Archive for the ‘Saudi Arabia’ Category

Gaza Fight Thunders Across Middle East, Britain, France, Media

January 26, 2009

The guns are silent, or nealy so, in Gaza as Hamas and Israel try to make an agreement and forge a way ahead.

But in many parts of the world, people are choosing sides and discussing who is right, what is justice and how to respond to the Gaza fight.

In the Middle East, leaders in Egypt and Saudi Arabia are telling people to keep an open mind.  But thousands marched in pro-Hamas rallies in Lebanon and other Middle East countries.

In London yesterday, thousands protested the BBC for not showing a video asking for aid contributions for Gazans.  The BBC sid it wanted to stay impartial; but BBC Persian was closed in Iran where the government said it was pro-Israel.

In the media world, any nation seeming to take a side, like the BBC and Sky news, is gaining criticism and scorn.

In France, Jews and Muslims are trying to live together.  But the battle of Gaza has spilled into France….

NPR says, “The recent conflict in Gaza touched nerves in France, which is home to Europe’s largest Jewish and Muslim communities. Despite the cease-fire in Gaza, many say the fighting there has done lasting damage to relations between Muslims and Jews in France.”

Go to NPR and hear their broadcast:
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.
php?storyId=99861094&ft=1&f=1004

Related:
Sky News joins BBC in not broadcasting Gaza aid appeal

BBC Insists It Is Not The “Barack Broadcasting Channel”

BBC In Hot Water; Accused Of Not Helping Victims

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Meeting of Arab leaders on Gaza ends in discord

January 20, 2009

Arab leaders trying to come up with a plan to rebuild Gaza ended their meeting Tuesday in discord, unable to agree on whether to back Egyptian peace efforts or even set up a joint reconstruction fund for the devastated Palestinian territory.

The deep tensions among rival Arab leaders could affect the fragile cease-fire between Hamas and Israel that ended a three-week Israeli onslaught on the Mediterranean strip. The military campaign to stop militant rocket fire left around 1,300 Palestinians dead, according to Gaza health officials, and material damage estimated at around $2 billion. Thirteen Israelis were also killed.

The violence in Gaza split Arab countries into two camps — one led by Syria and Qatar supporting Hamas hard-liners who rule the territory, and another led by Egypt and Saudi Arabia hoping to lure the Palestinian militant group toward more moderation.

The two-day gathering of Arab leaders in Kuwait that ended Tuesday was expected to announce a fund to rebuild Gaza and a unified statement about how to end the crisis there.

Instead, pledges came in vague and without figures, along with criticism for Israel and threats to hold it accountable for what leaders called “war crimes” in Gaza.

Saudi Arabia was the only Arab country to commit at the opening of the gathering to a $1 billion contribution for rebuilding efforts, and Kuwait’s emir, Sheik Sabah Al Ahmed Al Sabah, said the reconstruction should be an “international collective effort.”

By DIANA ELIAS, Associated Press Writer

President Hosni Mubarak, of Egypt, King Abdullah  of Saudi Arabia, ... 
President Hosni Mubarak, of Egypt, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, Sheikh Sabah Al Sabah, Amir of Kuwait and Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani, Amir of Qatar, from left, walk in to the Arab Economic Summit at the Bayan Palace in Kuwait, Monday, Jan. 19, 2009. The Saudi king said an Arab initiative offering peace with Israel will not remain on the table forever. King Abdullah says Israel has to understand that the choice between war and peace will not always stay open.(AP Photo/Ameeri Diwan)

It remains to be seen when the money will be paid and if it will be delivered to Gaza’s militant Hamas rulers or to the rival Palestinian Authority in the West Bank.

“An international effort is a million times better,” said Nabil al-Fadhl, columnist for Kuwait’s Al-Watan newspaper. “Do you want to give the donations to Hamas, the illegal authority?”

Hamas seized control of Gaza in June 2007 from its Palestinian rival, the Fatah movement of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, which now controls only the West Bank. The two groups have been unable to come up with a power-sharing agreement.

Shortly before a final statement was read, Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari, without naming specific countries, said leaders were unable to reach a consensus.

“Some are entrenched in their positions,” Zebari told state-owned Kuwait Television.

After the summit ended, Arab League chief Amr Moussa acknowledged he was frustrated.

“Of course the Arab situation is still troubled and tense … and we need to exert efforts to close ranks as much as possible,” he said.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090120/ap_on_re_m
i_ea/ml_mideast_diplomacy;_ylt=AomtMR3B0coDx
Z0_dDNxMB1vaA8F

No Doubt Who Wants All Israel Dead

January 15, 2009

Can there be any doubt about who wants Israel gone?

Osama bin Laden wants Israel (and George W. Bush) gone, as he said again in a tape widely released yesterday.

