Tag Archives: Saudi

Saudi king announces $150 million for East Jerusalem

Saudi king announces $  150 million for East JerusalemSaudi Arabia’s King Salman on Sunday announced a $ 150-million (120 million euro) donation for the maintenance of Islamic heritage in East Jerusalem. “Saudi Arabia announces a $ 150-million grant to support the administration of Jerusalem’s Islamic property,” the monarch said at the opening of the Arab League summit in the kingdom’s eastern city of Dhahran.



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Saudi king slams Iran, US Jerusalem move at Arab summit

Saudi king slams Iran, US Jerusalem move at Arab summitSaudi Arabia’s King Salman on Sunday slammed Iran’s “blatant interference” in the region and lashed out at the US over Jerusalem as Arab leaders met in the kingdom for their annual summit. The 82-year-old monarch dubbed the Arab League meet the “Jerusalem summit” as he took aim at Washington’s decision to recognise the disputed city as the capital of Israel and transfer the US embassy from Tel Aviv.



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As prince visits, Saudi Aramco to sign $10 billion of deals in France

As prince visits, Saudi Aramco to sign $  10 billion of deals in FranceSaudi Aramco will sign eight deals worth $ 10 billion with French firms on Tuesday, the chief executive of the state-run oil giant said on Monday – the main contracts expected to be sealed during Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s visit to France. The powerful young prince who is behind modernizing reforms in Saudi Arabia is on a three-day trip at a time when relations between the two countries have become more complicated, including over how to address Iran’s role in the region. Aramco and French oil major Total plan to sign an agreement to expand their joint venture refinery in Saudi Arabia, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters on April 5.



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As prince visits, Saudi Aramco to sign $10 billion of deals in France

As prince visits, Saudi Aramco to sign $  10 billion of deals in FranceSaudi Aramco will sign eight deals worth $ 10 billion with French firms on Tuesday, the chief executive of the state-run oil giant said on Monday – the main contracts expected to be sealed during Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s visit to France. The powerful young prince who is behind modernising reforms in Saudi Arabia is on a three-day trip at a time when relations between the two countries have become more complicated, including over how to address Iran’s role in the region. Aramco and French oil major Total plan to sign an agreement to expand their joint venture refinery in Saudi Arabia, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters on April 5.



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Saudi Arabian corruption detainees may face terrorism-focused courts

Saudi Arabian corruption detainees may face terrorism-focused courtsSaudi Arabia’s public prosecutor has begun processing the cases of 56 men detained in the country’s sweeping anti-corruption purge late last year, an official said on Sunday. The 56 are still in Saudi government custody after failing to be exonerated or reach financial settlements with the government. The shock crackdown in November 2017 saw a new Supreme Anti-Corruption Committee round up 381 corruption suspects on Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s orders, with many confined and interrogated. Just 30 or so of the men’s identities were released. The list of names included top officials, members of the Saudi royal family, and global investor Prince Alwaleed bin Talal. More than 2,000 bank accounts were frozen and private jets were grounded as detainees were rounded up and, in many cases, held in Riyadh’s opulent Ritz-Carlton hotel. In January, Saudi Arabia’s attorney general released a statement saying it had completed its review of cases and would release all those who had paid settlements or against whom it did not have enough evidence. The rise of MBS It estimated the value of settlements at 400 billion Saudi riyals (more than £75 billion) “represented in various types of assets, including real estate, commercial entities, securities, cash and other assets.” On Sunday, the Saudi government announced that the public prosecutor had begun investigations and opening arguments in the corruption cases of the 56 men still in custody. According to deputy attorney general for investigations Saud al-Hamad, the charged men will be referred to court for prosecution in cases related to money laundering or terrorism. Mr Hamad said some of those under investigation hadn’t respected confidential agreements, while others committed further, as yet unspecified, offences. The anti-corruption campaign was framed as part of Mohammad bin Salman’s push to transform Saudi’s oil-dependent economy, which has been long plagued by graft, and make it more modern, diversified, and capable of withstanding diving oil prices. But critics say the blanket of secrecy that has cloaked proceedings, as well as the lack of detail on financial settlements reached, suggests it was more about gathering cash and shoring up the crown prince’s growing authority than tackling corruption.



