BAGHDAD (AP) — A first round of direct talks between regional rivals Saudi Arabia and Iran signaled a possible de-escalation following years of animosity that often spilled into neighboring countries and at least one still-raging war. But few expect quick results.
The talks, hosted by Iraq earlier this month, were confirmed Tuesday to The Associated Press by an Iraqi and a Western official in Baghdad.
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Apart from China and despite a worldwide drop in death sentences, countries in the Middle East remained among the world’s leading executioners last year, Amnesty International said Wednesday.
The number of executions worldwide plummeted to its lowest level in over a decade, with at least 483 people executed in 2020, compared to 657 the previous year, as the coronavirus pandemic slowed criminal trials and disrupted scheduled executions.
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The United Arab Emirates played a role in getting longtime Asian rivals India and Pakistan to agree to a cease-fire amid tensions over the disputed region of Kashmir, the Emirati ambassador to Washington said.
The comments by Yousef al-Otaiba come as the Emirates tries to recalibrate its diplomacy to Washington following U.S. President Joe Biden taking office.
JIDDAH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — A Saudi university near the country's border with Yemen caught fire early Thursday after the kingdom's air defenses intercepted a barrage of ballistic missiles and bomb-laden drones.
The interception scattered debris on Jizan University’s campus, which caused a fire that has been contained, the Saudi-led coalition at war in Yemen said in a statement. It said no one was killed, and there were no immediate reports of injuries.
MECCA, Saudi Arabia (AP) — Muslims in many parts of the world marked the start of Ramadan on Tuesday, but a spike in coronavirus cases in several countries has once again put curbs on the holy month's signature feasts and lengthy prayers in mosques.
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Saudi Arabia executed three soldiers Saturday it accused of committing “high treason,” without elaborating on which enemy the kingdom believed the men aided.
The state-run Saudi Press Agency identified the men as soldiers working in the Defense Ministry.
It did not elaborate on how the men aided the kingdom's enemies. Saudi Arabia is fighting Yemen's Iranian-backed Houthi rebels. The kingdom also views Iran as a regional archrival.
SEOUL (AP) — The delayed Asian Champions League started Wednesday with teams from Uzbekistan, the United Arab Emirates and Iraq winning playoff games to move into the group stage.
Former Ajax coach Henk ten Cate led Al-Wahda from Abu Dhabi to a 2-1 win over Al-Zawraa of Iraq, while Jovan Djokic scored in the last minute of extra time to give Uzbekistan’s AGMK a 1-0 win over Al-Gharafa of Qatar to reach the group stage for the first time.
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — An Iranian ship believed to be a base for the paramilitary Revolutionary Guard and anchored for years in the Red Sea off Yemen has been attacked, Tehran acknowledged Wednesday.
ROME (AP) — When Juventus considers whether or not to extend Cristiano Ronaldo’s massive contract, a drop in income from TV rights over the next three seasons could be a significant factor.
The coronavirus pandemic and the failure of Italian soccer teams to make an impact in European competition only partly explain the expected economic hit to Serie A when its international TV rights through 2024 are assigned Tuesday.
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — A drone attack struck an oil installation in Saudi Arabia’s capital of Riyadh on Friday, the Saudi state-run news agency reported, igniting a blaze at the facility deep in the kingdom's territory.
The dawn attack caused no injuries or damage, and did not disrupt oil supplies, according to the official Saudi Press Agency.
JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he was deterred from flying to the United Arab Emirates through Saudi Arabian airspace last week because of the threat of missile fire from Iranian proxies in Yemen.
Netanyahu, whose comments came Saturday, had called off a visit to the Emirates last week over a spat with neighboring Jordan, which had temporarily closed its airspace to the Israeli prime minister's flight.
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Sudan’s prime minister and Saudi Arabia’s powerful crown prince met Wednesday to discuss Saudi investment opportunities in the Red Sea, the Sudanese government said, as the kingdom seeks to boost its influence across the strategic Horn of Africa.
CAIRO (AP) — The Saudi-led coalition fighting Iran-backed rebels in Yemen said Sunday that it had launched a new air campaign on the country’s capital and other provinces, in retaliation for missile and drone attacks on Saudi Arabia.
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — A pair of B-52 bombers flew over the Mideast on Sunday, the latest such mission in the region aimed at warning Iran amid tensions between Washington and Tehran.
GENEVA (AP) — FIFA president Gianni Infantino defended his work with Saudi Arabia on Friday, and dismissed calls from Norway to boycott the 2022 World Cup in Qatar over human rights concerns.
