Tag Archives: Saudi

Saudi crown prince approved 'intervention' against dissidents: report

Saudi crown prince approved 'intervention' against dissidents: reportMore than a year before the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Saudi Arabia’s powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman approved a secret campaign to silence dissenters, The New York Times reported on Sunday. American officials referred to it as the Saudi Rapid Intervention Group, the Times said. At least some of the clandestine missions were carried out by members of the team that killed and dismembered Khashoggi in October at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, suggesting his murder was part of a wider campaign against dissidents, the report said, citing the US officials and associates of some Saudi victims.



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U.S. Senate to vote Wednesday on Saudi Yemen war resolution

U.S. Senate to vote Wednesday on Saudi Yemen war resolutionThe U.S. Senate will vote on Wednesday on a resolution to end Washington’s support for the Saudi Arabia-led military campaign in Yemen, as lawmakers push President Donald Trump to toughen his policy toward the kingdom. Announcing the vote on Tuesday, Senator Bernie Sanders called the war “a humanitarian and strategic disaster.” Sanders, an independent who is running for president as a Democrat, is a lead co-sponsor of the resolution along with Republican Senator Mike Lee. The vote on the war powers resolution will be the second within four months in the Senate.



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U.S. senators say Saudi crown prince has gone 'full gangster'

U.S. senators say Saudi crown prince has gone 'full gangster'Among those were the torturing of women’s activists and a U.S. citizen and the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Abizaid called for accountability for the murder of Khashoggi, a U.S. resident, and support for human rights, but repeatedly stressed the strategic importance of Washington-Riyadh ties. Despite increasing tension between the two countries, the United States has not had an ambassador to Saudi Arabia since Trump became president in January 2017.



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Saudi Arabia replaces envoy to Washington: royal decree

Saudi Arabia replaces envoy to Washington: royal decreeSaudi Arabia has replaced its ambassador to the United States, a royal decree announced Saturday, as the fallout over journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s murder tests relations between the two allies. Princess Rima bint Bandar was appointed the kingdom’s first woman envoy to Washington, replacing Prince Khalid bin Salman, who was named vice defence minister. Prince Khalid is the younger brother of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the country’s de facto ruler who also serves as the defence minister.



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Saudi princess becomes country's first female ambassador with US role

Saudi princess becomes country's first female ambassador with US roleA Saudi princess has been named the country's first ever female ambassador, and its next envoy to the United States, amid strained diplomatic relations.  Princess Reema bint Bandar al-Saud's appointment comes as the conservative kingdom is under international scrutiny over the alleged torture of imprisoned female activists and the murder of dissident Jamal Khashoggi.  The kingdom’s strict guardianship laws were highlighted last month after teenager Rahaf Mohammed Alqunun, made a dramatic escape from the country, citing an abusive family and state-sponsored oppression. Princess Reema, whose father Bandar bin Sultan al-Saud held the post from 1983 until 2005, grew up in the US and Saudi Arabia, and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in museum studies from George Washington University. A high-profile businesswoman, she has worked in the public and private sector, notably as the CEO of a retail company with Harvey Nichols in its portfolio.  She is also known for her advocacy work around women’s rights, increased women’s participation in sport, and breast cancer awareness.  Princess Reema will take over the role from Prince Khalid bin Salman, the younger brother of  crown prince Mohammad bin Salman, who has been named Saudi deputy defence minister. The US envoy oversees one of Saudi’s most valuable relationships, which has been strained over the murder of Mr Khashoggi, a columnist for the Washington Post, and Saudi Arabia's war in Yemen.  The two countries, are bound by shared interests in the Middle East, such as controlling an ascendant Iran, and hundreds of billions of dollars in arms deals. In May 2017, US President Donald Trump and Saudi King Salman inked a series of letters of intent for Saudi to purchase US$ 110 billion worth of US arms  immediately, and another $ 350 billion over 10 years. Many of these weapons end up in Yemen, which has attracted mild statements of concern from the US.



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Saudi Arabia names first woman envoy to Washington at critical time

Saudi Arabia names first woman envoy to Washington at critical timeSaudi Arabia on Saturday named a princess as its first woman ambassador to the United States, a key appointment as the fallout over journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s murder tests relations between the allies. Princess Rima bint Bandar replaced Prince Khalid bin Salman, the younger brother of the powerful crown prince who was appointed vice defence minister in a flurry of late-night royal decrees announced on state media. The reshuffle comes as Saudi Arabia seeks to quell an international outcry over Khashoggi’s murder last October in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, which strained relations with its key ally Washington.



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Saudi Sisters Stranded for Months in Hong Kong After Fleeing the Kingdom, Rights Group Says

Saudi Sisters Stranded for Months in Hong Kong After Fleeing the Kingdom, Rights Group SaysThey were trying to seek asylum in Australia but were stopped in Hong Kong



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China's desire for close Iran ties unchanged, Xi says ahead of Saudi prince's visit

China's desire for close Iran ties unchanged, Xi says ahead of Saudi prince's visitChina’s desire to develop close ties with Iran will remain unchanged, regardless of the international situation, President Xi Jinping told the speaker of Iran’s parliament, ahead of Thursday’s visit to Beijing by Saudi Arabia’s crown prince. China has traditionally played little role in Middle East conflicts or diplomacy, despite relying on the region for oil, with Iran its fourth largest supplier last year, but has been trying to raise its profile, especially in the Arab world. Saudi Arabia’s King Salman visited Beijing in 2017, and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman arrives on Thursday for a two-day visit.



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Saudi to free 850 Indian prisoners from its jails: India government

Saudi to free 850 Indian prisoners from its jails: India governmentSaudi Arabia will release 850 Indians from its prisons after a request from Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during its Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s visit to New Delhi, India’s Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday. Saudi jails hold the greatest number of Indians incarcerated in any country abroad. As of January 2019, 2,224 Indians were jailed in the kingdom for crimes including murder, kidnapping, bribery, cheating, and offences related to drugs and alcohol, according Indian Foreign Ministry figures.



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Saudi vows to 'de-escalate' India-Pakistan tensions after Kashmir attack

Saudi vows to 'de-escalate' India-Pakistan tensions after Kashmir attackSaudi Arabia vowed to “de-escalate” rising tensions between Pakistan and India during a high-profile summit in Islamabad Monday as Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman prepares to travel from Islamabad to New Delhi. The kingdom’s minister of state for foreign affairs spoke at a press conference in Islamabad as Pakistan recalled its envoy from Delhi for “consultations”, the latest development in a fresh diplomatic crisis between the nuclear-armed neighbours. The attack has sparked widespread calls in India for action against Pakistan.



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