ANKARA Saudi Arabia’s refusal to extradite suspects in the killing of Jamal Khashoggi is very disappointing and the world should seek justice for his case under international law, the director of communications at the Turkish presidency told Reuters on Dec. 10. Since Turkey had seen little evidence that Saudi prosecutors will shed light on the Oct. 2 killing at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, “it will be in the best interest of the international community to seek justice for the late Saudi journalist under international law”, Fahrettin Altun said. Altun stressed that the negative response from Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir to Ankara's extradition request was "very disappointing." "We don’t extradite our citizens," Jubeir has said in the 39th Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) news conference on Dec. 9 when he was asked about Turkey's request. Khashoggi, a frequent contributor to The Washington Post and a prominent critic of Crown Prince Mohammed … [Read more...] about Turkey ‘disappointed’ over Saudi Arabia’s refusal to extradite Khashoggi murder suspects
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Several of Qatar’s neighbours — Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain — were joined on 5 June by Egypt, Yemen and some smaller countries in dissolving diplomatic ties with Qatar, and placing it under siege by air, sea and land. In an official statement, the Saudi government referred to several ‘grave violations’ allegedly committed by Qatar, since 2006 the world’s largest exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG). It has accused Qatar’s emir, Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, of ‘instigating against the Saudi state and infringing on its sovereignty, supporting various terrorist and other groups, including the Muslim Brotherhood, al-Qaeda, and the Islamic State, using its media to attack Saudi Arabia, and undermining the war in Yemen.’ Gulf analyst Neil Partrick goes as far as to argue that the crisis ‘represents the total failure of the Gulf Union project.’ What light does the crisis throw on Saudi … [Read more...] about Qatar crisis: Saudi Arabia as anti-hero?
Saudi Arabia has slammed a controversial Israeli law as "perpetuating racial discrimination" against Palestinians by defining the country as the nation state of the Jewish people, state media reported. The law adopted by Israel's parliament on Thursday also defines the establishment of Jewish communities as being in the national interest and downgrades Arabic from an official language to one with special status. Citing a Saudi foreign ministry source, the official Saudi Press Agency said late Friday the kingdom "rejects and disapproves" of the new legislation which it argued contradicts international law. The source called on the international community to "confront such a law and or other Israeli attempts, aimed at perpetuating racial discrimination against the Palestinian people", SPA reported. Saudi Arabia said the adoption of the law would also be a barrier to ending the decades-long Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Earlier this year King Salman reaffirmed Saudi Arabia's "steadfast" … [Read more...] about Saudi Arabia slams ‘racial discrimination’ of Israeli law
Three Gulf Arab states pledged $2.5 billion in aid to Jordan on Monday in an effort to stabilize the U.S.-allied kingdom as it faces its worst protests in years over government austerity plans that include tax increases. The money from Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates will go toward a deposit in Jordan's Central Bank, cover World Bank guarantees for the kingdom, offer budget support and finance other development projects. The hope is the five-year aid package, which mirrors a similar aid package offered by Gulf states in 2011, will help Jordan come up with a new, more-palatable austerity plan to satisfy international lenders and its public. The money came after an early morning meeting in Mecca attended by Jordan's King Abdullah II, Saudi King Salman, Kuwait's ruling emir Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah and Dubai's ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the UAE's vice president and prime minister. Also on hand was Saudi Arabia's assertive 32-year-old Crown Prince … [Read more...] about Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, UAE pledge $2.5 billion aid to Jordan after austerity protests
Qatar has ordered shops to remove goods originating from a group of Saudi Arabian-led countries which a year ago imposed a wide-ranging boycott on the emirate, Doha officials said Saturday. A directive from the economy ministry ordered shops to immediately strip shelves of products from Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt. Inspectors will visit stores to ensure they comply with the order, the ministry said. The government will also try and stop products such as Saudi dairy goods from entering Qatar via a third country. Qatar's Government Communications Office (GCO) said it was trying to "protect the safety of consumers". "Products originating from blockading states, which as a result of the blockade cannot pass the GCC customs territory, has to undergo proper import inspections and customs procedures," the GCO said in a statement. "Qatar conducts its trade policy in accordance with all of its multilateral and bilateral agreements." The order comes just days before the … [Read more...] about Qatar bans Saudi, UAE goods from stores