Archive for October 15, 2018

US sanctions on Riyadh would mean Washington is stabbing itself – Al Arabiya English

October 15, 2018

Source: US sanctions on Riyadh would mean Washington is stabbing itself – Al Arabiya English

I read the Saudi statement in response to the American proposals regarding sanctions on Saudi Arabia. The information circulating within decision-making circles within the kingdom have gone beyond the language used in the statement and discuss more than 30 potential measures to be taken against the imposition of sanctions on Riyadh. They present catastrophic scenarios that would hit the US economy much harder than Saudi Arabia’s economic climate.

If US sanctions are imposed on Saudi Arabia, we will be facing an economic disaster that would rock the entire world. Riyadh is the capital of its oil, and touching this would affect oil production before any other vital commodity. It would lead to Saudi Arabia’s failure to commit to producing 7.5 million barrels. If the price of oil reaching $80 angered President Trump, no one should rule out the price jumping to $100, or $200, or even double that figure.

An oil barrel may be priced in a different currency, Chinese yuan, perhaps, instead of the dollar. And oil is the most important commodity traded by the dollar today.

All of this will throw the Middle East, the entire Muslim world, into the arms of Iran, which will become closer to Riyadh than Washington.

There are simple procedures, that are part of over 30 others, that Riyadh will implement directly, without flinching an eye if sanctions are imposed.

Turki Aldakhil

This is all when it comes to oil, but Saudi Arabia is not just about oil, it is a leader in the Muslim world with its standing and geographical importance. And perhaps trusted exchange of information between Riyadh and America and Western countries will be a thing of the past after it had contributed to the protection of millions of Westerners, as testified by senior Western officials themselves.

Imposing any type of sanctions on Saudi Arabia by the West will cause the kingdom to resort to other options, US President Donald Trump had said a few days ago, and that Russia and China are ready to fulfill Riyadh’s military needs among others. No one can deny that repercussions of these sanctions will include a Russian military base in Tabuk, northwest of Saudi Arabia, in the heated four corners of Syria, Israel, Lebanon and Iraq.

At a time where Hamas and Hezbollah have turned from enemies into friends, getting this close to Russia will lead to a closeness to Iran and maybe even a reconciliation with it.

It will not be strange that Riyadh would stop buying weapons from the US. Riyadh is the most important customer of US companies, as Saudi Arabia buys 10 percent of the total weapons that these US companies produce, and buys 85 percent from the US army which means what’s left for the rest of the world is only five percent; in addition to the end of Riyadh’s investments in the US government which reaches $800 billion.

The US will also be deprived of the Saudi market which is considered one of the top 20 economies in the world.

These are simple procedures that are part of over 30 others that Riyadh will implement directly, without flinching an eye if sanctions are imposed on it, according to Saudi sources who are close to the decision-makers.

The truth is that if Washington imposes sanctions on Riyadh, it will stab its own economy to death, even though it thinks that it is stabbing only Riyadh!

____________

Turki Aldakhil is the General Manager of Al Arabiya News Channel. He began his career as a print journalist, covering politics and culture for the Saudi newspapers Okaz, Al-Riyadh and Al-Watan. He then moved to pan-Arab daily Al-Hayat and pan-Arab news magazine Al-Majalla. Turki later became a radio correspondent for the French-owned pan-Arab Radio Monte Carlo and MBC FM. He proceeded to Elaph, an online news magazine and Alarabiya.net, the news channel’s online platform. Over a ten-year period, Dakhil’s weekly Al Arabiya talk show “Edaat” (Spotlights) provided an opportunity for proponents of Arab and Islamic social reform to make their case to a mass audience. Turki also owns Al Mesbar Studies and Research Centre and Madarek Publishing House in Dubai. He has received several awards and honors, including the America Abroad Media annual award for his role in supporting civil society, human rights and advancing women’s roles in Gulf societies. He tweets @TurkiAldakhil.

Last Update: Monday, 15 October 2018 KSA 13:02 – GMT 10:02
Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English’s point-of-view.

 

Saudis reject threats as stocks plunge after Trump warns of punishment 

October 15, 2018

Source: Saudis reject threats as stocks plunge after Trump warns of punishment | The Times of Israel

Pressure on Riyadh mounts over disappearance and suspected murder of Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi

US President Donald Trump shows a chart highlighting arms sales to Saudi Arabia during a meeting with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the Oval Office of the White House, March 20, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

US President Donald Trump shows a chart highlighting arms sales to Saudi Arabia during a meeting with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the Oval Office of the White House, March 20, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Saudi Arabia on Sunday threatened to retaliate for any sanctions imposed against it after US President Donald Trump said the oil-rich kingdom deserves “severe punishment” if it is responsible for the disappearance and suspected murder of Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi.

The warning from the world’s top oil exporter came after a turbulent day on the Saudi stock exchange, which plunged as much as 7 percent at one point.

The statement was issued as international concern grew over the writer who vanished on a visit to the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul over a week ago. American lawmakers threatened tough punitive action against the Saudis, and Germany, France and Britain jointly called for a “credible investigation” into Khashoggi’s disappearance.

Turkish officials have said they fear a Saudi hit team killed and dismembered Khashoggi, who wrote critically of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The kingdom has called such allegations “baseless” but has not offered any evidence Khashoggi ever left the consulate.

