Showing posts with label Economy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Economy. Show all posts

Sunday, February 25, 2024

The US troops in Iraq are there to stay unless the US government chooses to pull them out

    Sunday, February 25, 2024   No comments

 Since the 1990 US intervention in Iraq and the UNSC action after Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait, Iraq lost control of its economy and that has not changed. The Iraqi government recently asked the US to schedule full withdrawal of the latter’s troops. That is unlikely to happen unless the US needs or wants to pull troops out, because the US maintains tight control over the Iraqi economy which is entirely dependent on oil. Revenues from the sale of Iraqi oil is processed by US banks and the US government is leveraging it to keep troops in Iraq. 

Member of the Finance Committee in the Iraqi Parliament, Jamal Kujar, confirmed that there are three economic files that the United States uses to pressure Iraq, namely the oil file, Iraqi funds in the US Treasury, and the dollar file, and that the release of Iraqi funds in the US Federal Bank has become conditional in accordance with American controls and specifications.

 Koger explained, “These files represent strong and influential pressure cards if used against Iraq, because the Iraqi economy is fragile and depends entirely on oil revenues at a rate of up to 94% of the gross national product.”

 Oil export revenues in 2023, according to data issued by the Ministry of Oil last January, amounted to about 87.6 billion dollars, at a rate of about 7.3 billion dollars per month. The country sold more than 1.23 billion barrels.

 Iraqi funds deposited with the US Federal Bank from oil export revenues, which is a procedure applied within the requirements of Chapter Seven of the United Nations procedures following the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1990 and is still in effect, in addition to the inclusion of new Iraqi companies and banks on the sanctions list it issues.

 

Monday, January 22, 2024

US Central Command Statement: "U.S. Forces, Allies Conduct Joint Strikes in Yemen; Houthis respond

    Monday, January 22, 2024   No comments

After re-listing Houthis as a terrorist entity, US government has signaled that its strikes in Yemen are going to gain some permanence, coining a new name for the operation:  “Operation Poseidon Archer”. Afterwards, the  US Central Command issued a statement, announcing that the "U.S. Forces, Allies Conduct Joint Strikes in Yemen."

The full statement from US Central Command:

As part of ongoing international efforts to respond to increased Houthi destabilizing and illegal activities in the region, on Jan. 22 at approximately 11:59 p.m. (Sanaa / Yemen time), U.S. Central Command forces alongside UK Armed Forces, and with the support from Australia, Bahrain, Canada, and the Netherlands, conducted strikes on 8 Houthi targets in Iranian-backed Houthi terrorist-controlled areas of Yemen. 

These strikes from this multilateral coalition targeted areas in Houthi-controlled Yemen used to attack international merchant vessels and U.S. Navy ships in the region. The targets included missile systems and launchers, air defense systems, radars, and deeply buried weapons storage facilities. 

These strikes are intended to degrade Houthi capability to continue their reckless and unlawful attacks on U.S. and U.K. ships as well as international commercial shipping in the Red Sea, Bab Al-Mandeb Strait, and the Gulf of Aden. These strikes are separate and distinct from the multinational freedom of navigation actions performed under Operation Prosperity Guardian."

The UK followed with its own statement:

UK Defense Security statement. Four British Eurofighter Typhoon fighters conducted strikes against Ansar Allah this evening.



____


Meanwhile, the Yemen government in Sanaa, responded to the new strikes with this statement, posted by Mohammed Albukhaiti. 



This reaction follows a detailed responce issued by the same Yemini official reacting to EU intent to join the US and UK in their war on Sanaa government. The full text of the statement is below.

A message from Mohammed Albukhaiti, senior member and spokesperson of Ansar Allah

My message to the European Union countries regarding their possible participation in a military mission in the Red Sea.

The exceptional state of stability and security that Europe experienced after World War II is a result of the moral values   that prevailed in its societies at the internal level.  However, this moral system began to weaken as a result of the participation of some European countries in the immoral wars that America fought outside its borders.  We are now seeing its effects in the rise of the extreme right and the war in Ukraine.

European societies must realize that moral and human values   are fixed and do not change according to the nationality and religion of a person, and their treatment of them with extreme selectivity that amounts to schizophrenia will expand the scope of wars in the world, which will expand to Europe.

There are genocidal crimes committed every day in Gaza, the majority of whose victims are women and children, in full view of the world, and all countries must take serious action to stop them.

Unfortunately, the movement of some countries with their fleets in support of the perpetrators of genocide and the silence of others is what prompted us to take unilateral military action to stop it, because we had no choice but to do so.

We only target ships linked to Israel, not with the aim of seizing them or sinking them, but with the aim of changing their course to increase the economic cost to Israel as a pressure card to stop its crimes in Gaza and allow the entry of food, medicine and fuel to its besieged residents. This is a legitimate act, especially since we are in a state of war with it.  If the crews of those ships had responded to the instructions of our naval forces, they would not have been detained or bombed.

The steadfastness of the Palestinian people and the military operations of Yemen and Hezbollah against Israel were sufficient to pressure it to stop its crimes, but the American and British support for it, which reached the point of launching an aggression against Yemen, created the conditions for it to continue committing more crimes and expanded the scope of the conflict.

Today there is a war between Yemen, which is struggling to stop the crimes of genocide, and America and Britain, which are fighting to support and protect the perpetrators. It is also clear that the Palestinian people are not ready to surrender, which means that the situation is heading towards escalation.

Instead of European Union countries moving to add more fuel to the fire, they should move seriously to stop the crimes of genocide in Gaza, and then we will stop all our military operations immediately and automatically.

The Palestinian people are being subjected to great injustice to the point of being deprived of the right to live on their land by force of arms. If another human group had been subjected to the injustice that the Palestinians are being subjected to, we would have moved to help them, regardless of their religion or color.

We are not advocates of war, but rather advocates of peace, and it is America and Britain that attacked us, whether in 2015 indirectly or today directly, and we advise the European Union countries not to participate in any aggression against Yemen.

Our keenness to achieve a just and comprehensive peace that guarantees the safety and dignity of all countries and peoples does not mean abandoning our duty to defend the oppressed, nor abandoning our right to self-defense, no matter the sacrifices it costs us. We are prepared to fight until the Day of Resurrection even if the whole world comes together against us."


