News – Saudi Arabia – 2012-01-04

January 4, 2012

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

1.4.12 EDITION

Saudi Economy Is Guarded By Massive Assets: EMIRATES 24|7

1/4/12

Saudi Arabia’s economy is not vulnerable to fresh global financial crisis as its foreign assets climb to their highest ever level on the back of strong oil prices, the Gulf Kingdom’s largest bank said on Tuesday.

Strait Of Hormuz And Iranian Threats: ARAB NEWS

Abdulateef Al-Mulhim | 1/3/12

Every five years, the Iranians would threaten the whole world that they would close the Strait of Hormuz. They never did. They simply can’t do it and they are not capable of doing it even if they wanted to do it.

Saudi Poets Slam ‘Plague’ Of Extremism And Poverty In Million’s Poet: THE NATIONAL

Rym Ghazal | 1/4/12

Two Saudi poets, described by judges as “daring”, made it through to the next round at last night’s premiere of the fifth season of the Million’s Poet TV programme in Abu Dhabi.
Saqqar Al Ouni and Mansour Faheed took on sensitive issues in their opening poems, slamming the “plague” of extremism and poverty in parts of the region.

E-Gate Coming To Kingdom’s Airports: SAUDI GAZETTE

1/4/12

Saudis and expatriates can soon use their magnetic identity and iqama cards to enter and exit the Kingdom, instead of having to show their passports at the country’s airports.

Saudi Arabian Private-Sector Activity Eases Off: THE NATIONAL

Tom Arnold | 1/4/12

The rate of private-sector business expansion in Saudi Arabia eased slightly last month as new orders declined, a survey released yesterday shows.

Job Market For Saudi Youths Opens: ARAB NEWS

1/4/12

A leading private sector establishment in the capital will provide a job market for thousands of Saudi jobseekers and prospective employers at its first ever exhibition to be held at the InterContinental Hotel in Riyadh on Wednesday.

Saudi Arabia Sees ‘Huge Potential’ For Trade With India: TIMES OF INDIA

1/4/12

Against economic troubles in Europe and uncertainty in the US, Saudi Arabia on Wednesday said it sees “huge potential” for stepping up commercial engagement with India. However, Saudi Arabia which is home to two million Indian workforce, asked the Indian government to relax visa rules to boost bilateral trade and investment. “We are eager to do more trade with India. Huge potential is present in both the nations as both are emerging economies,” said Saudi commerce and industry minister Tawfeeq Al Rabea.

Saudis Use More Oil; Exporter Status Threatened: MARKETWATCH

James Herron | 1/4/12

Growing domestic energy consumption in the world’s largest oil exporter, Saudi Arabia, threatens its ability to adequately supply world markets, said a report from London-based think tank Chatham House.

Tunisia Says Saudi Silent On Requests To Extradite Ex-Leader: AL MASRY AL YOUM

1/4/12

Saudi Arabia has ignored Tunisia’s request to hand over ex-president Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali to be tried for a brutal clampdown on protests, the head of the Tunis military tribunal said Tuesday.

Sabic Faces Anti-Dumping Case in Turkey, al-Watan Reports: BLOOMBERG

1/4/12

Saudi Basic Industries Corp. (SABIC), the world’s biggest petrochemical maker, faces an anti-dumping case brought by the Turkish government against its exports of monoethylene glycol, Chief Executive Officer Mohamed al-Mady told the newspaper al-Watan.

Did Saudi Prince Inspire Rupert Murdoch to Tweet?: FORBES

1/3/12

I’m told it had also something to do with the $300 million investment in Twitter last month by Prince Alwaleed bin Talal’s Kingdom Holding. That deal, which reportedly valued the service at more than $8 billion, was big enough to grab the attention of a man whose interest in new technologies — think of his recent obsession with the iPad, or, before that, MySpace — tends to be intense but ephemeral.

