The Return of Dhari

This holiday week saw the effective return, or at least rehabilitation, of Saud al-Qahtani, once deemed "the loudest and most visible Saudi official" online or off. This came as part of a round of verdicts announced in the trial of those accused of the murder of Jamal Khashoggi. The Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs made … Continue reading The Return of Dhari

Aramco, Pensacola, Etc.

" Maj. Gen. Terrence J. McKenrick, US Army Central deputy commanding and Gen. Dhafer bin Ali Al-Shehri, Royal Saudi Land Forces northwest area commander, attend the Earnest Leader 17 closing ceremony held in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on August 10, 2017.  " U.S. Army photo by Master Sgt. Mark Hanson Pensacola Shooting After a … Continue reading Aramco, Pensacola, Etc.

Riyadh Agreement and Aramco IPO (11/4 to 11/11)

Riyadh Agreement One of the top stories for local media and commentary was the signing of the Riyadh Agreement, which "ended a three-month standoff that threatened to split the anti-Huthi bloc." (Peter Salisbury, ICG). A wide range of commentary presented this is a major diplomatic triumph for the Kingdom: Yemen could have been tossed into … Continue reading Riyadh Agreement and Aramco IPO (11/4 to 11/11)

Lebanon, al-Baghdadi, Other Items

Protests in Lebanon A number of Saudi op-eds over the past two weeks have focused on the ongoing protests in Lebanon - mainly focused on the complete lack of credibility of Lebanon's political class with protesters, but with much commentary also highlighting (to various degrees) the implications for Hizbullah and its relationship with Iran. Okaz … Continue reading Lebanon, al-Baghdadi, Other Items

Russia, Turkey, L. Paul Bremer III

President Vladimir Putin and Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman, 2018. Source. Saudi-Russia Ties A fair bit of commentary in Okaz on the Kingdom diversifying its relationships by strengthening ties to Russia - to be updated as more comes in. Update [10/17/2019]: Key Themes of Commentary: The Kingdom pursues a flexible foreign policy that balances old … Continue reading Russia, Turkey, L. Paul Bremer III

CBS, MBS and Un-aired Excerpts

Secretary Pompeo Meets With Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Jan. 14, 2019Department of State Much of the domestic media/social media scene has been abuzz with anticipation of, and then coverage of, the Crown Prince’s appearance on CBS for an extended interview with Norah O’Donnell – Al-Watan provided a full run-down of topics raised in … Continue reading CBS, MBS and Un-aired Excerpts

Attacks on Abqaiq and Khurais, Continued

There has been a lot of back-and-forth in the Saudi press about what’s happening with respect to Abqaiq and Iran, although coverage has understandably focused more on Aramco claims of swiftly restoring production than concerns that it will take considerable time to fully repair the severe damage to facilities. This in turn has led some … Continue reading Attacks on Abqaiq and Khurais, Continued

The Eye of the Storm – Abqaiq and Khurais

Kurais oil facility, one of two sites hit by attacks last weekend, in 2017 (Source: Planet Labs, Inc.) Given the demands of other work I don't have time to cover the Saudi media scene at present in depth - suffice to say that coverage of the (almost certainly but not conclusively Iranian-backed) attacks on oil … Continue reading The Eye of the Storm – Abqaiq and Khurais

A View to a Deal? [Updated]

President Donald Trump and Emir Sabah Al Sabah, sept. 2017 (Source: White House) In advance of a visit this Thursday by Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad Al Sabah to the White House, more rumors than normal are circulating about a potential solution to the 2+ year standoff between Qatar and the “anti-terror” quartet of Saudi … Continue reading A View to a Deal? [Updated]

العرض العامّ الأولي لأرامكو – مكان العرض وإدارة الشركة

Yasir bin Othman Al-Rumayyan, Chairman of Board of Directors of Saudi Aramco & Governor of the Public Investment Fund. (Source: Public Investment Fund) أرامكو تقترح العرض العامّ الأولي بمرحلتين وقال هؤلاء الأشخاص إن شركة أرامكو تميل نحو طوكيو كمكان للمرحلة الثانية من خطتها المقترحة للعرض العامّ الأولي، حيث تقلل التطورات السياسية في المملكة المتحدة والصين من … Continue reading العرض العامّ الأولي لأرامكو – مكان العرض وإدارة الشركة