 


Friday, January 12, 2024

Media Review: Underscoring the risks associated with attacking Yemen, European countries, including France, refused to support it

    Friday, January 12, 2024   No comments

 Attack on Yemen might be the riskiest action taken by the US administration, and that risk is obvious. France and some other European powers refused to take part in it or even sign on the statement issued after the strike on Yemen that were carried out by the US and UK, and supported by a handful of other nation-states like Bahrain. In Yemen, on the other hand, Houthis government may have gained more support not only from the people living in the territories under its control, but even from territories still under the control of Saudi-backed government.

Some background for this emerging military confrontation between the US and the Sanaa government in Yemen: Houthis-run goverment in Yemen imposed a blockade on commercial ships that either belong to Israel or trading with Israel until the blockade imposed by Israel on Gaza and its war in Gaza are stopped. Although Houthis stated that no other ships will be denied transit, the US insisted that the actions taken by Yemen are threat to global commerce. It acted on this jsutification. After the strike, the Government of Sanaa said that it will retaliate and that it will continue to enforce the blockade until Gazans are allowed food and safety.

Now the aftermath of the attacks and the reaction of worl to it.

The British newspaper "The Telegraph" indicates that Paris refused to work jointly with its Western allies, and did not support the American and British air strikes against Yemen.

An unidentified French official told the British newspaper The Telegraph that Paris “fears that, by joining the US-led strikes, it will lose any influence it has in the talks to defuse tensions between Hezbollah and Israel.” France has focused much of its diplomacy in recent weeks on avoiding escalation in Lebanon.

According to The Telegraph newspaper, France did not sign a statement of support for the US and British air strikes against Yemen, after saying that it “will not participate in air strikes to protect maritime navigation in the Red Sea.”

 

On the other hand, Germany, Denmark, the Netherlands, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, South Korea and Bahrain signed a joint statement supporting the US-British strikes and warning against taking further measures.

 

The Dutch also provided logistical assistance during the strikes, but other major European powers, including France, Spain and Italy, did not provide military or political support.

 

On the other hand, France, along with Italy and Spain, refused to participate in the strikes, and avoided signing a statement supporting them.

 

According to The Telegraph newspaper, Emmanuel Macron's government refrained from joint action with its Western allies against Yemen, in contrast to what happened with it in recent years, in Libya and Syria, when its army participated in repelling ISIS attacks, according to its claim.

 

In turn, the joint commander of the French forces in the Red Sea region, Admiral Emmanuel Sallars, said yesterday, Thursday, that “Paris’ current mandate does not include striking Ansar Allah directly.”

 

The American "Bloomberg" agency reported, in a report, that US President Joe Biden is facing "his biggest test yet regarding his ability to avoid a broader war in the Middle East," in the wake of the American-British aggression against Yemen.


The British Sky News network reported on Friday that the American and British strikes are pushing more Yemenis to support Ansar Allah in Yemen.


According to the British Sky News correspondent, who spoke to people inside Yemen, and they told her how terrified they felt when the British and American missiles fell yesterday, the Yemenis view the United Kingdom and the United States as “igniting the war by supporting the Saudi-led coalition.” .


She pointed out that, after the recent British and American strikes, the Yemenis are increasing their support for Ansar Allah, and “Washington and London do not favor this matter at all.”


Saturday, January 06, 2024

Contrary to Ankara’s political rhetoric in support of Palestinians, Turkish exports to Israel increased

    Saturday, January 06, 2024   No comments

Economics is the overriding engine in global relations

Contrary to Ankara’s political rhetoric on the war in the Palestinian enclave of Gaza, Turkish exports to Israel rose by 34.8 percent last month, according to official figures, as the country’s trade relations with Tel Aviv come under scrutiny.


Israel began pounding Gaza after Hamas militants carried out an unprecedented attack in the country on October 7, killing 1,200 people and taking more than 200 hostage. Israeli airstrikes and ground attacks on Gaza have so far claimed the lives of more than 22,000 people, according to the local authorities, in addition to leading to vast destruction in the enclave.

Tuesday, August 08, 2023

Kazakhstan, and soon Russia, increase export of agricultural goods through Iran via the INSTC

    Tuesday, August 08, 2023   No comments

In another sign of activating alternative paths for global trade with the uncertainty in the Black Sea due to the conflict in in Ukraine, Kazakhstan decided to export its agricultural goods across the Persian Gulf through the Islamic Republic of Iran to open a new direct route to free waters, which starts from the port of Korik in Kazakhstan, then the Iranian port of Amirabad overlooking the Caspian Sea, and then to the port of Bandar Abbas on the Persian Gulf.

The Iran route reduces the duration of the transfer of goods through presence in the ports of the Emirates, India, Pakistan, the Far East and the coasts of East Africa, in addition to that this route can export Kazakh goods to the European Union.

Meanwhile, the Deputy Prime Minister of Kazakhstan, Srik Jumangarin, held talks with the head of an Emirati shipping and transport company, to employ joint investments for this goal.

This is a major development, which practically, could allow Russia to export its goods and services through this route directly or through Kazakhstan, bypassing the risk associated with the Black Sea trade route. However, this North-South route has been in the making for over two decades, and only now it is showing its potential in a new geopolitical climate.

What is the International North–South Transport Corridor—INSTC?

It was first conceived in the early 2000’s. The idea was to build a transport corridor linking Russia’s Baltic Sea coast to India’s western ports in the Arabian Sea via Iran. Russia, India and Iran signed preliminary agreements to develop the 7,200-km-long International North-South Transport Corridor (NSTC) in 2002. NSTC consists of sea, road, and rail transportation systems with investments for building the railroads and truck highways coming mostly from India, Russia, and Iran. 

The INSTC's western route passes through Russia, South Caucasus, and Iran. The middle axis reaches India through Saint Petersburg – Astrakhan – Caspian Sea – North and South ports of Iran (Amirabad, Anzali, Chabahar, and Astara ports). The eastern axis passes through Russia-Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan-Iran.

