Diplomatic Briefing

Your exclusive news aggregator handpicked daily!

Archive for Saudi Arabia

Newsline: Saudi Arabia’s Nairobi embassy in lease dispute

Real estate firm Plumcon East Africa has sued the Saudi Arabian embassy for backing out of a deal that was to see it lease seven high end apartments in Nairobi’s Arboretum area. Plumcon says it made specific repairs to the seven apartments in 2012 at the request of the Saudi Arabian Embassy which afterwards refused to take up the housing units. The firm now wants Justice Thuranira to order the embassy to pay it damages in an amount that the court shall deem fair for the loss of business. The Saudi Arabian embassy was to pay Sh17.7 million yearly for the seven apartments before it terminated the agreement. The Saudi Arabian embassy however says Plumcon delayed in completing the requested fittings in the apartments. The embassy says its staff were to occupy the apartments on November 26, 2011 but that the units were far from ready by then. Plumcon however insists that it finished all repairs early enough and attempted to hand over the keys to the Saudi Arabian embassy on November 24, 2011. The embassy however refused to accept the keys and terminated the lease agreement, the firm says. Saudi Arabia’s embassy has now filed an application to dismiss the suit, arguing that it enjoys diplomatic immunity hence cannot be sued.


Newsline: Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain and Egypt break diplomatic ties with Qatar

Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Egypt on Monday broke diplomatic relations and all land sea and air contacts with fellow Gulf Arab state Qatar, accusing it of supporting “terrorism and extremism”. Saudi Arabia’s state news agency said the kingdom had decided to sever diplomatic and consular relations with Qatar “proceeding from the exercise of its sovereign right guaranteed by international law and the protection of national security from the dangers of terrorism and extremism”. It urged “all brotherly countries and companies to do the same.”


Newsline: Saudi King Appoints Son as Country’s Ambassador to US

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman has appointed his son, Prince Khaled bin Salman, as the country’s ambassador to the US, in a move said to point to strengthening ties to President Donald Trump. Prince Khaled is an Air Force pilot who has taken part in operations in Yemen and against ISIS, AP reports. The prince, who studied military aviation in the US and briefly attended both Harvard University and Georgetown, has been working as an adviser at the Saudi Arabian Embassy in Washington since last year. Khaled’s position will allow Trump a direct line to the Saudi monarchy, further signalling warmer relations between the two powers after a cooling following the Obama administration’s nuclear agreement with regional rival Iran.


Newsline: Saudi Embassy Confirms UK Attacker Had Been in Saudi Arabia

The man who killed four people outside Britain’s Parliament was in Saudi Arabia three times and taught English there, the Middle Eastern country’s embassy said. A Saudi Embassy statement released late Friday said that Khalid Masood taught English in Saudi Arabia from November 2005 to November 2006 and again from April 2008 to April 2009. The embassy said that he had a work visa. It said he returned for six days in March 2015 on a trip booked through an approved travel agent. The Saudi Embassy said that he wasn’t tracked by the country’s security services and didn’t have a criminal record there.


Newsline: Guinean diplomat found dead in Saudi Arabia

Five African people, suspected of killing a Guinean diplomat in Jeddah, were arrested pending investigation. The victim who worked as a financial director at his country’s consulate was found dead in his flat, reported Al Marsad. The killers confessed to murdering the Guinean official and stealing the sum of $324,900 from his flat, said Mecca Police media spokesman. They were referred to the Bureau of Investigation and Public Prosecution to face charges and stand trial.


Newsline: Indian embassy in Saudi Arabia intervenes to send home women caught in job fraud

Three Malayali women, who were cheated by a travel agent in Kerala, returned home after the intervention of Indian embassy. According to them, an Ernakulam-based agency had recruited 21 Malayali women for a Riyadh-based contracting company engaged in cleaning work of government hospitals.While signing the contract in Kerala, the agency had offered them SR1,500 as monthly salary and collected Rs 85,000 to Rs 1.5 lakh from them as fees. The women reached Riyadh on March 1, 2016. On reaching the Kingdom they were asked to sign a document in Arabic. They realized the double-dealing when they got first month’s salary of SR 800 against the promised SR 1,500. When complained they were told that the job contract they had signed in Kerala was not valid and their salary and other terms depend on the agreement in Arabic. As per the Saudi labor law, job contracts prepared abroad should not be amended. The Malayali women contacted the company and diplomatic mission through a community activist. They were reluctant to work at SR 800 as salary and expressed desire to return home but the company refused to release them. However, the Indian embassy pressurized the company to issue exit visas to the Malayali women.


Newsline: Iran sentences Saudi embassy attackers to jail

Iran has sentenced protesters accused of attacking Saudi Arabia’s embassy in response to the execution of a prominent cleric to up to six months in prison, their lawyer said Friday. Some of the defendants received three or six months in jail for disturbing public order while others were acquitted over the January attack, Mostafa Shabani said, quoted by the ISNA news agency. The suspects were cleared of the charge of destruction of the embassy, he said, without specifying how many people were convicted. In July, 21 suspects in the attack on the embassy in Tehran had appeared in court. Another 27 people were said to be facing trial but their fate is unclear. Oil-rich Saudi Arabia and some of its Sunni Muslim Gulf allies severed diplomatic relations with Shiite-ruled Iran after the incident.