Tuesday, 13 November, 2018

As Saudi prince visits US, shale transforms oil relationship

Artists see bright future for Saudi Arabia's entertainment sector Libyan Oil Is Back, at Least for Now, Vying With Saudis and Iraq
Kenny Thornton | 20 March, 2018, 06:27

Donald Trump will host Saudi Arabia's crown prince in Washington on Tuesday, giving the American president a receptive audience to denounce rival Iran and a chance to take stock of significant changes the prince is engineering in the kingdom. 'As far as my private expenses, I'm a rich person and not a poor person. I'm not Gandhi or Mandela. According to NYT report, he owns the most expensive home in France.

MBS was the driving force behind a corruption clampdown that recovered $100 billion from Saudi businessmen, royal family members and state officials. "But without a doubt, if Iran developed a nuclear bomb, we will follow suit as soon as possible".

Bin Salman is expected to meet with President Donald Trump as well as executives from Apple Inc. and Alphabet Inc.'s Google during his first U.S. trip since becoming ruler, according to a person briefed on its details. The ban on women driving ends this.

"In the fight against graft launched late a year ago, Salman recovered illicitly acquired wealth of "$100 billion" from over three dozen royal princes who were detained on corruption charges.

Sen. Angus King (I-Maine) asked if the US was maintaining "some level of control" over the coalition's actions. "What we did in Saudi Arabia was extremely necessary" and legal, he said.

"We're looking at ways in which we can push back against Iran's nefarious activities in the region", Jubeir said, citing Tehran's backing of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government in a seven-year civil war and support for Shi'ite Huthi rebels battling the government in Yemen. There were movie theaters in Saudi Arabia.

U.S. administration officials have reportedly already met bin Salman in London to discuss the terms of a deal.

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It may not be with the new ball here - although Broad reports, after a conversation with coach Trevor Bayliss, that issue is still up in the air.

"The Saudi-led coalition has repeatedly committed horrific violations in Yemen, some amounting to war crimes, devastating the lives of thousands of people", Jarrar noted. Saudi Arabia has previously said it wants nuclear technology only for peaceful uses.

"[MBS] may try to buy the reactors elsewhere, which won't particularly help him because the US will probably use its influence to make sure that wherever he goes, he doesn't get enrichment or reprocessing capabilities", said Simon Henderson, the Baker fellow and director of the gulf and energy policy program at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. "The fruitful visit would contribute to enhancing the strong and deep-rooted bilateral ties", he said in a press statement issued by the United States embassy in Riyadh.

The discovery of vast oil reserves beneath Saudi sands in the late 1930s secured the kingdom's place as a vital partner for the energy-hungry United States.

"He is certainly going to change Saudi Arabia", says Norman Roule, a retired intelligence officer who served with the CIA in the Middle East.

To counter that, bin Salman is trying to present himself "as a breath of fresh air, a reformer ... as a liberator of women, as someone who is pro-reform [and] as someone who is taking Saudi Arabia in a different direction", Hashemi said. If Saudi Arabia is indeed to move into the 21st century, it must stop being governed by royalty.

United States generals and diplomats are still struggling to calm tensions in the Gulf 10 months after Saudi Arabia led its neighbours in a trade and diplomatic embargo on former ally Qatar.

He blamed the country's extreme conservatism and the array of social issues centering around gender inequality on the 1979 events in neighboring Iran, which saw the toppling of the 2,500-year-old monarchy and the birth of an Islamic republic.

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