Saudi Arabia - updates

Rappler's latest stories on Saudi Arabia

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In rare U.S. criticism, Pence urges Saudis to free blogger Badawi

Jul 19, 2019 - 7:13 AM

US Vice President Mike Pence says, in 'Saudi Arabia, blogger Raif Badawi is still in prison for the alleged crime of criticizing Islam through electronic means'

US Vice President-elect Mike Pence arrives at Trump Tower in New York City on November 18, 2016 in New York. / AFP PHOTO / DOMINICK REUTER

Janet Jackson, 50 Cent to perform for Saudi after Nicki Minaj cancels

Jul 18, 2019 - 1:02 PM

Janet Jackson and rapper 50 Cent take the place of Nicki Minaj, who cancelled her Saudi show in support for women's rights

Meet PH’s new friends: U.N.-member countries that voted vs human rights resolution

Jul 12, 2019 - 2:58 PM

These are governments widely criticized for human rights violations, crackdown on dissent, and the stifling of democracy. Some are headed by leaders who bear similarities with President Rodrigo Duterte.

Cancellation of Nicki Minaj Saudi concert stirs online anger

Jul 10, 2019 - 9:57 PM

The singer announce she has pulled out of the July 18 concert in a show of support for women's and gay rights in Saudi Arabia

Nicki Minaj cancels Saudi concert over women's rights concerns

Jul 10, 2019 - 7:53 AM

'It would break me if even one of my fans were arrested, or BEATEN for expressing themselves,' Nicki Minaj tweeted

Saudi carrier Flyadeal ditches grounded Boeing MAX for Airbus

Jul 07, 2019 - 10:40 PM

(UPDATED) Flyadeal will operate an all-Airbus A320 fleet instead of purchasing Boeing's grounded 737 MAX jets

Photo from flyadeal's Facebook page

Rapper Nicki Minaj to perform in Saudi Arabia

Jul 04, 2019 - 11:11 AM

The news triggers mixed reactions online as the ultra-conservative kingdom loosens their conventional restrictions on entertainment

'Urgent' need for international probe on Khashoggi killing – fiancée

Jun 25, 2019 - 10:45 PM

'There is an urgent need for an international investigation of this murder,' says Hatice Cengiz at an event on the sidelines of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva

APPEAL. Turkish writer and fiancee of the murdered Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi Hatice Cengiz attends a side event during the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva on June 25, 2019. Photo by Fabrice Coffrini/AFP

Saudi Arabia launches special residency scheme to boost revenue

Jun 23, 2019 - 9:05 PM

The scheme will allow expats to do business without a Saudi sponsor, buy property, and sponsor visas for relatives

U.N. Khashoggi report piles pressure on Saudi crown prince

Jun 21, 2019 - 7:05 AM

UN special rapporteur Agnes Callamard's report insists there is 'credible evidence' to warrant further investigation and financial sanctions against Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman over Khashoggi's murder last October

This combination of pictures created on June 20, 2019 shows a file photo taken on December 15, 2014 of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi (L) during a press conference in the Bahraini capital Manama and a file photo taken on April 12, 2018 of Saudi Arabia's crown prince Mohammed bin Salman poses at La Moncloa palace in Madrid. There is "credible evidence" linking Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to journalist Jamal Khashoggi's murder, a UN expert said on June 19, 2019 calling for sanctions on the prince's foreign assets. The conclusion was outlined in a report by the UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Agnes Callamard. Khashoggi, a Washington Post contributor and critic of Prince Mohammed, was murdered at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2. His dismembered body has not been found. Riyadh initially said it had no knowledge of his fate, but later blamed the murder on rogue agents.  MOHAMMED AL-SHAIKH, OSCAR DEL POZO / AFP

Saudi urges world powers to secure waterways after twin attacks

Jun 18, 2019 - 11:31 PM

Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih has also urged world powers to cooperate on keeping shipping lanes open for oil and other energy supplies

TWIN ATTACKS. A picture obtained by AFP from Iranian news agency Tasnim on June 13, 2019 reportedly shows an Iranian navy boat trying to control fire from Norwegian owned Front Altair tanker said to have been attacked in the waters of the Gulf of Oman. Photo by Tasnim News/AFP

Saudi Arabia committed to Aramco IPO – crown prince

Jun 16, 2019 - 10:25 PM

The planned initial public offering of Saudi Arabian oil conglomerate Aramco is expected to be the world's largest stock sale

