SBRIS Daily News – Excerpts from International Media Reports
/Provided as a service from the Saudi-US Trade Group, Washington, DC/
James Smith | 2/12/12
During my travels in Saudi Arabia, I have been impressed to see the way entrepreneurs are remaking the Saudi Arabian economy.
GCC Supplied Over 23% of Saudi 2011 Imports: EMIRATES 24|7
Saudi Arabia’s five partners in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) emerged among the largest exporters to the Gulf Kingdom in 2011, accounting for more than 23 per cent of its total imports of goods through letters of credit (LCs), a Saudi bank said on Tuesday.
Saudi Arabia said it halted exports of cement and clinker to prevent shortages of the products and stabilize prices in the Arab world’s largest economy.
Syrian unrest is giving Saudi Arabia an opportunity to weaken rival Shiite Iran, which has been closely allied with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Saudi Arabia is taking steps to force regime change in Syria, while seeking to thwart any Arab Spring contagion in Persian Gulf states. The Sunni monarchy, which tolerates little dissent at home, has joined with Qatar, another Gulf monarchy, in leading efforts to isolate Syria internationally.
Saudi Arabia’s Surprising About-Face on Climate Change: HUFFINGTON POST
Formal Saudi recognition of the need to get to grips with climate change is a major about-face. The speech signaled that the Saudis may be prepared to play a more progressive and less obstructionist role in the negotiations. And just last week we heard that Al-Sabban will be replaced by the well-respected Khalid Abuleif as the leading voice of Saudi Arabia at the climate negotiations.
Abdulateef Al-Mulhim | 2/14/12
On Sept. 23, 1965, a group of 67 Saudi students became the nucleus of what would be the most influential educational institute in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. This small educational institute used to be called the College of Petroleum and Minerals (CPM).
Reuters | 2/13/12
Saudi Fransi Capital, the brokerage arm of Banque Saudi Fransi, has six initial public offerings in the pipeline, including three that might launch in the first half of the year, its chief executive said.
Mourad Haroutunian | 2/13/12
The number of passengers travelling through Saudi Arabia’s King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh rose 10.2 percent in 2011 to 15.3 million, the Saudi Press Agency reported, citing Abdullah Al Tasan, the airport’s director-general.
Saudi Arabia Expecting 15.8 Million Tourists by 2014: ARABIAN BUSINESS
Claire Ferris-Lay | 2/14/12
The number of tourists heading to Saudi Arabia is expected to reach 15.8 million by 2014, up from around 13 million in 2010, according to international industry consultant Business Monitor International (BMI).
Scientists, Scholars to Redefine Halal: ARAB NEWS
Riyadh Gov. Prince Sattam inaugurated the first international conference on halal food and a related exhibition in the Saudi capital on Sunday.
Lawyers for Saudi Writer Turn Up Heat on Malaysian Officials: WALL STREET JOURNAL
Celine Fernandez | 2/14/12
A day after Malaysia deported a 23-year old Saudi Arabian journalist to face charges of insulting the Prophet Muhammad on Twitter, his Malaysia-based lawyers are hoping to keep the case alive in Malaysia’s courts, even though it’s unlikely to affect the journalist’s fate in his home country. Lawyers for Hamza Kashgari on Monday filed an application with Malaysia’s High Court asking judges to declare that the columnist’s arrest and detention by local authorities was unlawful. The application, which is expected to be heard Feb. 14, named as respondents Malaysia’s Minister of Home Affairs, the Inspector General of Police, and other government authorities. OPINION: THE PRICE OF TWEETING: It may very well be “micro-blogging”, but the recent global row over what were considered to be blasphemous tweets by Saudi columnist Hamza Kashgari have proven, yet again, how “macro” the impact of just 140 characters can be,” Faisal J Abbas (Huffington Post) writes.
