Australia, Dr Ibrahim Abu Mohammad each of H.E Nazer in recognition of his services to the gave a speech in which he expressed his appreciation and Arab and Muslim communities. respect for each of H.E. Mr. Hassan Nazer, the Saudi

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Record attendance of Arabic countries at Sydney’s 2012 Australia Arab Business Forum & Expo provide huge potential for Australia to increase trade.

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Record attendance of Arabic countries at Sydney’s 2012 Australia Arab Business Forum & Expo was held on 5 June 2012 at The Sheraton on the Park Hotel, Sydney. Business and governments from more than 14 Middle Eastern and North African (MENA) countries are sending representatives to Australia’s only event promoting business between the two regions. A delegation of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the forum included Reda bin Abdulmohsen Al-Nuzha, Saudi Deputy ambassador to Australia; Eng. Osamah Al-Kurdi, Member of Majlis Al-Shura, Dr. Abdulaziz Al-Babtain, and representatives of Saudi companies. During a two-day forum, issues pertaining to enhance investment between Arab countries and Australia were discussed. , The Hon Justine Elliot Australian Parliamentary Secretary for Trade commended Saudi Arabia as the important trading partner for Australia In the opening Address to Australian Arab Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s Business Forum and Expo held on 5 June 2012 at The Sheraton on the Park Hotel, Sydney. “ Australia enjoy nearly $2 billion a year in merchandise trade between ourselves and Saudi Arabia, with Australian exports made up of passenger vehicles, meat and milk Hon Justine Elliot said , . Because of the strong two-way trade relationships we’ve built, people across the Middle East are now able to access the best quality

Australian products. In 2011, Saudi Arabia was Australia’s single largest export market for passenger motor vehicles. Seven out of every ten of our automotive exports go to the Gulf Cooperation Council area. The importance of the Middle East as a market for Australia continues to grow, including in services. Education is one of Australia’s leading export industries, and we’re continuing to attract students from the Middle East. We had over 22,000 student enrolments from the Middle East in Australia in 2011. That includes 11,700 from Saudi Arabia. 1,300 from the United Arab Emirates. 1,100 from Lebanon. And 1,200 from Egypt. Record Arabic attendance at Forum highlights potential for trade Record attendance of Arabic countries at Sydney’s 2012 Australia Arab Business Forum & Expo provide huge potential for Australia to increase trade.

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“We are excited that the Forum will give Arabic countries the attention by Australian businesses that they deserve,” said Mr Giller. At the Forum, Oman will showcase its $50 million in infrastructure development currently under way. 2 This will include five new airports, the upgrading of the Muscat and Salala airports as well as new ports. The Government of Oman is currently building the planned Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) rail network which will link the major construction

“Australia is now seen as a destination for business right across the MENA region. said Mr Syd Giller, Chairman of the Australia Oman Business Council, set up in Melbourne in 2010. “This expanded presence of Arabic businesses at the Forum will put the focus on new export opportunities. “It will also highlight the tremendous opportunities for joint ventures both here overseas.” Countries represented at the Forum, to be held at Sydney’s Sheraton on the Park, include Oman, Qatar, Egypt, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Libya, Lebanon, Syria, Morocco, Palestine, as well as India.

hubs in the six GCC countries. Major tourism developments both in resorts and tourism activities are also being undertaken, including a $400 million resort development awarded to a major Australian construction group. “This is a good example of an Australian company participating in opportunities in Oman and highlights the opportunities for many others,” said Mr Giller, a member of the Council for Australia Arab Relations (CAAR), Chairman of the Australia Arab Chamber of Commerce and Industry (AACCI) for 7 years and who has lived and worked in the Middle East for more than 30 years. “In the last 10 yrs there has been a considerable inflow of Omani investment in Australian agriculture and in commercial and residential property. “The majority of Omani students are choosing Australia for under-graduate and post-graduate education, with 800 currently studying here.”

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audi Ambassador to Australia, Hassan Bin Talat Nazer, patronized a graduation ceremony of 270 Saudi students on scholarships at Australian universities who have been awarded PhD’s, Master’s, and Bachelor’s degrees. Addressing the ceremony, Ambassador Nazer commended the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Program for Foreign Scholarships, as well as, the initiatives of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, for the development of higher education to prepare a promising generation based on creativity and knowledge to contribute to the progress and comprehensive development of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The Ambassador also patronized the graduation ceremony of the third group flight technicians of the Saudi’s National Guard at the headquarters of the Australian air academy in the city of Brisbane. Also Ambassador Nazer attended the, the graduation ceremony of thirteenth group of the National Guard pilots who graduated from the Academy of Aviation in the Sunshine city of in the state of Queensland. Ambassador Nazer conveyed the greetings and congratulations of the Custodian of the Two Holy

Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Crown Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz wishing the graduates success and success.. The Saudi Air National Guard Brigadier Omar bin Fahd alhusan conveyed congratulations to all Graduates on behalf of Prince Miteb bin Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, Minister of State, Cabinet’s Member, and Commander of Saudi National Guard. Brigadier Alhusan commended Graduates for their effort and perseverance during the training course and wished them further successes. At the end of the ceremony, the Ambassador Nazer with the assistant cultural attaché in Australia, Dr. Abdul Aziz Bin Taleb presented certificates to all graduates.

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