(FILES) In this file photo taken on December 15, 2014, Jamal Khashoggi, looks on during a press conference in the Bahraini capital Manama. (AFP / MOHAMMED AL-SHAIKH)

Already, international business leaders are pulling out of the kingdom’s upcoming investment forum, a high-profile event known as “Davos in the Desert,” and the sell-off on Riyadh’s Tadawul stock exchange showed that investors are uneasy.

The exchange dropped by over 500 points, then clawed back some of the losses, ending the day down 264 points, or more than 4 percent. Of 188 stocks traded on the exchange, 179 ended the day with a loss.

“Something this big would definitely spook investors, and Saudi just opened up for foreign direct investment, so that was big,” said Issam Kassabieh, a financial analyst at Dubai-based firm Menacorp Finance. “Investors do not feel solid in Saudi yet, so it’s easy for them to take back their funds.”

In an interview scheduled to air Sunday, Trump told CBS’ “60 Minutes” that Saudi Arabia would face strong consequences if involved in Khashoggi’s disappearance.

“There’s something really terrible and disgusting about that, if that was the case, so we’re going to have to see,” Trump said. “We’re going to get to the bottom of it, and there will be severe punishment.”

But the president has also said “we would be punishing ourselves” by canceling arms sales to Saudi Arabia. The sales are a “tremendous order for our companies,” and if the Saudis don’t buy their weaponry from the US, they will get it from others, he said.

A US-made F-15 fighter jet flown by the Royal Saudi Air Force (YouTube screen capture)

In a statement published by the state-run Saudi Press Agency, the kingdom warned that if it “receives any action, it will respond with greater action, and that the kingdom’s economy has an influential and vital role in the global economy.”

“The kingdom affirms its total rejection of any threats and attempts to undermine it, whether by threatening to impose economic sanctions, using political pressures or repeating false accusations,” the statement said.

The statement did not elaborate. However, a column published in English a short time later by the general manager of the Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya satellite news network suggested Saudi Arabia could use its oil production as a weapon. Benchmark Brent crude is trading at around $80 a barrel, and Trump has criticized OPEC and Saudi Arabia over rising prices.

“If the price of oil reaching $80 angered President Trump, no one should rule out the price jumping to $100, or $200, or even double that figure,” Turki Aldakhil wrote.

A Saudi Arabian oil facility (Photo credit: Shutterstock images)

Illustrative photo of a Saudi Arabian oil facility. (Shutterstock images)

It’s unclear, however, whether Saudi Arabia would be willing to unilaterally cut production.

Aldakhil added that Saudi arms purchases from the U.S. and other trade could be at risk as well. “The truth is that if Washington imposes sanctions on Riyadh, it will stab its own economy to death, even though it thinks that it is stabbing only Riyadh!” he wrote.

Prince Mohammed has aggressively pitched the kingdom as a destination for foreign investment. But Khashoggi’s disappearance has led several business leaders and media outlets to back out of the upcoming investment conference in Riyadh called the Future Investment Initiative. They include the CEO of Uber, a company in which Saudi Arabia has invested billions of dollars; billionaire Richard Branson; JPMorgan Chase & Co. Chief Executive Jamie Dimon; and Ford Motor Co. Executive Chairman Bill Ford.

Egyptian Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Counselor Ahmed Hafez, said Egypt is following with concern the repercussions of the case of Khashoggi, and stressed the importance of revealing the truth of the matter through a transparent investigation, while emphasizing the gravity of pre-empting investigations and directing groundless accusations.

Khashoggi has written extensively for the Post about Saudi Arabia, criticizing its war in Yemen, its recent diplomatic spat with Canada and its arrest of women’s rights activists after the lifting of a ban on women driving. Those policies are all seen as initiatives of the crown prince.

 

U.S. Representative accuses Israel of ‘apartheid’ 

October 15, 2018

Source: U.S. Representative accuses Israel of ‘apartheid’ – BDS – Jerusalem Post

( The Democratic party is behaving more and more like the UN all the time. – JW )

Friends, the world has a name of that form of government that’s codified in the Nation State Law, and it’s called apartheid.”

BY JERUSALEM POST STAFF
 OCTOBER 15, 2018 14:41

U.S. Representative accuses Israel of 'apartheid'

The USCPR has been linked with funding BDS activity.

In her acceptance speech, McCollum spoke out against Israel’s Nation-State Law defining it as “apartheid.”

“Friends, the world has a name of that form of government that’s codified in the Nation State Law, and it’s called apartheid.” said McCollum,

 

Iranian president warns US wants ‘regime change’ in his country

October 15, 2018

Source: Iranian president warns US wants ‘regime change’ in his country – Israel Hayom

 

Report: Unmanned Israeli aircraft targets ‎spy facility in Lebanon ‎ 

October 15, 2018

Source: Report: Unmanned Israeli aircraft targets ‎spy facility in Lebanon ‎ – Israel Hayom

 

Supreme Court halts deportation of US student barred entry over BDS support 

October 15, 2018

Source: Supreme Court halts deportation of US student barred entry over BDS support – Israel Hayom

 

Israel foiled 40 ISIS attacks in 3 years, PM tells Christian media 

October 15, 2018

Source: Israel foiled 40 ISIS attacks in 3 years, PM tells Christian media – Israel Hayom