A picture taken on May 10, 2016 shows over Shaybah, the base for Saudi Aramco's Natural Gas Liquids plant and oil production in the surrounding Shaybah field in Saudi Arabia's remote Empty quarter desert close to the United Arab Emirates, on May 10, 2016. - Despite collapsed global oil prices, production is expanding at Shaybah, as it is in other units of the company at the centre of the kingdom's Vision 2030 drive for diversification away from oil. The Saudi government plans to sell less than five percent of the company in what officials say will be the world's largest-ever share offering, while transforming Saudi Aramco into "a global industrial conglomerate". By 2020 the company says it will have tripled its gas processing capacity from levels at the turn of the century. (Photo by IAN TIMBERLAKE / AFP)

Damaged tankers reach safe waters after Gulf attacks

Jun 16, 2019 - 9:56 PM

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman says he would not hesitate to tackle any threats to the oil-rich kingdom

Saudi crown prince accuses Iran of twin tanker attacks

Jun 16, 2019 - 8:43 AM

(UPDATED) 'We do not want a war in the region. But we won't hesitate to deal with any threat to our people, our sovereignty, our territorial integrity and our vital interests,' says Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman

TO PORT. This picture taken on June 15, 2019 shows tanker ships in the waters of the Gulf of Oman off the coast of the eastern UAE emirate of Fujairah. Photo by Giuseppe Cacace/AFP

Palestinians break with Saudi Eid date for first time in years

Jun 05, 2019 - 7:30 AM

Some are questioning why Palestinian Eid festivities fall on a different day to Saudi Arabia for the first time since at least 1994. The official reason is due to differences in the sighting of the moon.

Palestinians pray during Al-Quds day's Friday prayer at Al Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem on May 31, 2019. The "Quds day" (the day of Jerusalem), a commemoration first initiated by Iran in 1979 to fall on the last Friday of the holy month of Ramadan expresses support for displaced Palestinians and against the presence of Jewish settlements in Israeli-occupied territories. Ahmad GHARABLI / AFP

Saudi, UAE slam Doha for 'backtracking' on Mecca talks

Jun 03, 2019 - 10:00 PM

Doha, which attended the 3 meetings in the holy city, says the concluding statements of the summits 'were ready in advance and we were not consulted on them'

MECCA SUMMIT. This handout photo taken and released by the Jordanian Royal Palace shows a family picture with OIC leaders during a summit meeting of the 57-member Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in the Saudi holy city of Mecca in the early hours of June 1, 2019. AFP PHOTO/JORDANIAN ROYAL PALACE/YOUSEF ALLAN

Mecca summit supports Palestinians, backs Saudis in Iran standoff

Jun 01, 2019 - 7:45 PM

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) meeting called for a 'boycott' of countries that have opened diplomatic missions in Jerusalem

This handout photo taken and released by the Saudi Royal Palace shows King Salman bin Abdulaziz at the opening session of a summit of the 57-member Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in the Saudi holy city of Mecca in the early hours of June 1, 2019. The OIC meeting is the third and final summit hosted by Saudi Arabia this week, aimed at galvanising support among Arab and Islamic nations against arch-rival Iran, which has close ties with Turkey. Bandar AL-JALOUD / Saudi Royal Palace / AFP

Riyadh rallies allies against Tehran at Mecca summits

May 31, 2019 - 8:15 PM

Tehran expresses disappointment that Riyadh plans to level the same 'baseless accusations' at a summit of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation

ON IRAN. This handout photo taken and released by the Jordanian Royal Palace on May 31, 2019 shows Arab leaders and officials attending an Arab League summit meeting at al-Safa Royal Palace in the Saudi holy city of Mecca. AFP PHOTO / JORDANIAN ROYAL PALACE / YOUSEF ALLAN

Saudi king calls on Gulf states to tackle Iran's 'criminal' acts

May 31, 2019 - 7:30 AM

Saudi Arabia, a staunch US ally, is hosting leaders from across the Arab and Muslim world for emergency Gulf and Arab summits and a meeting of heads of state from Islamic nations

This handout photo taken and released by the Saudi Royal Palace on May 31, 2019 shows Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz addressing the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) held at al-Safa Royal Palace in the Saudi holy city of Mecca.  BANDAR AL-JALOUD / Saudi Royal Palace / AFP

