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Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Riyadh wins bid to host Expo 2030

Story by Oleen Ndori, Foreign Desk Editor

SAUDI Arabia’s capital Riyadh has won the right to host the Expo 2030 World Fair in another diplomatic victory for a Gulf country after Qatar hosted the football World Cup last year.

Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister, Dr Frederick Shava who joined several other foreign ministers and heads of delegations from countries across the globe in Paris during elections to choose the host city for Expo 2030, was ecstatic after Zimbabwe’s candidate won resoundingly with a two-thirds majority.

“Three countries were contesting to host the Expo 2030, and one country had to win, and that country which won was Saudi Arabia which garnered 119 votes, and the country that came a poor second was South Korea who got 29 votes and the third country was Italy with 17 votes, so that is the result of the vote and we are happy, we supported Saudi Arabia.”

In a media briefing after the elections, Saudi Foreign Minister, Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud praised his team and expressed gratitude to countries which supported their bid.

He said, “We had a fantastic team of ministers going around the world, engaging our counterparts in a very, very active way to understand what they expected, what they were looking for and what we should deliver in order to gain their trust. For the past few months, the three delegations had been in high gear, putting on spectacular lobbying events in the French capital.”

The win is the icing on the cake for the Saudi ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s ambitious Vision 2030 programme, which seeks to wean the country off its oil dependency.

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