QUOTED

“Confirmation of adding Saudi Arabia to our schedule for 2020 is an exciting prospect… and having seen the quality of the event staging [at Royal Greens in KAEC] for the Saudi International, I am sure this will be a fantastic experience for our players.”

Alexandra Armas, Ladies European Tour CEO, in an announcement confirming that Saudi Arabia would play host to its first-ever women’s golf tournament in March. [ESPN.com]

TOP STORY

U.S.-SAUDI RELATIONS

Saudi Ambassador Princess Reema Visits Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Florida, Offers Condolences to Victims

Princess Reema at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington in 2018. Photo by Joshua Roberts / © U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to the United States Princess Reema al-Saud visited the Naval Air Station Pensacola in Florida on Thursday to “personally extend her deepest condolences for the tragedy that unfolded last week and to reinforce Saudi Arabia’s full cooperation with U.S. authorities in investigating this senseless act of violence,” the Saudi embassy in Washington, D.C. said in a statement. [more]

 

MORE TOP STORYLINES

Unemployment rates dip in Saudi Arabia, further decrease expected

Via Mariam Nabbout in stepfeed.com : Saudi women have been taking the countrys job market by storm for a while now. The most recent official statistics revealed that the number of Saudi women working in both public and private sectors reached a total of 596,700 in the first quarter of 2019, rising by 282.5 percent. This year, 440,700 women started working compared to 156,000 in 2018.

Aramco Is Said to Pay Banks Only $64 Million for Record IPO

Via Sarah Algethami, Matthew Martin and Archana Narayanan in bloomberg.com : The figures represent the base fee being paid by Aramco, which will decide the amount of discretionary incentive fees at a later date, the people said. If Aramco opts to dole out additional money, most of it would likely go to the domestic banks that brought in the bulk of the IPO orders.

Top Google searches in Saudi Arabia in 2019

in arabnews.com : The most searched of the year was Future Gate. Over a year ago, the Ministry of Education introduced the Future Gate initiative with the aim of promoting digital learning in schools.

 

MORE ON THE KINGDOM AND BEYOND

Saudi Aramco IPO

Interview at Davos: Aramco International Listing ‘Still on the Cards,’ Saudi Arabia Finance Minister Says

Saudi Arabian Finance Minister Mohammed Al-Jadaan discusses the recent $5 billion debt issuance, the state of the Saudi economy, and the prospect of an international...[via bloomberg.com]

 

T20

More efforts needed to bridge gender, generation gaps in labor market: Saudi conference

The two-day T20 Inception Conference brought together experts from all over the world to discuss a range of essential issues covering climate, energy, migration, youth,...[By Rashid Hassan via arabnews.com]

 

Saudi Bonds

Saudi Arabia Issues $5 Billion of Bonds as Gulf Tensions Ease

The kingdom issued $5 billion of debt, taking advantage of low borrowing costs globally. It’s seeking to plug part of its growing budget deficit by...[By Archana Narayanan and Matthew Martin via bloomberg.com]

 

Saudi Youth Development Survey of 2019

Youth make up over two-thirds of Saudi Arabia: Survey

Youth, categorized as individuals aged 0-34 years, make up 67.02 percent of the total population of Saudi Arabia, according to a report released by the...[By Matthew Amlôt via alarabiya.net]

 

Pensacola Shooting

At Florida base, a mix of relief, anxiety in Saudi shooting aftermath

With an FBI investigation underway, Navy security officer David Link still is not allowed to talk about what he saw when a Saudi gunman killed...[By Phil Stewart via reuters.com]

 

Security

Saudi Arabia to Screen Travelers From China After Virus Outbreak

Saudi Arabia will start screening passengers arriving from China and take other preventive measures following the outbreak of the new coronavirus in China, the kingdom's...[via nytimes.com]

 

Women in the Workforce

First military section for women introduced in Saudi Arabia

Under the initiative to incorporate more women into the field, previously announced in October 2019, women can now join the military as lance corporals, corporals,...[via thenews.com]

 

Turkey

Turkey, Russia ‘very close’ to second missile defense deal

Turkey could finalize terms for delivery of a second consignment of S-400 advanced missile defenses from Russia by April when the first batch will be...[By Ece Toksabay and Orhan Coskun via reuters.com]

 

Lebanon

Lebanon electricity crisis: Stealing power to survive

"It's crazy to think that we're in 2019 and still have three hours a day when there is no electricity," says Lara Kais, 33, who...[By Tim Whewell via bbc.com]

 

Iraq

Iranian power was the target when Iraqis attacked a Najaf shrine

Tehran’s overt meddling in Iraqi politics is seen as enabling a weak government as well as the rise of dozens of Shiite militias and their...[By Scott Peterson via csmonitor.com]

 

Afghanistan

US military releases photos showing Bagram Air Base damage following brazen Taliban assault

A source on the ground detailed to Military Times that a firefight between the Taliban and Afghan and U.S. forces lasted nine to 10 hours....[By Shawn Snow via militarytimes.com]

 

U.S.-Turkey

Senate defies earlier White House block to unanimously recognize Armenian genocide

The move amounted to a stern condemnation of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who has grown close to Russia in recent months and who criticized...[By Burgess Everett via politico.com]

 

Qatar Dispute

Perspective: Is the Gulf Crisis with Qatar winding down?

The most difficult negotiations may be the ones that take place within the Quartet and specifically between Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi, rather than the...[By Kristian Coates Ulrichsen via washingtonpost.com]

 

Saudi Foreign Policy

Commentary: Saudi Arabia Seeks to Ease Tensions With Iran

Saudi Arabia doesn’t “trust the Iranians,” said a Saudi official, but Riyadh hopes it “can at least come to an agreement to stop possible attacks...[By Benoit Faucon, Summer Said and Warren P. Strobel via wsj.com]

 

Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps

Iran’s Revolutionary Guards: Four Decades of Expanded Business and Military Influence

The IRGC has expanded its activities inside and outside of Iran through a set of costly strategies that are made autonomously from those of the...[By Sara Bazoobandi via agsiw.org]

 

Iran in the Region

IRGC threat to Israel infuriates Lebanon

General Morteza Qorbani said, “If the Zionist regime makes the smallest mistake toward Iran, (the Revolutionary Guards) will reduce Tel Aviv to ashes from Lebanon,”...[via tv7israelnews.com]

 

COP25

UN chief warns against ‘survival of the richest’ on climate

António Guterres said unrestrained climate change would allow only the “survival of the richest,” while former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said the “absence...[By Frank Jordans and Aritz Parra via apnews.com]

 

Oil Markets

Oil hits 3-month high as trade hopes, UK election lift sentiment

Oil rose to its highest in nearly three months on Friday as progress in resolving the U.S.-China trade dispute and Britain’s general election result appeared...[By Alex Lawler via reuters.com]

 

Caucasus

The Caucasus is Quietly Becoming a Hub for Middle East Trade, Tourism and Investment

And as the Caucasus becomes an increasingly central region for China’s Belt and Road Initiative, investors from the Middle East see great potential in this...[By Sebastian Rees via albawaba.com]

 

Oman

Sultan Qaboos returns to Oman after medical treatment in Belgium

Oman’s Sultan Qaboos has returned home after medical treatment and checks in Belgium, Oman state media said on Friday, citing a Royal Court statement. Western-backed Qaboos,...[By Lisa Barrington via reuters.com]

 
 

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