U.S. deploys new Middle East troops to counter Iran 'threat'

May 25, 2019 - 8:22 PM

The escalation of the US military presence follows a decision in early May to send an aircraft carrier strike force and B-52 bombers in a show of force in the region

MUSCLE. In this May 9, 2019, photo released by the US Navy, the Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group transits the Suez Canal. Photo by Darion Chanelle Triplett/Navy Office of Information/AFP

Saudi Arabia downs explosive-laden drone from Yemen – coalition

May 23, 2019 - 11:41 PM

The Yemeni rebels' Al-Masirah TV says the attack has targeted a Patriot air defense system

Spokesman of the Saudi-led military coalition Colonel Turki Al-Maliki talks during an interview with AFP in the capital Riyadh, on May 21, 2019. File photo by Fayez Nureldine/AFP

Saudi, UAE see sufficient oil supplies, rising stocks

May 20, 2019 - 7:42 AM

Oil exporting countries are discussing how to stabilize a volatile oil market amid rising US-Iran tensions in the Gulf, which threaten to disrupt global supply

Khalid Al-Falih, Saudi Energy and Oil Minister and Chairman of OPEC's Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee (JMMC), speaks to journalists during the 10th JMMC meeting in Algiers on September 23, 2018.  Ryad KRAMDI / AFP

Saudi Arabia deposits $250M in Sudan's central bank

May 19, 2019 - 10:16 PM

Sudan plays a key role in the regional interests of Saudi Arabia and its allies

Sudanese protesters are wawing flags during a sit-in outside military headquarters after clashing with security forces in Khartoum on May 15, 2019. - Sudan's military rulers May 15, 2019 suspended crucial talks with protesters on installing civilian rule, insisting more time was needed to finalise the deal as Khartoum's security situation deteriorated. (Photo by Mohamed el-Shahed / AFP)

Saudi-led warplanes pound Yemen rebels after pipeline attack

May 16, 2019 - 11:54 PM

'We have begun to launch air strikes targeting sites operated by the Huthi militia, including in Sanaa,' a Saudi-led coalition official says

CONFLICT. Yemenis sift the rubble of a heavily damaged building following reported Saudi-led coalition air strikes in the Yemeni capital Sanaa on May 16, 2019. Photo by Mohammed Huwais/AFP

Saudi Arabia says oil facility attacks target world supplies

May 16, 2019 - 7:44 AM

Drone attacks claimed by Iran-aligned Huthi rebels in Yemen shut down one of Saudi Arabia's main oil pipelines, two days after the mysterious sabotage of 4 ships, two of them Saudi tankers

A picture taken on May 13, 2019 off the coast of the Gulf emirate of Fujairah shows the A. Michel tanker under the flag of the United Arab Emirates, one of the four tankers damaged in alleged "sabotage attacks" in the Gulf the previous day. The United Arab Emirates said on May 12, 2019 that four commercial vessels of various nationalities had been targeted by acts of sabotage off the Emirati port of Fujairah. HANDOUT / AFP / Emirati National Media Council

Saudi Arabia shuts main oil pipeline after Huthi drone attacks

May 14, 2019 - 9:48 PM

Saudi Arabia says two pumping stations had been targeted on May 14

ATTACKED. A picture taken on May 13, 2019, shows the crude oil tanker, Amjad, which was one of two Saudi tankers that were reportedly damaged in mysterious "sabotage attacks", off the coast of the Gulf emirate of Fujairah. Photo by Karim Sahib/AFP

Two Saudi tankers damaged in 'sabotage attack' off UAE

May 13, 2019 - 1:57 PM

The incident comes amid rising tensions between Iran and the United States which has strengthened its military presence in the region

File photo from Shutterstock

Iran wants 'good' relations with Saudi Arabia, UAE

May 02, 2019 - 11:50 AM

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says his country hopes to improve relations with its regional archrival

RIVALS. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif looks on as he gives a press conference with his Turkish counterpart in Ankara, Turkey, on April 17, 2019. Photo by  Adem Altan/AFP

Trump to end waivers on Iran oil imports – White House

Apr 22, 2019 - 9:23 PM

'This decision is intended to bring Iran's oil exports to zero, denying the regime its principal source of revenue,' the White House says in a statement

