SAUDIBRIT Daily News – Excerpts from International Media Reports
/Provided as a service from the Saudi-US Trade Group, Washington, DC/
King Appoints New Cabinet Ministers: ARAB NEWS
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah has appointed new Cabinet ministers as part of a wider range of reshuffle. Among the key appointments contained in royal decrees released on Tuesday by the royal court were Muhammad Al-Jasser as minister of economy and planning, Bandar Hajjar as Haj minister, Abdul Rahman Al-Barrak as minister of Civil Services, Tawfik Al-Rabiah as commerce and industry minister, Fahad bin Abdullah Al-Mubarak as new SAMA governor and Khaled Al-Sibti as deputy minister of education.
The “Education: Investing in Human Capital” panel, the opening plenary session, was moderated by Steve Clemons who reprised that role from last year’s inaugural Business Opportunities Forum in Chicago. Clemons is Director of the American Strategy Program at the New America Foundation and in June he added editor in chief of Atlantic Live and Washington editor-at-large for The Atlantic to a portfolio which includes his Washington Note blog. Clemons was a principal organizer of the very successful US-Saudi relations conference in Washington in 2009, “US-Saudi Relations in a World Without Equilibrium,” co-hosted by the Committee for International Trade and the New America Foundation. In this exclusive interview SUSRIS asked Clemons to comment on the state of the Saudi-US relationship and provide his assessment of the commercial connections being built through the Opportunities Forums.
Iran’s Intelligence Chief Held Talks with Saudis: WALL STREET JOURNAL
Ellen Knickmeyer | 12/13/11
Iran’s intelligence chief traveled to Riyadh for talks with Saudi Arabia’s top intelligence officials, maintaining security contacts between the two neighbors even as Saudi leaders publicly accuse Iran of instigating political unrest and a nuclear arms race in the region.
Iranian Intelligence Minister Heidar Moslehi talked Monday with Saudi Crown Prince Nayef, who is also the Saudi interior minister; Saudi intelligence director Prince Muqrin; and other top Saudi royals, the Saudi Press Agency reported Tuesday. Iranian and Saudi officials “reviewed a number of issues of common concern,” the Saudi news agency said.
Saudi Arabia Now Gulf’s Top Financial Centre, Says WEF: ARABIAN BUSINESS
Andy Sambidge | 12/13/11
Saudi Arabia has leapfrogged the UAE and Bahrain to be ranked the Gulf’s top financial centre, according to a new report published by the World Economic Forum on Tuesday.
AP | 12/13/11
Saudi Arabia’s official news agency says the kingdom will supply conflict-ridden Yemen with urgently needed goods, including whatever oil products it requires.
Sarah Abdullah | 12/13/11
Time constraints, financing and growing demand were some of the challenges that need to be overcome to secure the future of the Kingdom’s industrial cities, a panel of experts said at the Saudi infrastructure Forum on Monday.
Saudi-India Trade Reaches $21bn: ARAB NEWS
A 13-member business delegation from the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) visited the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI) on Monday.
$40 Million Poultry Deal Announced at Saudi Conference: GLOBAL ATLANTA
A month before hosting the annual International Poultry Expo, Atlanta was the site of a $40 million poultry deal between Saudi Arabia and Wisconsin. Guttenberg Farms of Taylor, Wis., signed an agreement to export $40 million in whole frozen chickens to Saudi grocery chain Othaim Markets on Dec. 6 at the U.S. Saudi Business Opportunities Forum in Atlanta.
Saudi Trade Mission Set For US Talks: ARAB NEWS
An 88-member Saudi trade mission, sponsored by the US Commercial Service at the US Embassy, Riyadh, has left for the US for a four-day visit aimed at building stronger commercial ties.
Saudi Government Criticized Over Low Wages: EMIRATES 24|7
Under a bold article headed “splash part of the SR trillion on them”, a prominent Saudi newspaper writer has criticised the Gulf kingdom’s government over its low wages to citizens, saying the average monthly income is only around SR1,500 while the country is expected to earn SR1,500 billion this year.
Saudi food group Savola has bought the remaining 22 percent stakes in two Egyptian companies it acquired in October as part of a regional expansion, an official at investment bank HC Securities that managed the deal said on Tuesday.
Saudi Sukuk May Serve Monetary Policy Goals: ARAB NEWS
Reuters | 12/13/11
A proposed Islamic bond issue by Saudi Arabia is important not so much because it would raise money for the country — the Kingdom does not need the cash — but because it could serve important monetary policy goals.
Saleh Al-Awaji, the Saudi deputy minister of water and electricity spoke at the Saudi Water and Power Forum on Sunday about the increasing use of electricity in the country.
This is particular true over the summer, where it increases by 70% due to air-conditioner use.
IRAN: TEHRAN REJECTS US CALLS TO RETURN DOWNED DRONE
SYRIA: US-BORN BLOGGER ARRESTED FOR INCITEMENT
Syrian authorities have charged a U.S.-born Syrian blogger and press freedom campaigner with trying to incite sectarian strife. The Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression in the Arab World says Razan Ghazzawi also was charged with spreading false information and weakening national sentiment — a term often used in Syria against those who challenge the regime, AFP reports. VIOLENCE IN BORDER PROVENCE LEAVES 28 DEAD: Syrian security forces fired on a funeral procession in a restive northwestern border region, killing two people and raising Tuesday’s death toll to at least 28, activists said, AP reports. GAS PIPELINE ATTACKED: Gunmen blew up a natural-gas pipeline near the central city of Homs, in the second such attack on the country’s energy facilities in less than a week, Bloomberg reports.
PAKISTAN: $700 MILLION FROM US FROZEN BY LAWMAKERS
A U.S. Congressional panel has frozen $700 million in aid to Pakistan until it gives assurances it is helping fight the spread of homemade bombs in the region, a move one Pakistani senator called unwise and likely to strain ties further, Reuters reports.
TUNISIA: NEW PRESIDENT PLEDGES CLEAN BREAK WITH DICTATORSHIP
Tunisia’s newly elected president promised at his swearing-in ceremony Tuesday to be a leader for all Tunisians. Veteran rights activist Moncef Marzouki, who was repeatedly imprisoned by the old regime, said he would make a clean break with Tunisia’s history of dictatorship and promised Tunisians the right to education, work and healthcare and equal rights to all women, AP reports.
PALESTINE: FLAG RAISED AT UNESCO
President Mahmoud Abbas symbolically hoisted the Palestinian flag at the headquarters of the U.N. cultural agency on Tuesday calling it the first step to international recognition for Palestine, Reuters reports.
AFGHANISTAN: PLAN WOULD REDUCE NATO COMBAT ROLE
The senior American commander in Afghanistan said Tuesday that his plans for next year would emphasize deploying American and allied military trainers directly within Afghan security units, which could lessen the direct combat role of NATO and accelerate local forces taking the lead in a growing number of missions, Thom Shanker (NYT) reports.
ISLAM: BURQA BAN IN CANADA FOR NEW CITIZENS TAKING OATH TEST
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