SALIC considers Russian grain investment

Updated 06 October 2017
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SALIC considers Russian grain investment

MOSCOW: Saudi Arabia’s SALIC is considering investing in a Russian grain producer owned by Russian conglomerate Sistema and members of the Louis-Dreyfus family, Sistema said on Thursday.
Saudi Arabia began scaling back its domestic wheat-growing program in 2008, planning to rely completely on imports by 2016 to save water. Russia, one of the world’s top grain exporters, is expected to harvest a record grain crop in 2017.
The Saudi Agriculture and Livestock Investment Company (SALIC) was formed in 2011 to secure food supplies for the kingdom mainly through mass production and foreign investments.
RZ Agro, a joint venture between Sistema and Louis-Dreyfus family members, was created in 2012. It produces grain and has a land bank of 106,000 hectares in Russia’s southern regions.
“The parties will discuss the structure and parameters of the potential deal after the due diligence of RZ Agro Holding Ltd,” Sistema said in a statement.
The memorandum of understanding was one of several signed at the Russian-Saudi Business Investment Forum in Moscow. Saudi Arabia’s King Salman is meeting Russia’s President Vladimir Putin in the Russian capital on Thursday.


Hodeidah offensive: Coalition forces seize weapons supplied by Iran to Houthis

Updated 20 June 2018
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Hodeidah offensive: Coalition forces seize weapons supplied by Iran to Houthis

  • The arsenal included drones, a sniper rifle, roadside bombs disguised as rocks and even a “drone boat” which had been filled with explosives that failed to detonate.
  • Equipment used to produce and load fuel for rockets that target Saudi Arabia contained Iranian labels.

JEDDAH: Saudi-led coalition officials on Tuesday displayed weapons and explosives supplied by Iran to Houthi militias in the Yemeni port city of Hodeidah. 

The arsenal included drones, a sniper rifle, roadside bombs disguised as rocks and even a “drone boat” which had been filled with explosives that failed to detonate.

Equipment used to produce and load fuel for rockets that target Saudi Arabia contained Iranian labels. The weapons were captured on the battlefield in Hodeidah and displayed at a military base in the UAE. 

“Unsurprisingly, there are advanced military components in the Houthi militias’ hands,” said Talal Al-Teneiji, an official at the UAE Foreign Ministry.

“We took time to inspect and disassemble these to figure out the source ... and we can say that these elements are military-grade materials imported from Iran to the Houthi militias.”

As the week-long offensive in Hodeidah intensified on Tuesday, coalition forces consolidated their grip on the city’s airport and there was new fighting on the main coast road leading to the city center, with Apache helicopters providing air support to the coalition. 

“We can hear the sounds of artillery, mortars and sporadic machinegun fire. The Houthis have been using tanks,” one civilian on the coastal strip said. 

“Water has been cut off to many of the areas near the corniche area because the Houthis have dug trenches and closed water pipes.”

At the airport, which the coalition has controlled since Saturday, their forces stormed the main compound and took full command.

UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash said: “We are waiting for the Houthis to realize the sort of military and psychological blow that they got with the airport ... we are giving them time to decide if they want to save the city ... and pull out.”

Oubai Shahbandar, a strategic communications adviser, told Arab News that “without the sea and airport of Hodeidah, the Houthi militia has effectively lost the war.”

They should agree to UN-hosted peace talks and not prolong the fighting. “The tide in this conflict has clearly turned in favor of the Arab coalition and the welfare of the Yemeni people ought to be paramount,” he said.