Three years later, Azerbaijan signed up for the project. This agreement was eventually ratified by 13 countries — India, Russia, Iran, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bulgaria, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Oman, Tajikistan, Turkey and Ukraine.

Now the NSTC is allowing states close to its main path to benefit from this increased North-South activities created by the sanctions imposed on Russia and the new sanctions imposed on Iran after the collapse of the Nuclear Deal. Iran stands to benefit most from this initiative, which, together with China’s BRI project will create new networks I the region and east Africa.




Saturday, May 20, 2023

Comparing economic indicators for countries associated with BRICS and the G7

    Saturday, May 20, 2023   No comments

Economic data showed that "the BRICS economy has surpassed that of the Group of Seven."


The data indicated that "the Group of Seven, 30 years ago, was 2.5 times larger than the BRICS group, in terms of gross domestic product," while now, "the BRICS have surpassed the former colonial powers that make up the Group of Seven."

Economic analysts pointed out that this data may "answer what these powers are trying to stop, namely China, because it constitutes the largest part of the BRICS economy," as China is equivalent in terms of gross domestic product in US dollars to 6 countries from the Group of Seven.


In other words, China's GDP is equal to that of Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom, France, Italy and Canada combined.


In other interesting data on the share of international powers in global GDP since 1980, the third chart below shows that the United States has been on its share since 1980: no loss, no gain.


The data also shows that developing countries are also unchanged, while Europe, the Organization for Co-operation and Development and developed countries, except for the United States, are the biggest losers. As for China, its share has grown tenfold, to become the biggest gainer.


Earlier, Joseph W. Sullivan, senior advisor to the "Lindsey Group" and economist at the White House Council of Economic Advisers, said during the administration of former US President Donald Trump, that "the BRICS currency could shake the dominance of the dollar, and the moment of de-dollarization may have arrived." finally".



In his interview with the American newspaper "Foreign Policy", Sullivan added that in New Delhi, Alexander Babakov, deputy speaker of the Russian State Duma, said that "Russia is now leading the development of a new currency, which will be used for cross-border trade by the" BRICS "Brazil, Russia, India and China." and South Africa".


And based on the economy, at least, the prospects for the success of the currency issued by the “BRICS” group are contained, according to “Force Policy”, and although many practical questions remain unanswered, such a currency could expel the US dollar as a reserve currency for its members. "BRICS", and shook the position of the dollar from its throne.


Naldi Pandor, South African Foreign Minister, has said that the creation of a new BRICS currency will be a major item on the agenda of the upcoming "BRICS" summit, in Johannesburg on August 22.


Countries that have applied to join the BRICS:

At the moment, BRICS consists of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa.

Applications to join came from:

— Algiers,

— Argentina,

— Afghanistan,

— Bangladesh,

— Bahrain,

— Belarus,

— Venezuela,

— Egypt,

— Zimbabwe,

— Indonesia,

— Iran,

 Kazakhstan,

— Mexico,

— Nigeria,

— Nicaragua,

— UAE,

— Pakistan,

 Saudi Arabia,

— Senegal,

— Syria,

— Sudan,

— Thailand,

— Tunisia,

— Türkiye, and

— Uruguay.


*****


 Monetary Fund and the World Bank

Currently, the “BRICS” group occupies an important position in the global scene, as its member states enjoy increasing economic power and international influence. The group enhances cooperation and trade exchange between its member states, and seeks to increase its voice and influence in global affairs.

  The BRICS group is facing challenges in promoting economic and political cooperation among member states, but it is a strong alternative to the traditional global economic system.

According to the latest widespread data, the economic assessment indicates the superiority of the “BRICS” group over the Group of Seven, as the group includes Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, and these member states are emerging economic powers that play a vital role in the global economy. The seven are from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States, as well as the European Union.

It is known that the “BRICS” group is witnessing continuous expansion, as Bangladesh, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates have joined the New Development Bank of the “BRICS” group, and there are several other countries preparing to join as well. This shift confirms the growth of the strength and influence of the “BRICS” group in the global arena, and may pose a challenge to the Group of Seven in the future.

And indications have emerged portending important developments about the future of the “BRICS”, which is the possibility of Mexico joining it, which constitutes a large part of the North American trade bloc (CUSMA). The United States to fair and equal trade competition with global economies on the American frontier.
Currently, the five BRICS countries contribute about 31.5% of global GDP, while the share of the Group of Seven countries drops to 30%. The BRICS countries are expected to exceed 50% of global GDP by 2030, and the proposed expansion will strongly advance this goal.
Previously, 30 years ago, the G7 was 2.5 times larger than the BRICS countries in terms of GDP. However, current data indicates that the BRICS countries have outperformed the former colonial powers of the Group of Seven.

Indeed, China's GDP surpassed that of the United States in 2015 when the economies were compared against a purchasing parity benchmark.

On the other hand, the interests of the BRICS countries are not only limited to trade, but are also rooted in the political belief that the world should be multipolar.
The BRICS group encourages the idea of a global system that includes several political and economic poles, in which its interests are better guaranteed through a balance of power and a multiplicity of partners, rather than a unipolar system in which the United States dominates.
And in 2021, the BRICS countries played an effective role in strengthening and reforming the global multilateral system, as they adopted a joint statement aimed at strengthening and reforming the global system.
  Among the aspects called for in this statement was the need to reform the current Security Council system in the United Nations to be more representative and in line with current global realities. The statement also dealt with many other issues of common concern to the BRICS countries.


According to economic data, China is particularly outperforming in its GDP. China's GDP is equal to a group of countries in the Group of Seven, including Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom, France, Italy, and Canada.

These data reflect the remarkable economic success of the “BRICS” countries, and indicate that China has a major role in achieving this success thanks to the large size of its economy within the BRICS group. China's strong economy enhances the position of the BRICS" as a powerful group and its influence on the global economy is increasing significantly.

However, it should be noted that China's economic supremacy does not necessarily mean that it has completely surpassed the G7 in all economic and political aspects. The Group of Seven still maintains its influence and its important role in international relations and world trade.

China's trade value with three of the four potential BRICS countries exceeds 100 billion US dollars, and its sales reach 416 billion US dollars. Indeed, China's trade alone accounts for more than 90% of the BRICS countries' total trade value in dollar terms. This is attributed to China's economic dominance and its impressive rate of growth.

