Tag Archives: Arabia

Saudi Arabia officially kicked off Saudi Aramco's IPO, which could be the largest in the world

Saudi Arabia officially kicked off Saudi Aramco's IPO, which could be the largest in the worldSaudi Aramco's public listing is a major part of the kingdom's economic plans going forward. The Tadawul All Share Index fell 2.4% on the news.



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The U.S. Military is Sending Thousands of Troops and Even B-1 Bombers into Saudi Arabia (To Counter Iran)

The U.S. Military is Sending Thousands of Troops and Even B-1 Bombers into Saudi Arabia (To Counter Iran)And that is just for starters.



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Saudi Arabia: We are undergoing an unprecedented transformation

Saudi Arabia: We are undergoing an unprecedented transformationJamal Khashoggi's death was an aberration that should not define us as a nation, writes Fahad Nazer, spokesperson for the Saudi Embassy.



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Russia, Saudi Arabia seal key oil deal

Russia, Saudi Arabia seal key oil dealRussian President Vladimir Putin signed a key deal Monday with Saudi Arabia during a key visit for an OPEC+ grouping aimed at stabilising global oil prices and seeking to calm regional tensions with Iran. Putin’s visit follows attacks on Saudi oil installations that Saudi Arabia and the United States have blamed on Iran, an ally of Moscow. Following talks between Putin and Saudi King Salman, the two countries signed some 20 agreements and contracts worth billions of dollars on aerospace, culture, health, advanced technology and agriculture.



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US to send 3,000 troops to Saudi Arabia as it withdraws from Syria

US to send 3,000 troops to Saudi Arabia as it withdraws from SyriaThe United States is to send an additional 3,000 troops to Saudi Arabia “to assure and enhance” the country’s security in the wake of the Aramco oil attacks, the Pentagon announced on Friday.  Mark Esper, the defence secretary, said the US was sending two more Patriot missile batteries, one THAAD ballistic missile interception system, two fighter squadrons and one air expeditionary wing. It came as Iran claimed yesterday that one of its oil tankers had been struck with missiles off the coast of Saudi Arabia in an incident shrouded in mystery.  The new deployment means that, since May, the US has sent an additional 14,000 members of the armed forces into the region.  "Secretary Esper informed Saudi Crown Prince and Minister of Defense Muhammad bin Salman this morning of the additional troop deployment to assure and enhance the defense of Saudi Arabia," the Pentagon said. “As we have stated, the United States does not seek conflict with the Iranian regime, but we will retain a robust military capability in the region that is ready to respond to any crisis and will defend US forces and interest in the region.” The announcement came just days after Mr Trump declared all US troops would be pulled out of Syria, complaining about "ridiculous endless wars". Mr Trump had campaigned on a promise to get US servicemen out of the Middle East, putting America First, and the decision is unlikely to go down well with his base. Iranian state television said the explosion damaged two storerooms aboard the unnamed oil tanker  Credit: twitter Iranian media claimed its vessel was hit on Friday morning about 60 miles from the Saudi port of Jeddah, causing it to leak oil into the Red Sea. The National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC) said the ship was damaged but stable and denied reports it had been set ablaze. Tensions have been high since the Spring after an Iranian tanker suspected of carrying crude to Syria in violation of EU sanctions was seized off Gibraltar. In retaliation, Iran’s Revolutionary Guard impounded British-flagged tanker Stena Impero. Then last month Saudi’s oil fields were hit by a large-scale missile and drone attack it blamed on Tehran, which saw production plummet and oil prices soar. Iran's foreign ministry claimed the vessel, which was first named as Sinopa before it was identified as the Sabiti, had been "targeted twice" but did not provide further details.  On Friday morning, an unnamed source told Iran media the vessel was struck by missiles "probably" originating from Saudi Arabia, but Iran’s national oil company later denied the claim.  Pictures released on Iranian media later showed no discernible damage and no evidence of any fire. TankerTrackers, which monitors oil exports, told the Telegraph there was no independent evidence to suggest the vessel had been hit.  Iranian tanker attack “Had she been struck, they wouldn't be sailing back as fast as they are sailing right now. She's moving at 10 knots an hour," they said. “(Iran is) fishing for higher prices, trying to remind the world that geopolitical risk is its way of controlling the oil market." Oil prices surged two per cent on the news. Publicly available ship tracking records show both ships are currently in the Red Sea. The Sinopa turned its transmitter on earlier this week for the first time in more than 50 days. The Sabiti, meanwhile, turned its tracker on early Friday after nearly 60 days of no transmissions. It is common for Iranian tankers to turn off automatic identification systems (AIS) to avoid detection – often to evade international sanctions or harassment from Saudi Arabia. TankerTrackers said this suggested the Sabiti, laden with one million barrels of oil may have been heading for Syria. However, it declared the Gulf as its destination. Thina Margrethe Saltvedt, an analyst at Nordea Markets, said it was not the particulars of the latest incident that were worrying traders but the fear of worse to come. "The risk premium is rising… not because the tanker per se contains enough oil to squeeze the market,” she said. “But the risk that this incident will be retaliated or more attacks would come either in Iran, Saudi Arabia or Iraq."



