/Provided as a service from the Saudi-US Trade Group, Washington, DC/
Tom Perry | 9/20/11
Saudi Arabia will pay $200 million to the Palestinian Authority, the official Palestinian news agency said on Monday, funds that will ease a financial crisis faced by the authority as it prepares to apply for full U.N. membership this week. SUSRIS: SAUDI-US FRICTION OVER PALESTINE AT UN: A United States veto in the Security Council will result in significant diplomatic blowback for Washington, including damage to its standing in the Arab world in general and potentially its relationship with Saudi Arabia. Prince Turki al-Faisal, former diplomat and intelligence chief, has been an outspoken champion among Saudis for Palestinian rights and the tenor of his words, especially warnings to Washington have become more intense, Pat Ryan (SUSRIS) writes.
Saudi Arabia will donate $10 million for a new counterterrorism center at U.N. headquarters in New York, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Monday as world leaders called for collective efforts to fight terror attacks.
Mourad Haroutunian and Alaa Shahine | 9/19/11
“Saudi Arabian equity investors are punishing the kingdom’s banks for locking assets in low-yielding investments after recovering from the region’s biggest loan defaults.” SAMBA NAMED SAFEST BANK IN KINGDOM: Arab News reports, “Global Finance, the leading international banking and finance magazine, has ranked Samba as the safest bank in Saudi Arabia and one of the safest banks in the world in 2011.”
Saudi Inflation Kept Under Wraps: FINANCIAL TIMES
Camilla Hall | 9/19/11
“Regional economists are scratching their heads over why a combination of historically high global food prices and a multibillion-dollar spending package is not stoking inflation in Saudi Arabia as forecast.
Global food prices rose 26 per cent year-on-year in August, according to the UN Food and Agriculture association. However, in Saudi Arabia, a leading importer of foodstuffs, prices of food and beverages rose only 5.4 per cent year-on-year in the same month.”
“All parties in Yemen should persevere with the Gulf Cooperation Council transition plan for the country, although amendments could be made, Saudi Arabia’s representative to the United Nations said on Monday.”
Google Gives Saudi Firms Boost into Cyberspace: AL ARABIYA
Eman El-Shenawi | 9/19/11
“Google plans to develop free websites for small-to-medium-sized firms (SMEs) in Saudi Arabia in an effort to get more Gulf firms online, its regional managing director said. The world’s largest and most lucrative search engine will also offer advice to Saudi SMEs on how to monetize their digital presence.”
Saudi Arabia: 41 Accused of Terrorism: NEW YORK TIMES
Reuters | 9/19/11
Saudi Arabia will put 41 suspects on trial on accusations that they formed a cell linked to Al Qaeda that planned to attack United States forces in Kuwait and Qatar, the state news agency SPA said on Monday. The suspects are also accused of financing militants in Iraq and Afghanistan, recruiting for Al Qaeda, and plotting to smuggle militants and weapons between Saudi Arabia and Iraq, SPA said.
OPEC Chief’s Alarm over Demand Hits Price of Oil: THE NATIONAL
April Yee | 9/20/11
“The price of oil fell last night after the secretary general of OPEC voiced concern over falling global demand, and the euro-zone debt crisis deepened. The price of crude dropped by as much as 3 per cent in London and New York as investors speculated over the likelihood of Greece defaulting on its sovereign debt and digested a series of negative remarks by Abdalla El Badri at a meeting in Dubai.”
Gulf Stocks Fall As Oil Prices Decline: SAUDI GAZETTE
“Large-cap stocks headed losers on Saudi stock market as declines in oil prices and global equities weigh.
The Kingdom’s main index Tadawul All Share Index slipped 0.42 percent to 6,118.34 points Monday, extending declines for a second day since Saturday’s six-week high.”
“Saudi Arabia is opening its doors to take advantage of South Korea’s experience in building economic cities and railroads, a top SABIC (Saudi Basic Industries Corp.) official said.”
Dina Zayed | 9/19/11
“A unit of Egypt’s Orascom Construction Industries (OCI) won a 2.07 billion Saudi riyal ($552 million) contract to design and build a major sports stadium in Saudi Arabia’s Jeddah.”
Walaa Hawari | 9/19/11
“The British Institute for Arabian Peninsula Studies’ initiative was discussed by British Ambassador to the Kingdom Sir Tom Phillips and Prince Sultan bin Salman, chairman of the Saudi Commission for Tourism & Antiquities, during the ambassador’s visit to the commission on Sunday.”