According to the Chinese government, foreign trade between China and BRICS countries registered a year-on-year growth of 12.1% in the first five months of this year, amounting to about 195.71 billion US dollars. This rate is 3.8 percentage points higher than China's overall growth rate in foreign trade over the same period.

Russia also plays an important and active role inside and outside the BRICS group, with a turnover of about $164 billion. This can be explained by the fact that the BRICS countries are a group that is highly dependent on energy, as their population constitutes more than 40% of the world's population. Thus, net power exporters have a strong position. Russia's strength is based in particular as an energy producer for the "BRICS" countries.

As for India, its trade has recorded a value of 142 billion US dollars among the “BRICS” countries. India enjoys a more balanced trade outcome among the member states, trading equally with all members except China and South Africa, and especially for members with a large Indian diaspora.

And Brazil, it is noticeable that its intra-trade is directed towards Asia, especially China and India, instead of trade with Africa or Russia. This shift may indicate the importance of Asia in Brazil's economic relations and reflects the important role played by China in particular. This means that Asia is an important market for Brazilian products, and may also reflect the shift in Brazil's economic and trade orientation towards emerging markets and the rising economic powers of Asia.

It is noted that there is active trade between South Africa and other "BRICS" countries. Although the South African economy is considered the smallest in size among the “BRICS” partners, trade between India, South Africa, China and South Africa exceeds the trade between India and Russia or Russia and Brazil, and this indicates the existence of important economic relations between South Africa and the rest of the “BRICS” partners . This strong direction of trade reflects South Africa's preference to strengthen relations with the "BRICS" countries and take advantage of the trade and investment opportunities available in these countries.

Ultimately, according to Joseph W. Sullivan, former economist in the administration of US President Donald Trump, the creation of a new BRICS currency is a threat to the dominance of the US dollar and may contribute to the transformation of the world order. He also referred to Russia's efforts to develop a new currency that will be used for trade between the BRICS countries, which include Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

It is believed that the creation of a new BRICS currency may challenge the US dollar as a reserve currency and may shake its position as a strong global currency. This topic is expected to be part of the agenda of the upcoming BRICS summit in Johannesburg. This step may reflect the desire of some countries to achieve independence and abandon the heavy dependence on the US dollar in international trade and financial relations.

In conclusion, the BRICS countries are superior to the Group of Seven in many important economic indicators. This superiority raises questions about the transformation of economic and geopolitical power in the world? Are we about to see massive shifts in the global economic system? Will the hegemony of traditional Western countries recede and emerging countries will regain their global status?

These results may open the door to questions about the future of reserve currencies and the role of the US dollar as a strong global currency. Could a new BRICS currency emerge that would challenge and shake the US dollar? Will the system of global economic relations be radically modified?

These exciting developments call us to carefully follow the developments of the global economy and monitor the shifts in economic forces.

Monday, April 03, 2023

How do US and EU sanctions work?

    Monday, April 03, 2023   No comments

US Senator explains how US sanctions work and why they work they way they do and he predicted US sanctions will not be able to be deploy in five to six years.

The key to success of US sanctions is that the US dollar is used in trade between nations; the more countries trade in other currencies the less effective the sanctions regimes will be.

Monday, March 20, 2023

From Moscow, Russia, Chinese president: "complex problems have no simple solutions"

    Monday, March 20, 2023   No comments

Chinese President Xi Jinping said, upon his arrival today, Monday, in Moscow, that "China is ready to stand by Russia to protect international law," stressing that his visit "will be fruitful and give a new impetus to the development of relations between the two countries."

And the Kremlin announced today, Monday, that the Chinese president and his Russian counterpart will discuss the plan proposed by Beijing to settle the conflict in Ukraine.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters, "The topics mentioned in this (Chinese) plan on Ukraine will form part of the talks," adding that "the United States insists on its existing positions to continue fueling the conflict, obstructing the reduction of hostilities, and continuing to flood Ukraine with weapons."

Referring to the ongoing war in Ukraine, the Chinese president said that "complex problems have no simple solutions," but there will be a way out if there is equal dialogue.

In an article by the Russian RIA Novosti and Rossiyskaya Gazeta newspapers, Xi said that Beijing is convinced that a "rational way out" of the Ukrainian crisis will be found if everyone is guided by the concept of common, integrated and sustainable security, and they continue dialogue and consultations "in an equal, prudent and pragmatic manner."

He also noted that since the beginning of last year "there has been a complete aggravation of the Ukrainian crisis." "China has always taken an objective and impartial stance, and is making active efforts to promote reconciliation and peace negotiations," the Chinese president said.

The Chinese president also addressed the trade relations between China and Russia, stressing that "they need to increase the volume and quality of cooperation in the field of investment and trade." China-Russia trade in Jan-Feb soars 36.4% so far this year.

In the same context, the Chinese newspaper "Global Times" quoted the Chinese Foreign Ministry as saying that "China calls on the United States to stop blaming Beijing for the alleged arms supplies to Russia, and to start acting constructively on the issue of the crisis in Ukraine."

"China does not send weapons to the battlefield in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, but the United States does," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin was quoted as saying.

He also indicated that it is time for the United States to stop "fanning the flames and pointing fingers" on this issue, and "must play a constructive role in the Ukrainian crisis, not the other way around."

Sunday, March 19, 2023

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad arrives in the UAE on a surprise official visit, and meets his Emirati counterpart, Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan

    Sunday, March 19, 2023   No comments

Today, Sunday, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad arrived in the UAE on an official visit, where he met his Emirati counterpart, Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

The Syrian presidency stated, in a statement, that President al-Assad arrived "this afternoon in the United Arab Emirates on an official visit, during which he is accompanied by First Lady Asma al-Assad."

She added, "He was received upon his arrival at the presidential airport in Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates," noting that they went to the Al-Watan Palace in the capital, Abu Dhabi, to start the talks.

In turn, UAE President Mohamed bin Zayed said, "We held constructive talks with the Syrian president to support and develop brotherly relations for the benefit of the two countries."

