Archive

Archive for the ‘Saudi Arabia’ Category

Country Analysis Brief: Saudi Arabia

September 30, 2014 Comments off

Country Analysis Brief: Saudi Arabia
Source: Energy Information Administration

Saudi Arabia is the world’s largest holder of crude oil proved reserves and was the largest exporter of total petroleum liquids in 2013. In 2013, Saudi Arabia was the world’s second-largest petroleum liquids producer behind the United States and was the world’s second-largest crude oil producer behind Russia. Saudi Arabia’s economy remains heavily dependent on petroleum. Petroleum exports accounted for 85% of total Saudi export revenues in 2013, according to the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC)’s Annual Statistical Bulletin 2014.

With the largest oil projects nearing completion, Saudi Arabia is expanding its natural gas, refining, petrochemicals, and electric power industries. Saudi Arabia’s oil and natural gas operations are dominated by Saudi Aramco, the national oil and gas company and the world’s largest oil company in terms of production. Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources and the Supreme Council for Petroleum and Minerals have oversight of the oil and natural gas sector and Saudi Aramco.

About these ads

What Matters Most to Saudi Arabia’s Youth?: Helping Policy Makers Address the National Challenges

June 11, 2014 Comments off

What Matters Most to Saudi Arabia’s Youth?: Helping Policy Makers Address the National Challenges
Source: Boston Consulting Group

What characteristics distinguish Saudi youth from their peers in other countries? How satisfied are Saudi youth with their lives? What are their most important needs? These questions have become increasingly important to Saudi Arabia’s government and business leaders as they pursue initiatives to improve the lives of the kingdom’s young people.

In a recent quantitative and qualitative study of Saudi youth, The Boston Consulting Group, working with ComRes, sought answers. We found that Saudi Arabia’s young adults lead varied lives. Still, the story of one 24-year-old man helps illustrate the plight of his age cohort: This young man, unemployed and single, lives with his family in Jeddah. He told us that he spends his days sleeping, chatting with friends online, and playing or watching soccer matches. He lacks connections that might help him get a job, he says, citing the prevalence of nepotism in hiring. He wants to find a job, get married, and buy a home and car, but he does not know how to make this happen. “If God wills this ambition, it will come true,” he told us.

Stories like this are all too common among Saudi youth today, and their concerns warrant urgent attention. The 13 million Saudi citizens under the age of 30 represent approximately two-thirds of the population, making the kingdom much “younger” than most countries. On average among countries globally, the under-30 youth segment makes up approximately half the population, and in developed countries, that group is slightly more than one-third of the population.

The consequences of having a large youth segment are already evident and likely to intensify. For example, approximately 1.9 million Saudis will enter the workforce over the next ten years, increasing the size of the current workforce by more than one-third. To accommodate this influx of new workers, the country will need to create more jobs in both the public and private sectors, as well as decrease its reliance on foreign workers. As the “youth bulge” moves through the life cycle, the pressure will intensify to improve the education system, create jobs that pay well, provide affordable housing, and offer effective social services.

Free registration required to access report.

CDC Travel Notice — MERS in the Arabian Peninsula

May 30, 2014 Comments off

MERS in the Arabian Peninsula
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Cases of MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) have been identified in multiple countries in the Arabian Peninsula. There have also been cases in several other countries in travelers who have been to the Arabian Peninsula and, in some instances, their close contacts. Two cases have been confirmed in two health care workers living in Saudi Arabia who were visiting the United States.

CDC does not recommend that travelers change their plans because of MERS. Most instances of person-to-person spread have occurred in health care workers and other close contacts (such as family members and caregivers) of people sick with MERS. If you are concerned about MERS, you should discuss your travel plans with your doctor.

Textbook Diplomacy: Why the State Department Shelved a Study on Incitement in Saudi Education Materials

March 27, 2014 Comments off

Textbook Diplomacy: Why the State Department Shelved a Study on Incitement in Saudi Education Materials (PDF)
Source: Foundation for the Defense of Democracy
From press release:

Though first noted as problematic more than a decade ago by the Department of State, incitement and hatred continues to be taught from government textbooks to students in Saudi Arabia. Today, the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) released a monograph exploring why a 2011 U.S. government-commissioned study on the subject has been withheld from the public, what is being taught in Saudi schools today, and how official incitement impacts U.S. national security.

