U.S.-SAUDI DIPLOMACY

Trump, King Salman Discuss Qatar Crisis in Phone Call

President Trump and King Salman.
U.S. President Donald Trump spoke with Saudi King Salman on Wednesday and urged “all the parties in the Qatar dispute” to find a diplomatic resolution to end the crisis, according to a White House statement.

Saudi Arabia

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Hajj: 2017

Hajj pilgrimage begins in Saudi Arabia with Iranians returning to worship

Hundreds of thousands of Muslims began the annual hajj pilgrimage on Wednesday, donning traditional white garments and heading to a tent camp outside the holy ...

 

U.S.-Saudi Relations

Readout of President Donald J. Trump’s Call with King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia

The President and the King praised the resilience of the communities affected by Hurricane Harvey, and King Salman offered his condolences to the families who ...

 

Motiva

Saudi-owned Motiva closes Port Arthur refinery

Motiva Enterprises has closed its refinery in Port Arthur, Texas — the biggest in the nation — because of floodwaters that are inundating the area ...

 

Saudi Aramco

Saudi Aramco uses new technology to re-explore vast Empty Quarter

Oil giant Saudi Aramco is using new technology to re-explore areas of the vast Arabian desert known as the Empty Quarter, which could help to ...

 

MiSK

Next MiSK Global Forum to focus on youth, knowledge and innovation

The MiSK Global Forum, the flagship platform of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s foundation, has announced details of its main annual gathering titled “Meeting the ...

 

War in Yemen

Witnesses: Saudi-led airstrike kills 5 civilians in Yemen

Witnesses say an airstrike by the Saudi-led coalition battling Shiite rebels in Yemen has struck a checkpoint near the capital, killing at least seven people, ...

 

Saudi-Iran

Is a Genuine Saudi-Iraqi Reconciliation in the Works?

A regular survey of experts on matters relating to Middle Eastern and North African politics and security. ...

 

Domestic Help

Saudi Labor Ministry sets conditions for recruitment of house workers

One of the major conditions is that a married citizen should have at least a balance of SR35,000 ($9,333) in his bank account while salaries ...

 

Religious Tourism

Specialist hotel concepts in demand as Saudi religious tourism sector booms

Saudi Arabia’s religious tourism industry is flourishing with Haj and Umrah visitors driving strong increases in tourism arrivals and income to the kingdom every year. In ...

 

Smart Phone Sales

Huawei ranks second in Kingdom’s smartphone market share

Huawei has ranked second in smartphone market share in Saudi Arabia, according to a new study published by GfK. Huawei exceeded iPhone’s market share as ...

 

E. Recki in Saudi

Ancient ‘Monster’ Elephant Was 50 Percent Bigger Than Modern Cousins

The behemoth, known as Elephas recki, is an ancient elephant species that existed from about 3.5 million years ago to about 300,000 years ago and ...

 

Saudi +

Regional and related topics

Global Oil Markets

China and India to Drive Non-OECD Oil Demand Growth in 2018

While the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) consumption is forecast to rise by around 0.19 mb/d, non-OECD demand is expected to increase by ...

 

MENA Water

World Bank: Tackle Middle East Water Scarcity to Save Money, Boost Stability

The Middle East and North Africa region loses about $21 billion each year because of an inadequate supply of water and sanitation, the World Bank ...

 

Immigration Survey

Coming to America

Nearly 150 million people -- or 4% of the world's adult population -- would move to the U.S. if they could. That figure is larger ...

 

Anti-ISIS Campaign

U.S.-led airstrikes block ISIS fighters escaping under a Hezbollah-negotiated deal

Negotiated withdrawals have been a common tactic in Syria’s six-year-old war and have enabled the Syrian government to reassert its authority over many of the ...

 

Syria

Victory for Assad looks increasingly likely as world loses interest in Syria

In recent months, as supplies of aid, money and weapons to Syria’s opposition have dwindled, it had clung to the hope that ongoing international political ...

 

Qatar Dispute

U.A.E. Media Jump on Qatar Over Report It Plans to Bolt GCC

Newspapers in the United Arab Emirates, one of the boycotting nations, jumped on a report in Iran’s Jaam-e-Jam daily that cited a former Iranian ambassador ...

 

Afghanistan Policy

Pentagon Admits Thousands More Troops in Afghanistan Than Previously Reported

After months of providing misleading information on the actual number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan, the Defense Department said Wednesday there are approximately 11,000 U.S. ...

 

Iraqi Kurdistan

This Is How Trump Can Earn a Rare Win in the Middle East

The United States once hoped that Iraq would blossom into a fully representative democracy. But since the U.S. withdrew troops from the country in 2011, ...

 

Construction

Expert: Money and human factor main reasons for delay in construction projects

Vasanth Kumar, ex-CEO and co-founder of Arabian MEP/Al Malki Group, spoke to MEP Middle East on allowing only competent stakeholders to be part of the ...

