QUOTED

“30,000 new licenses had been issued [to women drivers] between February and March this year, a positive and encouraging increase which has nearly doubled the number of female drivers on Saudi roads after a slow uptake which saw only 40,000 licenses issued in the first six months of 2018.”

-The Saudi Gazette, in a report on the impact that women drivers are having on the Saudi automotive market. [Saudi Gazette]

TOP STORY

U.S.-SAUDI RELATIONS

Prince Khalid bin Salman Meets with President Trump at White House

President Trump and Saudi deputy defense minster Prince Khalid bin Salman in Washington.

Saudi Arabia’s deputy defense minister Prince Khalid bin Salman held several meetings with top U.S. officials yesterday in Washington, D.C., including Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo,  and President Donald Trump. [more]

 

MORE TOP STORYLINES

Saudi Arabia 2020 budget assessment

in cpifinancial.net : The Ministry of Finance expects the fiscal deficit for 2020 to widen, primarily due to oil market instability, however, the Kingdom is continuing its effort towards reducing the budget deficit to achieve the target of fiscal balance by 2023.

What Saudi Arabia is getting out of Supercopa de Espana

Via Matt Monaghan in sport360.com: This desire to enact far-reaching social and lifestyle changes, plus attract hordes of new tourists and bolster recreation activities, has been at the heart of the Saudis’ vast investment in sport. In July, the General Sports Authority [GSA] injected $650m to this venture.

A Saudi family feud, a decade-long debt saga and a courts $14 billion decision

Via Davide Barbuscia in reuters.com: A court-driven end to the saga would not only offer some relief to those creditors, but more broadly would be an important sign to international investors, as the cases would be resolved under a new bankruptcy law introduced in 2018 as part of reforms aimed at making the kingdom more investor friendly.

 

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]

 

Study Abroad

From the field: The new student recruitment landscape in Saudi Arabia

The Saudi government began to wind down the KASP scholarship programme in 2016, and Saudi numbers in all major receiving countries began to drop off...[via icef.com]

 

Saudi Projects

Fifteen of the top projects currently shaping Saudi Arabia

The kingdom is pouring billions into a suite of gigaprojects, transport and mobility schemes, such as Riyadh Metro, designed to wean the country off its...[By Gavin Gibbon via arabianbusiness.com]

 

NEOM

Teneo Signs Up to Manage PR Unit of Saudi Mega-City

The New York-based firm’s duties include leading and staffing Neom’s PR unit to ensure that the development’s corporate messages and positioning are effectively communicated. It also...[By Kevin McCauley via odwyerpr.com]

 

Taxis

Saudi Arabia’s taxis go green

The green vehicles will be monitored and tracked to document quality of service and driver efficiency, equipped with screens that support both Arabic and English...[By Aseel Bashraheel via arabnews.com]

 

U.S.-Iraq

Future of US military presence in Iraq in question amid confusion in Washington

The future of the US military presence in Iraq is in question amid scenes of confusion in Washington, as the Trump administration scrambled to respond...[By Julian Borger via theguardian.com]

 

Iran

Soleimani burial postponed after deadly stampede | News | DW | 07.01.2020

Crowds of mourners gathered in Kerman, the hometown of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani, for his burial. A stampede reportedly led to at least 50 deaths...[via dw.com]

 

Iran

From war to diplomacy, Iran weighs response to Soleimani’s killing

Iran’s leaders have promised to avenge the killing of General Qassem Soleimani, commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Quds Force, by the United States....[By Parisa Hafezi via reuters.com]

 

Libya

Libyan commander Haftar’s forces say they have taken Sirte

Libyan forces loyal to eastern-based commander Khalifa Haftar said on Monday they had taken control of the strategic coastal city of Sirte in a rapid...[By Ayman al-Warfalli via reuters.com]

 

U.S.-Iran

Survey: The U.S. Public Still Doesn’t Want War With Iran

Overwhelmingly, the U.S. public does not believe that U.S. interests warrant war with Iran. Only about one-fifth of respondents say that their country “should be...[By Shibley Telhami via foreignpolicy.com]

 

Afghanistan

Survey: This recent poll shows how Americans think about the war in Afghanistan

Despite Americans’ hesitancy to deploy U.S. troops into other conflicts, they remain comparably supportive, after 18 years of war, of maintaining the U.S. military footprint...[By Shibley Telhami and Connor Kopchick via washingtonpost.com]

 

Egypt

Egypt’s president says interfaith bond saved country

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi appeared at Coptic Christmas Eve Mass on Monday and praised the links between the country’s Christian and Muslim faithful, saying...[By Maggie Hyde via yahoo.com]

 
 

Recent Editions