AU — The G20: a quick guide

March 26, 2014 Comments off

The G20: a quick guide
Source: Parliamentary Library of Australia

This is a quick guide to basic information about the G20, as well as links to useful summary resources. The G20 background section includes the G20’s history, its members, the hosting system and G20 meeting processes, as well as a brief discussion of selected policy areas. Material on Australia and the G20 includes Australia’s involvement in the G20, Australia’s G20 goals for 2014 and speeches and press releases on the G20. A short list of links provides access to more resources on the G20.

CRS — Saudi Arabia: Background and U.S. Relations (updated)

February 25, 2014 Comments off

Saudi Arabia: Background and U.S. Relations (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via U.S. State Department Foreign Press Service)

The kingdom of Saudi Arabia, ruled by the Al Saud family since its founding in 1932, wields significant global political and economic influence as the birthplace of the Islamic faith and by virtue of its large oil reserves. Close U.S.-Saudi official relations have survived a series of challenges since the 1940s, and, in recent years, shared concerns over Al Qaeda-inspired terrorism and Iranian regional ambitions have provided a renewed logic for continued strategic cooperation. The ongoing political upheaval in the Middle East and North Africa is changing the dynamics of long-running reform debates in the kingdom. The full effect of these events on the kingdom and on U.S.-Saudi relations has yet to be determined. Official U.S. concerns about human rights and religious freedom in the kingdom persist, and some Members of Congress have expressed skepticism about Saudi leaders’ commitment to combating religious extremism and sharing U.S. policy priorities in the Middle East and South Asia. However, Bush and Obama Administration officials have referred to the Saudi government as an important regional partner in recent years, and U.S. arms sales and related training programs have continued with congressional oversight. Since October 2010, Congress has been notified of proposed sales to Saudi Arabia of fighter aircraft, helicopters, missile defense systems, missiles, bombs, armored vehicles and related equipment and services, with a potential value of more than $86 billion.

CRS — In Re Terrorist Attacks on September 11, 2001: Dismissals of Claims Against Saudi Defendants Under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA)

January 16, 2014 Comments off

In Re Terrorist Attacks on September 11, 2001: Dismissals of Claims Against Saudi Defendants Under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA) (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)

Practical and legal hurdles, including the difficulty of locating hidden al Qaeda members and the infeasibility of enforcing judgments in terrorism cases, hinder victims’ attempts to establish liability in U.S. courts against, and recover financially from, those they argue are directly responsible for the September 11 terrorist attacks. Instead, victims have sued numerous individuals and entities with only indirect ties to the attacks, including defendants who allegedly provided monetary support to al Qaeda prior to September 11, 2001. Within the consolidated case In re Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001, one such group of defendants was the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, several Saudi princes, a Saudi banker, and a Saudi charity. Plaintiffs argued that these Saudi defendants funded groups that, in turn, assisted the attackers.

A threshold question in In re Terrorist Attacks was whether U.S. courts have the power to try these Saudi defendants. In August 2008, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed dismissals of all claims against the Saudi defendants, holding that U.S. courts lack jurisdiction over the claims. Specifically, the court of appeals held that in this case, U.S. courts lack: 1) subject matter jurisdiction over the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, because the Kingdom is entitled to immunity under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (the FSIA) and no statutory exception to immunity applies; 2) subject matter jurisdiction over the Saudi charity and Saudi princes acting in their official capacities, because they are “agents or instrumentalities” of the Kingdom and thus, under the FSIA, are entitled to immunity to the same extent as the Kingdom itself; and 3) personal jurisdiction over Saudi princes sued in their personal capacities, because the princes had insufficient interactions with the forum to satisfy the “minimum contacts” standard for personal jurisdiction under the Fifth Amendment due process clause.

In 2011, the Second Circuit reversed itself with respect to the immunity of non-terrorist states, finding that the tort exception under the FSIA does not exclude terrorist acts that take place within the United States. In 2013, the court ordered these claims against Saudi Arabia and its agencies or instrumentalities be reinstated in the interest of justice to determine whether the tort exception applies.

This report summarizes the FSIA and jurisdiction in cases against foreign defendants and analyzes the court of appeals decision. It also discusses legislative efforts to address these issues (S. 1535 and H.R. 3143).

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 937 other followers