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Saudi Arabia's Mohammed bin Salman to meet Emmanuel Macron in France

Saudi Arabia's Mohammed bin Salman to meet Emmanuel Macron in FranceSaudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is due to arrive in France on Sunday, where his host President Emmanuel Macron is under pressure to halt lucrative weapons sales to the oil-rich kingdom because of its bombing campaign in Yemen. The two-day official visit comes after the prince’s weeks-long tour of the United States, Britain and Egypt, where the prince has courted business leaders and signed a host of multimillion dollar deals. The prince's agenda for the visit to France has not been made public – apart from his dinner with Mr Macron on Tuesday – and there was speculation as to whether he would stay in a chateau he owns that has been dubbed the “world’s most expensive home.” The property contains 10 bedroom suites, a grand reception room with a 52ft-high frescoed dome ceiling, a library, a wine cellar with space for 3,000 bottles, and a “meditation room” under the moat circled by an aquarium with huge sturgeon inside. The buyer was not identified at the time, but the New York Times  reported last December that the purchaser was the Crown Prince Mohammed – known colloquially as MBS.  The report was seen as an embarrassment for the 32-year-old prince who is preaching fiscal austerity at home while leading a major crackdown on corruption by the kingdom’s elite. Crown Prince Mohammed is considered the de facto Saudi leader and has recently led a modernising drive in the strictly religious kingdom, which includes allowing cinemas to open and women to drive, The French president treads a delicate line as he hosts the Saudi king-in-waiting during the visit that is expected to focus on cultural ties and investments, as well as the long-running war in Yemen, which has killed 10,000 people and left the country on the brink of famine. Mr Macron faces fierce criticism over the export of arms to the kingdom, which has been bombing Yemen since 2015 when a Saudi-led coalition intervened to fight Houthi rebels backed by Iran, the Saudis’ arch-enemy. "Emmanuel Macron should put Yemen at the centre of his discussions with Mohammed bin Salman as he hosts him in France," said a statement issued this week by ten international rights groups including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. They called for "the end of bombing targeting civilians and respect for international humanitarian law" as well as the "unconditional and permanent lifting on restrictions on the delivery of humanitarian aid and commercial goods to Yemen". A YouGov opinion poll last month showed that three out of four French believe it was "unacceptable" to sell weapons to Saudi Arabia because of the kingdom’s actions in Yemen.



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Saudi king reiterates support for Palestinians after Israel comments

Saudi king reiterates support for Palestinians after Israel commentsKing Salman reiterated Saudi Arabia’s support for a Palestinian state after his son and heir apparent said Israelis were entitled to live peacefully on their own land – a rare statement by an Arab leader. The king also emphasized the need to advance the peace process in a phone call with U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday night, made after Israeli security forces killed 16 Palestinians last week during a demonstration along the Israel-Gaza border. King Salman reaffirmed “the kingdom’s steadfast position toward the Palestinian issue and the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people to an independent state with Jerusalem as its capital”, state news agency SPA said on Tuesday.



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Saudi forces say intercept missile fired by Yemen rebels

Saudi forces say intercept missile fired by Yemen rebelsSaudi air defences intercepted a missile fired by Yemeni rebels at the kingdom’s southern city of Najran on Saturday, the Saudi-led coalition fighting the rebels said, adding that one person was wounded. “The missile was fired at Najran indiscriminately and with the aim of hitting residential areas,” coalition spokesman Colonel Turki al-Malki told the official Saudi Press Agency. Yemen’s Saba news agency, run by the Iran-backed Huthi rebels, said the missile had been fired at a Saudi National Guard base in Najran, just over the border from Yemen where the Saudi-led coalition intervened on the side of the government in March 2015.



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UN chief condemns Yemen missile attacks on Saudi Arabia

UN chief condemns Yemen missile attacks on Saudi ArabiaUN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday strongly condemned missile attacks on Saudi Arabia from rebel-held territory in Yemen and said military escalation was not the solution to ending the three-year war. Saudi forces on Sunday intercepted seven missiles fired by Yemen’s Iran-backed Huthi rebels into Saudi Arabia, killing one person and wounding two others. Guterres “strongly condemns the launch late yesterday of a series of missiles claimed by the Huthis toward cities in Saudi Arabia, including Riyadh, as he does consistently with all attacks against civilians,” said a UN statement.



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Congress Sours on Saudi Arabia Over Yemen

Congress Sours on Saudi Arabia Over YemenWhile the White House fetes the kingdom’s crown prince, lawmakers are running out of patience with Riyadh’s catastrophic war in Yemen.



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