News – 2012.02.10

Published: February 10, 2012

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

2.10.12 EDITION

Jobs for Saudis Is Key for Economy, Says IMF: ARABIAN BUSINESS

Andy Sambidge | 2/10/12

The creation of new jobs for Saudi nationals in a growing private sector is the key for the kingdom’s economy in the future, the managing director of the International Monetary Fund has said. Following a visit to Saudi Arabia, Christine Lagarde said job creation and access to housing were “clear priorities” for the country.

Saudi Nets About $2.5trn From Oil Sales In 42 Years: EMIRATES 24|7


Saudi Arabia has netted a whopping sum of nearly $2.5 trillion from oil exports over the past 42 years and more than half of the income has been earned in the past 11 years, according to official data. 1 MILLION BARRELS TO S. KOREA: Saudi Arabia is exporting more than one million barrels a day of crude oil to South Korea, Riyadh newspaper reported, citing S-Oil Corp’s Chief Executive Officer Ahmed A. Subaey, Bloomberg reports. SAUDI TO SUPPLY FULL MARCH CRUDE TO ASIA: Saudi Arabia, the world’s top crude exporter, will supply full contracted volumes of crude oil in March to at least one Asian term buyer, unchanged from February, an industry source familiar with the matter said on Friday, Reuters reports.

Report: Saudi Arabia To Acquire Nuclear Weapons If Iran Tests Bomb: GLOBAL POST


If Iran tests a nuclear weapon, Saudi Arabia plans to acquire nuclear weapons and begin its own enrichment program “within weeks,” a report said.

Malaysia Detains Saudi Over Twitter Posts on Prophet: NEW YORK TIMES

Liz Gooch and J. David Goodman | 2/10/12

A Saudi Arabian writer who flew to Malaysia amid calls for him to be executed after he posted Twitter messages considered insulting to the Prophet Muhammad will likely be repatriated, Malaysian authorities said Friday.

Saudi Telecom Eyes Global Top 10 Status: ARABIAN BUSINESS

Andy Sambidge | 2/10/12

Saudi Telecom Company has announced that it has now surpassed 160 million customers across its operations in 11 countries.

Three Saudi Nationals Kidnapped in Yemen: YEMEN POST


The Saada-based Houthi group has kidnapped three Saudis while they were crossing the restive governorate of Aljawf located in the Saudi-Yemen borders, a Saudi newspaper, Alwatan said on Thursday. The newspaper affirmed that the Saudis were interrupted in a checkpoint set by the Houthi group and were transferred to Saada governorate.

Only 38 Percent Of Saudis Own Houses: ARAB NEWS


There are strong indications that commercial banks will increase their real estate financing this year. Last year, banks offered Saudi citizens housing loans amounting to more than SR6 billion, business daily Al-Eqtisadiah reported Wednesday, quoting banking sources.

Saudi Arabia Enters Solar Manufacturing – Polysilicon: SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS


Saudi Arabia is getting into solar manufacturing by setting up a plant to produce the key material for conventional solar panels – polysilicon.

Saudi Investing $1.2b: MANILA BULLETIN


A Saudi Arabian agro-industrial firm is investing $1.2 billion to cultivate an initial 2,000 hectares of idle lands in Maguindanao for the production of banana and root crops that are highly in demand in their oil-rich nation.

Police Kill Protester In Eastern Saudi Arabia-Activists: REUTERS


Saudi security forces shot and killed one protester and wounded at least six others when they opened fire on a march in the oil-producing Eastern Province, home to a large Shi’ite minority, activists said on Friday.

In Morocco and Saudi Arabia, Limits Seen to Speech on Social Media: NEW YORK TIMES

J. David Goodman | 2/9/12

Morocco and Saudi Arabia, two kingdoms that have survived the Arab Spring’s revolutionary wave, remain prickly when it comes to unwelcome speech on social media.

Saudi Fund to Help Finance Congo Republic-Cameroon Road Project: BLOOMBERG


The Saudi Fund for Development will provide as much as 5 billion CFA francs ($10.1 million) of funding for a road linking the Congo Republic town of Ouesso with Sangelima in neighboring Cameroon, Congo’s government said.

