Israel PM optimistic about historic pact with Saudi Arabia
24 September 2023 | 6:44 pm
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was optimistic about the prospect of reaching an agreement with Saudi Arabia, even as the peace pact still faces major hurdles.
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A boatload of civilians from more than 50 countries have arrived in Saudi Arabia from Sudan. Meanwhile, Germany said it had evacuated 700 people from the country.
Paris St Germain forward Lionel Messi will not have his contract renewed at the club following an unauthorised trip to Saudi Arabia, French sports daily L'Equipe reported on Tuesday.
The construction of the futuristic green Saudi city of Neom requires the resettlement of tribal people. Those who do not comply with the plans are sentenced to very long prison terms or to death.
Riyadh and Ottawa said the decision to restore "full" diplomatic ties came after high-level talks in November last year. Ties were severed in 2018 after Canada called on Saudi Arabia to release arrested activists.
The move to slash supplies by 1 million barrels per day in July is "extendable," said Riyadh. Members of the OPEC+ grouping also agreed to extend cuts previously agreed in April until the end of next year.
Washington and Riyadh have had several disagreements in the past on topics such as Iran, regional security and oil prices. This visit is Blinken's first since the kingdom restored diplomatic ties with Iran.
Riyadh has moved its focus from the US to China, Russia and others in a pragmatic approach to diversify its foreign and economic relations. Does that also mean a political shift?
Saudi Arabia is putting billions into tourism. Once closed to the world, the country boasts heritage and natural wonders. But it's also dealing with a conservative culture, a dire human rights record and climate change.
Around 2 million Muslim pilgrims are converging on Saudi Arabia's Mecca for the annual Hajj pilgrimage. The pilgrimage is one of the five pillars of Islam. This is expected to be the largest Hajj pilgrimage ever and the final tally of pilgrims is expected to be above 2.5 million.
Saudi Arabia is seeking to increase its influence in the Emirates-backed port city of Aden. Behind this move, observers see the beginning of an exit strategy from the brutal and costly war in Yemen.
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