Körber Network Foreign Policy – Field Trip to Saudi Arabia

30 September to 6 October 2011

On the 2011 Field Trip the members of the Körber Network Foreign Policy visited Saudi Arabia. The purpose of the journey was to enable the participants to gain specific insights into the current political, economic and social situation in the largest of the Arab Gulf states. It included visits to Riyadh and the coastal city of Jiddah.

The Field Trip started with an official greeting from Abdullah Al-Jasser, the Deputy Minister of Culture and Information. The members of the Körber Network Foreign Policy were then briefed by Walter Dieter Haller, the Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to Saudi Arabia.

The programme also included talks with Dr. Nizar Madani, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, and members of the Consultative Assembly (Majlis Ash Shura), and a visit to a meeting of the Assembly. Other items on the agenda were talks with Dr. Abdul Aziz bin Muhiyaddin Khoja, the Minister of Culture and Information, Dr. Saleh Al-Wohaibi, Secretary General of the World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY), Friedrich Lederer, Chief Financial Officer of EADS Defence & Security Saudi Ltd, and representatives of the Embassy of the United States to Saudi Arabia. The conclusion of the group’s visit to Riyadh was a dinner attended by personalities from the fields of culture, education and science, and the media.

In Jiddah the members of the Körber Network Foreign Policy had the opportunity to meet representatives of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), including Ambassador Mahdi Fathallah, Director General of the Department of Political Affairs, and Ambassador Vefahan Ocak, Chief Advisor to the Secretary General and Director General of the Cabinet, and to see King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST). The members of the Körber Network Foreign Policy also had the pleasure to take part in a sightseeing tour of the ancient city of Al-Diriyah, and a traditional evening meal at the invitation of a Saudi Arabian family.

In 2010 the Körber Network Foreign Policy travelled to Kazakhstan, and in 2009 it visited Syria and Lebanon.