Lazio Defeat Juventus To Win Super Cup

Lazio’s Italian forward Ciro Immobile runs after the ball during the Supercoppa Italiana final football match between Juventus and Lazio at the King Saud University Stadium in the Saudi capital Riyadh on December 22, 2019.
GIUSEPPE CACACE / AFP

 

Lazio won the Italian Super Cup for a fifth time on Sunday, defeating Cristiano Ronaldo’s Juventus 3-1 in a game played in the Saudi Arabia capital of Riyadh.

Lazio, the only team to have defeated Juve in Serie A this season, were in front through Luis Alberto after just 16 minutes.

Paulo Dybala levelled just before the break but Bosnian international Senad Lulic restored Lazio’s advantage in the 73rd minute.

Danilo Cataldi added a third in the fourth minute of stoppage time from a free kick after Juve’s Uruguayan midfielder Rodrigo Bentancur had been sent off.

Qatar Emir To Skip Riyadh Summit Dampening Hopes

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz        Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani / AFP

 

Qatar’s emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, will not attend the Gulf summit in Riyadh, state media reported Tuesday, dampening hopes of a reconciliation between Doha and a Saudi-led bloc.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt cut all diplomatic and transport ties with Qatar in June 2017 over allegations it backs radical Islamists and seeks closer ties with Saudi arch rival Tehran.

Qatar vehemently denies the allegations.

The emir named Prime Minister Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al-Thani to lead the Qatari delegation to Tuesday’s summit of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), the official QNA said.

Hopes of reconciliation were high after signs of a thaw between Qatar and its former allies.

Following Saudi King Salman’s invitation to the emir, Qatar’s foreign minister said there had been “some progress” in talks with Riyadh.

Some observers had said that the summit could pave the way for a “reconciliation conference”.

Others remained sceptical, saying he was only following protocol and had invited the Qatari leader to last year’s summit as well.

Qatar’s prime minister attended a series of talks in Saudi Arabia in May, one of the first high-level contacts of the two-year boycott.

Even before the Saudi-led blockade, relations had been rocky, in part because of Qatar-based broadcaster Al Jazeera’s critical coverage of the region’s affairs and Doha’s support for the Arab Spring uprisings of 2011.

The rift has seen the two sides trade barbs on everything from access to the Muslim holy city of Mecca to alleged Twitter hacking.

AFP

Saudis Distance Themselves From US Naval Base Shooter

Military personnel carry a transfer case for fallen service member, U.S. Navy Ensign Joshua Kaleb Watson, 23, during a dignified transfer at Dover Air Force Base on December 8, 2019 in Dover, Delaware. Mark Makela/Getty Images/AFP

 

Saudi Arabia sought to distance itself Saturday from a student who carried out a fatal shooting at an American naval base, as it seeks to repair its image of being an exporter of Islamic extremism.

The Saudi military trainee reportedly condemned the US as a “nation of evil” before going on a rampage Friday at Naval Air Station Pensacola in Florida, killing three people and wounding eight.

The shooting marks a setback in the kingdom’s efforts to shrug off its longstanding reputation for promoting religious extremism after the September 11, 2001 attacks in which 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudis.

The hashtag “Saudis stand with America” gained traction on social media after King Salman telephoned President Donald Trump to denounce the shooting as “heinous” and pledge cooperation with American officials to investigate the incident.

The king added in the phone call on Friday that the shooter, who was gunned down by police, “does not represent the Saudi people”.

The family of the shooter, identified as Mohammed al-Shamrani, echoed the same sentiment.

The pro-government Okaz newspaper quoted one of his uncles, Saad al-Shamrani, as saying that his actions do not reflect the “humanity and loyalty of his family” to the kingdom’s leadership.

Prince Khalid bin Salman, the king’s younger son and the deputy defence minister, offered his “sincerest condolences” to the families of the victims.

“Like many other Saudi military personnel, I was trained in a US military base, and we used that valuable training to fight side by side with our American allies against terrorism and other threats,” Prince Khalid said on Twitter.

“A large number of Saudi graduates of the Naval Air Station in Pensacola moved on to serve with their US counterparts in battlefronts around the world, helping to safeguard the regional and global security. (The) tragic event is strongly condemned by everyone in Saudi Arabia.”

