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Archive for Saudi Arabia

Newsline: Saudi Arabia summons ambassador from Germany over Lebanon comments

Saudi Arabia has summoned its ambassador in Germany home for consultations over comments by German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel about the political crisis in Lebanon. The Saudi foreign ministry said the government also handed Germany’s representative in Riyadh a protest note over what it said were “shameful” comments Gabriel made after a meeting with his Lebanese counterpart. After a meeting in Berlin with Lebanese Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil, Gabriel told reporters that Europe “could not tolerate the adventurism that has spread there”. It was not clear from a Reuters television recording that the remark was targeted at Saudi Arabia. Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri resigned while in Saudi Arabia on Nov. 4. “Such remarks provoke the surprise and disapproval of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia which considers them as aimless and based on false information that would not help bring about stability in the region,” the Saudi ministry said. The ministry later said on its Twitter account it had summoned the German ambassador in Riyadh and handed him “a protest memorandum over the shameful and unjustified remarks made by the German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel.” Hariri’s abrupt resignation has raised concern over Lebanon’s stability.



Newsline: Bangladesh Supreme Court confirms death penalty for Saudi embassy official murder

The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court has upheld the High Court verdict that sentenced one to death and three others to life in prison for killing a Saudi embassy official. A three-member bench of the Appellate Division, headed by acting chief justice Md Abdul Wahhab Miah, gave the verdict Wednesday morning. The apex court started hearing on the appeals in the Saudi embassy official Khalaf Al Ali murder case on October 17. On March 5, 2012, Khalaf, 45, was gunned down inside the diplomatic zone in Gulshan. Later, he died at United Hospital the following day. On June 4, a team of Detective Branch of police arrested Saiful Islam Mamun, Md Al Amin and Akbar Ali Lalu from the city’s Dakkhinkhan area in connection with the murder. Later, police also arrested Rafiqul Islam. Four people were shown arrested in the case.


Newsline: Swiss embassy to represent Iran interests in Saudi Arabia

Switzerland is to represent Iranian interests in Saudi Arabia, following the 2016 break in diplomatic relations between the Gulf rivals, the Iranian foreign ministry announced. It said an accord has been signed for the opening of an Iranian interests section at the Swiss embassy in Riyadh. According to Iranian media, Switzerland, which already represents US interests in Iran, will also house a Saudi interests section at its Tehran embassy. Iran and Saudi Arabia severed diplomatic relations after Iranian protesters stormed Saudi missions in January 2016.


Newsline: Saudi Arabian spokeswoman in US shatters kingdom’s glass ceiling

As Saudi Arabia feverishly portrays itself as ready to join the ranks of modern, tolerant societies, the kingdom has turned to a once-unlikely messenger — one of its daughters — to make its case to the West. On Fatimah Baeshen’s first day as the Saudi Embassy in Washington’s official spokeswoman, the ultra-conservative nation’s rulers issued a decree to lift its ban on women driving, starting next summer. It was a step toward erasing what much of the world sees as a stain on Saudi Arabia’s women’s rights record. Activists are pushing for greater human rights and political freedoms, even with the recent openings for women.


Newsline: Saudi Arabia Appoints its First Female Spokesperson at US Embassy

Saudi Ambassador to Washington Prince Khalid bin Salman issued an order to assign Fatima Baeshen the embassy’s spokeswoman, making her the first female spokesperson for a government institution. Baeshen is a businesswoman, who has earned her master’s degree with a focus on Islamic finance from the University of Chicago, and has a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Baeshen was a director at the Washington based think tank Arabia Foundation. She spent several years working in Riyadh’s Saudi Ministry of Labor and the Saudi Ministry of Economy and Planning before returning to the United States in 2017. She has also worked as a consultant for the World Bank, the Islamic Development Bank and the Emirates Foundation for Youth Development. Baeshen was raised in the US and spent most of her childhood in Mississippi.


Newsline: Saudi government allegedly funded a ‘dry run’ for 9/11

Fresh evidence submitted in a major 9/11 lawsuit moving forward against the Saudi Arabian government reveals its embassy in Washington may have funded a “dry run” for the hijackings carried out by two Saudi employees, further reinforcing the claim employees and agents of the kingdom directed and aided the 9/11 hijackers and plotters. Two years before the airliner attacks, the Saudi Embassy paid for two Saudi nationals, living undercover in the US as students, to fly from Phoenix to Washington “in a dry run for the 9/11 attacks,” alleges the amended complaint filed on behalf of the families of some 1,400 victims who died in the terrorist attacks 16 years ago. The court filing provides new details that paint “a pattern of both financial and operational support” for the 9/11 conspiracy from official Saudi sources, lawyers for the plaintiffs say. In fact, the Saudi government may have been involved in underwriting the attacks from the earliest stages — including testing cockpit security. Lawyers representing Saudi Arabia last month filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit, which may finally be headed toward trial now that Congress has cleared diplomatic-immunity hurdles. A Manhattan federal judge has asked the 9/11 plaintiffs, represented by lead law firm Cozen O’Connor, to respond to the motion by November.


Newsline: Sexy thief robbed Saudi diplomat in New York

A Saudi diplomat was robbed of his $30,000 watch and other bling by a hot date he brought home from celebrity hangout 1 Oak in New York — and he’s just the latest victim in a series of similar scams, police sources told The Post. Consular attaché Sultan Khayat, 32, told cops the woman swiped a $30,000 Gerald Genta watch, a $12,000 Rolex, $2,500 in cash and his credit card Monday before running off from the swanky Midtown pad with the loot. And she’s the second sexy swindler to shake down a hook-up recently from 1 Oak — just last week, police released footage of a woman who they say stole a $50,000 Rolex and $20,000 worth of gold jewelry from a guy she picked up at the club in June. In the latest, incident, Khayat brought his “date” back to his East 53rd Street pad from 1 Oak — a magnet for celebs such as Justin Bieber and Jay-Z — around 7 a.m. Monday, cops said. The woman then split with his valuables and made $400 in charges on his American Express card, police said.