Riyadh Peps Up Parks for National Day Celebrations: SAUDI GAZETTE
Shahid Ali Khan | 9/19/11
“Hectic preparations are under way to decorate parks here as part of the expansive plans for Saudi National Day celebrations, said Dr. Ibrahim Al-Djain, Director General of the Riyadh Municipality’s Department of Gardens and Parks. ‘All major parks will be decorated with lighting, miniature Saudi flags and huge posters depicting the country’s leaders,’ he said.”
OPINION: ISRAEL, ADRIFT AT SEA ALONE
“I’ve never been more worried about Israel’s future. The crumbling of key pillars of Israel’s security — the peace with Egypt, the stability of Syria and the friendship of Turkey and Jordan — coupled with the most diplomatically inept and strategically incompetent government in Israel’s history have put Israel in a very dangerous situation,” writes Thomas Friedman (NYT). “This has also left the U.S. government fed up with Israel’s leadership but a hostage to its ineptitude, because the powerful pro-Israel lobby in an election season can force the administration to defend Israel at the U.N., even when it knows Israel is pursuing policies not in its own interest or America’s.” US IN ‘TOUGH SPOT’ WITH PALESTINIAN UN BID: “Now, 32 months after President Barack Obama named former Sen. George Mitchell as his chief Middle East envoy, the peace process is stalled and the United States faces the diplomatically dangerous possibility of having to veto a United Nations Security Council resolution on Palestinian statehood,” Elise Labott and Tom Cohen (CNN) report. ISRAEL LOBBY IN FULL SWING: The American Jewish Committee slammed on Monday a full-page ad in the New York Times commissioned by a pro- Israel group criticizing U.S. President Barack Obama’s policies toward Israel, Ha’aretz reports.
TURKEY: BLAST SHAKES CAPITAL
An explosion in the center of Turkey’s capital, Ankara, killed three people and injured 15 on Tuesday, raising the possibility that it was a terror attack aimed at civilians, the country’s interior minister said, WSJ reports.
LIBYA: FIGHTERS PUT PRESSURE ON GADDAFI HOLDOUTS
Troops loyal to Libya’s new leaders maintained strong momentum Tuesday against pro-Moammar Gadhafi holdouts as they planned an assault on one loyalist city and moved into another without resistance, CNN reports. GADDAFI: LIBYA SITUATION A ‘CHARADE’: A new audio message from former Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi says what is happening in Libya is a “charade” aided by NATO airstrikes, which will not last forever, VOA reports.
AFGHANISTAN : AFGHAN GOVERNMENT MINISTER ACCUSED OF HAMPERING FIGHT AGAINST INSURGENTS: Jon Boone (Guardian) reports that, “Members of British and Afghan special forces were seriously injured during last week’s Kabul siege after Afghanistan’s interior minister barged onto the scene at 3am and ordered the “cowards” to rush the final assault, Afghan and international officials say. Well-informed sources have painted an extraordinary picture of a senior official who not only remained in the building while fighting continued, but also accused commanders of being cowards and threatened to sack them unless they hurried up.”
EGYPT: NOT MUCH REFORM SO FAR IN CORRUPT POLICE
The Egyptian police force has long been hated for its corruption and use of torture, and many Egyptians saw the downfall of the police state as a critical goal of their 18-day uprising. But current and former officers say some members of the force are thwarting any attempt at change, and in many cases are avenging their fall from power by refusing to do their jobs, the AP reports.
PAKISTAN: FLOOD TOLL RISES
SYRIA: U.S. PLANNING FOR SYRIA WITHOUT ASSAD
The Obama administration is exploring how to “deal with” the possibility of a civil war among Syria’s many factions once President Bashar al-Assad is toppled or steps down, the National Journal writes, citing a recent New York Times article.
IRAN: TRANSATLANTIC POLL ON IRAN NUKES
Jim Lobe (LobeLog) points to a new poll about attitudes toward Iran’s nuclear program. “You can find this year’s edition of “Transatlantic Trends,” as the survey is called, here. The annual poll’s sponsor, the German Marshall Fund (GMF), highlighted the finding that for the first time in the past decade, a slight majority of U.S. respondents (51%) felt that Asian countries were more important to U.S. national interests than were the countries of the European Union (whereas the EU countries, with a couple of exceptions, still consider the U.S. most important to its interests). The survey was carried out between May 25 and June 17.”
/The daily news is provided as a service of the Saudi-US Trade Group, Washington, DC. Visit www.SUSTG.org for more information and to get a free email subscription to the News Review./</h4></div>