 ‘Owe a debt’ 

The incident is unlikely to affect Washington’s close relations with Riyadh, with both governments seeking military and diplomatic cooperation to counter Shiite power Iran.

Seeking to emphasise the close ties, many Saudis on social media highlighted American media reports about two exchange students from Saudi Arabia who drowned last year in Massachusetts after rushing into a river to rescue two small children.

But Florida Governor Ron DeSantis suggested Riyadh should offer compensation to the victims.

“The government of Saudi Arabia needs to make things better for these victims, and I think they’re going to owe a debt here given that this is one of their individuals,” DeSantis told US media.

Saudi citizens strongly rejected the view on social media, with one Twitter user saying: “The government of Saudi Arabia is not responsible for every single individual with a Saudi passport.”

Relatives of the victims of the 2001 attacks are also suing Saudi Arabia for compensation even though Riyadh has strongly denied complicity in the attacks.

Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has sought to project a moderate image of his austere kingdom, often associated in the West with jihadist ideology.

Prince Mohammed has promoted what observers call a de-emphasis on religion as he pursues a sweeping modernisation drive that has allowed mixed-gender music concerts and ended decades-long bans on cinemas and women drivers.

Saudi Arabia, which is home to Islam’s holiest sites in Mecca and Medina and where the practice of other religions is banned, has hosted a flurry of representatives of various Christian traditions in recent months.

But the self-styled reformer has also faced global criticism for the kingdom’s poor human rights record, including the jailing of multiple women activists, clerics and journalists.

AFP

Saudi Arabia Eliminates Gender-Segregated Entrances For Eateries

Prince Mohammed bin Salman

 

Restaurants and cafes in Saudi Arabia are no longer required to have gender-segregated entrances, officials said, in a further easing of social restrictions in the ultra-conservative Islamic kingdom.

Eateries have long required one entrance for single men and another for women and families, in a country where the once-powerful religious police zealously enforced sex segregation in public places for decades.

The ministry of municipalities and rural affairs said on Twitter Sunday it was eliminating several requirements for restaurants, including the need for “an entrance for bachelors and a separate entrance for families”.

It was unclear whether a restriction on seating inside restaurants will also be removed.

Restaurants are currently segregated into a “family” section for those accompanied by women and a “singles” area for men, though many have quietly taken down the barriers in recent years amid the kingdom’s sweeping liberalisation drive.

The latest reform was hailed by young Saudis but dismissed by arch-conservatives on social media, with one Twitter user saying it went “against sharia”, or Islamic law.

Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler, Crown Prince , has sought to project a moderate, business-friendly image of his austere kingdom as he seeks to boost investment.

Prince Mohammed has clipped the powers of hardline clerics as he pursues a modernisation drive that has allowed mixed-gender music concerts and ended decades-long bans on cinemas and women drivers.

Until three years ago, the religious police elicited widespread fear in the kingdom, chasing men and women out of malls to pray and berating anyone seen mingling with the opposite sex.

The hardline enforcers of public morality, whose powers began waning even before Prince Mohammed rose to power, are now largely out of sight.

But the reforms have been accompanied by a crackdown on activists, including women urging faster reform, some of whom have accused interrogators of sexual harassment and torture. Saudi prosecutors deny the accusations.

AFP

Ruiz Rues Three-Month Party As Joshua Avenges Loss

 

 

Andy Ruiz blamed three months of partying for his one-sided world heavyweight championship defeat to Anthony Joshua on Saturday, admitting he had failed to train seriously for his first title defense.

The 30-year-old Mexican-American stunned the world in June when he floored Joshua four times on the way to a sensational upset victory in their first fight at Madison Square Garden.

Ruiz had drawn gasps of disbelief on Friday when the weigh-in revealed he had ballooned to 283 pounds (128.4 kilograms), fully 15 pounds heavier than his fighting weight six months ago.

Ruiz’s poor conditioning was ruthlessly exposed by Joshua on Saturday, who nimbly outboxed the chubby champion.

“Three months of partying and celebrating affected me, what can I say?” Ruiz told reporters after the fight.

Asked what he’d do differently if granted a rematch with Joshua, Ruiz replied: “Listen to my coach. Listen to my dad. And take it more seriously.”

Ruiz, who was granted a ritzy homecoming parade in his Californian hometown of Imperial following his win in June, said he had started his training camp for the rematch too late.

