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Kerry, Saudi King discuss oil supply, US official says SHANNON: US Secretary of State John Kerry and Saudi King Abdullah briefly discussed global oil supplies during a meeting on the crisis in Iraq on Friday, a senior State Department official said.During the talks, Kerry referred to recent comments by a Saudi oil official that the world's largest oil producer would increase supplies should crises in Iraq or Syria disrupt supplies, the official said."The secretary noted positively a recent statement from an oil official in the kingdom reflecting the kingdom's desire to do what will be required in the event of any turbulence," said the State Department official, who briefed reporters on the talks.The official said Kerry believed the Saudi official's comments were "constructive."Copyright Reuters, 2014 ...

Obama seeks $500mn to train, equip Syrian rebels WASHINGTON: The White House has asked lawmakers for $500 million to train and equip vetted Syrian rebels, in what would be a significant escalation of US involvement in a conflict that has spilled into Iraq.Following several signals in recent weeks by President Barack Obama's administration -- and months of pressure from lawmakers like Senator John McCain -- the White House said Thursday it intends to "ramp up US support to the moderate Syrian opposition."The request ...
Saudi will expel non-Muslims who disrespect Ramadan RIYADH: Saudi authorities threatened Thursday to expel non-Muslim foreigners who eat, drink or smoke in public during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, which begins this weekend.The interior ministry urged non-Muslims to "respect the feelings of Muslims by refraining from eating, drinking or smoking in public places, streets and at work.""They are not excused for being non-Muslim," said the statement carried by SPA state news agency, adding that "labour contracts stipulate respect for Muslim rites.""Those ...
Syria carried out Iraq border strike on militants, PM tells BBC BAGHDAD: The Syrian air force carried out air strikes targeting militants along the Iraq-Syria border this week, Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki told the BBC on Thursday.The British broadcaster said Maliki "welcomed" any such strike against militants led by the ISIL, but the premier said Baghdad did not request the aerial raids which took place on Tuesday.Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2014 ...
Gunmen storm southeast Yemen airport, kill 3 troops: security ADEN: Suspected al Qaeda gunmen on Thursday stormed the airport at Sayun, in Yemen's southeast Hadramawt province, killing three soldiers, a security official said.The attackers gunned down the soldiers at the entrance to the international airport, which is also used by Yemen's air forces, before taking control of parts of the facility, including the control tower, the official said.Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2014 ...
Iraq's PM says committed to forming a new government BAGHDAD: Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said on Wednesday he is committed to forming a new government on time as he fights growing calls from his opponents, and some of his former allies, to step aside.A mounting insurgency is threatening to rupture Iraq 2-1/2 years after the withdrawal of U.S. troops, and Maliki's domestic opponents say he has made matters worse by alienating moderate Sunnis who once fought al Qaeda but are now teaming up ...
Qaeda merges with ISIL at Syria-Iraq border town: NGO BEIRUT: Al Qaeda's Syrian offshoot on Wednesday made an oath of loyalty to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) at a key town on the Iraqi border, a monitor said.The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the merger is significant because it opens the way for ISIL to take control of both sides of the border at Albu Kamal in Syria and Al-Qaim in Iraq, where the fighters group has led a ...


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Foreign Debt $60.9bn
Per Cap Income $1,368
GDP Growth 3.6%
Average CPI 7.5%
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WeeklyJuly 10, 2014
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