"We are working to strengthen cooperation and coordination with Damascus on issues that serve stability and development," Mohammed bin Zayed added.

The delegation of the accompanying Syrian president included Minister of Economy and Foreign Trade Samer Khalil, Minister of Presidential Affairs Mansour Azzam, Minister of Information Boutros Hallaq, Assistant Foreign Minister Ayman Sousan, and Chargé d'Affaires of the Syrian Embassy in Abu Dhabi Ghassan Abbas.

It is noteworthy that the Emirati Foreign Minister, Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, visited the Syrian capital, Damascus, on the 12th of last February, in the first visit by a prominent foreign official, in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake that struck the north of the country on the 6th of the same month.


Thursday, March 16, 2023

Saudi Arabia will stop oil supplies to countries that set a price ceiling on its oil

    Thursday, March 16, 2023   No comments

In another guesture in support of Russia and dismiss of EU actions, Saudi Arabia announced that it will stop oil supplies to countries that set a price ceiling on its oil

This was stated by the Minister of Energy of the Kingdom, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman.

In his view, price ceilings set for a country or a group of countries, for oil or any other commodity, will lead to individual or collective responses with serious consequences.

"So if there is a price cap on Saudi oil exports, we will not sell oil to any country that imposes a price cap on our supplies, and we will cut oil production, and I would not be surprised if others do the same," he said. the minister said.

The Saudi Energy Minister, Abdulaziz bin Salman, and the Russian Deputy Prime Minister, Alexander Novak, confirmed during their meeting in Riyadh, today, Thursday, their countries’ commitment to the decision taken by “OPEC +” to reduce oil production by two million barrels per day until the end of 2023.

The Saudi Press Agency, "SPA", stated that bin Salman and Novak discussed the conditions of the global oil market, and the efforts of the "OPEC +" group aimed at "enhancing market stability and balance."

The two sides affirmed their countries' commitment to the decision taken by the "OPEC +" group, last October, to reduce production by two million barrels per day until the end of 2023, and the continuation of cooperation between the two countries, within the framework of the group, to enhance the stability and balance of the global market.


A few days ago, the US Assistant Secretary of State for Economic and Energy Affairs, Jose Fernandez, called on oil-producing countries, including the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), to "increase the quantities of crude supplied in the markets."


And in early October 2022, “OPEC +” decided to reduce its production by two million barrels per day, at a level that it has not changed since then.


It is noteworthy that the American "The Intercept" website had previously stated, quoting informed Saudi sources, that Riyadh had pressured to cut oil production twice more than what Russian President Vladimir Putin had requested.


On October 14, a spokesman for the National Security Council at the White House, John Kirby, said that "more than one member" of "OPEC +", without specifying them, disagreed about the size of the cut, but Saudi Arabia forced them to agree to it.

 


US Senator Roger Marshall: "The greatest long-term threat the United States faces is our national debt"

    Thursday, March 16, 2023   No comments

A statement that was true for almost all previous empires, is now discovered to apply to the US: "The greatest long-term threat the United States faces is our national debt". That is the conclusion of a US Senator Roger Marshall.

"I’m often asked what's the greatest threat our nation faces and I'm here to tell you [that] it's not Russia. It's not China. It's not North Korea. It's not Iran. And no, I love the environment, it's not climate change.  The greatest long-term threat the United States faces is our national debt of $31 trillion and growing," Marshall told the US Senate Budget Committee.

Reportedly, according to Marshall, President Joe Biden has spent more than any other president in US history during his first 20 months in office.

He adds that energy prices have risen by more than 37%, home heating fuel by more than 52%, electricity prices by more than 23%, gasoline by more than 45%, and groceries by more than 19% during the Biden administration.

 

Lessons from history support this point of view: almost all major empires collapsed under the weight of crushing debt, not due to outside military threats.
   

Thursday, March 02, 2023

Prime Minister of Qatar: The war with Iran is not in the interest of the Gulf states, and reaching a solution through frank dialogue would be a great achievement for peace, trade and the economy

    Thursday, March 02, 2023   No comments

The former Prime Minister of Qatar, Hamad bin Jassim, said that the war with Iran is not in the interest of the Gulf states, calling for a frank dialogue to reach a solution that would be “a great achievement not only for peace but also for trade and the economy.”

This came in an interview with “Bloomberg” in response to a question about the concern of many Arab countries from Iran, especially the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Bin Jassim added, “My first fear is not Iran, but we are in the region and the way we behave, I mean the leaders, I am not one of them. It should be discussed in a civilized manner.”

He continued, “If we have challenges ahead, and if we agree that Iran is our number one enemy, how will we deal with this matter? Will we deal with it through direct negotiations or war? Nobody wants war because it is not in our interest.”

He explained, “The problem is that this decision is not in our hands because we are not currently in a position, as I said about the Gulf Cooperation Council countries, to take the lead in our region and say, ‘Okay, we have problems with Iran. In harmony between Iran, Iraq and the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council.

And the former Prime Minister of Qatar believed that "if the Gulf countries were able to do this, it would be a great achievement not only for peace, but also for trade, business and the economy."

And he added, “They (in Iran) have more than 100 million people, Iraq has 40 million people, and we (the Gulf countries) have about 50 million people. We are talking about 200 or 250 million people in oil-rich countries, imagine what they can do.”


Friday, January 27, 2023

Pakistan: We will get Russian oil starting next April

    Friday, January 27, 2023   No comments

Pakistan's Petroleum Minister Mossadeq Malik announces that Pakistan will start importing crude oil from Russia in April 2023, stating that this "will be beneficial for both countries."

Pakistani Petroleum Minister Mussadeq Malik announced today, Friday, that Pakistan will start importing crude oil from Russia in April 2023, after Moscow and Islamabad ended their negotiations on the terms of supply, including the issue of payment related to the use of a currency other than the dollar.


Malik added, "In March, all trade clauses of the agreement with Russia will be finalized, after which low-cost crude oil will start arriving in Pakistan. It will be beneficial for both countries," according to the Pakistani newspaper News.


Pakistan has also begun to develop a comprehensive energy security plan, which will be completed by the end of 2023, and includes the import of Russian liquefied natural gas (LNG), pipeline gas, and other petroleum products, according to the newspaper's report.