And President Ahmadinejad wants Israel gone, as he has said many times.

Today, Iran’s Ahmadinejad told Al-Manar television, owned by the Iranian-backed militant group Hezbollah, “Arabs can do many things on the political level — they can cut off all open and secret contacts” with Israel, “they can use their political capabilities to pressure the backers of the Zionist entity by severing relations with them. And they can make use of their economic wealth,” Ahmadinejad said.

Ahmadinejad has also called for all nations to stop oil exports to Israel and those nations that support Israel.

Across the Muslim and Arab world, huge anti-Israel protests have pressured moderate leaders not to support Israel and the United States.

Related:
 Bin Laden urges jihad against Israel

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speaks at the Natanz uranium ... 
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speaks at the Natanz uranium enrichment facility.(AFP/File/Atta Kenare)

From The Associated Press:

Iran’s president urged Arab leaders Wednesday to cut all contacts with Israel and use their political and economic influence to pressure the Israelis to halt their offensive in Gaza.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told Al-Manar television, owned by the Iranian-backed militant group Hezbollah, that the Arabs should also pressure Israel’s Western backers to stop the fighting, which Palestinian health officials say has killed more than 1,000 people in the Gaza Strip.

“Arabs can do many things on the political level — they can cut off all open and secret contacts” with Israel, “they can use their political capabilities to pressure the backers of the Zionist entity by severing relations with them. And they can make use of their economic wealth,” Ahmadinejad said.

Israel says it launched the offensive Dec. 27 to stop rocket fire against southern Israeli towns by Hamas, which has controlled the Gaza Strip since 2007. Iran is Hamas’ main backer, providing political and financial support. Iran denies sending Hamas weapons.

Ahmadinejad dismissed allegations that Iran is urging Hamas to reject Egyptian diplomatic efforts to end the fighting but demanded that Egypt open the border crossings with the Gaza Strip.

He said Arab governments should exert pressure “on the protectors of the Zionist entity” rather than “putting pressure on Hamas.”

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090114/ap_on_
re_mi_ea/ml_iran_israel_gaza_6

This is an undated file  photo of al Qaida leader  Osama bin ... 
This is an undated file photo of al Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, in Afghanistan. Bin Laden has issued a new audiotape urging Muslims to launch a jihad, or holy war, to stop the Israeli offensive in Gaza. The authenticity of the tape cannot be independently confirmed.(AP Photo)

Israel’s Gaza Attack Continues to Further Split Arab Rulers, People

January 4, 2009

“War on Gaza” was the description the satellite channel al-Jazeera gave for the Israeli ground invasion that began Saturday, a culmination of eight days of bombing that have killed hundreds of Palestinians in the crowded seaside strip. But across the Arab world, the struggle was as noteworthy for what was becoming a war at home.

From Egypt to Saudi Arabia, longtime leaders of the Arab world, the attacks illustrated a yawning divide between the policies of rulers and the sentiments of those they rule. Although the Palestinian cause is cherished on the street, the region’s leaders are viewed as paying only lip service to it.

The gulf between the two is not uncommon in a region that remains, with few exceptions, authoritarian.

But exacerbating the tension is an issue that, although half a century old, remains at the heart of Arab politics: Palestine and its symbolism here.

The intersection of the issue’s resonance with official Egyptian and Saudi criticism of Hamas has created a conflict in policy and sentiment as pronounced as perhaps at any time in modern Arab history.

From the Washington Post:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content
/article/2009/01/03/AR2009010302017.html
?hpid=topnews

Iran Urges Arabs to Condemn Israel and All “Zionists”; Calls Palestinian Losses “Real Holocaust”

December 31, 2008

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who cannot even say the word “Israel” and has said the “Zionist state should be wiped from the earth,” is now urging the Arab League and all Arabs and Islamists to rise up against Israel.

Said Ahmadinejad: “The ongoing crimes committed by the cultureless Zionists in Gaza have saddened all advocates of liberty and freedom worldwide and pleased savages. Women, children, youth, the pious and devoted, and shelter-less men are being murdered in their land in the heaviest siege that does not allow entry of food and medicine for the crime of insisting on their basic human rights.”

“This is while leaders of arrogant, corrupt, bullying and oppressive powers and their affiliates, explicitly or implicitly support the criminals who commit these brutal acts by remaining silent.”

The Iranian president went on to add that “The disgraceful Zionists are not demonstrating their power, rather this is a show of their weaknesses. Killing civilians and defenseless people will not lead to the supremacy of the murderers. Zionists and their tyrannical patrons have reached a dead-end and are on the verge of decline. Such crimes only further darken their disgusting track record. The US regime and some European governments should know that they too will be held accountable for these crimes.”

He called Israel’s action in Gaza “The real Holocaust.”

