Think-tank based in US says Saudis must have voice

Jeddah: Saudis must do more to improve the nation’s image in the US, according to the founder of a US-based think-tank on Saudi Arabia.

Abdullah Al-Tayer, who founded the Saudi Studies Center in Virginia one year after the September 11 atrocities, this week issued a plea for funds to enable his organisation to counter what he described as misinformation surrounding his country, via media relations and academic and journalistic exchange programmes.

Al-Tayer told English-language daily Arab News:

‘If we don’t provide media outlets with Saudi speakers, we leave the arena open and others speak for us. We need to speak out for ourselves.’

Earlier this month, the Saudi Committee for the Development of International Trade launched a campaign to counter what it perceives as ‘negative reporting’ on the country (PRWeek, 4 July).

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