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The Bulletin May Issue 32:Layout 1 29/05/09 10:41 PM Page 1

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May 2009 Issue 32 Vol 4

King Abdullah receives Australian Foreign Minister Stephen Smith Ambassador Nazer praises visit made by MP Stephen Smith

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud has received Australian Foreign Minister Stephen Smith and his accompanying delegation at the Royal Court at Al Yamamah Palace. During the meeting, the King sent his regards H.E Ambassador to Governor General of Australia Quentin Bryce Hasan Talaat Nazer and Australia’s Prime minister Kevin Rudd. e has praised the recently-concluded visit meeting was also attended by Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al Faisal; Chief of General to the Kingdom by Intelligence Prince Muqrin bin Abdulaziz and a Australia's Foreign number of princes and officials. Minister Steven Smith honouring its great success. In a statement, the Saudi ambassador also said that the the Kingdom as Australia's second biggest trade visit constituted an example of the vigorouspartner in the Gulf region and second biggest ness of relations between the two countries Australian auto market. He also cited that Saudi over the last period, citing the increasing num- Arabia is a key market for Australian products in ber of more than 8,000 Saudi students studythe Gulf and Middle East, particularly automoing in Australia, and the high classification of biles, tiny industries and diary and goats products.


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he Australian Foreign Minister MP Stephen Smith has made a historical visit to Saudi Arabia, being the first time since 2003 an Australian foreign minister has visited the Kingdom. Arriving at King Khalid International Airport, MP Stephen Smith was received by Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Dr. Nizar bin Obaid Madani, Saudi Ambassador to Australia Hassan Tala'at Nazer, Chief of Protocol at Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ambassador Ala'edin Askari and Australian Ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi

MP Stephen Smith with Speaker of Majis al Shoura Dr Abdullah Al Al-Sheikh

MP Stephen Smith with HRH. Prince Naif

Arabia Kevin Magee. On the first day of his visit the minister met with the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and his accompanying delegation at the Royal Court at Al Yamamah Palace. During the meeting, the King sent his regards to Governor General of Australia Quentin Bryce and Australia's Prime minister Kevin Rudd. Topics of mutual interest were also discussed. e meeting was also attended by Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al Faisal; Chief of General Intelligence Prince Muqrin bin Abdu-


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MP Stephen Smith with Saudi Foreign Minster Saud Al faisal (left) with GCC Secretary General Abdulrahman Al Atiyah (above)

laziz and Minister for Interior HRH Prince Naif bin Abdul-Aziz Al-Saud along with a number of princes and officials. e conglomerate discussed ways to enhance the relationship between Australia and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, through increased cooperation in trade and investment, education links and counter-terrorism. e parties agreed on the importance of intensified dialogue and cooperation to address regional and international security challenges, including between Australia and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). e countries of the GCC (Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates) are a major export market for Australia, with total merchandise trade worth $12.3 billion in 2008. Following his visit to the King, MP Stephen Smith met with Dr. Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Ibrahim Al-sheikh, the President of AlShoura (Consultative) Council. Dr. Al Alsheikh appreciated the Australian efforts to provide facilities to Saudi students on scholarship in universities and educational institutes of Australia, noting that the large number of Saudi students in Australia will increase and deepen the existing bilateral relations between the two countries and peoples. During the meeting, they discussed all issues of common interest between the two countries as well as ways of enhancing parliamentary cooperation between the two countries. MP Smith then met with GCC Secretary-General HE Abdul Rahman bin Hamad Al-Attiyah to discuss the formalisation of a Ministerial-level di-

alogue between Australia and GCC countries. He also met with Minister for Commerce and Industry HE Mr Zainal Alireza to discuss negotiations towards an Australia-GCC Free Trade Agreement. Following his trip to Riyadh, MP Smith travelled to Jeddah, the commercial hub of Saudi Arabia holding the Kingdom's largest port. e port in Jeddah receives the majority of Australian goods that arrive in the Kingdom, including passenger motor vehicles, grain and sheep. ere are approximately 1,000 Australians living in Jeddah. Several thousand Muslim Australians also arrive in Jeddah each year before travelling to Mecca for the Hajj or Umra pilgrimages. While in Jeddah MP Smith met with Professor Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, Secretary-General of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC), at its headquarters in Jeddah. e OIC is the world's second largest international organisation after the United Nations, and represents 57 nations. Professor Ihsanoglu and I will discuss ways of improving links between Australia and the OIC. MP Smith also visited Mr Abdul Lateef Jamil who is the largest importer of Australian-made automobiles in the Middle East.