Earlier, Russian Energy Minister Nikolai Shulginov and Pakistan's Economy Minister Ayaz Sadiq held a meeting, where the two sides agreed to agree on all details of oil and gas supplies by March.


Shulginov noted that discussions on oil supplies will not begin until after February 5, after the price ceiling for Russian refined products, introduced by Western countries, comes into effect.


Shulginov added that "Russia may participate in power generation projects in Pakistan, including the modernization and construction of hydroelectric power plants and thermal power plants."


On January 19, Russia and Pakistan announced their readiness to sign the necessary documents for the construction of the "Pakistani Stream" gas pipeline.


The Russian delegation headed by Shulginov arrived in Pakistan, on January 17, to hold bilateral talks for a period of 3 days, within the framework of the work of the joint Russian-Pakistani governmental committee for trade, economic, scientific and technical cooperation.


Western countries have been seeking ways to limit Russia's revenues from oil and gas exports, as well as its dependence on Russian fuel since Moscow launched a military operation in Ukraine on February 24, 2022.


On December 5, the European Union set a ceiling for the price of Russian oil, $60 a barrel, and the G7 countries and Australia joined.


Despite this, Washington and its allies agreed to review the level of the ceiling imposed on the export prices of this oil next March.


Sunday, January 22, 2023

Will next week be decisive in determining the fate of the global economy?

    Sunday, January 22, 2023   No comments

Bloomberg Agency presents a reading of the most important global economic changes, and indicates the possibility of a total change in global markets, especially after the Chinese decision to completely abandon the steps to combat Corona.


Next week may show more reasons for hope about the global economy, after bleak months filled with negative signs of a deep recession, as some data could reflect the gradual improvement of business partnerships in most parts of the developed world.

Economists expect purchasing managers' indices for both the United States and the eurozone to rise, while many metrics will still point to contraction, the upward trend of travel could add to optimism, according to a Bloomberg report.



Global Purchasing Managers Activity

Such possibilities are reinforced by China's post-pandemic reopening, evidence of slowing inflation, and the emphatic views of some senior European officials that their economies will not stagnate. International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva hinted on Friday that the lender may soon raise its forecasts for this year.


"We have, clearly, the strength of labor markets translating into consumer spending and sustaining the economy, and as China reopens, we expect growth this year to again exceed the global average," Kristalina Georgieva said at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.


But prices in the US will also be decisive, and the first estimate of Q4 GDP there, due on Thursday, could be helpful. The economy is expected to show expansion at an annual rate of 2.7% in the last three months of 2022, after a pace of 3.2% in the third quarter.


While this data points to strong growth, recent data, including retail sales, home construction and industrial production, showed that momentum was starting to fade in late 2022.


Economists, polled by Bloomberg, see US gross domestic product falling for two consecutive quarters in the middle of this year as sharp interest rate increases by the Federal Reserve curbed demand.


While Asian momentum could provide a boost to these expectations, the IMF chief noted that there is a risk that its contribution to the global economy could be derailed.


Expert point of view

America's fourth-quarter GDP will be boosted largely by strong consumer spending on services, even as goods decline.


Households continued to benefit from excess savings from the stimulus and benefit from strong wage gains, and tightening monetary policy means that 2023 will see significantly weaker demand.


Elsewhere, multiple interest rate decisions may include a possible eventual BoC hike, and a 12th consecutive rate hike in Colombia.


Australia and New Zealand may report slowing consumer price growth, while Eurozone policymakers have one last chance to speak before they meet the following week.


United States and Canada

Apart from the US PMI and GDP reports, the government is expected to announce on Friday that inflation-adjusted personal spending on goods and services fell in December for the first time in a year.


The data is also expected to show moderate inflation rates on an annual basis, but they will remain high. Fed officials, who are watching ahead of the end-of-month meeting, will take note of signs of a slowing economy and moderate inflation. Other reports are expected to show a decline in new home sales and core capital goods.


Looking north, the Bank of Canada appears to have put a cap on one of the most aggressive tightening campaigns in its history, with what economists and markets expect to be a final 25 basis point increase in borrowing costs on Wednesday.


Policy makers led by Governor Tiff Macklem will likely refrain from announcing a complete halt to hikes, opting instead to keep the benchmark rate at 4.5% while maintaining a hawkish tone while watching how quickly the economy declines.


The decision is complicated by conflicting data. Canada's ultra-tight labor market continues to add jobs with unemployment near a record low, and economic output is set to expand in the fourth quarter of 2022 at twice the pace of the central bank's previous forecast.


Annual inflation remains uncomfortably high at 6.3%, but the underlying pressures are showing clear signs of abating. Meanwhile, heavily indebted Canadian households are feeling the crunch of higher rates and are starting to cut back on their spending.


Asia

Australia and New Zealand reported their latest inflation figures in the middle of the week, as the RBA contemplates halting its tightening cycle and the RBNZ contemplates its next move after a big rally in November.


In South Korea, Thursday's GDP results may show the economy contracting, a result that could reinforce caution in the central bank.


In Japan, Friday's Tokyo CPI data should indicate whether inflation is closer to peaking in the world's third-largest economy.


Two closely watched South Asian economies, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, will decide key interest rates, along with Thailand.


In turn, the Philippines reported the performance of its economy in 2022, which President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. estimated would grow at 7%.


The Thai Ministry of Finance will provide its latest economic estimate later next week. China will be closed all week due to the Lunar New Year holiday.


Europe and Africa

The last window for ECB officials to communicate ahead of the February 2 interest rate decision will close on Thursday. At the same time, Eurozone data may give more indications of the health of the economy.


Officials are scheduled to appear several times before then, including Bank President Christine Lagarde, who pledged to the Davos audience that she would "stay the course" on monetary policy.


In Germany, where Chancellor Olaf Scholz is now convinced a recession will be avoided, Wednesday's Ifo Business Confidence report is expected to show improvement across all measures. Meanwhile, the first estimate of Spain's GDP for the fourth quarter may reveal a slight expansion.


