News – Saudi Arabia – 2011-10-25

October 25, 2011

ARABIALINK Daily News – Excerpts from International Media Reports
/Provided as a service from the Saudi-US Trade Group, Washington, DC/

10.25.11 EDITION

The Saudi Ambassador of Sangfroid: NEW YORK TIMES

Maureen Dowd | 10/23/11

“Jubeir stayed cool even when American officials informed him several months ago about the latest stunning chapter in the Saudi Arabia-versus-Iran Great Game for supremacy in the Middle East: an outlandish plot by an Iranian-American used-car dealer in Texas who said his cousin was a senior member of the Iranian Quds Force.”  SAUDI ENVOY PLOT SUSPECT PLEADS NOT GUILTY: Al Jazeera reports, “An Iranian-American accused of being the central figure in an alleged plot involving senior Iranian officials to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to Washington has pleaded not guilty in a New York court.”  IRAN DISPLAYS DIVISIONS AFTER CHARGE OF U.S. PLOT: “Iranian officials have delivered conflicting responses to U.S. allegations that Tehran plotted to assassinate Saudi Arabia’s ambassador in Washington, in a new sign of a split among Iran’s decision makers,” writes Farnaz Fassihi (Wall Street Journal).

Saudi Arabia To Bury Prince Sultan: REUTERS

Angus McDowall | 10/24/11

“The body of Sultan, who died of colon cancer in New York on Saturday, was flown back to Riyadh on Monday. Hundreds of men, including Saudi King Abdullah, gathered on the airport runway to watch as the coffin was lowered into an ambulance and driven away.” GOOD DEEDS WILL OUTLIVE SULTAN, SAYS CITIZENS WHO TASTED HIS KINDNESS: Badea Abu Al-Naja (Arab News) writes, “Crown Prince Sultan, deputy premier and minister of defense and aviation, will be buried on Tuesday but his good deeds will long outlive him, said a number of citizens who spoke to Arab News on Monday.”

Aramco Refining Capacity To Reach 3.5 Mbpd In 2016: SAUDI GAZETTE

10/24/11

“Saudi Aramco, increasingly looking to expand in downstream activities, will raise its domestic refining output capacity to 3.5 million barrels per day (bpd) by 2016 with the start-up of new plants, an Aramco executive said Monday.”

Saudi Lending Boost Set To Give Samba A Lift: THE NATIONAL

Hadeel al Sayegh | 10/25/11

“Samba Financial Group, Saudi Arabia’s second-largest lender by market value, is well positioned to benefit from the expected pick-up in the country’s lending activity. Total credit growth in Saudi Arabia increased 11 per cent in August compared with the same month last year, according to the latest central bank data. However, it was still well below boom-year figures of 27.2 per cent in 2008 and 21.2 per cent in 2007.”

Saudi’s Alhokair Eyes Expansion At Home And Abroad: REUTERS

10/24/11

Saudi Arabia-based retailer Fawaz Abdulaziz Alhokair Co 4240.SE plans to open 400 new stores within the next two years both at home and abroad and does not see demand in the kingdom declining anytime soon, its top executive said on Monday.

Arab Reforms Must Says Business Forum: TRADE ARABIA

10/24/11

“Arab rulers have responded to popular uprisings with handouts and subsidies, but time is running out for the fundamental reform needed to meet the aspirations of millions of young people for economic security and political freedom.”

SR10bn Steel Plant Coming Up In Jazan: ARAB NEWS

P.K. Abdul Ghafour | 10/24/11

“A major steel plant is being constructed in the Jazan Economic City in the Kingdom’s southern region at a total cost of SR10 billion. The plant’s first phase will be ready by the end of this year and start production early next year to support the region’s construction boom.”

Jadwa Likes Saudi Construction, Sees Petchems: REUTERS

Asma Alsharif | 10/24/11

“Jadwa Investment sees strong growth in the Saudi construction sector from the kingdom’s massive building plans but predicts a slowdown in the key export-driven petrochemicals industry as global growth weakens.”

Saudi Telecom Plans Acquisitions in 2012: ARAB NEWS

10/24/11

“Saudi Telecom Co. (STC) plans major acquisitions in the Middle East next year to take advantage of a buyer’s market to expand its regional presence, the chief executive of its international operations said.”

More News and Commentary from SUSTG

LIBYA: GADDAFI SON STILL AT LARGE, LIKELY FLEEING LIBYA

Muammar Qaddafi’s son and one-time heir apparent is now believed to be heading toward Niger, a desert nation just south of Libya where his brother and dozens of Qaddafi loyalists already have sought refuge, a government official said Tuesday, CBS news reports. OPINION: ‘NEW LIBYA’ MUST PROBE KILLING: Since this was the closing chapter of an internal armed conflict dating back to February, the situation was governed by the international laws of war as codified in the 1949 Geneva Conventions. Under these rules, it is a war crime to kill a combatant after he has been disarmed and taken into custody, except after a fair trial. Such a summary execution is to be distinguished from the killing of Osama bin Laden, which occurred during his capture and amid the fog of battle, Michael Scharf (CNN) writes. WEAPONRY STILL LYING AROUND, UNGUARDED: Large numbers of weapons, including surface-to-air missiles that could down commercial airliners, are still strewn around unguarded in Libya more than two months after Muammar Gaddafi was toppled in a civil war, Human Rights Watch said on Tuesday, Reuters reports.

SYRIA: OPPOSITION CALLS FOR INTERNATIONAL MONITORS

A key Syrian opposition group on Tuesday called for international monitors ahead of a visit to Damascus by senior Arab officials probing ways to start dialogue in the country gripped by a months-long uprising against the regime. AP reports.

TUNISIA: ‘ISLAMIST DOMINANCE’

Tunisia’s official vote results were expected Tuesday to confirm Islamist dominance nine months after a popular uprising ousted dictator Zine el Abidine Ben Ali and sparked the Arab Spring, AFP reports.

JORDAN: NEW GOVERNMENT SWORN IN

Jordan’s King Abdullah swore in on Monday a reform-minded government charged with speeding up political liberalisation in response to domestic pressure for change, Trade Arabia reports.

TURKEY: QUAKE DEATH TOLL CONTINUES TO RISE

The death toll from a deadly earthquake in eastern Turkey over the weekend has risen to more than 360, the government said Tuesday. Rescue teams were working round the clock for a third day to uncover survivors from more than 2,260 collapsed buildings in and around the city of Van, near the Iranian border, while more than 1,300 injured were being treated in nearby hospitals, the prime minister’s disaster relief center in Ankara announced, the NYT reports.

EGYPT: GAS NOW FLOWING TO JORDAN

Egypt is now pumping gas to Jordan and Israel after a disruption caused by an attack on a pipeline and has more than doubled the price it is charging Jordan, top Egyptian officials said, Arab News/Reuters reports.

NETANYAHU: PUNISHING ABBAS BY STRENGTHENING HAMAS

“Akiva Eldar (Haaretz) writes, “The story reported that those around Netanyahu, including his forum of eight senior ministers, decisively object to any gestures toward Mahmoud Abbas. The story also said that advisors to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu were pressing him to punish the Palestinian president. What for, and why? Because the Fatah leader dared to turn to the UN with a request to recognize a Palestinian state that would live in peace alongside the State of Israel. “How do you punish politicians who sin? Correct; you nurture their political rivals. And who is the main political rival of Fatah? Hamas, of course. And what is the most desirable tool when it comes to the Palestinian public? The release of hundreds of prisoners, including Israeli Arabs and residents of the eastern part of a “united” Jerusalem.”

 

/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>

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