MP Stephen Smith meets with Prince Al Waleed pg.4


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Prince Al Waleed with Foreign Minister Stephen Smith, Ambassador Alaudeen Alaskary, Chief of Protocol for the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ambassador Hassan Nazer

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RH Prince Alwaleed bin Talal bin Abdulaziz Alsaud, Chairman of Kingdom Holding Company (KHC) received MP Stephen Smith, Australian Minister of Foreign Affairs on 3rd May 2009. e Prince hosted a dinner in honor of his guest at Kingdom Resort. e Minister was accompanied by a delegation that included Mr. R Kevin Magee, Australian Ambassador to Saudi Arabia and Mrs. Magee, Mr. Hassan Nazer, Saudi Ambassador to Australia,Mr. Andrew Dempster, Deputy Chief of Staff in the Minister’s Office and Ms. Rachel Moseley, Assistant Advisor, Minister’s Office. e meeting was also attended by Ambassador Alaudeen Alaskary, Chief of Protocol for the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Hassan Nazer, Saudi Ambassador to Australia, Ms. Nahla Alanbar Personal Executive Assistant to HRH the Chairman, Mr. Fahad Alofy Executive Assistant to HRH the Chairman and Ms. Amani Al Qahtani, Assistant Executive Manager of HRH’s Palaces. e meeting began as the Minister thanked

Prince Alwaleed for giving him the opportunity to meet with him. e two touched upon the latest regional and international developments on the social and economic front. Furthermore, the Minister discussed investment opportunities in Australia and extended an invitation from the Australian Prime Minister to HRH to visit the country. Moreover, Mr. Smith was keen on listening to the Prince’s views and pointed out that the Prince is well known for his significant and successful projects as he has a special vision for future potential investments where Australia may benefit from. e Prince’s investments in Australia include investments in the banking sector through Citigroup, the hospitality sector through Four Seasons and Swissotel and via the media sector through News Corp, and LBC as it is the most popular Arab channel in Australia. In 2007, Prince Alwaleed received an Australian Parliamentary Delegation headed by Hon. Peter Slipper, MP and on a different occasion HRH received an Australian Businesswomen’s delegation headed by Ms. Fiona Hill.


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audi Arabia and Australia have agreed to boost ties in education, commerce and counterterrorism efforts. Australia is also discussing with the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) plans to upgrade bilateral contacts by holding ministerial level dialogue as part of a wider consultation process. “We have discussed ways and means to enhance the relationship between the Kingdom and Australia on the one hand and between Australia and the GCC on the other through increased cooperation in trade and investment, education links and counterterrorism,” said Australian Foreign Minister Stephen Smith after holding wideranging talks with Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah in Riyadh on Sunday. Smith also held talks with Prince Naif, second deputy premier and minister of interior. He called on GCC Secretary-General Abdul Rahman Al-Attiyah and Chairman of the Shoura Council Abdullah Al-Asheikh before leaving for Jeddah yesterday. is is the first visit of an Australian foreign minister to Riyadh in five years. Smith is scheduled to meet Minister of Commerce and Industry Zainal Alireza today to discuss progress of negotiations on the Australia-GCC Free Trade Agreement. “We discussed the importance of intensified dialogue and cooperation to address re-

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gional and international security challenges, individual and collective responses to global economic crisis,” said Smith referring to his talks with Saudi officials. In a statement obtained by Arab News, Smith said Australia places a high priority on enhancing relationship with Saudi Arabia.” “Saudi Arabia is strategically significant, the world’s largest oil exporter and the largest economy in the Gulf ... Saudi Arabia is our second largest trade partner in the Gulf, with merchandise trade valued at $3.4 billion in 2008,” he said, adding that the Kingdom is Australia’s second largest market for passenger motor vehicles, worth $1 billion in 2008. is is in addition to the increasing people-topeople contacts between Australia and Saudi Arabia, he added. More than 4,000 Australians live and work in Saudi Arabia, while about 7,000 Saudis study in various Australian educational institutions. “We continue to discuss our individual and collective responses to the global financial and economic crisis,” said Smith, adding that the two countries share common interests in combating terrorism and extremism.


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Australia's Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Tony Burke has commended the results of his recent visit to Saudi Arabia, during which he met with Minister of Agriculture Dr Fahd bin Abdulrahman Balghunaim, Minister of Commerce and Industry Abdullah bin Ahmad Zainal Ali Reza and a number of Saudi officials. In a statement issued, he said that his visit has resulted in signing a number of agreements on improvement of the quality of Australian exports, facilitation of the procedures for exporters and promotion of agricultural relations between the two countries. e Australian minister pointed to the success of his meetings with dairy importers in Saudi Arabia which is considered the second largest importer of Australian dairy products accounting for nearly 34,000 tons, worth $ 155 million, in 2007 - 2008. Tony Burke also said that he has signed on a memorandum of understanding with Saudi Arabia on live cattle export. He has given an address at the Northern Territory Cattlemen’s Association conference, where he said a big part of Minister of Agriculture Mr Tony Burke his international trip was in hope of expanding the live-cattle export industry. Mr. Burke’s trip has led to the improvement Burke said he told Middle Eastern representatives about the of the quality of Australian exports, facilitastrength of the Australian agriculture industry, and is securtion of the procedures for exporters and promotion of agricultural relations between ing memorandums of understanding with governments there. both Australia and Saudi Arabia. “I signed one of those agreements in Saudi Arabia and