In the past Mr. Ahmadinejad has said that israel fabricated the holocaust for its own reasons.

“Therefore, the people of Gaza represent all peace-seeking masses against all ugliness, aggressions and savagery. These people are sacrificing their lives to help uphold human dignity”
said Ahmadinejad.

Today Ahmadinejad said,  “If the Arab League does not want to do anything today, when does it want to act?” the president told a rally in Zahedan in southeast Iran.

“Aren’t these oppressed Palestinians Arabs? So when should the capacity of the Arab League be used? The Arab League should act quickly,” he said in a speech broadcast on state television. 

From Peace and Freedom

Related:
 Gaza Is “Proxy War to Eradicate Israel” Funded By Iran
.
Volunteer suicide bombers seek to attack Israel
.
http://www.zawya.com/Story.cfm/sidZAWYA20
081231073844/Ahmadinejad:%20Real%20Hol
ocaust%20in%20Gaza

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speaks at the Natanz uranium ... 
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speaks at the Natanz uranium enrichment facility.(AFP/File/Atta Kenare)

******************

Iran’s president told the Arab League, which meets on Wednesday, it must act quickly to end Israeli attacks on Gaza Palestinians adding that setting up a committee or making speeches was not enough.

But Mahmoud Ahmadinejad did not suggest any specific action by Arab states, some of which had been criticised by non-Arab Iran for not doing enough to help protect Palestinians after more than 380 had been killed.

“If the Arab League does not want to do anything today, when does it want to act?” the president told a rally in Zahedan in southeast Iran.

“Aren’t these oppressed Palestinians Arabs? So when should the capacity of the Arab League be used? The Arab League should act quickly,” he said in a speech broadcast on state television.

Reuters
.

He added that setting up a committee and making speeches was not adequate and would allow Israel to continue its actions.

Arab foreign ministers hold an emergency session at the Cairo-based Arab League on Wednesday. Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak said Cairo would propose a way to contain the current conflict to the ministers.

Egypt, which shares a border with Gaza, has often been singled out for criticism by Iranian protesters for not doing more to help Palestinians. Egypt, which has a peace treaty with Israel, and Iran, which does not recognise the Jewish state, do not have full diplomatic ties.

Related:
Iran Cleric Tells All Muslims To Rise Up Against Isreal; Tumult in Mideast
.
Gaza Is “Proxy War to Eradicate Israel” Funded By Iran

Read the rest:
http://uk.news.yahoo.com/22/200812
31/tpl-uk-palestinians-israel-iran-sb-
43a8d4f.html

OPEC Cuts Production 2.2 Million Barrels Per Day

December 17, 2008

OPEC says it is cutting 2.2 million barrels a day from its output — the largest ever at one time — to stem crude prices that have plummeted over 70 percent from summer highs of nearly $150.

An OPEC statement says its latest announcements means it is taking 4.2 million barrels a day off the market compared to September levels. The 4.2 million figure includes more than 500,000 barrels of overproduction OPEC said in September it would eliminate and a formal cut of 1.5 million barrels a day that it agreed on last month.

That amounts to a new reduction of 2.2 million barrels announced Wednesday.

In practice, “it’s 2.2” said OPEC President Chakib Khelil.

Members among the 13-nation organization were officially producing a daily 29.045 million barrels in September.

–Associated Press

World leaders clash on Iran sanctions

December 17, 2008

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Tuesday briefed a half-dozen key Arab states on U.S.-led efforts to stem Iran‘s nuclear program but achieved no new consensus on how to prevent Iran from developing the technology for a nuclear weapon.

“All there expressed their concern about Iran’s nuclear policies and its regional ambitions,” Miss Rice said after the morning meeting with diplomats from Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Iraq, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Saudi Arabia.

Representatives from Britain, France, China, Russia and Germany – which have been trying without success to persuade Iran to suspend its uranium enrichment program for several years – also took part in the session conducted on the sidelines of a Security Council debate on the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

By Betsy Pisik
The Washington Times 

British Foreign Minister David Miliband, far left, listen as U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, second from right, address the United Nations Security Council at the United Nations in New York, Tuesday Dec. 16, 2008. Council members debated before voting on a draft resolution calling for an intensification of Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations. Associated Press.

Above: British Foreign Minister David Miliband, far left, listen as U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, second from right, addresses the issue of Iran’s nuclear efforts.

Miss Rice said there was no discussion of new sanctions against Iran, which has defied several U.N. resolutions demanding that it curb its nuclear program.

Those attending are “concerned that there will need to be a way to finally incent Iran to make a different choice concerning its nuclear ambitions,” Miss Rice said. “But this was not an effort to develop a common strategy.”

Divisions among Iran’s Arab neighbors across the Persian Gulf have made it more difficult to contain Iran.

