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Archive for Saudi Arabia

Newsline: Saudi Embassy Claims “Hostage” Situation Off Yemen

Saudi Arabia’s embassy in Washington, D.C. asserted that Houthi militia forces have taken 19 vessels “hostage” off Hodeidah, Yemen. The claim has not been independently verified. In a post on its website, the embassy wrote that Houthi rebels are “holding hostage 19 ships” at an anchorage off Hodeidah. The announcement suggested that the vessels are carrying a combined total of 200,000 tons of “petroleum byproducts,” and it raised concerns that the rebels could intend to destroy the ships and release pollutants into the Red Sea. While the embassy’s announcement asserted that the vessels have been “detained” and blocked from entering the port, it did not specify whether Houthi personnel have boarded and seized the vessels, nor whether any of the ships have been prevented from departing.



Newsline: Saudi king slams Trump for transferring US embassy to Jerusalem

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman on Sunday opened an Arab League summit by criticizing US President Donald Trump’s decision to transfer the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. “We reiterate our rejection of the US decision on Jerusalem,” the king said in a speech in Dhahran in eastern Saudi Arabia. “East Jerusalem is an integral part of the Palestinian territories,” he added. US President Donald Trump in December bucked decades of US foreign policy by formally recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and setting in motion plans to move the US embassy there from Tel Aviv. The US has said the move would take place to coincide with Israel’s 70th birthday. Israel marks its annual Independence Day — Yom Ha’Atzmaut — according to the Hebrew calendar date that this year falls on April 19. However, a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the embassy is being planned for mid-May, as the State of Israel proclaimed its independence on May 14, 1948.


Newsline: Former employee seeks Ksh. 45M compensation from Saudi Arabia Embassy in Kenya

The Saudi Arabia Embassy in Kenya wants to pursue an out of court settlement of a case where they owe a former employee Ksh.45 million. The former employee, Abdi Mohammed Abdullahi, accused the embassy of illegal termination of employment. The Embassy, through an advocate, acknowledged before Justice Byram Ongayo that they owe Mr. Abdullahi, who was head of research and a translator, salary arrears amounting to Sh4.9 million. The court also heard that the Embassy will start by paying the complainant Sh2.9 million by March 16 as they negotiate further. During the agreement, lawyers for the two parties, agreed to meet the Saudi Arabia Ambassador before the next mention date of the case.


Newsline: Saudi ambassador to Beirut pulled after less than 3 months

Saudi Ambassador to Lebanon Walid al-Yaacoub is being replaced after being on the job for less than three months, a political source told The Daily Star Sunday. “Former Saudi Charge d’Affaires in Lebanon Walid al-Bukhari will arrive to Beirut tonight and head the Saudi diplomatic team in Lebanon,” the source said. The source said that Yaacoub would no longer be the ambassador to Lebanon, and that he had already left for Riyadh. Yaacoub was appointed to Beirut last September during Thamer al-Sabhan’s tenure as Saudi Minister of State for Gulf Affairs. The firebrand critic of Hezbollah has since been removed from the kingdom’s Lebanon file. Yaacoub’s credentials were later presented to President Michel Aoun in January. He worked in the Saudi Embassy in Beirut from 2010 to 2014 and then moved to his country’s embassy in Paris, where he worked until 2017. He worked with Sabhan on issues concerning Lebanon, while representing the kingdom in many international conferences at the United Nations.


Newsline: Saudi diplomat approved in Lebanon, ending diplomatic tussle

Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to Lebanon has assumed office after presenting his credentials to the president, ending a diplomatic tussle between the two countries. Ambassador Walid al-Yaacoubi and his Lebanese counterpart in Saudi Arabia were caught in an apparent dispute over representation, with each country delaying accreditation of the other’s diplomat, though both were named months ago. The delay highlighted lingering tensions between Saudi Arabia and Lebanon following the bizarre, now-reversed resignation of Prime Minister Saad Hariri from Riyadh. Al-Yaacoubi presented his credentials to President Michel Aoun Wednesday, after Lebanese Ambassador Fawzi Kabbara, a member of Hariri’s political party, was approved in Riyadh. He had been named to the post in July but remained unaccredited in Saudi Arabia.


Newsline: Saudi, Lebanese ambassadors caught in diplomatic tussle

Lebanon’s ambassador to Saudi Arabia and his Saudi counterpart are caught in what appears to be a diplomatic tussle over representation, with each country delaying accreditation of the other’s diplomat. Both were named months ago. The delay highlights tension between Saudi Arabia and Lebanon following the bizarre, now-reversed resignation of Prime Minister Saad Hariri from Riyadh. A Lebanese diplomat said Wednesday the issue would be “resolved soon.” The diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity, didn’t elaborate. “Diplomatic procedures will be followed,” the diplomat said. “We are committed to positive and good relations with Saudi Arabia.” The issue came up in the Cabinet’s meeting Tuesday. Government official Pierre Abi Assi told reporters following the meeting that Hariri is “keen on finding the appropriate resolution as soon as possible.” Lebanon’s ambassador to Saudi Arabia, a member of Hariri’s political party, was named to the post in late July but remains unaccredited. The outgoing ambassador remains in the post on acting capacity. Saudi Arabia named its ambassador in September. Ambassador Walid al-Yaacoubi arrived in Lebanon in November, but still has not been sworn in. There was no immediate comment from Saudi officials.


Newsline: Beirut Responds to Riyadh by Snubbing New Saudi Ambassador

The Lebanese government has been postponing the official reception of the new Saudi ambassador, apparently over Riyadh’s alleged involvement in the incident with the resignation of Prime Minister Saad Hariri, the Kuwaiti daily Al Seyassah reported. According to the newspaper, Lebanese President Michel Aoun has not yet scheduled a date to receive Ambassador Walid al-Yaqoub, who arrived in Lebanon nearly a month ago and since then has not been able to start his work. Earlier, Riyadh reportedly delayed the reception of the new Lebanese ambassador to Saudi Arabia. According to the newspaper, Lebanon may also be delivering a response to that move. In November, Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri announced his resignation while on a visit in Saudi Arabia. He later returned home and withdrew his resignation. Beirut considers the incident part of Riyadh’s attempts to meddle in Lebanon’s affairs.