/Provided as a service from the Saudi-US Trade Group, Washington, DC/
Philip Barbara | 1/12/11
“President Barack Obama called Saudi King Abdullah on Tuesday, wishing him a speedy recovery from recent surgery and saying he wanted to keep working with Saudi Arabia and others to stabilize the situation in Lebanon, the White House said.” AGREEMENT IN PERIL? “A prominent Lebanese leader says regional powers Syria and Saudi Arabia have failed to broker an agreement among Beirut’s rival political factions over the investigation into the 2005 assassination of the country’s former prime minister,” VOA reports.
Naif Masrahi and Jassim Alghamdi | 1/12/11
“Saudi Arabian Airlines’ agreement with the SkyTeam Alliance will see much-improved services for passengers, according to Eng. Khaled Al-Mulhem, General Director of Saudia, who spoke at a press conference Monday at Laylaty Festival Hall, shortly after the deal was signed.”
“Saudi Arabia has confirmed that its talks with the United States for a defense deal worth $60 billion were on track and near conclusion.”
“Saudi aviation minister has kicked off the construction work on the new terminal at Jeddah airport which will cost 27.1 billion riyals ($7.2 billion).”
Ulf Laessing | 1/12/11
“Major lender Banque Saudi Fransi reported a forecast-beating 119 percent rise in quarterly profit, citing the performance of its core business and lower costs.”
Peter Stebbings | 1/11/11
“Saudi Arabia face Jordan on Thursday at the Asian Cup under a new coach following Jose Peseiro’s dismissal after just one game at the tournament, but the new man warned he doesn’t have a magic wand.”
The Future of the City: No More Instant Utopias: WORLD POLICY
Ajit Mohan | 1/11/11
“In a 150 square-mile stretch of desert north of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia is building King Abdullah Economic City…Billed by the Saudi government as ‘a New Age City being built today for tomorrow’s generation of Saudi citizens,’ KAEC, as it is known, will boast its own port, an ‘industrial valley,’ an educational zone, a central business district with retail outlets and offices, a ‘financial island,’ and luxury resorts.”
Why Hillary Clinton made a surprise stop in Yemen: CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR
Laura Kasinof | 1/12/11
“Secretary of State Hillary Clinton paid an unannounced visit to Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh in Sanaa today, highlighting the country’s rising importance in US foreign policy despite a sometimes rocky relationship.”
“The death in police custody of a suspect in the New Year’s Eve bombings that left 25 Coptic Christians dead and scores injured in Alexandria, Egypt, has triggered demonstrations in the most populous Arab country,” Amro Hassan (LAT – Babylon and Beyond) reports. “Protesters have criticized Interior Minister Habib Adli over what they called the ministry’s ‘brutal treatment and torture’ of suspects.”
A senior Iranian official “was quoted on Wednesday as saying that time was running out for negotiations on some parts of his country’s nuclear program because of Tehran’s enhanced ability to enrich and manufacture atomic fuel,” Alan Cowell (NYT) reports. The comments come ahead of a planned resumption of nuclear talks next week.
“Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, the Tunisian president, fired his interior minister on Wednesday after a deadly wave of violent unrest, the biggest in decades, reached the capital for the first time,” Reuters/FT reports.
Vice President Joe Biden said Tuesday that U.S. troops will “stay in Afghanistan beyond 2014 if Afghans want them to,” CNN reports.
The federal oil spill commission’s final report on the Deepwater Horizon oil spill “contains many recommendations for the nation’s offshore oil and gas industry. Some recommendations call on the industry to change its ways; others call on the government to press beyond its current reforms. But one recurring theme is that everyone involved in this hazardous business needs to apply more brainpower,” Richard Harris (NPR) writes.
“It’s very clear that most Arab regimes are on edge over the possibility of the spread of the protests in Tunisia and Algeria,” writes Marc Lynch (FP – Abu Aardvark). “The protests have already sparked a region-wide debate about the prospects for political change and the costs of political repression and economic stagnation.”