Trainer Manny Robles had wanted Ruiz back in the gym in July. Ruiz only started his camp in September.

“I’m OK, I’m just a little disappointed,” Ruiz said. “I should have listened to them. I tried to do the training on my own. I should have listened to them more. There’s no excuses…the partying and all that stuff got the best of me.”

Robles meanwhile refused to point the finger at Ruiz.

“You’ve got to be with your fighter 100 percent,” he said. “I’m not the first coach where situations happen in camp. I have to apologise to him because this is a team effort and when you don’t win it hurts. It always hurts.”

Ruiz, however, was able to take encouragement from the fight, insisting he would be a different proposition in a third encounter.

“For being out of shape I did pretty good, I took all his shots,” he said. “I got him a few times … If we’d have gone toe to toe … For the trilogy I know I’m going to be a lot better.

“Being overweight, I wasn’t fluid enough, I wasn’t moving the way I wanted to move. I think if I’m lighter I’m going to let my hands go and be a completely different fighter.”

Saudi Arabia’s First Female Car Race Driver Set To Compete In Kingdom

Saudi Arabia’s first female race driver Reema al-Juffali is pictured inside her car during an interview with AFP in Diriyah district in Riyadh on November 20, 2019, ahead of the international Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY series for electric zero-emission cars set for the weekend. PHOTO: FAYEZ NURELDINE / AFP

 

Sliding behind the wheel of a sleek electric SUV, Reema Juffali is set to blaze a trail in male-dominated motorsports as the first Saudi woman to race in the kingdom.

Such adrenalin rushes were unimaginable for women in the ultra-conservative Islamic kingdom until June last year, when it overturned the world’s only ban on female motorists as part of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s wide-ranging liberalisation drive.

Juffali, a 27-year-old who made her motoring debut just months after the decades-old ban ended, will compete Friday and Saturday in the Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY, an all-electric race in Diriyah, close to the capital Riyadh.

“The ban was lifted last year and I never expected to race professionally,” said Juffali, sitting in her black-and-green Jaguar I-Pace, an electric sports utility vehicle.

“The fact that I am doing it… is amazing,” Juffali, clad in a racing suit, told AFP in an interview close to the racing circuit in Diriyah.

Juffali, who hails from the western city of Jeddah and was educated in the United States, will participate as what organisers call a “VIP” guest driver, becoming the first Saudi woman to race on home soil.

Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki al-Faisal, Saudi Arabia’s sports authority chief, has touted it as a “watershed” moment for the kingdom.

“Reema will have thousands cheering her on, as a professional racing driver,” the prince told AFP.

Juffali, who made one of her first appearances in competitive racing at the F4 British Championship at Brands Hatch in April, has only about a year of professional racing experience under her belt.

But she has had a passion for fast cars since her teenage years and grew up watching Formula One.

She passed her driving test after she moved to the United States to study some years ago, and is now one of only a handful of Saudi woman to have obtained a “racing licence” in her home country, a mandatory requirement to race professionally.

Even outside the Kingdom, only a few Saudi women have raced professionally.

“For a lot of women who haven’t had the opportunity to learn how to drive, to get behind the wheel is definitely something scary,” explained Juffali.

“For a lot of women in Saudi, it’s something so far away.”

Juffali said her dream is to one day race at Le Mans — a 24-hour competition in France that is one of the world’s most prestigious and gruelling competitions.

In Riyadh, she will be racing against the season’s veterans but will not score any points.

 Thrill of speed

Prince Mohammed has sought to shake off his country’s ultra-conservative image by allowing greater freedoms for women, including easing so-called “guardianship” rules that give men arbitrary authority over female relatives.

But alongside reforms he has also overseen a sweeping crackdown on dissent.

Around a dozen women activists who long campaigned for the right to drive are on trial after being arrested last year, sparking widespread condemnation.

Some allege they were tortured and sexually harassed by interrogators; Saudi authorities deny the allegations.

The driving reform has been transformative for many Saudi women, freeing them from dependence on private chauffeurs or male relatives.

Newly mobile Saudi women are now embracing what was previously deemed a male entitlement — fast cars.

Many are defying the perception that only dainty cars in bright colours are popular with women drivers.

