QUOTED

“The Kingdom and its leadership always stand with brotherly Iraq and will do everything in its power to spare it the danger of war and conflict between external parties, and for its generous people to live in prosperity after what they have endured in the past.”

Prince Khalid bin Salman, Deputy Minister of Defense, in a statement on Twitter. [reuters.com]

TOP STORY

RENEWABLE ENERGY

Saudi Arabia launches third phase to build up solar power capacity, invites bidders for new projects

Saudi Arabia's renewable energy ambitions are being supported by its National Renewable Energy Program (NREP).

Saudi Arabia’s energy ministry has issued a request for qualifications for the third round of the Kingdom’s National Renewable Energy Program (NREP), which comprises of “four Solar PV projects with a combined generation capacity of 1,200 MW,” the Saudi Press Agency said. [more]

 

MORE TOP STORYLINES

Saudi Aramco Props Up Slumping Middle East Energy Debt Market

Via Verity Ratcliffe in bloomberg.com : Aramco was the driving force for borrowings in 2019. The company’s $12 billion foray into the bond market in April was responsible for more than half of all regional debt sales in the year.

U.N. investigators find Houthis did not carry out Saudi oil attack

Via Michelle Nichols in reuters.com : “The panel notes that Abqaiq and Khurais were approached respectively from a north/northwestern and north/northeastern direction, rather than from the south, as one would expect in the case of a launch from Yemeni territory,” the report said.

Trump Ratings Remain Low Around the World, While Views of U.S. Stay Mostly Favorable

Via pewresearch.org : Across 32 countries surveyed by Pew Research Center, a median of 64% say they do not have confidence in Trump to do the right thing in world affairs, while just 29% express confidence in the American leader.

 

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]

 

Earthquake

Small Earthquake hits Saudi Arabia, Iran

In Saudi Arabia, the earthquake was recorded at 10:27 pm local time. The magnitude of the quake was 3.9 on Richter scale....[via siasat.com]

 

Iranian Missile Strike

Inside the Trump administration as the Iranian missiles began to fall

The Iranian missile strike on American facilities in Iraq was a calibrated event intended to cause minimal casualties, give the Iranians a face-saving measure and...[By Shane Harris, Josh Dawsey, Dan Lamothe and Missy Ryan via washingtonpost.com]

 

Iran's Missiles

What We Know About the Missiles Iran Fired Into Iraq

New guidance systems have increased the lethality of Iran’s missiles, including the short-range Fateh that appears to have been used in the attacks. But many unknowns remain....[By Marcus Weisgerber via defenseone.com]

 

War Powers Act

With Iran, Congress will try again to exert its authority under war powers

Not once since the 1973 law was adopted has Congress successfully used it to block a president’s military actions, including some rather large-scale and long-term...[By Sarah Wire via latimes.com]

 

Ukraine International Airlines

Iran investigation says airliner caught fire before crash, Ukraine outlines theories

Ukraine outlined four potential scenarios on Thursday to explain the deadly crash of one of its airliners in Iran, including a missile strike and terrorism,...[By Alexander Cornwell, Babak Dehghanpisheh and Natalia Zinets via reuters.com]

 

Gulf Security

Iran Strikes Reverberate Across Persian Gulf Economy

Global airlines canceled flights over Middle East airspace Wednesday after the Federal Aviation Administration announced it would prohibit U.S. carriers from traveling in airspace over...[By Benoit Faucon, Rory Jones and Costas Paris via wsj.com]

 

U.S.-Iran

Charts show state of Iranian economy amid sanctions

Officials from both countries have said they’re not seeking an all-out war. Many geopolitical experts said Iran — more than the U.S. — cannot afford...[By Yen Nee Lee via cnbc.com]

 

Libya

Libya conflict: Turkey and Russia call for ceasefire

The two leaders are seen to back rival sides in a conflict dragging in an increasing number of states. After talks in Istanbul, Mr Erdogan and...[via bbc.com]

 

Afghanistan

How Climate change is threatening Afghanistan’s crumbling heritage

French imaging company Iconem concurred, saying Shar-e Zohak is "very fragile" due to erosion that has increased considerably over the last 30 years. For Baqe Ghulami,...[By Pierre Celerier via phys.org]

 

Algeria

Algeria’s Sonatrach inks $3.7bn deal to build oil refining plant

The EPC contract for the project, which will cost $3.7bn (DZ440bn), is expected to be executed within 52 months. The refinery, which will have a total...[By Anup Oommen via constructionweekonline.com]

 

Disinformation

Iranians Seen Holding Back on Disinformation Campaigns

Many accounts on both sides had been newly created, according to Karan, and had alphanumeric names—hallmarks of automated bot accounts. It is unclear precisely how...[By Ryan Gallagher and Eric Newcomer via bloomberg.com]

 
 

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