Petrol fiyatlarında son 3 yılın en büyük düşüşü

WASHINGTON (AA) – Ham petrol fiyatları, yüzde 7'nin üstünde değer kaybederek son 3 yılın en büyük düşüşünü yaşadı.

Brent türü ham petrolün varil fiyatı yüzde 7 değer kaybıyla 65,17 dolara gerileyerek Aralık 2017'den bu yana en düşük seviyesini gördü.

Batı Teksas (WTI) tipi ham petrolün varil fiyatı da yüzde 7,8 azalışla 55,23 dolara inerek Kasım 2017'den beri en düşük seviyesine geriledi.

Petrol fiyatlarının geçen hafta yaklaşık yüzde 5 değer kaybettikten sonra bu hafta düşüş eğilimini sürdürmesinde Suudi Arabistan, Rusya ve ABD'nin üretimindeki artışın yanı sıra Washington'ın İran yaptırımlarında bazı ülkelere muafiyet tanımasının etkili olduğu belirtiliyor.

Analistler, ham petrol fiyatlarındaki düşüşün 12'nci güne girmesini "ayı piyasasının" başlaması olarak değerlendiriyor.

"Ayı piyasası", uzun süre yatırımcıların borsada satış pozisyonu aldığı, fiyatların düşüş trendi içine girdiği ve piyasaların karamsar olduğu durumlar için kullanılıyor.

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Flashfloods kill 30 in Saudi Arabia within last month

RIYADH (AA) – At least 30 people in Saudi Arabia have been killed by flashfloods within the last month alone, according to local officials.

In a Tuesday statement, the Saudi Civil-Defense Authority said the flood-related deaths had taken place in 13 regions throughout the kingdom.

"The death toll from flooding and related electrical shocks [within the last 30 days] currently stands at 30," the statement read.

According to the same statement, a total of 3,865 people were evacuated from flood-prone areas throughout the country over the same period.

The civil-defense authority went on to urge citizens to practice caution and avoid remote, flood-prone regions.

A number of Arab countries have been battered by inclement weather in recent weeks.

Last week, seven people in Jordan were killed by flashflooding in different parts of the country.

Saudi envoy denies ban on Palestinians from Hajj

By Megiza Asmail

JAKARTA (AA) – A Saudi ambassador on Tuesday denied reports of banning Palestinian citizens from performing Hajj or Umrah pilgrimages.

Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to Indonesia Osama bin Mohammed Abdullah Al Shuaib said that the reports — by Israel and the U.K. — were not true.

“The reports are wrong and cannot be trusted. It was made by Israel and the U.K. sides,” Al Shuaib told reporters in capital Jakarta.

He called the reports by Middle East Eye’s — a London-based online news outlet — “illogical” as the Palestinian population, which is only around 7 million people, unlikely to get a pilgrim quota of 3 million.

“It is illogical that 1 million Palestinians performed Hajj pilgrimage. With its 7 million population, it can only accept around 7,000 pilgrims,” Al Shuaib explained.

Saudi government ensures that it gives the same quota to each country for Hajj, he added.

The ambassador also said Saudi Arabia appreciated the Indonesian government’s support for the Palestinian cause.

“We will not let Palestinians stand alone. We will continue to provide financial assistance for the Palestinian people and the State of Palestine,” Al Shuaib said.

Saudi monarch to go on second domestic tour of kingdom

By Hussein Mahmoud

RIYADH (AA) – Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz is set to begin his second domestic tour since assuming the throne in 2015.

The Saudi Press Agency reported Tuesday that the upcoming tour — slated to begin sometime next week — was aimed at "inspecting the conditions faced by citizens and inaugurating a number of development projects”.

In a first tour last week, King Salman visited Saudi Arabia’s Hail and Qassim provinces, during which he presided over the inauguration of several projects.

In his upcoming tour next week, he is expected to visit the kingdom’s northwestern Tabuk region.

The tours come at a time when Saudi Arabia is facing an unprecedented crisis over the murder early last month of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Khashoggi, a frequent contributor to The Washington Post, was killed on Oct. 2 inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.

After weeks of denying involvement, the kingdom admitted Khashoggi had been killed inside the consulate but claimed the Saudi royal family had no prior knowledge of any plot to murder the journalist.

So far, 18 people — including security officers — have been arrested in Saudi Arabia in connection with the murder.

Gulf states rush to normalize Israel ties: Analysts

JERUSALEM (AA) – A flurry of visits by senior Israeli officials to Arab Gulf states reflects a rush by Gulf countries to “befriend” with Israel, analysts believe.

“The peace rail link between Israel, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and the Gulf countries is an economic normalization at the expense of the Palestinians and their rights,” Khalil Shahin, a Palestinian political analyst, told Anadolu Agency.

“This indicates that the Arabs no longer see the Israeli occupation of Palestine and Israeli practices as the main threat in the Arab region and the Middle East, but radicalization, extremism and Iran,” he said.

Last month, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu paid a surprise visit to Oman upon an invitation from the ruler of the Gulf state, according to Netanyahu’s office.

Israeli Communication Minister Ayoub Kara also visited the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to attend a conference held in Dubai. A similar visit was paid by Israeli Culture Minister Miri Regev to Abu Dhabi, where Israel attended the Judo Grand Competition in the capital.

Israel’s Economy Minister Eli Cohen has also been invited to attend an international high-tech conference in Bahrain, according to Israeli media.

Israel does not have diplomatic relations with Bahrain, Oman or the UAE.

Shahin believes that the Arab countries are now turning their back to the 2002 Arab peace initiative.

“This poses a major danger to the Palestinian cause,” he said.

The Saudi-proposed initiative offers Israel full diplomatic recognition from the Arab states in return for an Israeli withdrawal from Arab land occupied in 1967 and the establishment of a Palestinian state.

– Saudi-Israeli ties

In another sign, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman met with a group of American evangelical Christians in Riyadh, in a move seen by analysts as an attempt to clear his name in the wake of the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.

“With no doubts, Israel has worked hard to polish the reputation of bin Salman and therefore the crown prince and Saudi Arabia have to pay the price by accelerating normalization with Israel,” Abdel-Sattar Qasem, a Palestinian political analyst, said.

“He is weak inside and outside Saudi Arabia and his options have become increasingly narrow,” Qasem added.

“Bin Salman believes that the only way out of his crises is by normalizing relations with Israel, even if this comes at the expense of the Palestinians,” he opined.

The Palestinian analyst argued that bin Salman owes to Netanyahu for his role in lobbying U.S. President Donald Trump in his favor regarding Khashoggi’s murder.

Khashoggi, a Saudi national and columnist for The Washington Post, was killed on Oct. 2 inside the diplomatic facility in Istanbul.

After weeks of denying involvement, Saudi Arabia admitted that Khashoggi had been killed at the consulate but claimed the Saudi royal family had no prior knowledge of a plot to murder him.

Last month, the Israeli premier condemned Khashoggi’s killing as “horrendous”, but called for maintaining stability in Saudi Arabia.

“Netanyahu considers bin Salman a partner in the liquidation of the Palestinian cause and his loss means a painful blow to him and to what is called ‘the deal of the century’ that seeks to undermine the rights of the Palestinians,” Qasem said.

The so-called “Deal of the Century” is a U.S. backchannel plan to reach a peace settlement between Israel and the Palestinians.

The Palestinians have rejected any U.S. mediation in peace talks with Israel since Trump unilaterally recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, triggering world outcry.

Jerusalem remains at the heart of the Middle East conflict, with Palestinians hoping that East Jerusalem — occupied by Israel since 1967 — might eventually serve as the capital of an independent Palestinian state.

“The murder of the Saudi journalist in Istanbul not only exposed the Israeli-Saudi relations but made it even closer,” Qasem argued.

-Final cards

Mahdi Abdul Hadi, a Palestinian expert in Israeli affairs, said both Netanyahu and bin Salman are trying to divert attention away from their internal failures by creating external enemies such as extremism and Iran.

"Both accuse Iran of destabilizing regional security and supported recent U.S. sanctions on Iran, which most of the world countries oppose,” he said.

The expert opined that the nature of Saudi-Israeli relations is based on the interests of the two leaders and “their vision for the future of the region, namely the formation of an Arab-Israeli alliance to confront Iran”.

“All this comes with the blessing of the Trump administration, which seeks peace in the region by achieving economic normalization between the Gulf countries and Israel and creating an Arab coalition against Iran, not through solving the Palestinian issue,” Abdul Hadi said.

Netanyahu has been facing corruption charges in Israel, which risks costing him his job.

According to the Palestinian expert, both Netanyahu and bin Salman are weak and playing their final cards.

“Both are facing many challenges and piling mistakes, which will definitely lead to their end,” he said.

UK presses Saudi Arabia for Khashoggi murderers

By Ahmet Gurhan Kartal

LONDON (AA) – British foreign made clear to Saudi Arabian officials that those responsible for Jamal Khashoggi’s murder must be held accountable, Prime Minister Theresa May said Monday.