Auto showrooms tapping women clients have rolled out a line-up of cherry red Mini Coopers, but sales professionals say many exhibit an appetite for muscle cars like the Chevrolet Camaro or the Mustang convertible.

Some women are taking up drifting –- oversteering the car to slip and skid or even spin, and other high-speed daredevilry — which is illegal in public but tolerated in the controlled environment of some theme parks.

Clad in skinny jeans and Harley-Davidson T-shirts, some women are also training to ride motorbikes at a Riyadh driving school, a scene that is still a stunning anomaly in the conservative petro-state.

“Many (people) are surprised by all the changes happening in Saudi,” said Juffali.

“Seeing me in a car, racing… For a lot of people it’s a surprise, but I am happy to surprise people.”

AFP

Messi Scores On Argentina Return To Sink Brazil

 

Lionel Messi struck on his return to international duty Friday following a three-month ban as Argentina defeated fierce rivals Brazil 1-0 in a friendly in Riyadh.

The Barcelona forward was suspended by CONMEBOL for accusing South American football’s ruling body of “corruption” after he was sent off in July’s third-place play-off with Chile at the Copa America.

Messi netted the only goal of the game at the King Saud University Stadium on 13 minutes, tapping home the rebound after his penalty was saved by Brazil goalkeeper Alisson.

His effort came shortly after Manchester City striker Gabriel Jesus rolled a spot-kick wide for Brazil, who were playing without the injured Neymar.

Messi, who scored with a pair of free-kicks in his last game with Barcelona, twice threatened from set pieces in the second half before Liverpool ‘keeper Alisson beat away a powerful drive from Paredes.

Rodrygo, the 18-year-old who scored a sensational Champions League hat-trick with Real Madrid this month, made his Brazil debut as he replaced Willian for the final 20 minutes.

However, Brazil were unable to find an equaliser as their winless run since capturing the Copa America title extended to five matches.

The meeting between the two South American giants was the second in Saudi Arabia in little over a year. Brazil beat Argentina 1-0 in Jeddah in October 2018.

Brazil also defeated Argentina 2-0 at home in the semi-finals of this year’s Copa America, a controversial match that left Messi complaining the hosts had benefited from favouritism.

Brazil will play a friendly against South Korea in Abu Dhabi on November 19, in their final game before South American qualifying starts for the 2022 World Cup in March.

Saudi Arabia To Host January Spanish Super Cup

 

The Spanish Super Cup will be held in Saudi Arabia and moved to the winter for the next three editions, Spain’s football association (RFEF) announced on Monday.

Jeddah’s King-Abdullah stadium will host the four-team tournament in early January as opposed to its traditional pre-season date in August.

The competition sees La Liga winners Barcelona face Atletico Madrid and Copa del Rey champions Valencia play Real Madrid before a final on January 12.

RFEF president Luis Rubiales said women would be allowed into the ground for the fixtures and the governing body would subsequently help the Saudi Arabian football federation to organise a local league for women.

De facto leader Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has recently introduced reforms including allowing concerts, reopening cinemas, and lifting a prohibition on women driving.

In December unified heavyweight world champion Andy Ruiz of Mexico will take on Britain’s Anthony Joshua in their rematch in Diriyah as the country attempts to improve its international image.

Five Things To Know About Saudi Arabia And Its Mammoth IPO

In this file photo taken on September 20, 2019, a general view of Saudi Aramco’s Abqaiq oil processing plant. Saudi Aramco said it will list on the Riyadh stock exchange in what could be the world’s largest IPO, underpinning Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s ambitions to overhaul the kingdom’s oil-reliant economy. PHOTO: FAYEZ NURELDINE / AFP

 

Ultra-conservative Saudi Arabia is undergoing a major transformation under Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who intends to end the kingdom’s addiction to oil revenues.

As the country opens up on the economic front, there have also been some social reforms including more freedoms for women, but progress has been erratic and critics pushing for faster changes have ended up in jail.

The crown prince’s most ambitious economic initiative so far has been to push the state energy giant Aramco towards a stock market debut. After years of delays, the green light was announced on Sunday.

Why is the IPO such a big deal?

The sale of part of Aramco forms the foundation of Prince Mohammed’s turnaround plan for Saudi Arabia. The size of the listing remains in the air, but originally it was hoped it could generate as much as $100 billion.