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Three Photographs of Jeddah win best photos of 2008

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i hree photographs were awarded the 2008 Bride of the Red Sea award for best picture, following an electronic vote on the Jeddah Governorate website. Mayor of Jeddah, Adel Bin Mohammed Faqih congratulated the three winners of the competition. Winner in first-place with a photograph entitled "Cultural Landmarks of Jeddah" was Behi Mustafa Mushat of Mecca. He said that he had tried to include the Al-Anani Mosque, the Jeddah fountain, and the Aljamoum Trade Centre in the photograph, in addition to the Red Sea, in order to vividly express the varied aspects and activities of life in Jeddah, with regards to Islamic civilization, tourism, and shopping. Nasser Al Jedani's photograph "Jeddah's Fountain" came in second place, and third runner-up was Muwafaq Jamal Al Sherif's photograph "Enlarged Birds with Jeddah's Fountain." Dr. Arwa Al Aama. Director of Electronic Com-

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there’s another agreement that we nearly have arrived at a landing place with,” he said. “ere’s probably a couple of weeks of discussions to go in Bahrain.” Burke also told the cattlemen’s conference he will stand side by side with the industry to defend Australia. He said he is proud of the industry and believes animal welfare standards are very high. He said he is committed to its continued improvement of the country’s cattle industry. Earlier, the New Zealand government said it intends to end the six-year moratorium on live sheep exports to the Kingdom, but added that it will have to be assured the animals are properly treated on the trip to Saudi Arabia and when they get there. New Zealand Agriculture Minister David Carter has confirmed shipments would resume under those conditions.e sheep were being bred for export in Napier by a company majority-owned by Saudi Arabian interests. “ere’s a particular breed of sheep Saudi Arabia was interested in obtaining,” Carter said. “If we can provide the security and safety around the arrangement with the Saudi Arabian government, I see it as being another opportunity.” He said live sheep would not leave the country unless there was an assurance of their treatment on the water and when they arrived in Saudi Arabia. munication [of the Jeddah Governorate] said that the Best Picture of Jeddah competition, which ran for three months, was launched to promote communication and interaction between the Jeddah governorate and its visitors and fans. She also added that this was only the first competition of a series of competitions to promote its website.


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H.E. the Ambassador of Saudi Arabia to Australia Hassan Talaat Nazer expressed thanks and satisfaction with the measures undertaken by the Australian authorities on the search for the Saudi student Hassan Al-Qahtani (aged 25 ), who went missing at the end of last week on the beach at Wollongong in New SouthWales, Australia. Ambassador Nazer in a media interview in front of the Wolllongong police station,said that "the efforts being made to find the missing student are great, also the police and the authorities are doing their job well." Describing the search process from the beginning he said "the embassy had requested the police to continue and intensify the search to find the missing student." In response to press reports which indicated that the missing student is the son of a senior figure in Saudi Arabia, Ambassador Nazer said, “the father is ordinary citizen and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia treats its own citizens equally, and there are no citizens in the Kingdom of

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Family members gather at the site

low-level, middle and significant, but all are equal in citizenship and loyalty to the kingdom." e student's father and three of his family members arrived in Australia after great efforts made by ambassador Nazer with the Australian Ambassador in Dr. Abdulaziz bin Ibrahim Alomari an elected Riyadh City Riyadh Kevin Maggie to facilitate visa Councillor from the Capital of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, procedures for them. Upon arrival they has met with the Deputy Mayor of City of Canterbury Coun- went to the scene on the beach of Wolcil in Sydney Australia, Councillor Khodr Saleh along with the longong, accompanied by Ambassador Council director to discuss local governments in Australia and Hassan Talat Nazer and Cultural Atcompare the range of activities provided to our communities. taché, Dr. Ali al-Beshri and a number of Dr Abdulaziz was impressed by the commitment that City of members of the Saudi embassy in CanCanterbury provides to specialist services in its multicultural berra. community, such as language aid services and the Multicultural ey held a meeting with police officials Advisory Committee also asking many questions about the his- who explained the actions taken since tory and community in Canterbury City. they were informed of the incident and how the search was implemented by a Councillor Al – Omari was also presented with publications team of 47 people, police, helicopters, such as our latest Social Profile and the City of Canterbury rescue boats and volunteers. plaque as a gesture of friendship between the two cities.

32 - Bulletin May 2009 Issue 32  

www.saudiaustraliaonline.com May 2009 Issue 32 Vol 4 the Kingdom as Australia's second biggest trade partner in the Gulf region and second b...

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