The UK faces a few quieter days than it has lately, with no monetary policy speakers from the Bank of England and the PMI survey and fiscal data among the only items expected.


And in Hungary, the central bank will set the base interest rate at a monthly meeting on Tuesday, as investors eye a possible pivot towards monetary easing at the depository tender two days later. To the east, Ukrainian officials are expected to keep their benchmark unchanged at 25%.


Regarding Africa, the Central Bank of Nigeria is expected to slow its monetary tightening on Tuesday, with an increase of 50 basis points. Inflation slowed unexpectedly in December, but remained well above the policy target, deterring saving.


On Wednesday, Mozambique's policymakers are likely to leave official borrowing costs unchanged for the second consecutive meeting as inflation expectations slow.


Having prepared early for its battle against the worst global inflation shock in a generation, the Reserve Bank of South Africa is also likely to slow its rate hike on Thursday. Investors expect a more than 80% chance of a rate hike of 25 basis points.


Latin America

On Tuesday, consumer price reports are likely to confirm the formidable challenge facing policymakers in the region's two largest economies.


On an annual basis, Brazil may record a gradual move down from the level of 5.9%, while the main and fundamental results in Mexico as a whole remain unchanged from their latest readings at 7.86% and 8.34%, respectively.


In Argentina, GDP data could be disappointing for a third month, with an overvalued peso and near triple-digit inflation threatening deflation in the fourth quarter.


All certainty, the Central Bank of Chile will keep its benchmark rate at a two-decade high of 11.25% for the second consecutive meeting on Thursday. Inflation that has reached 4 times the target as the economy slips into recession puts Central Bank President Rosana Costa in an awkward position.


Observers in Colombia largely expect the central bank to extend a record cycle of interest increases, with 12 consecutive rate hikes to 13%, in the face of the sharpest wave of inflation in a generation.


Surprisingly, Finance Minister Jose Antonio Ocampo, who is a voting member of the bank's board of directors, said on Tuesday that "the bank does not need to raise again and inflation has peaked, both of which contradict the bank's own polls of analysts."


Wednesday, January 18, 2023

The Jordanian Parliament decided to dismiss Representative Muhammad Al-Fayez, following a letter he addressed to the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Muhammad bin Salman

    Wednesday, January 18, 2023   No comments

The Jordanian Parliament decided to dismiss Representative Muhammad Al-Fayez, following a letter he addressed to the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Muhammad bin Salman, in which he appealed to him not to send aid to Jordan, so that it would not reach “pockets of corruption and the corrupt,” after he had submitted his resignation from Parliament last month. Past.

And the official Jordanian News Agency, Petra, stated that the House of Representatives decided to dismiss Al-Fayez, noting that “92 out of 110 deputies who attended the session voted on the Legal Committee’s decision related to the dismissal of Representative Al-Fayez.”


The reasons for the decision stated that the representative violated “parliamentary and diplomatic norms, with regard to the manner of addressing and insulting issued by him in a letter addressed to a sister Arab country, and discrediting the Kingdom through it.”


Al-Fayez had sent, in mid-December, a message to Ibn Salman through the ambassador of Riyadh to Jordan, in which he said: “We do not want aid and we do not want donations.


He added, “All your goods reach the pockets of corruption and the corrupt, and the notion that your donations go to pay the bills of all Jordanians, including innocent people, is a lie.” He added, “We hear about aid to the state, but it only goes to a corrupt class that gets richer at the expense of the dignity of the proud Jordanian.”


Al-Fayez, who belongs to the Bani Sakher tribe, one of the largest tribes in Jordan, and many of its members hold leadership positions in the state, submitted his resignation from the House of Representatives on December 22, justifying that by "the parliament's inability to achieve anything."


This comes at a time when Jordan is suffering from difficult economic conditions, which were exacerbated by the “Covid” pandemic. Unemployment rates rose in 2021 to about 25%, according to official figures, while it rose among the youth category to 50%.


The poverty rate rose to 24%, and the public debt exceeded $47 billion, or more than 106% of the GDP.


The Kingdom's economy, which suffers from a scarcity of natural resources, relies heavily on aid, especially from the United States, the European Union and the Gulf states, led by Saudi Arabia.


According to the Jordanian constitution, the parliament has the power to decide whether to accept or reject a request for the resignation of deputies. If it rejects it, the deputy’s membership continues to complete the legal term of the parliament, which is set at four years, even if he does not attend any of the parliament’s sessions. But if it is accepted by the majority of its members, the seat is filled.


Sunday, December 11, 2022

Full text of Xi Jinping's keynote speech at China-Arab States Summit

    Sunday, December 11, 2022   No comments

Chinese President Xi Jinping delivered a keynote speech here Friday at the first China-Arab States Summit. The following is the full text of the speech:

_________

Carrying Forward the Spirit of China-Arab Friendship and Jointly Building a China-Arab Community with a Shared Future in the New Era

Riyadh, 9 December 2022

Distinguished Colleagues,

Friends,

Good afternoon!

At the outset, I wish to thank Saudi Arabia for the warm hospitality and thoughtful arrangement. I am very pleased to join you for the first China-Arab States Summit. The Summit is a milestone in the history of China-Arab relations, and will take us to a more promising future of friendship and cooperation.

China and Arab states enjoy a long history of friendly exchanges. We have come to know and befriend each other through the ancient Silk Road. We have shared weal and woe in our respective struggles for national liberation. We have conducted win-win cooperation in the tide of economic globalization. And we have upheld fairness and justice in the changing international environment. Together, China and Arab states have nurtured the spirit of friendship featuring "solidarity and mutual assistance, equality and mutual benefit, and inclusiveness and mutual learning."


Solidarity and mutual assistance is a distinct feature of China-Arab friendship. We trust each other, and have forged a brotherly friendship. We firmly support each other on issues involving our respective core interests. We work hand in hand and make progress together to realize the dream of national rejuvenation. We brave wind and storms together in fighting the COVID pandemic. The China-Arab future-oriented strategic partnership of comprehensive cooperation and common development is unbreakable.


