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Government of Saudi Arabia and Indonesia pledge to jointly fight radicalism, strengthen cooperation on Trade

Riyadh in Saudi Arabia, Wikimedia

Bogor (Indonesia), March 1, 2017: The governments of Indonesia and Saudi Arabia have pledged to jointly fight radicalism and strengthen cooperation on investment, trade and fishery.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo and Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdul Aziz al-Saud met at the presidential palace located in a botanical garden in Bogor town near the country’s capital of Jakarta on Wednesday, Xinhua reported.

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“For Indonesia, Saudi Arabia is one of the most important partners in the Middle East,” said Widodo.

The President said that he was confident that Indonesia could be a strategic partner in reaching Saudi Arabia’s 2030 vision through stronger economic ties.

President Widodo and King Salman witnessed the signing of agreements on cooperation in areas of fighting crime, trade, investment, fishery, research and technology, high education, culture and health. (IANS)

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Tech Giant Google Refuses to Remove Controversial Saudi App

Human rights groups such as Amnesty International have also criticised Google and Apple for allowing the app on their platforms

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A Google logo is displayed at the entrance to the internet based company's offices in Toronto. VOA

Google has refused to pull out a controversial government app from Saudi Arabia which lets men track and control women who travel, saying it does not violate its Play Store policies.

According to a report in the Business Insider on Sunday, the tech giant told the office of California Democrat Representative Jackie Speier, who had called for the removal of the app called “Absher”, that the app does not violate its terms of service.

The US Representatives Speier, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib and 11 others have demanded that Apple and Google must both remove the app.

Speier called Google’s response “deeply unsatisfactory”.

“The responses received so far from Apple and Google are deeply unsatisfactory. As of today, the Absher app remains available in both the Apple App store and the Google Play Store even though they can easily remove it,” Speier was quoted as saying.

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Google CEO Sundar Pichai speaks at the Google I/O conference in Mountain View, California.

Apple was yet to announce its decision.

Absher allows Saudi users to access government services and also offers features which allow “Saudi men to grant and rescind travel permission for women and to set up SMS alerts for when women use their passports”.

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An earlier report suggested Saudi men could use the app to control female dependents.

Human rights groups such as Amnesty International have also criticised Google and Apple for allowing the app on their platforms. (IANS)