KSA inks clean energy agreement

US Energy Secretary Rick Perry (L) and Saudi Energy Minister Khaled al-Falih look at documents during a signing ceremony of a memorandum understanding on carbon management between Saudi Arabia and the US, in Riyadh on December 4, 2017. (AFP)
Updated 04 December 2017
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KSA inks clean energy agreement

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia and the US on Monday signed an agreement to establish a framework for cooperation in the area of clean energy and carbon management.
Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih and visiting US Energy Secretary Rick Perry signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) after a US-Saudi energy meeting held in Riyadh.
Later in the day King Salman received Perry at Al-Yamamah Palace and reviewed bilateral relations, prospects of cooperation and ways of enhancing them.
Earlier, during meetings with Al-Falih, Perry discussed various means to enhance relations between the two countries and cooperation opportunities in clean energy.
Addressing a joint press conference with Perry, the energy minister said the cooperation has great potential to have a positive impact on the global economy, environment and energy supplies.
Al-Falih noted that the Kingdom is committed to using clean energy, not only economically but also environmentally due to the reduction of carbon emissions.
Perry met with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Sunday and discussed the strategic partnership between the two countries in various fields including energy, the environment, industry and joint investments.
During the meeting the crown prince affirmed the Kingdom’s keenness to stabilize energy markets and supply them in a sustainable manner to serve the interests of energy producers and ­consumers.


Mideast plays key role in Chinese export of armed drones, report says

Updated 17 December 2018
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Mideast plays key role in Chinese export of armed drones, report says

  • China has exploited America’s selective drone export policy to become an increasingly influential player in meeting demand
  • The report is entitled “Armed Drones in the Middle East: Proliferation and Norms in the Region”

BEIRUT: The use of armed drones in the Middle East, driven largely by sales from China, has grown significantly in the past few years with an increasing number of countries and other parties using them in regional conflicts to lethal effects, a new report said Monday.
The report by the Royal United Services Institute, or RUSI, found that more and more Mideast countries have acquired armed drones, either by importing them, such as Jordan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, or by building them domestically like Israel, Iran and Turkey.
China has won sales in the Middle East and elsewhere by offering drones — otherwise known as UAVs or unmanned aerial vehicles — at lower prices and without the political conditions attached by the United States.
The report , entitled “Armed Drones in the Middle East: Proliferation and Norms in the Region,” said that by capitalizing on the gap in the market over the past few years, Beijing has supplied armed drones to several countries that are not authorized to purchase them from the US, and at a dramatically cheaper price.
“China, a no-questions-asked exporter of drones, has played and is likely to continue playing a key role as a supplier of armed UAVs to the Middle East,” it said.
The report explored where and how each of the states have used their armed drones and whether they have changed the way these countries approach air power. It found that Iran, the UAE and Turkey all changed the way they employ airpower after they acquired armed drones.
For Turkey and the UAE, armed drones enabled them to conduct strikes in situations where they would not have risked using conventional aircraft, it said. Iran developed armed drones from the outset specifically to enable to project power beyond the reach of its air force, which is hamstrung by obsolete aircraft and sanctions, the report added.
The report said it remains to be seen whether and how the loosening of restrictions on the exportation of armed drones by the Trump administration will alter dynamics in the region.
“Nonetheless, proliferation in armed UAVs in the Middle East is unlikely to stop and could, in fact, even accelerate,” the report said.