More News and Commentary from SUSTG

LIBYA: NATION NAMES HEAD OF ARMED FORCES, WHILE MILITIAS CLASH

Libya on Tuesday named Yousef al-Manqoush, a retired general from the anti-Gaddafi bastion of Misrata, as head of the armed forces in the first significant move to build a new Libyan military.

The appointment was announced as four fighters were killed in a gun battle between rival militias in Tripoli, underlining the interim government’s difficulties in controlling the increasingly fractious groups who toppled Muammar Gaddafi, Asharq Alawsat/Reuters reports. RISKS OF CIVIL WAR IF MILITIAS ARE NOT CONTROLLED: Libya risks sliding into civil war unless it brings under control the rival militias which filled the vacuum left by Muammar Gaddafi’s downfall, the head of the interim administration said after an outbreak of violence in the capital, REUTERS reports.

AFGHANISTAN: TALIBAN EXPRESSES INTEREST IN NEGOTIATING

The Taliban on Tuesday for the first time publicly expressed interest in negotiating with Washington, outlining a vision for talks with U.S. officials in Qatar that conspicuously excluded a role for the Afghan government, Ernesto Londono (Washington Post) reports.

EGYPT: ISLAMISTS EYE MAJORITY IN FINAL LEG OF VOTE

The Islamist Muslim Brotherhood looks set for a dominant role in Egypt’s first free parliament in decades and is promising rivals a role in writing a new constitution as military generals face growing pressure to hand power to civilians, Reuters reports. OVERTURES TO ISLAMISTS A FIRST FOR US POLICY IN EGYPT: With the Muslim Brotherhood pulling within reach of an outright majority in Egypt’s new Parliament, the Obama administration has begun to reverse decades of mistrust and hostility as it seeks to forge closer ties with an organization once viewed as irreconcilably opposed to United States interests, NYT reports.

ISRAEL: HAMAS CALLS ISRAEL-PALESTINIAN MEETING A FARCE

The Palestinian group Hamas said on Wednesday that the first face-to-face meeting in 16 months between Israeli and Palestinian negotiators to try to restart stalled peace talks was a “farce” and a “waste of time, ” Haaretz.

PAKISTAN: 3 IRANIAN GUARDS FACE MURDER CHARGES

A Pakistani official says three Iranian border guards held here face murder charges after fatally shooting a man inside Pakistan’s territory while chasing smugglers, AP reports.

IRAQ: SERIES OF ATTACKS KILL 4, WOUND 9

A series of attacks in Iraq on Wednesday targeting the homes of police officers and a member of a government-allied militia killed four people, including two children, officials said, AP reports.

IRAN: WHY CURRENCY HAS DROPPED

Washington’s new financial legislation against Tehran will sanction foreign firms that purchase Iranian oil – by far the chief source of Iranian government revenue – and penalize banks engaging in financial transactions with Iran. The legislation won’t be enacted for another six months, in order for the White House to prepare for any potential fallout on global oil prices, and the rial strengthened today somewhat to 16,200 rials to the dollar. But the psychological impact on ordinary Iranians, who see a strong rial as a sign of national strength amid the Islamic Republic’s growing international isolation, has been huge, Christian Science Monitor writes.

KUWAIT: MASSIVE BUDGET SURPLUS

Kuwait’s budget surplus reached 11.6 billion dinars ($41.6 billion) in the first eight months of its 2011-12 fiscal year, double than a year ago on higher than expected oil revenue and lower spending, finance ministry data showed on Tuesday, Trade Arabia reports.

OPINION: HAWKS WHO LEARNED NOTHING

It’s worth noting that a lot of people got various things wrong about Iraq at various times. This writer is no exception. But the following critics are particularly notable not only because they were completely and catastrophically wrong about the costs and benefits of the Iraq War, and more generally about the capacity of American military power to determine outcomes, but also because they tended to go about it in the most condescending way possible. They have also suffered no apparent penalty for it. Going forward, our country will be safer and more secure in inverse proportion to the amount of influence these people have, writes Matt Duss (Salon).

 

/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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