TRUMP AND IRAN. US President Donald Trump speaks during a roundtable meeting with conservative leaders at the White House on January 23, 2019. File photo by Mandel Ngan/AFP

Fleeing Saudi sisters issue plea for help and a message for Apple and Google

Apr 20, 2019 - 12:05 PM

After escaping a lifetime of abuse at the hands of their families, the two women have called for the removal of a controversial Western-backed app which restricts the lives of many Saudi women

Saudi court resumes high-profile trial of women activists

Apr 17, 2019 - 3:28 PM

The 11 activists face charges that include contact with foreign media, diplomats and human rights groups

FIGHTING FOR WOMEN'S RIGHTS. Women's rights activists hold signs as they take part in a demonstration organized by Amnesty International outside the Saudi Arabia embassy in Paris, on March 8, 2019 during International Women's Day. File photo by Philippe Lopez/AFP

Khashoggi family denies settlement with Saudis – statement

Apr 10, 2019 - 10:04 PM

'Currently, the trial is taking place and no settlement discussion had been or is discussed,' reads a statement posted on Salah Khashoggi's Twitter account

KILLED. File photo of a man passing in front of a screen showing Jamal Khashoggi during a commemoration event of Khashoggi's supporters on November 11, 2018 in Istanbul. Photo by Ozan Kose/AFP

U.S. bars entry to 16 Saudis over Khashoggi killing

Apr 09, 2019 - 4:14 PM

A statement by the State Department lists the 16 individuals and says they had been designated under the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act

KHASHOGGI. In this file photo taken on October 8, 2018 protestors hold pictures of missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi during a demonstration in front of the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul. File photo by Ozan Kose/AFP

U.S. citizens among 7 held in Saudi crackdown – activists

Apr 05, 2019 - 9:53 PM

News of the arrests comes the morning after US lawmakers voted to end military support for a Saudi-led war in neighbouring Yemen, which has triggered what the UN describes as the world's worst humanitarian crisis

Slain Saudi journalist Khashoggi's children paid by kingdom – report

Apr 02, 2019 - 11:02 AM

The Washington Post reports that the Saudi government has given Jamal Khashoggi's 4 children houses in Jeddah worth up to $4 million, and at least $10,000 a month

PROTEST. A woman holds a portrait of missing journalist and Riyadh critic Jamal Khashoggi reading "Jamal Khashoggi is missing since October 2" during a demonstration in front of the Saudi Arabian consulate on October 9, 2018 in Istanbul. Photo by Ozan Kose/AFP

Investigator says Amazon chief's phone hacked by Saudis

Apr 01, 2019 - 12:26 PM

The investigator links the hack to the Bezos-owned Washington Post's extensive coverage of the Jamal Khashoggi murder

BEZOS. In this file photo taken on September 19, 2018 Amazon and Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos provides the keynote address at the Air Force Association's Annual Air, Space & Cyber Conference in Oxen Hill, MD. Photo by Jim Watson/AFP)


Saudi Arabia rejects call for international probe of Khashoggi murder

Mar 14, 2019 - 11:20 PM

The head of a Saudi delegation speaking before the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva insists that his country is taking all the 'measures required for us to resolve this heinous crime'

Saudi women activists on trial after a year in detention

Mar 14, 2019 - 3:12 PM

The trial of the women comes as Saudi Arabia seeks to placate international criticism over last year's murder of insider-turned-critic Jamal Khashoggi

ACTIVISM. Women's rights activists hold signs as they take part in a demonstration organized by Amnesty International outside the Saudi Arabia embassy in Paris, on March 8, 2019 during International Women's Day. Photo by Philippe Lopez/AFP

Saudi says Hamza bin Laden stripped of his citizenship

Mar 02, 2019 - 12:03 AM

The US has offered a $1 million reward for information on Hamza bin Laden, seeing him as an emerging face of extremism

SAUDI CITIZENSHIP. An undated file video grab released by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) on November 1, 2017 and taken by researchers from the Federation for Defense of Democracies' Long War Journal, shows an image from the wedding of killed Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden's son Hamza. Handout / FEDERATION FOR DEFENSE OF DEMOCRACIES / AFP

Saudi Arabia names first woman envoy to U.S. after Khashoggi murder

Feb 24, 2019 - 8:54 AM

Princess Rima bint Bandar replaces Prince Khalid bin Salman, the younger brother of the powerful crown prince Mohammed bin Salman