Infantino’s comments came in a first online news conference with international media in Europe since his two-day visit to Saudi Arabia in January.
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Yemen’s Houthi rebels said they attacked a Saudi oil facility in the port city of Jiddah on Thursday amid their campaign of drone and missile attacks on the kingdom, though satellite pictures later analyzed by The Associated Press showed no new apparent damage at the site.
CAIRO (AP) — Yemen’s Iran-backed rebels Wednesday warned that the U.S. sanctions imposed the previous day on two of their military leaders would only prolong the conflict in the impoverished Arab country.
CAIRO (AP) — The United States imposed sanctions Tuesday on two rebel leaders in Yemen, citing their alleged roles in cross-border attacks on Saudi Arabia and shipping vessels in the Red Sea.
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Australia’s World Cup qualifying match against Nepal on March 30 has been postponed, leaving only three games to be played in Asia this month as organizers consider central locations to finish the second round by mid-June.
The Asian Football Confederation announced last month that all but four of the region’s remaining second-round qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup had been postponed to May and June.
As a presidential candidate, Joe Biden promised to make a pariah out of Saudi Arabia over the 2018 killing of dissident Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi. But when it came time to actually punish Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, Biden's perception of America’s strategic interests prevailed.
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Saudi Arabia said Saturday it intercepted a missile attack over its capital and bomb-laden drones targeting a southern province, the latest in a series of airborne assaults it has blamed on Yemen’s rebel Houthis.
The United States has pledged to tell the world its conclusions on what role Saudi Arabia's crown prince played in the brutal killing and carving up of a U.S.-based journalist, but as important is what comes next — what the Biden administration plans to do about it.
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman underwent a “successful surgery” to remove his appendix Wednesday, the royal court said, and he left the hospital soon after the operation.
The 35-year-old prince had surgery for appendicitis at the King Faisal Specialist Hospital in the Saudi capital of Riyadh in the morning, according to the royal court. The official statement described the operation as laparoscopic, meaning that no large incision was made.
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — Mishriff powered home to wear down American ace Charlatan on Saturday and win the world’s most valuable horse race, the $20 million Saudi Cup in Riyadh.
The first prize was $10 million.
The John Gosden-trained colt, owned by Prince Faisal, made his stamina tell over the nine furlongs after the two U.S. heavyweights, Charlatan and Knicks Go, had gone head-to-head in the early stages.
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Saudi Arabia announced on Monday that it plans to stop signing contracts with foreign companies that don’t have their Mideast headquarters in the kingdom, state-run media reported, a bold move that could escalate business competition in the region.
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — A decade after demonstrators massed in Bahrain’s capital to call for the downfall of their government in 2011, authorities continue to suppress all signs of dissent. Activists behind those turbulent days say the memory of the protests that threatened the Sunni monarchy’s grip on power is all but extinguished.
CAIRO (AP) — Yemen’s Houthi rebels on Wednesday targeted an airport in southwestern Saudi Arabia, causing a civilian plane on the tarmac to catch fire. The attack came just a few days after President Joe Biden announced the U.S. would end its support for the Saudi-led coalition’s war against the Houthi rebels.
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Yemen’s Houthi rebels on Wednesday targeted an airport in southwestern Saudi Arabia with bomb-laden drones, causing a civilian plane on the tarmac to catch fire, the kingdom's state television reported. The attack threatened to escalate Yemen's grinding war.
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — One of Saudi Arabia’s most prominent political activists was released from prison Wednesday, her family said, after serving nearly three years on charges that sparked an international uproar over the kingdom’s human rights record.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration on Sunday warned Yemen’s Houthi rebels against ongoing attacks against civilians just 48 hours after moving to strike the group from a terrorism blacklist.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration on Wednesday paused or put under review a wide swath of Trump-era foreign policies as America’s new top diplomat took the helm of the State Department.
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The U.S. military is exploring the possibility of using a Red Sea port in Saudi Arabia and an additional two airfields in the kingdom amid heightened tensions with Iran, the military said Tuesday.
While describing the work as "contingency" planning, the U.S. military said it already has tested unloading and shipping cargo overland from Saudi Arabia's port at Yanbu, a crucial terminal for oil pipelines in the kingdom.
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Saudi Arabia, for years one of the world's most prolific executioners, dramatically reduced the number of people put to death last year, following changes halting executions for non-violent drug-related crimes, according to the government’s tally and independent observers.
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Iran's paramilitary Revolutionary Guard conducted a drill Friday that saw “suicide drones” crash into targets and explode, triangle-shaped aircraft that strongly resembled those used in a 2019 attack in Saudi Arabia that temporarily cut the kingdom's oil production by half.
