Entries in Riyadh (2)


Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Pushes Gulf Security and Aid for Syria

Fayez Nureldine/AFP/Getty Images(RIYADH, Saudi Arabia) -- Secretary of State Hillary Clinton plans to discuss the sale of a number of missile-defense systems to Arab nations as a way to counter the looming Iranian threat.

Secretary Clinton will meet with members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in Riyadh on Saturday to discuss a regional security plan.

“In order to protect the Gulf, no one nation can protect itself,” a senior US official said. “We are working to address missile defense in the region.”

Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) and patriot missile defense systems will likely be part of the “building blocks” for this new initiative. Countries like Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Kuwait already possess some of these systems.

In 2011 the U.S. finalized the sale of THAAD missiles to UAE.

Saudi Arabia, UAE and Kuwait already have Patriot missiles, along with deals in place to upgrade to modern missile-defense systems.

The idea behind establishing a new Strategic Cooperation Forum is meant to unite Gulf States instead of dealing with each country’s security issues solely on a one-on-one basis, according to U.S. officials.

The discussions on regional security come a day before 60 countries will gather in Turkey for the “Friends of Syria” conference.

Saudi Arabia and other Arab nations are pushing the White House to arm Syrian rebels. But talk of a no-fly zone or even military intervention may be waning.

“The Americans said no weapons will go to the rebels, but what about communications devices or satellite coordinates so the opposition will  know where the Syrian tanks are?” a Saudi official told ABC News.

For now it appears the White House’s strategy will concentrate on getting a steady flow of humanitarian aid into Syria and attempting to end the bloodshed.

“Our main focus with partners is trying to get Assad’s guns silenced,” said a senior State Department official.

On Friday, Secretary Clinton also met with Saudi King Abdullah. The two discussed Iran and future sanctions that the country will face.

Clinton also discussed the need for Saudi Arabia to keep up oil production.

“Saudi Arabia won’t turn down any requests for oil from clients,” a senior Saudi official told ABC News. “We have two million barrels that can be switched on, but there is no demand for it.”

In a rare effort to publicly address the rise in oil prices, Saudi Arabia’s oil minister, Ali al-Naimi, wrote an op-ed in Thursday’s Financial Times saying that there was no oil shortage and adding that there was also no rational reason why oil prices continue to remain high.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


US Warns of Plot to Abduct Westerners in Saudi Arabia's Capital

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The United States Embassy in Riyadh issued an emergency message to American citizens in Saudi Arabia on Wednesday that warns of a plot to abduct Westerners in the country’s capital.

“The U.S. Embassy in Riyadh reminds all U.S. citizens to exercise prudence and enhanced security awareness at all times,” the release says.

The full release is below:

U.S. Embassy in Riyadh advises U.S. citizens in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia that we have received information that a terrorist group in Saudi Arabia may be planning to abduct Westerners in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The U.S. Embassy in Riyadh reminds all U.S. citizens to exercise prudence and enhanced security awareness at all times.

Regardless of where you are, it is always advisable to keep your security and situational awareness levels high.

Please follow these good personal security practices:

  • Do not be time and place predictable. Vary your routes and times to and from work. Do not frequent the same shops with regularity;
  • Know where you are going and have a plan of what to do in the event you encounter demonstrations or violence;
  • Identify safe areas (for example police stations, hospitals, Saudi Government buildings) in your area and how to get to them quickly;
  • Avoid crowds or large gatherings when traveling in public;
  • Tell co-workers or neighbors where you’re going and when you intend to return;
  • Minimize your profile while in public.
  • Always carry a cell phone and make sure you have emergency numbers pre-programmed into your phone such as the U.S. Embassy in Riyadh (01-488-3800), U.S. Consulate General in Dhahran (03-330-3200) and U.S. Consulate General in Jeddah (02-667-0080). The emergency number for the Saudi Police, Fire, and Rescue is 999.
  • Be prepared to postpone or cancel activities for personal safety concerns.
  • Report all concerns you may experience to the U.S. Embassy in Riyadh or the Consulates General in Dhahran and Jeddah.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio