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Middle East

IMF calls for ‘strong’ fiscal consolidation in Kuwait
Middle East

IMF calls for ‘strong’ fiscal consolidation in Kuwait

  • The Gulf state's economy shrank by 8% last year, the Fund said in a statement on Thursday, adding that the country's fiscal balance worsened significantly year-on-year.
  • The IMF expects a gradual recovery and said that, as the recovery firms up, "strong fiscal consolidation and structural reforms would be needed to preserve fiscal buffers and strengthen growth."
Published 15 Apr, 2021 06:17pm
Saudi Arabia says it is concerned about Iran uranium enrichment
Middle East

Saudi Arabia says it is concerned about Iran uranium enrichment

  • A foreign ministry statement on state media called on Iran to avoid escalation and engage seriously in current talks with global powers regarding a 2015 nuclear pact while urging the international community to reach an agreement "with stronger parameters of a longer duration".
Published 14 Apr, 2021 05:21pm
Ramadan moon sighted in Saudi Arabia
Middle East

Ramadan moon sighted in Saudi Arabia

  • The Ramadan crescent moon has been sighted in Saudi Arabia, the Kingdom's Supreme Court announced on Monday. The first Ramadan in the kingdom will fall on Tuesday, April 13.
  • This will be the second year in a row when the holy month of Ramadan will be observed under strict coronavirus pandemic precautions.
Published 12 Apr, 2021 11:10pm
Sudan due to send first delegation to Israel next week
Middle East

Sudan due to send first delegation to Israel next week

  • One of sources, who could not be identified by name or nationality, said the Sudanese delegation would comprise security and intelligence officials. The specific date for next week's visit had yet to be finalised, the source added.
  • Sudan joined the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Morocco in agreeing to move toward normal relations with Israel in 2020 Abraham Accords deals brokered by the Trump administration.
Published 13 Apr, 2021 06:53pm
Saudi Arabia executed three soldiers for 'high treason'
Middle East

Saudi Arabia executed three soldiers for 'high treason'

  • On Saturday, Saudi Arabia executed three soldiers accused of committing "high treason", without elaborating on which enemy the Kingdom believed was aided.
  • The Kingdom said that the three men were convicted in court and a later royal order served as a death warrant.
Updated 10 Apr, 2021 03:20pm
Russia, China say Iran talks to resume next week, see progress
Middle East

Russia, China say Iran talks to resume next week, see progress

  • Envoys from China and Russia to the Iran nuclear talks said on Friday there had been progress in efforts to bring Iran and the United States back into compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal and that all sides would reconvene next week.
  • Neither the United States nor Iran expect fast breakthroughs in the talks that began in Vienna on Tuesday, with European and other diplomats acting as intermediaries because Iran rejects face-to-face talks for now.
Published 09 Apr, 2021 06:32pm
Saudi $7 trillion investment goal puts spotlight on oil prices
Middle East

Saudi $7 trillion investment goal puts spotlight on oil prices

  • Saudi pursuing 27 trillion riyal spending push.
  • Under plan, some firms required to cut payouts to government.
  • More taxes, royalties will help to plug gap – analysts.
  • So Saudi will likely need higher oil prices.
  • OPEC leader may need to curb supply to prop up prices.
Published 08 Apr, 2021 06:09pm
U.S is prepared to lift sanctions from Iran, according to State Department
Middle East

U.S is prepared to lift sanctions from Iran, according to State Department

  • On Wednesday, diplomats from major powers met separately with leaders from Iran and the United States, to discuss how to bring both countries back into the fold of the nuclear deal, which was abandoned three years ago.
  • The United States is prepared to remove sanctions on Iran to resume compliance with the Iran nuclear deal, including those that are inconsistent with the 2015 pact.
Updated 08 Apr, 2021 11:43am
IMF raises most Gulf countries' economic growth forecasts
Middle East

IMF raises most Gulf countries' economic growth forecasts

  • Saudi Arabia's economy, the region's largest, is expected to grow 2.9% this year, up from the 2.6% forecast in January, the IMF said in its latest World Economic Outlook, released this week.
  • Oman saw the biggest positive revision of the Gulf countries, from expectations of a 0.5% contraction this year to a forecast of 1.8% growth.
Published 07 Apr, 2021 05:46pm
Israeli President nominates Netanyahu to try and form government
Middle East

Israeli President nominates Netanyahu to try and form government

  • On Tuesday, Israel's President nominated Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to form a government, adding that no party leader has sufficient support to form a majority coalition.
  • Netanyahu holds the most support — 52 seats — in Israel's Knesset, but that is still short of a 61-seat majority.
Updated 06 Apr, 2021 06:09pm