Saturday, November 26, 2022

Saudi Arabia’s winning week reclaims the West’s embrace

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NEW YORK (TN) – Saudi Arabia is leaving behind a stream of negative coverage that the murder of Jamal Khashoggi Received since 2018. The kingdom is once again being enthusiastically welcomed into a humble and powerful society, and it is no longer looking for Saudi investment. Or accept his grace.

Saudi Arabia’s busy week of victories includes a prisoner swap between Ukraine and Russia, holding a highbrow summit during the United Nations General Assembly, marking the country’s national day with fanfare, hosting a German chancellor and top Discussing energy supply with White was involved. House officials.

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Kingdom able to focus on Saudi Arabia’s ambitious rebranding of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and its goals to build Both the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund and the G-20, which represent the largest economies, stretch the empire to the more specialized G-7 countries.

This is a mission often referred to as waking a sleeping giant. Except what is happening is that human rights reforms are off the agenda.

As the Crown Prince initiates sensitive social and economic reformsHe is simultaneously overseeing a far-reaching action On disagreement that his supporters say is necessary to ensure stability during this period. Those detained or banned from leaving the country include women’s rights activists, liberal campaigners, conservative clerics, economists and progressive writers. Even top princes and Saudi billionaires have not been spared, Several people were gunned down and placed in the capital’s Ritz-Carlton in an alleged anti-corruption sweep that garnered more than $100 billion in assets.

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However, the clampdown drew its strongest international rebuke after Khashoggi was killed by Saudi agents inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul four years ago.

And just last month, surprisingly long prison sentences were handed out against two women for their Twitter and social media activity. A Saudi court sentenced a woman to 45 years in prison In August for allegedly causing harm to the country through his social media activity. This came on the heels of a 34-year-long prison sentence Another Saudi woman was found guilty of spreading “rumours” and retweeting dissidents. On appeal both women were given unusually long sentences.

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The Today Nation News asked Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Farhan bin Faisal about these sentences. “Those cases are still under process. They are not yet on final appeal,” he said, adding that the matters are with the judiciary, which he said operates independently. They spoke at the special Yale Club during an event in New York this week. He will not discuss the matters further.

Saudi Arabia’s strength is not only in the top spot as the world’s largest oil exporter, but also as Islam’s holiest site. and its birthplace.

Prince’s attempts to take off the yoke Decades of ultra-conservative Wahhabi control over every aspect of life is popular among young Saudis. from cinemas and concerts, for women driving and undermine the police right to moralityThe face of Saudi Arabia is changing. The latter stands in stark contrast to the opposite Over the death of a woman in the custody of that country’s ethics police in rival Iran’s cities this week.

On the other end of these changes is the transformation of Saudi Arabia’s identity from a predominantly religious focus to one of cultural and cultural. National Pride.

On a day-long stage at one of New York’s premier Upper East Side addresses this week, the state’s $620 billion wealth fund intertwined some of the city’s Who’s Who and the U.N.’s annual gathering of world leaders network created. While the state never stopped attracting investors or forming partnerships In the years following Khashoggi’s death, or in the midst of the ongoing war in Yemen, those relations among the American elite were less forward-looking.

The Public Investment Fund has significant stakes in Uber, Lucid Motors, cruise operator Carnival, Live Nation, Nintendo, Microsoft and many others. These investments are aimed at increasing Saudi Arabia’s oil wealth and using it to establish world-class tourism, entertainment and luxury industries in the country. In doing so, the state is building a resilient economy as the world looks to a future powered by green energy rather than fossil fuels.

PIF’s largest undertaking is NEOM, a futuristic megaproject along the state’s northwestern Red Sea coast that envisions flying cars and a 105-mile-long (170-kilometer) zero-carbon emission city fully powered by artificial intelligence. attached and operated.

The Crown Prince oversees the PIF, but the man who drives its daily investments is Yasser al-Rumayyan. He spoke to a wealthy elite at the so-called “Priority Summit” which included Jared Kushner., former White House adviser and son-in-law of Donald Trump. Kushner recently secured a $2 billion investment Jumped from PIF to start his new private equity firm.

The fund is crucial in the race to create at least 1.8 million jobs for young Saudis and enter the workforce against the age of the 37-year-old prince.

“It’s not just the statistics that we’re looking at, but the quality of these jobs, the quality of what we offer to our society – and at the same time, making money,” Al-Rumayyan said.

PIF’s assets get a boost from the state’s oil earnings. Al-Rumayun is also the chairman of Saudi Aramco. The state-owned oil and gas company had record profits in the second quarter of this year, topping $48 billion — more than the same-quarter earnings of Apple, Alphabet, Microsoft, Meta and Amazon.

The summit, organized by PIF’s Institute for Foreign Investment Initiatives, which puts on the annual “Davos in the Desert” in Riyadh, attracted more than a morsel of opportunity-seeking and Saudi Arabian offerings. It also attracted intellectuals and artists – the kind of soft power that money can’t always buy.

Despite changes in the West, the shadow of Khashoggi’s murder still looms large.

The Crown Prince was notably absent at the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II, who this month drove royals from around the world to London. Sources close to Prince Mohammed said he would not attend the funeral, whose optics would have been distracting. But he said he would go to London to offer condolences to the new king, Charles III. This never happened.

and helped the prince negotiate a prisoner exchange after the crown Between Russia and Ukraine, a move that garnered international acclaim, the headline of the New York Post read: “White House Thanks Killer Crown Prince.”

Fernando Javier Sulichin, an Argentine filmmaker who has collaborated on projects with Oliver Stone, said he was drawn to organizing PIF because he wanted to hear new ideas and brainstorm.

“Instead of being cynical and just reading the newspaper, it’s like, What’s going on in the world?”, he said, adding that no sessions and discussions are “edited by any editorial board.” He compared it to drawing water from a river instead of a tap.

No longer pulled by the tide, the state is riding its own wave.

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Aya Batrawi, an TN journalist based in Dubai, is on the task of covering the United Nations General Assembly. Follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/ayaelb and for more TN coverage of the United Nations General Assembly, visit https://tnnews.com/hub/united-nations-general-assembly

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