 

U.S.-Jordan

Trump Dumped U.S. Ambassador to Amman at Request of King

Several former and current diplomats told FP that the Jordanian king had a tense relationship with Wells, mainly because he strongly objected to the Obama administration’s ...

 

Refugee Animals

The animals rescued from war zones: Video

Vet Amir Khalil goes into conflict areas to save the zoo animals left behind. ...

 

Kurds

Commentary: As Independence Vote Nears, Iraqi Kurds Play a Risky Game of Chicken

Kurdistan’s president called the referendum to extract concessions from Baghdad. What if it doesn’t work? ...

 

Jordan Borde

Jordan border crossing with Iraq to reopen in major boost to ties

Jordan will open its main border crossing with Iraq on Wednesday for the first time since 2015, now that Iraqi forces have gained control of ...

 

U.S.-Turkey

Turkish Security Officials Indicted for Attacking US Protesters

A grand jury in Washington has indicted 19 people, including 15 Turkish security officials, in connection with a brawl that broke out during Turkish President ...

 

Iran in the Region

Iran building missile factories in Syria and Lebanon – Netanyahu

Israel's prime minister has said Iran is building sites in Syria and Lebanon to produce precision-guided missiles. Benjamin Netanyahu accused Iran of turning Syria into a ...

 

U.S.-UAE

Air Force Acknowledges Clandestine Base in UAE

For the first time in over a decade, the U.S. Air Force is publicly acknowledging it runs an air war out of Al Dhafra Air ...

 

Afghanistan

Despite Risks, Trump Administration Moves Forward With Afghanistan Mining Plan

Over the course of nearly 16 years of war, the United States has poured some half a billion dollars into the country’s mining industry with ...

 

Pakistan

Pakistan National Assembly condemns Trump’s ‘hostile’ comments

Pakistan’s National Assembly passed a resolution on Wednesday condemning U.S. President Donald Trump’s accusations that Islamabad was prolonging the war in Afghanistan, denouncing them as ...

 

Qatar Crisis

Qatar says no sign Arab states willing to negotiate over boycott

Qatar’s foreign minister said on Wednesday that his country was willing to negotiate an end to a Gulf diplomatic rift but had seen no sign ...

 

Iranian Oil

Iran lauds oil loading potential from Persian Gulf

It's possible that almost a million barrels of oil could be loaded onto a floating production facility in the Persian Gulf, an Iranian petroleum director ...

 

Hamas

New Hamas leader says it is getting aid again from Iran

Hamas’ new leader in the Gaza Strip said Monday his group has repaired relations with Iran after a five-year rift and is using its newfound ...

 

U.S.-Iran

Iran rejects U.S. demand for U.N. inspector visit to military sites

Iran has dismissed a U.S. demand for U.N. nuclear inspectors to visit its military bases as “merely a dream” as Washington reviews a 2015 nuclear ...

 

Yemen

The silencing of a Yemeni social media star

Hisham Al-Omeisy is usually a prolific tweeter, known for his updates, in both English and Arabic, about the social and humanitarian crisis in his country. The ...

 

Lebanon

Lebanon Frees Hundreds of ISIS Fighters in Exchange for Soldiers’ Bodies

Lebanon began transporting an estimated 400 armed Islamic State fighters and family members from its northern border to the militants’ stronghold in eastern Syria on ...

 

Future Warfare

Look for Military Drones to Begin Replacing Police Helicopters by 2025

By 2025, enormous military-style drones – close relatives of the sort made famous by counterterrorism strikes in Afghanistan and Iraq – will be visible 2,000 ...

 

Qatar Crisis

Emirati Ambassador: Qatar Is a Destructive Force in the Region

The battle for leadership of the Gulf is also playing out in Washington, through hacks, leaks, and influence campaigns. ...

 

Free Speech Worldwide

Study: Blasphemy Laws on Books in One-third of Nations

Laws prohibiting blasphemy are “astonishingly widespread” worldwide, with many laying down disproportionate punishments ranging from prison sentences to lashings or the death penalty, the lead ...

 

Yemen Civil War

Yemen allies agree to end tensions after deadly clash: officials

Leaders of the Houthi group and loyalists of former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, allies in Yemen’s civil war, said on Tuesday they had agreed to ...

 

Sudan

War-ravaged South Sudan passes budget, but funding will be ‘difficult’

South Sudan’s parliament has passed its 2017/2018 budget but, after four years of war, acknowledged it does not know where much of the funding will ...

 

Migration

Libyan coastguard rescues nearly 500 off Tripoli

Libya’s coastguard rescued nearly 500 migrants on Tuesday at sea west of the capital Tripoli, a spokesman said, underlining the challenge of trying to slow ...

 

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