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Rights groups criticise Saudi-Indonesia maid agreement

Rights groups Thursday criticised an agreement between Indonesia and Saudi Arabia aimed at giving Indonesian maids more protection in the kingdom, with one saying "justice is still far away" for them. Saudi Arabia is the world's biggest destination for Indonesian maids, with around one million in the kingdom. However Indonesia placed a moratorium on sending new maids to the country in 2011 after a helper was beheaded for murdering her employer. Authorities failed to inform Jakarta in advance of the execution.

Japan, Saudi Arabia to promote talks for civil nuclear pact

Japan and Saudi Arabia agreed Wednesday to accelerate bilateral talks for a civil nuclear cooperation accord that would enable Japanese manufacturers to export reactors to the Middle East country. The agreement came as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe met with Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud in Tokyo, where they also agreed that the two countries should enhance security cooperation through dialogue between their foreign and defense officials, a Japanese government official said.

Japan, Saudi Arabia to enhance security cooperation

Japan and Saudi Arabia agreed Wednesday to enhance bilateral security cooperation through dialogue between their foreign and defense officials as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe met with Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud in Tokyo. "I would like to strengthen further the comprehensive partnership between the two countries," Abe said at the start of the meeting. The crown prince, who is also deputy prime minister and defense minister, responded by saying he will "further develop the existing cooperative relationship."

Abe meets with Saudi crown prince over security cooperation

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe met with Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud on Wednesday in Tokyo, with the two expected to agree to promote dialogue for bilateral security cooperation. During their meeting in Saudi Arabia last April, Abe and the Saudi crown prince, who serves as deputy prime minister and defense minister, jointly announced the two countries will cooperate in such areas as ensuring the safety of sea lanes to transport crude oil from the Middle East and countering terrorism.

Woman in Saudi media first wants others to follow

Soumayya Jabarti, the first female editor of a Saudi national daily, hopes to see more women take up top media posts in the ultra-conservative Muslim state. She was named at the weekend as editor-in-chief of the Saudi Gazette, one of the two main English-language dailies in the Gulf kingdom. "The success will not be complete unless I see my peers who are also Saudi women in the media take other roles where they are decision-makers," Jabarti said in an interview posted on Al-Arabiya News website.

Woman in Saudi media first wants others to follow

Soumayya Jabarti, the first female editor of a Saudi national daily, hopes to see more women take up top media posts in the ultra-conservative Muslim state. She was named at the weekend as editor-in-chief of the Saudi Gazette, one of the two main English-language dailies in the Gulf kingdom. "The success will not be complete unless I see my peers who are also Saudi women in the media take other roles where they are decision-makers," Jabarti said in an interview posted on Al-Arabiya News website.

General Dynamics Canada signs US$10B armoured vehicle deal with Saudi Arabia

LONDON, Ont. - General Dynamics Land Systems - Canada has signed a contract worth at least US$10 billion to supply armoured vehicles and equipment, training and support services to Saudi Arabia. The federal government said Friday that the 14-year contract will create and sustain more than 3,000 jobs in Canada. It was negotiated through the Canadian Commercial Corp., Ottawa's international government-to-government contracting organization. If fully exercised, the value of the contract would rise to about US$13 billion, General Dynamics said in a regulatory filing.

General Dynamics gets $10 billion Saudi arms order

The Canadian subsidiary of US arms maker General Dynamics has won a $10 billion order for armored vehicles for Saudi Arabia, Canada's Trade Minister Ed Fast announced Friday. The vehicles will be produced by General Dynamics Land Systems-Canada (GDLS) in London, Ontario, and the deal could be worth up to $13 billion if all options are exercised, according to securities filings. The agreement also includes associated equipment, training and support services, said a statement.

Saudi Valentines defy the love police

Red roses lurk hidden in flower shop back rooms and heart-shaped chocolates are sold under the counter, but Saudis still manage to buy Valentine's gifts and defy the religious police. Florist Hussein came up with a simple solution to a ban on red tokens of love: he filled his window with white roses, orange irises and violet hydrangeas. "I've hidden everything red in the shop, so when a religious police patrol comes along, they find nothing to complain about," he said.

Saudi Arabia recommends awarding $2.1 billion contract to France's RATP for buses

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia - Saudi Arabia has recommended awarding France's state-owned public transport operator a roughly $2.1 billion contract to operate and maintain buses in Riyadh for 10 years. The Saudi Public Transport Company, or SAPTCO, said in a statement Monday that the kingdom's high committee for supervising the implementation of the public transport project in Riyadh recommended France's RATP Dev for the project. The kingdom is spending billions of dollars on improving public transportation with plans to build a metro system and increase buses in major cities.
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