Saudis To Honor 100 For Returning Artifacts: PITTSBURGH LIVE

Jennifer Reeger | 2/10/12

More than four decades ago, while on a picnic with fellow oil company employees near a fishing village in Saudi Arabia, Bob Ackerman reached down to scratch the sand, and his fingers grazed the bottom of a clay pot.

More News and Commentary from SUSTG


More evidence emerged of the crippling impact of new sanctions on Iran, with international traders saying Tehran is having trouble buying rice, cooking oil and other staples to feed its 74 million people weeks before an election, Reuters reports. STEEL IMPORTS COLLAPSE: Steel exports to Iran, one of the world’s top importers of billet used in construction, are grinding to a halt as crippling U.S.-led sanctions have left local buyers without access to major currencies, traders said, Reuters reports.


Two explosions struck security compounds in the Syrian city of Aleppo on Friday, killing 25 people and wounding 175, state media reported, in a major city that has largely stood by President Bashar Assad in the nearly 11-month-old uprising against his rule, AP reports.  WHY RUSSIA SUPPORTS ASSAD: The Russian mediation might have had a chance if Lavrov and Fradkov had come to Damascus last summer, or even last fall, and kept coming in an exercise of shuttle diplomacy. Given Russia’s role as Syria’s traditional backer and arms supplier, Moscow might have been more successful as a peacemaker than Ankara. Today, Lavrov and Fradkov’s mission looks more like a face-saving gesture, writes Dmitri Trenin (NYT).

Russia’s stance on Syria is often explained in terms of Syria’s importance to Moscow. It is true that Syria is positioned in the strategic heart of the Middle East, and that Moscow’s links to the Assad family go back four decades. WEST ‘RELUCTANTLY’ WEIGHS MILITARY OPTION: After diplomatic efforts at the UN failed Saturday, there is a growing consensus that supporting the rebel Free Syrian Army may be the only way to break the stalemate between Assad and his opponents, CSM reports.  HAGUE: NO PLANS TO ARM SYRIA REBELS: Britain has no plans to arm Syrian rebels trying to overthrow President Bashar Assad, the Foreign Secretary has said, News Republic reports.


Two Egyptian judges laid out their case today against 43 foreign NGO workers, including at least 16 Americans, saying the civil society organizations they worked for were trying to influence politics in Egypt and deliberately worked illegally in the country. The accused face criminal charges and as much as five years in prison, the judges said, CSM reports. MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD DEMANDS MILITARY CEDE POWER IN EGYPT: The Muslim Brotherhood demanded Thursday that Egypt’s military rulers cede control of the government, stepping closer to a long-anticipated confrontation between the ruling generals and the Islamist-dominated Parliament, David D Kirkpatrick (NYT) reports.


When the Arab Spring began, Jordan initially appeared vulnerable to the protests that were roiling other nations and toppling their long-serving dictators. With none of the resources of its wealthy neighbors on the Persian Gulf, Jordan struggles with rising energy costs, a water shortage, social strains and an official unemployment rate of around 12 percent — with unofficial estimates of at least double that, NYT reports.


An Islamic extremist who killed two U.S. airmen bound for Afghanistan at Frankfurt airport last year and injured two others was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison on Friday, AP reports.


NATO is investigating a report by Afghan authorities that an airstrike by coalition forces killed eight children in Kapisa province this week, it said Friday, CNN reports.


The rebels in Homs have guns, but they are no match for the army’s tanks. And yet the butchery seems only to fire the conviction among the city’s inhabitants that state violence must not prevail against the popular will. The outside world, to its shame, has shown no such resolve. A vote on February 4th, in the UN Security Council, condemning Syria’s president, Bashar Assad, and calling on him to hand powers to his deputy, was defeated thanks to vetoes from Russia and China. For Mr. Assad, this was the impunity he needed to redouble the killing. Earlier a ramshackle mission to Syria by the Arab League had ended in bickering. Division has eviscerated international co-operation just when the turmoil whipped up by the Arab spring makes it essential. The people of Syria deserve better, the Economist writes.

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