Iran has long denied launching the attack on the sites of Abqaiq and Khurais while Yemen's Iran-backed Houthi rebels initially claimed the assault.
CAIRO (AP) — Egypt on Tuesday reopened its airspace to Qatar flights after regional heavyweight Saudi Arabia reopened its airspace and border with the Gulf Arab state last week, Egyptian airport officials said.
A Qatar Airways plane is due to land in Cairo on Friday, the officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — A Qatar Airways jetliner landed in Saudi Arabia on Monday, completing the first direct flight from Doha to Riyadh since the kingdom’s boycott of the tiny, energy-rich state in 2017.
SOUTH RIVER, N.J. (AP) — From his early days growing up in a New Jersey hamlet, Brian Sicknick wanted to be a police officer.
He enlisted in the National Guard six months after graduating high school in 1997, deploying to Saudi Arabia and then Kyrgyzstan. Joining the Guard was his means to joining law enforcement, his family said.
Human rights activists are denouncing FIFA President Gianni Infantino's starring turn in a promotional video for the Saudi Arabian government in which he claims the kingdom has made important changes.
The slick 3½-minute PR campaign was posted on Twitter by the Saudi ministry of sport on Thursday, featuring Infantino participating in a ceremonial sword dance and sweeping shots of the palaces of Diriyah.
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The United Arab Emirates announced on Friday that it would reopen its borders and airspace to Qatar after boycotting the tiny energy-rich country alongside its Gulf allies since 2017.
The decision to restart commerce and travel would take effect on Saturday, Foreign Ministry official Khalid Abdullah Belhou was quoted as saying by the UAE’s state-run WAM news agency.
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Qataris awoke to a surprise blockade and boycott by Gulf Arab neighbors 3 1/2 years ago, and this week were jolted again by the sudden announcement that it was all over.
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Dozens of journalists at Al-Jazeera, the Qatari state-owned media company, have been targeted by advanced spyware in an attack likely linked to the governments of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, a cybersecurity watchdog said Sunday.
CAIRO (AP) — Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister arrived in Khartoum on Tuesday, Sudan’s state-run news agency reported, the first visit by the kingdom’s top diplomat since Sudan’s military overthrew former autocratic President Omar al-Bashir last year.
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Saudi Arabia's top diplomat said Friday that an end to the yearslong boycott of Qatar by the kingdom and three other Arab nations “looks in reach” for all involved, though he offered no details on how this feud would be resolved.
The remarks by Saudi Prince Faisal bin Farhan followed comments earlier in the day from Kuwait, which has been mediating in the dispute and which said that ongoing talks over the crisis have been “fruitful.”
WASHINGTON (AP) — President-elect Joe Biden is facing escalating pressure from competing factions within his own party as he finalizes his choice for secretary of defense.
Black leaders have encouraged the incoming president to select an African American to diversify what has so far been a largely white prospective Cabinet, while others are pushing him to appoint a woman to lead the Department of Defense for the first time.
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump's son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner will travel to Saudi Arabia and Qatar this week as part of negotiations to end a longtime boycott of Qatar.
Kushner, along with Mideast envoy Avi Berkowitz and former special representative for Iran, Brian Hook, will try to negotiate with Gulf leaders over the dispute, a White House official said. The official spoke on condition of anonymity as the official was not authorized to publicly discuss the trip.
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The Group of 20 summit opened on Saturday with appeals by the world's most powerful leaders to collectively chart a way forward as the coronavirus pandemic overshadows this year's gathering, transforming it from in-person meetings to a virtual gathering of speeches and declarations.
ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan spoke with Saudi Arabia’s King Salman by phone ahead of the G-20 virtual summit hosted by the kingdom, the president’s office said Saturday.
The leaders discussed improving relations between the two countries, the statement said.
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Saudi Arabia's leg of the Ladies European Tour kicked off Thursday with a prize of $1 million up for grabs in the latest push by the kingdom to host major sports and entertainment events.
The tournament is sponsored by Saudi Arabia's oil company, Aramco, and runs until Sunday. It will be followed by a women's team tournament for a shared prize of $500,000.
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Saudi Arabia's King Salman slammed rival Iran and hailed his country's efforts at combating the coronavirus and stabilizing oil supplies in an annual speech delivered early Thursday.
The speech, which outlined the country's policy priorities and achievements, was delivered virtually by the 82-year-old monarch to the advisory Shura Council in the presence of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.