Saudi crown prince says Aramco IPO will take place by 2021

08 October, 2018, 02:00 | Author: Kim Reid
  • Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi.         Source Associated Press

RIYADH, Oct 6 ― Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said the kingdom's main sovereign wealth fund (PIF) will surpass its target of increasing its assets to US$600 billion (RM2.48 trillion) by 2020, as part of a plan to reduce the economy's dependence on oil.

Khashoggi, who once acted as an adviser to the Saudi royal family, fled Saudi Arabia in September of past year amid a crackdown on the kingdom's intellectuals and journalists.

Prince Mohammed also said he hoped to resume oil production from the Neutral Zone, which Saudi Arabia shares with Kuwait, after resolving pending issues between the two Gulf OPEC allies.

Saudi and Turkish officials have made conflicting statements on the whereabouts of Khashoggi, who has been living in self-imposed exile in the United States since he fled the kingdom in September 2017.

"We believe that all the armaments we have from the United States of America are paid for, it's not free armament".

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Turkey's presidential spokesperson Ibrahim Kalin said on Wednesday that Khashoggi remained inside the Saudi consulate.

The Saudi Consulate insists Khashoggi left its building, contradicting Turkish officials who say they believe he is still there. "But I said King - we're protecting you - you might not be there for two weeks without us - you have to pay for your military".

Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia struck a private deal in September to raise oil output to cool rising prices and informed the United States before a meeting in Algiers with other producers, Reuters reported this week.

Previously an adviser to senior Saudi officials, Mr Khashoggi moved overseas after his Saudi newspaper column was cancelled and he was allegedly warned to stop tweeting his criticisms of the crown prince's policies.

"Khashoggi's words should appear in the space above, but he has not been heard from since he entered a Saudi consulate in Istanbul for a routine consular matter on Tuesday afternoon".

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"If, as it claims, Saudi Arabia truly wishes to transition to a more open society, it will have to accept the fundamental rights of freedom of expression and freedom of the press", wrote Ravi R. Prasad, the institute's head of advocacy.

He is well-known for his work interviewing Osama bin Laden, for his stint as deputy editor-in-chief of Arab News between 1999 and 2003, and his role as former general manager and editor-in-chief of Al Arab News Channel.

Once a friend to the royal family, Khashoggi became one of its most vocal critics.

He is additionally well known in American circles, meaning his arrest could potentially even have repercussions in the US-Saudi relationship, though the Trump administration is unlikely to raise human rights concerns with its Saudi ally in a serious or sustained way.

Over the past year, he has written columns inveighing against Saudi policies towards Qatar and Canada, the war in Yemen and a crackdown on dissent which has seen dozens of people detained.

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