The Saudi King’s Hypocrisy: WASHINGTON POST
Editorial | 2/13/12
It’s hard to top the bloody hypocrisy of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, but Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah is making a run at it. On Friday, the king delivered an angry speech denouncing the United Nations Security Council’s failure to act on Syria, where Saudi Arabia is supporting an Arab League plan for a “democratic transition” that would end the Assad regime. “The world is ruled by brains, by justice, by morals and by fairness,” he piously declared.
Glen Carey | 2/14/12
Armored anti-riot vehicles cluster outside the police station in Awwamiya in Saudi Arabia’s oil- producing eastern region, where unrest is turning violent. SAUDI FORCES PROVOKED, SAY OFFICIALS: Demonstrators in a Shiite village in an eastern province in Saudi Arabia deliberately provoked security forces, the government said in a statement, UPI reports.
Josh Gerstein | 2/13/12
A former top-level FBI official has agreed to serve as an expert for the defense of a Saudi Arabian student accused of trying to assemble a bomb in Texas.
Arabs Own Seven Of World’s Top Ten Superyachts: ARABIAN BUSINESS
Arab owners have dominated the list of the word’s’ top superyachts, taking seven of the top ten rankings.
SYRIA: FORCES CONTINUE ATTACKS ON CIVILIAN OPPOSITION, ARABS MULL ARMS SUPPORT
Syrian government forces attacked opponents of President Bashar al-Assad in cities and towns across the country on Tuesday and Arab officials confirmed that regional governments would be ready to arm the resistance if the bloodshed did not cease, Reuters reports. UN WARNS OF CIVIL WAR: U.N. human rights chief Navi Pillay warned on Monday that the Security Council’s failure to take action has emboldened the Syrian government to launch an all-out assault, CBS reports. OPINION: ASSAD’S PROSPECTS GROW ‘DIMMER BY THE DAY’: Syrian President Bashar Assad’s brutal regime may count on its Russian and Chinese apologists on the United Nations Security Council, and on Iranian friends who are lurking in the weeds. But its prospects of crushing the Arab Spring revolt against 40 years of Assad family rule grow dimmer by the day, an editorial in the Toronto Star writes.
ISRAEL: BANGKOK BLASTS PROMPT MORE ACCUSATIONS AGAINST IRAN
Israel ratcheted up security levels in public places and at key strategic targets on Tuesday, a day after accusing Iran of responsibility for twin bombing attempts aimed at Israeli embassy personnel in New Delhi and Tbilisi, Georgia, Washington Post reports.
IRAN: NEW NUCLEAR PROJECTS TO BE UNVEILED TOMORROW
Iran’s official news agency says that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will unveil new nuclear projects on Wednesday. IRNA did not say in its Tuesday report what the projects would be. But an independent news website that regularly reports on nuclear developments says the ceremonies are likely to include the formal inauguration of the underground Fordo uranium enrichment site in central Iran, and starting operations on two lines of centrifuges there. ATTACK ON FACILITIES ‘EASIER SAID THAN DONE’: Despite renewed media speculation regarding possible Israeli attacks against Iran’s nuclear facilities as early as this spring, skepticism that such a campaign could actually be successfully carried out remains relatively high, raising the question of whether there is more bark than bite to Israeli threats, David Isenberg (IPS) writes.
BAHRAIN: DEMONSTRATORS ARRESTED ON ANNIVERSARY
Bahrain’s mostly Shiite Muslim opposition called on supporters to mark the first anniversary of their anti-government protests by heading to the former Pearl Roundabout, focus of last year’s rallies, Donna Abu-Nasr (Bloomberg) writes.
EU: RADICAL CLERIC FREE AS DEPORTATION TALKS CONTINUE
PAKISTAN: US EMBASSY EMPLOYEE FREED AFTER BULLETS FOUND IN SUITCASE
A U.S. Embassy employee was released after being held for questioning in Pakistan on Tuesday when airport security officials discovered bullets in his luggage, police said, MSNBC reports.
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