That figure, based on a $2 trillion valuation of the company now seen as unrealistic, may not be reached but even so it it is likely to be the biggest share market offering of all time.

That money is needed to fund mega-projects like NEOM, a $500 billion futuristic mega city planned on the northern Red Sea coast, which officials say will have flying taxis and talking robots.

With no foreign listing planned at the moment, the crown prince will be relying on Saudi billionaires to heavily support the offering, and the kingdom’s representatives are reportedly visiting global capitals to woo investors further afield.

Will it be a success?

After years of stop-start progress towards the IPO, scepticism abounds and the new stock will be under close scrutiny when it launches on the Saudi bourse in coming weeks.

Apart from holding out for the big-ticket valuation, the delays are also said to be related to Saudi concerns that a foreign listing could shine an unwelcome light on the secretive company’s finances and inner workings.

“Should shares fall sharply after they begin trading, it would be a highly visible blow to the credibility of the economic reforms so closely associated with Mohammed bin Salman, which is why the valuation is so important,” said Kristian Ulrichsen, a fellow at Rice University’s Baker Institute in the United States.

“International investors will pay very close attention to how Aramco performs on the domestic exchange, especially in the absence of any firm detail over the international portion of the eventual dual listing.”

Why is Aramco so important?

Aramco pumps about 10 percent of the world’s oil from its wells beneath the desert sands — mostly in the kingdom’s east but also in the evocatively named “Empty Quarter” in the south. There are also some major offshore oil fields.

The energy behemoth generated the most profit of any corporation last year with net income of $111 billion — more than Apple Inc., Google’s parent Alphabet Inc. and Exxon Mobil Corp. combined.

The fate of Aramco is fundamental to world energy supplies — which was illustrated when oil prices were sent spiking after two of its facilities were targeted with strikes in September, temporarily knocking production down by half.

 How is MBS remaking the economy?

Even before he became crown prince in June 2017, the son of King Salman — often known by his initials MBS — had announced a plan to diversify the economy and push it away from its long reliance on oil.

Since then, the kingdom has witnessed a number of never-before-seen initiatives, mostly related to entertainment and tourism, including vast multi-island luxury destination projects.

Women were made more welcome in the workforce, concerts opened to Saudis, international sports events were given the green light, and the first tourist visas were issued.

Amid low oil prices, the kingdom also increased the prices of fuel and electricity, imposed a five percent value added tax (VAT) and levied duties on 11 million expatriates in a bid to generate additional revenue.

Selling the crown jewels

Aramco’s IPO has generated a feeling of pride among Saudis, although some are concerned about sharing the “family jewel” with foreigners.

“Aramco means family. From the work environment to the personalities you come across, it feels natural. It feels like home,” Naif Ghofaily, an Aramco employee in his 30s, told AFP.

“The sale has brought a lot of exposure for the company on a global scale. Although one of the biggest companies in the world long before its proposed listing, I feel as if many more people recognise Aramco today.”

Many of the employees live on plush company compounds, meaning that their immersion is total — particularly in a country where cities and towns offer few attractions.

For another employee, 33-year-old Haya, the landmark IPO risks “changing” the company.

“I was born in Aramco, my dad worked for Aramco for more than 50 years, both my parents retired from Aramco, I live in Aramco. To me Aramco is my home,” she told AFP.

“I’m feeling nervous about the IPO, I grew up planning for my kids to live the life I experienced in Aramco and I’m worried that with the IPO it won’t be the Aramco that we know.”

AFP

Saudi Arabia Holds First-Ever WWE Superstars Women Wrestling Match

Lacey Evans (red) fights against Natalya during the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) Crown Jewel pay-per-view in Riyadh on October 31, 2019. PHOTO: Fayez Nureldine / AFP

 

Dressed demurely in black leggings and unflattering baggy t-shirts, rather than their trademark low-cut bikini tops, WWE superstars Natalya and Lacey Evans starred in the first-ever women’s wrestling match in Saudi Arabia on Thursday, the latest unlikely event in the kingdom as it attempts to shrug off an ultra-conservative image.

As they arrived in the ring, with their flowing blonde hair uncovered, three teenagers laughed out loud having earlier in the evening been entranced by the spectacle served up by male, shirtless fighters.

“It’s nonsense,” said one to the other, struggling to be heard above the fireworks and rock ‘n’ roll music which blasted into the Riyadh night.