Equality and mutual benefit is a constant driver for our friendship. China and Arab states have set an example for South-South cooperation in pursuing mutually beneficial collaboration. The two sides have established 17 cooperation mechanisms under the framework of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum. Over the past decade, our trade has grown by 100 billion U.S. dollars, with the total volume exceeding 300 billion dollars; China's direct investment in Arab states was up by 2.6 times, with the stock of investment reaching 23 billion dollars; over 200 Belt and Road projects have been carried out, benefiting nearly two billion people of the two sides.


Inclusiveness and mutual learning is a key value inherent in our friendship. We appreciate each other's civilizations, and have written a splendid history of mutual learning. We keep drawing wisdom from each other's time-honored civilizations, and jointly promote "peace, harmony, integrity, and truth", the very essence of civilization. We stay true to our principles despite the clamour for "clash of civilizations", advocate together inter-civilizational dialogue, oppose discrimination against particular civilizations, and endeavor to safeguard the diversity of world civilizations.


Colleagues,


Friends,


The world today is in a new period of turbulence and transformation. The Middle East is undergoing new and profound changes. The aspiration of the Arab people for peace and development is much more compelling, and their call for equity and justice is stronger than ever. As strategic partners, China and Arab states should carry forward the spirit of China-Arab friendship, strengthen solidarity and cooperation, and foster a closer China-Arab community with a shared future, so as to deliver greater benefits to our peoples and advance the cause of human progress.


- We should stay independent and defend our common interests. China supports Arab states in independently exploring development paths suited to their national conditions and holding their future firmly in their own hands. China is ready to deepen strategic mutual trust with Arab states, and firmly support each other in safeguarding sovereignty, territorial integrity and national dignity. Our two sides should jointly uphold the principle of non-interference in other countries' internal affairs, practice true multilateralism, and defend the legitimate rights and interests of developing countries.


- We should focus on economic development and promote win-win cooperation. We should strengthen synergy between our development strategies, and promote high-quality Belt and Road cooperation. We should consolidate cooperation in traditional areas including economy and trade, energy and infrastructure development. In the meantime, we should strengthen new sources of growth such as green and low-carbon development, health and medical services, and investment and finance, and expand new frontiers including aviation and aerospace, digital economy and peaceful use of nuclear energy. We should also tackle major challenges like food security and energy security. China will work with the Arab side to implement the Global Development Initiative (GDI) and drive sustainable development of South-South cooperation.


- We should uphold regional peace and strive for common security. China supports the Arab side in promoting political settlement of hotspot and challenging issues with Arab wisdom, and build a common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security architecture in the Middle East. China urges the international community to respect the role of the Middle East people as masters of their own affairs, and add positive energy to the security and stability of the region. China welcomes the Arab side to participate in the Global Security Initiative (GSI), and will continue to contribute Chinese wisdom to promoting peace and tranquility in the Middle East.


- We should increase exchanges among civilizations to enhance mutual understanding and trust. We need to increase personnel exchange, deepen people-to-people cooperation, and promote the exchange of governance experience. We need to jointly oppose Islamophobia, carry out cooperation on deradicalization, and reject association of terrorism with any particular ethnic group or religion. We need to advocate humanity's common values of peace, development, equity, justice, democracy and freedom, and set an example of inter-civilizational exchanges and mutual learning in the new era.


We are pleased to see the decision by the Summit to build a China-Arab community with a shared future in the new era and to formulate the Outline of the Comprehensive Cooperation Plan Between China and Arab States, laying out the blueprint for future China-Arab relations. As the first follow-up step of that decision, China will, in the next three to five years, work with the Arab side to advance eight major cooperation initiatives in areas including development support, food security, public health, green innovation, energy security, inter-civilizational dialogue, youth development, and security and stability. China has briefed the Arab side on the details of the eight initiatives, and will work with the Arab side to promote their early implementation and strive for early harvest.


Colleagues,


Friends,


The Palestinian issue bears on peace and stability in the Middle East. The historical injustices done to the Palestinian people should not be left unattended indefinitely. The legitimate rights and interests of a nation are not up for trade, and the demand to establish an independent state shall not be denied. The international community should stay firm in its commitment to the two-state solution and the principle of "land for peace", make resolute efforts to promote peace talks, provide more humanitarian and development assistance to Palestine, and strive for a just settlement of the Palestinian issue at an early date. Recently, through the efforts of Arab states, important progress has been made in Intra-Palestinian reconciliation. China welcomes these developments. I would like to reiterate that China firmly supports the establishment of an independent State of Palestine that enjoys full sovereignty based on the 1967 border and with East Jerusalem as its capital. China supports Palestine in becoming a full member of the United Nations, and will continue to provide humanitarian assistance to Palestine, support livelihood projects in the country, and increase donations to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).


Colleagues,


Friends,


Recently, the Communist Party of China successfully convened its 20th National Congress. The Congress laid out the tasks and path of advancing the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation on all fronts through Chinese modernization, and provided a blueprint for China's future development. China will stay committed to upholding world peace, promoting common development, and building a community with a shared future for mankind. China remains firm in pursuing an independent foreign policy of peace and upholding international fairness and justice. China is committed to promoting friendship and cooperation with other countries based on the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, and will work to deepen and expand global partnerships. Acting on a mutually beneficial strategy of opening up, China will continue to promote high-standard opening up and advance high-quality Belt and Road cooperation. By doing so, we wish to create new opportunities for Arab states and all other countries with China's new development.


Colleagues,


Friends,


A great cause begins with a dream and turns into reality through hard work. Let us carry forward the spirit of China-Arab friendship, jointly build a China-Arab community with a shared future in the new era, and usher in an even brighter future for our relations.


Thank you!  


___________

Translation provided by Xinhua

______________________________________________________


In related news; the Chinese president signed the GCC statement which included a reference to Iranina islands UAE wants to annex. Iranian foreign minister issued immediately a statement saying "in all frankness and transparency, Iran will not flatter anyone regarding its territorial integrity." His office then summoned the Chinese ambassador to Tehran, during which Iran expressed its "strong dissatisfaction and protested against China's involvement in the issue of Iran's territorial integrity."

Responding to this objection, China will be sending the Chinese Deputy Prime Minister for a visit to Iran this week perhaps to address what Iran sees as "mistake made by the Chinese president in Riyadh."





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