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U.S. says deploying more forces to Saudi Arabia to counter Iran threat

U.S. says deploying more forces to Saudi Arabia to counter Iran threatThe United States announced the deployment of additional American military forces to Saudi Arabia on Friday to bolster the kingdom’s defenses after the Sept. 14 attack on its oil facilities, which Washington and Riyadh have blamed on Iran. The large deployment, which was first reported by Reuters, includes fighter squadrons, an air expeditionary wing and air defense personnel, the Pentagon said. Together with the 200 forces to Saudi Arabia announced last month, the deployment totaled about 3,000 troops, it said.



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Saudi Arabia: As kingdom opens up to tourists, will people visit?

Saudi Arabia: As kingdom opens up to tourists, will people visit?Those who study international tourism say a combination of geography, history and culture could make the kingdom an attractive tourist destination.



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Saudi Arabia implements public decency code as it opens to tourists

Saudi Arabia implements public decency code as it opens to touristsSaudi Arabia said on Saturday it would issue fines for 19 offences related to public decency, such as immodest dress and public displays of affection, as the Muslim kingdom opens up to foreign tourists. The Interior Ministry decision accompanies the launch of a visa regime allowing holidaymakers from 49 states to visit one of the world’s most closed-off countries. Violations listed on the new visa website also include littering, spitting, queue jumping, taking photographs and videos of people without permission and playing music at prayer times.



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Saudi Arabia opens to tourists with investment appeal and no abaya rule

Saudi Arabia opens to tourists with investment appeal and no abaya ruleSaudi Arabia threw open its doors to foreign tourists on Friday, launching a new visa regime for 49 countries and appealing to foreign companies to invest in a sector it hopes will contribute 10% of gross domestic product by 2030. Tourism chief Ahmed al-Khateeb told Reuters in an interview ahead of the official announcement that abayas will not be mandatory for women tourists but modest dress is, including at public beaches. Access to the Muslim holy cities of Mecca and Medina is restricted.



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US patience with Iran not inexhaustible, warns Saudi Arabia

US patience with Iran not inexhaustible, warns Saudi ArabiaSaudi minister says military response to attack on oil facilities still being considered ‘When push comes to shove there comes a point when even America’s patience runs out,’ said the Saudi foreign affairs minister, Adel al-Jubeir. Photograph: Amr Nabil/APSaudi Arabia has said that US patience with Iran is not inexhaustible and warned military options are still being considered following the attack on the Aramco oil facilities earlier this month.The Saudi foreign affairs minister, Adel al-Jubeir, also said the UN-commissioned report into the origins of the attack will be available fairly soon, and described the EU’s Monday statement ascribing responsibility to Iran as “very significant”.His remarks suggest Saudi Arabia is still putting private pressure on Donald Trump’s administration not to limit his response to the 14 September attack to further sanctions and the deployment of additional troops to defend the oil facilities.Jubeir said: “We want to mobilise international support, and we want to look at a whole list of options – diplomatic options, economic options and military options – and then make the decision.”Speaking on the margins of the UN general assembly in New York, he said: “This action will have consequences and Iran must know this.”He added: “When push comes to shove there comes a point when even America’s patience runs out – and Iran must be aware of that.”The attacks temporarily knocked out over 5 per cent of global oil production and caused petroleum prices to rise.Also at the UN, the French president, Emmanuel Macron, said he was hoping for a breakthrough with Iran over the possibility of reopening talks in the coming hours, but the Iranian president, Hassan Rouhani, denied he was willing to drop his demand that US sanctions are lifted before talks can begin.Macron told the general assembly: “I am not naive at all and I don’t believe in miracles. I believe it takes courage to build peace and that is why it is important for the United States, Iran and the signatories of the agreement to show this courage.”But Jubeir set out a series of tough conditions for renegotiating the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, including fresh restrictions on its nuclear program after 2025, a 24/7 inspection regime all over the country and restrictions on its ballistic missile program.The demand, he said was “no nukes, no missiles and no terrorism”, adding: “The Europeans were coming round to this being the objective. We believe appeasement does not work with Iran. We believe that when Europeans did not take a strong position after the attacks on the pipelines and oil field in Shaybah (in August), this emboldened and encouraged Iran.”Although Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi rebels claimed responsibility for the attacks on the Abqaiq and Khurais facilities, Riyadh, Washington and the EU have laid the blame on Iran.The US said it had expected Monday’s statement by the UK, France and Germany, stating that Iran was behind the attack, because European and US investigators are examining weapons fragments together in Saudi Arabia.“I really appreciate that our allies … have come forward and recognised publicly the truth,” the US assistant secretary of state for the near east, David Schenker, told journalists.“This did not come as a major surprise. The Brits and the French are on the ground with us with the Saudis and the UN, part of the investigative team in Saudi Arabia,” Schenker said. “We have been transparent in terms of chain of custody … of all the equipment that we now have from the attack. And we’re exploiting it together.“Even before we have finished this investigation, the evidence that is emerging is incontrovertible.”The US has been insistent that it would not carry out a retaliatory strike, but would beef up Saudi defences and increase other forms of pressure on Iran.Trump on Tuesday called on other nations to join the US in pressuring Iran after the attacks, but said there was still a path to peace.



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