Daesh, Yemen, Iran to figure high in Obama-GCC talks

Updated 20 April 2016
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Daesh, Yemen, Iran to figure high in Obama-GCC talks

RIYADH: Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman will hold wide-ranging talks with US President Barack Obama, who is due in Riyadh on Wednesday with his defense chief Ashton Carter.
Obama will also attend a GCC-US summit to meet the leaders of the Gulf bloc on Thursday.
Obama’s talks with the Gulf leaders, including King Salman, will touch on a range of bilateral, regional and international issues including the fight against Daesh, Saudi-led peace efforts in Yemen, Iran and above all, issues of regional stability.
American Ambassador Joseph Westphal said the US ties with Riyadh and our GCC partners are and will remain “a cornerstone of regional stability.”
He added: “For over 70 years, the US has maintained a core national security interest in the security and stability of the Middle East generally and the Gulf region specifically.”
He said Washington is committed to strengthening “our strategic partnership with GCC member states.”
According to the itinerary, Obama will embark on the three-nation trip on Tuesday, which will take him to the UK and Germany, and then to Saudi Arabia. In Riyadh, he will begin his official visit on Wednesday afternoon by meeting with King Salman.
“The president will talk with leaders of the Gulf countries about agreements on counterterrorism, bolstering ballistic missile defense systems, and defense against cyber threats,” said Rob Malley, a senior adviser to Obama on the Middle East, at a press briefing in Washington.

All these subjects will be reviewed with Gulf counterparts by Carter, who will be accompanying Obama, said Malley.
On Syria, Malley said that “much more needs to be done and we are far from achieving the goals that we set … but the trend line is positive … thanks to the work that the US has done in partnership with the GCC and others,” he noted, while referring to Obama’s talks in Riyadh.
“The US strategy with respect to countering Daesh in Syria has focused on supporting, equipping and in some instances training fighters on the ground, who are able to take back territory,” said Ben Rhodes, deputy national security adviser, while speaking alongside Malley at the White House press briefing. Rhodes said that the US would continue to review what additional contributions can be made to ensure peace in war-torn Syria and elsewhere in the region.
Carter on Monday arrived in Iraq, before joining Obama in Riyadh later on Wednesday. He announced that the US will send 217 more troops, including additional special operations forces to Iraq to expand a train-and-advise effort there to help government forces fight Daesh, according to reports published Monday.
On the question of Iran and its belligerent attitude that may figure prominently during US-GCC summit talks, Rhodes said: “The removal of the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran is good for the U.S. and the GCC … in one year we have seen that Iran has converted its heavy-water reactor, shipped out its stockpile of enriched uranium and taken out a significant number of its centrifuges.”
On all these issues there is “more work to be done,” but that is what President Obama is going to discuss with his Gulf counterparts, Malley added, while referring to the forthcoming US-GCC summit. He further said that “Obama also wants to hear ideas from King Salman and other leaders for dealing with economic issues, given the sharp drop in oil prices.” The president would also like to hear about ideas to shore up the global economy.
The US-GCC summit will be a chance for the two sides to narrow their differences. Senior Gulf officials have long insisted that Iran’s sponsorship of Hezbollah in Lebanon, militias in Iraq and Syria, and the Houthi rebels in Yemen is a threat to the whole world.
It is widely believed that the summit in Riyadh will focus more on repairing and strengthening ties between the Gulf bloc and the US.


Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center launches “Kingdom of Energy” podcast

Updated 24 May 2019
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Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center launches “Kingdom of Energy” podcast

  • The program targets decision makers, specialists and workers in the energy sectors

RIYADH: The King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center (KAPSARC) has inaugurated a podcast program, titled “Kingdom of Energy”, through which specialized researchers can talk about energy economics, policies, techniques and related environmental issues.

The podcast is an opportunity for people interested in the field of energy to listen to the opinions of specialists in the field, including workers or partners of the center, whether local or international cadres.

The program targets decision makers, specialists and workers in the energy sectors through a new platform on the center’s website, allowing visitors to listen to podcast episodes.

The program is working on producing “Kingdom of Energy” episodes on a regular basis. The first episode is now available on the website in English, and another series is to be produced in Arabic.

KAPSARC is a non-profit research center that conducts independent research into global energy economics, policies, techniques and related environmental studies. The center seeks to find solutions for the most-effective and productive use of energy to promote economic and social growth locally, regionally and internationally.