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2008
/dec/16/world-leaders-clash-on-iran-sanctions/

OPEC Could Make Biggest Production Cut Ever This Week To Raise Prices

December 15, 2008

OPEC ministers could make their deepest oil supply cut ever when they meet on Wednesday to combat shrinking demand, bulging stocks and a $100 collapse in prices.

By Barbara Lewis and William Maclean
Reuters

File photo shows the OPEC logo in Vienna, Austria. OPEC Secretary ...

For many in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, up to 2 million barrels per day (bpd) must be removed to keep up with a slump in consumption that has knocked two-thirds off prices since July.

“We have to act — we see a very sizeable reduction,” OPEC Secretary-General Abdullah al-Badri told reporters on his arrival on Monday in this western Algerian city.

OPEC President Chakib Khelil agreed.

“Everybody is supporting a cut — I don’t have any doubt about it.”

Oil rigs extract petroleum in the Los Angeles area community ... 
Oil rigs extract petroleum in the Los Angeles area community of Culver City, California. World oil prices have rebounded on expectations that crude exporters’ cartel OPEC will cut production at a key meeting in Algeria this week, dealers said.(AFP/Getty Images/File/David McNew)

Benchmark U.S. crude rose more than $2 a barrel toward $49 in early trade — still far from the “fair” price of $75 a barrel identified by Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest crude exporter, at the end of November.

After slashing a combined two million barrels daily, 7.3 percent of its output at two previous meetings, OPEC was on course to chop at least another five percent off a world market that burns 86 million barrels of oil each day.

Saudi Arabia, had yet to make public comment on its position, but OPEC chief Khelil said Riyadh had already cut back in anticipation of further supply curbs.

Read the rest:
http://biz.yahoo.com/rb/081215/business_us_opec.html?.v=1

Russia to Attend OPEC Summit

December 13, 2008

The head of OPEC says Russia and three other non-cartel members will take part in the oil producers’ summit next week in Oran, Algeria.

Chakib Khelil says Russia will send its deputy prime minister in charge of energy and its oil minister to Wednesday’s summit. The other guest countries invited by the 14-member cartel are Oman, Azerbaijan and Syria.

Khelil asserts that a final consensus has been reached by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to reduce oil output levels.

The OPEC head, who is also Algeria’s oil minister, spoke Saturday.

Associated Press

U.S. needs missile defense now more than ever

December 8, 2008

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev gave Barack Obama his first major foreign policy test the day after the election by vowing to move short-range missiles to the Polish border if the president-elect honors a Bush administration agreement to install a defensive shield in Eastern Europe. Instead of reassuring our NATO allies, however, Obama’s tentative response emboldened the Russians to conduct naval war games with Venezuela in the Caribbean.

Editorial/Opinion
Examiner Newspapers

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev visits a ballistic missile ... 
Above:  Russian President Dmitry Medvedev visits a ballistic missile site in Russia in October. Russia is developing missiles designed to avoid being hit by space-based missile defence systems that could be deployed by the United States.(AFP/Pool/File/Dmitry Astakhov)

This is “no time to go all wobbly,” as former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher used to say. It is only a matter of time before Iran has a nuclear-armed missile that can hit Israel, Saudi Arabia or Europe. And there is no assurance that Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez won’t sign a mutual defense pact that puts such weapons within range of the U.S. homeland. When that happens, 87 percent of Americans agree, we’d better be able to protect ourselves.

Obama promised during the campaign to work more closely with other nations. Yet he has failed to provide concrete assurance to Polish President Lech Kaczynski that he would honor the agreement the Bush administration negotiated to place U.S. missile defense units in Poland. Obama apparently believes the defensive system should be deployed, but only “when the technology is proved to be workable.” Well, by any reasonable standards, that’s now.

The ground-based missile interceptors that Bush agreed to install in Poland (augmented by radar in the Czech Republic) have destroyed incoming targets in seven of 12 attempts during tests, including the most recent one Friday. So installing the system gives Americans and Europeans a 68 percent chance of disabling an incoming nuclear missile — as opposed to certain annihilation if the system isn’t deployed.

It should also be noted that Boeing is developing the Airborne Laser (ABL) missile defense system that uses a laser mounted in the nose of a highly modified 747. The ABL passed an important milestone recently when its beam control fire system worked perfectly in a ground test. The ABL will enable U.S. forces to destroy enemy missiles soon after launch and at much longer ranges. Ground- and naval-based missile defenses destroy incoming weapons during their final descent towards a target. Missile defense systems on the ground, at sea and in the air long ago ceased being the stuff of science fiction. Obama would be tragically wrong to make perfection the enemy of the very good on this decision.

Related:
 Missile Defense Success; Urgent Need