Evans, a former US Marine, and Natalya appeared at the King Fahd Stadium suitably dressed down for the occasion, their usual costumes left behind in the United States.

“Do you want them to be sent to jail?” said an expatriate fan who wished to remain anonymous when defending the dress code.

“Women’s wrestling in Saudi Arabia, yes, but only if they dress like that, otherwise it would not be possible, even if it’s a fact that the clothing is an integral part of the show,” added a young fan wearing a black World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) t-shirt, adorned with pictures of his favourite fighters.

Saudi Arabia is boosting entertainment that allows citizens to have fun, in what some see as an attempt to blunt public frustration over an economic downturn and high youth unemployment.

De facto leader Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has introduced reforms including allowing concerts, reopening cinemas, and lifting a prohibition on women driving as part of a modernisation drive.

However, when it comes to women’s wrestling, it may be a long, hard road.

Last year, broadcast during a men’s wrestling match of a promotional video featuring scantily-clad female wrestlers sparked a scandal in the country, forcing the authorities concerned to apologise for the “indecent” images.

Ahmed, 24, who says he follows the sport from the kingdom, appeared disappointed with such furores.

“I was waiting for the women’s match. Those who want to see such a spectacle should have the right to access it, and those who do not like don’t have to come,” he said.

Ali, 40, attended with his two children and said he wanted to support the social changes in progress in the country.

However, he thinks there should be “limits”.

“These women’s shows, honestly…”, said Ali, wearing his country’s traditional all-white robe.

“That women drive, it’s already a shock for me. I’m not against it but you have to get used to it.”

Despite his discomfort, he said he had promised his daughter, pulling at his arm to show him her favourite wrestler, to teach her to drive when she is old enough.

AFP

Saudi Arabia To Stage First Women’s Wrestling Match

Medina, Qatif, Saudi Arabia

 

The first ever women’s wrestling match in Saudi Arabia will be held on Thursday, organisers said, the latest unlikely event staged in the kingdom as it attempts to shrug off an ultra-conservative image.

World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. (WWE) said that its “superstars” Natalya and Lacey Evans will face off in the pay-per-view event which will also feature former boxing champion Tyson Fury as he takes on Braun Strowman.

The organisers said the two women had done battle in some tough bouts recently, including one that Evans, a former US Marine, “won by powerbombing her foe off the side of the stage and through a table”.

The bout at King Fahd Stadium will be an incongruous scene in a country where women are generally obliged to wear the black “abaya” cloak.

However, Saudi Arabia is boosting entertainment that allows citizens to have fun, in what some see as an attempt to blunt public frustration over an economic downturn and high youth unemployment.

De facto leader Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has introduced reforms including allowing concerts, reopening cinemas, and lifting a prohibition on women driving.

Developing the tourism and leisure sector is one of the foundations of his Vision 2030 plan to prepare the Arab world’s largest economy for the post-oil era.

In a landmark decision in August Saudi Arabia announced it would offer tourist visas — relaxing rules that had largely restricted visits to business travellers and Muslim pilgrims.

However, not all the initiatives have gone to plan. Nicki Minaj, known for her provocative, profanity-laced lyrics and skin-baring music videos, was to headline a concert in Riyadh in July but pulled out in a show of solidarity for women’s and gay rights in the kingdom.

The wrestling match is part of the Riyadh Season, which includes more than 100 entertainment and arts events over two months during the capital’s cooler winter months.

President Buhari Arrives In Saudi Arabia

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has arrived in the King Khalid International Airport, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Mr President is in Riyadh to attend the Future Investment Initiative (FII).

Under the theme, ‘‘What’s Next for Global Business?’’, the event, which holds from October 29-31, will focus on three key pillars: Sustainable Future, Technology for Good and Advanced Society.

READ ALSO: Buhari To Visit London, After Saudi Arabia Trip

The three-day event will be held under the patronage of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia and chaired by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, deputy premier, chairman of the Council of Economic and Development Affairs and PIF.

On the sideline of the event, President Buhari will hold bilateral talks with His Majesty King Salman and His Majesty King Abdullah ll of Jordan.

At the end of the summit, President Buhari will on Saturday 2nd November 2019, proceed to the United Kingdom on a private visit. He is expected to return to Nigeria on 17th November 2019,” the statement read in part.