A month long celebrations to mark the EU Day was flagged off with a Children’s Book Fair at the King Fahd Cultural Center in Riyadh on Thursday.
Highlighting the events that are lined up in the Kingdom at a press conference held at the headquarters of the EU Delegation, its head Ambassador Michele Cervone D’Urso, said the whole idea of the program is to have people-to-people contact between Saudi Arabia and the EU countries. “ It’s an attempt to scale up dialogue between the peoples of the EU and the Kingdom,” the envoy said.
The EU is the Kingdom’s first trading partner in goods with 16.3 percent of Saudi Arabia’s global trade, followed by China with 14.1 percent and the US with 11.8 percent.
The trade balance is in favor of the EU.
Some 20 EU countries have their missions based in Saudi Arabia.
Pointing out that the Kingdom was the first GCC country to set up a dedicated mission to EU in Brussels, D’Urso said, “ It showed the interests of the Kingdom in maintaining friendly relations with EU countries, he noted, adding that only two countries have such dedicated missions which includes Morocco.”
Enumerating the scheduled events from April 5 to May 10, D’Urso said that there will be screening of six European films, staging seven concerts and story telling programs in Riyadh and Jeddah.
Referring to the Children’s Book Fair, he said that a stand displaying and distributing ,free-of-charge, children’s books, maps of Europe, gadgets as well as mock European Union passports.
On May 2nd, the delegation will organize a “ Saudi Conceptual Art Event,” which will take place at the residence of the EU Ambassador. Abdul Naser Al-Ghunaim, famous Saudi conceptual artist will make a presentation and live performance of his creative foundation and conceptual art.
At the closing ceremony of the Europe Month , a classic piano concert will be performed by one of the most distinguished Italian pianists, Scipione Sangiovanni at the residence of the EU ambassador.
On May 9th, he said the 68th anniversary of the Schuman Declaration will be celebrated in the Kingdom.
“It is the day of the founding moment of the EU integration in 1950, which was a process of bringing 28 countries and more than 500 million from different cultures , languages and beliefs into one single political entity,” he said.
He said every year, the EU anthem is performed by a European school choir. This year, he noted that the Choir of the Greek Cypriot School in Riyadh will perform the EU anthem and the event will be followed by a reception.