FIRST WOMAN ENVOY. Princess Rima bint Bandar previously worked at Saudi Arabia's General Sports Authority, where she led a campaign to increase women's participation in sports. Photo by Boris Baldinger/World Economic Forum

Saudi crown prince meets Chinese president, bags oil deal

Feb 22, 2019 - 7:40 PM

China is looking to strengthen its economic ties with the kingdom, as Beijing pursues its ambitious Belt and Road trade infrastructure initiative, while Riyadh rolls out 'Saudi Vision 2030'

DIPLOMACY. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (R) attends a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping (L) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on February 22, 2019. Photo by How Hwee Young/Pool/AFP

Saudi prince agrees to step up anti-terror 'pressure' with India

Feb 20, 2019 - 6:32 PM

The promise comes as fallout from a suicide bomb attack that India has blamed on Pakistan overshadows the latest leg of the crown prince's tour aiming to boost his country's image

AGREEMENT. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi (R) and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman looks on during a joint press briefing at Hyderabad House in New Delhi on February 20, 2019. Photo by Money Sharma/AFP

Pakistan to honor Saudi crown prince after $20 billion deals

Feb 18, 2019 - 3:10 PM

President Arif Alvi will award Mohammad bin Salman the Nishan-e-Pakistan (Order of Pakistan), the foreign office says in a statement

DEAL. In this handout photograph by Pakistan's Press Information Department (PID) on February 17, 2019, Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan (foerground R) and Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (foreground L) look at their delegation members during a signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) at The Prime Minister House in Islamabad. Handout photo by Pakistan Press Information Department/AFP

Saudi prince starts Asia tour with deals to invest $20B in Pakistan

Feb 18, 2019 - 7:13 AM

The Asia tour of Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman is a timely demonstration to the West that he still has friends in rising Asia

In this handout photograph taken and released by Pakistan's Press Information Department (PID) on February 17, 2019, Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan (R) greets Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (L) upon his arrival at the military Nur Khan Air Force base in Islamabad. The crown prince, widely known as "MBS", launched his diplomatic trip in the capital Islamabad, where he was set to sign a raft of investment deals believed to be worth billions that Pakistan hopes will provide welcome relief to its teetering economy. HANDOUT / PID / AFP

Saudi crown prince seeks contracts and allies on Asia tour

Feb 17, 2019 - 12:50 PM

The Asia trip comes 5 months after the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a fierce critic of Saudi Arabia crown prince Mohammed bin Salman

SEEKING ALLIES. File photo of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is known by his initials MBS. AFP photo

Saudi defends app allowing men to monitor women relatives

Feb 17, 2019 - 9:15 AM

Critics argue that Absher, a free app, enables abuse against Saudi Arabian women and girls by allowing men to track their movements

Israel PM hails common front with Arabs on Iran in Warsaw talks

Feb 14, 2019 - 6:25 PM

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu voices delight after an opening dinner where he spoke in the same room as top officials of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain

WARSAW TALKS. In this file photo, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu opens the weekly cabinet meeting at his Jerusalem office on February 10, 2019. File photo by Gali Tibbon/Pool/AFP

Saudi crown prince to visit Indonesia next week

Feb 14, 2019 - 2:12 PM

Prince Mohammed bin Salman's two-day visit to Indonesia kicks off Monday, February 18

VISITING INDONESIA. A handout picture provided by the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) on December 18, 2018 shows Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman attending the 2019 budget meeting in Riyadh. Photo by Saudi Press Agency/AFP

Rebuking Trump, House votes to end U.S. help in Saudi's Yemen war

Feb 14, 2019 - 9:44 AM

The US House of Representatives approves historic legislation directing Trump to 'remove United States armed forces from hostilities in or affecting the Republic of Yemen'

REBUKE. In this file photo, US President Donald Trump looks on during a rally in Elkhart, Indiana. Photo by Saul Loeb/AFP

Pompeo says U.S. 'not covering up' Khashoggi murder

Feb 12, 2019 - 12:19 AM

'The president has been very clear – couldn't be more clear – as we get additional information, we will continue to hold all of those responsible accountable,' says US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo

US PROBE. A man passes in front of a screen showing Jamal Khashoggi during a commemoration event of Khashoggi's supporters on November 11, 2018 in Istanbul. File photo by Ozan Kose/AFP