May also reiterated the U.K.’s calls for a transparent investigation into the killing.

“As we seek to protect and advance our common security, it is vital that we and our partners in the international community demonstrate our common adherence to the rule of law,” May said in an address to the annual Lord Mayor’s Banquet. “We have seen this most recently in the terrible murder of Jamal Khashoggi.

“And as the foreign secretary made clear again in his visit to Riyadh today, there must be a transparent and credible investigation and those responsible must be held to account.”

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt on Monday visited Saudi Arabia and met with King Salman bin Abdulaziz, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir.

It is “unacceptable” the full circumstances behind Jamal Khashoggi's murder still remain unclear, Hunt said Sunday prior to his visit to Riyadh.

He urged Saudi officials to fully cooperate with Turkey to enlighten what happened to Khashoggi.

Hunt is the first U.K. minister to have visited Saudi Arabia since the murder of the Saudi journalist last month, a Foreign Office statement said.

“He will use his meetings to make clear the importance of Saudi Arabia cooperating with Turkey to conduct a full and credible investigation into Mr. Khashoggi’s death,” it said.

Trudeau: Turkey shared Khashoggi recordings with Canada

By Omer Aydin

PARIS (AA) – Canada is among the countries Turkey has shared recordings with about last month’s killing of Jamal Khashoggi, the Canadian premier said Monday.

“Canada’s intelligence agencies have been working very closely on this issue with Turkish intelligence and Canada has been fully briefed on what Turkey had to share,” Justin Trudeau told reporters at Canada’s Embassy in Paris, where Trudeau attended weekend Armistice Day ceremonies.

Trudeau said he had not personally listened to the recordings but Canada’s intelligence services had.

On Saturday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Ankara had shared recordings about the Oct. 2 Khashoggi killing at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul with Saudi Arabia, the U.S., Germany, France, and the U.K.

Trudeau added that he had discussed the slain journalist's case with Erdogan in a recent phone call, as well as in a ceremony on Sunday marking the centenary of the end of World War I.

In that Oct. 26 phone call, both leaders agreed “all aspects of the murder” must be made public so that the killers can be held accountable, according to Turkish presidential sources.

Trudeau also told reporters that he had thanked Erdogan for his “strength in responding” to the case.

Khashoggi, a Saudi national and columnist for The Washington Post, went missing Oct. 2 after entering the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.

Once inside, he was immediately strangled and then dismembered, according to the Istanbul Prosecutor’s Office.

After weeks of denying any knowledge of Khashoggi’s whereabouts, Saudi Arabian officials admitted that he was killed there.

* Jeyhun Aliyev contributed to this story from Ankara

UPDATE – Saudi king meets UK foreign secretary in Riyadh

UPDATES WITH UK GOVT STATEMENT

RIYADH (AA) – Saudi King Salman Bin Abdulaziz held talks with British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt in Riyadh on Monday, according to the official SPA news agency.

The discussions tackled ways of boosting bilateral cooperation and regional development, SPA said, without giving any further details.

The British government, for its part, said Hunt’s visit to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates was meant to press for an end to bloodshed in Yemen.

“The human cost of war in Yemen is incalculable: with millions displaced, famine and disease rife and years of bloodshed, the only solution is now a political decision to set aside arms and pursue peace,” Hunt said in statements ahead of his visit.

“Britain has a unique position, both as pen-holder at the UN Security Council and as a key influencer in the region, so today I am travelling to the Gulf to demand that all sides commit to this process,” he said.

“We are witnessing a man-made humanitarian catastrophe on our watch: now is the window to make a difference, and to get behind both the UN peace process and current UK efforts in the Security Council.”

Impoverished Yemen has remained wracked by violence since 2014, when Shia Houthi rebels overran much of the country, including the capital, Sanaa.

The conflict escalated in 2015 when Saudi Arabia and its Arab allies launched a devastating air campaign in Yemen aimed at rolling back Houthi gains.

Regarding the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, the British government said Hunt “will call on the Saudi authorities to do more to deliver justice and accountability for the Khashoggi family”.

“It is clearly unacceptable that the full circumstances behind his murder still remain unclear. We encourage the Saudi authorities to co-operate fully with the Turkish investigation into his death, so that we deliver justice for his family and the watching world.”

On Sunday, the Saudi monarch held talks with U.K. envoy Simon McDonald on bilateral ties between Riyadh and London.

McDonald’s visit was the first by a senior British official to Saudi Arabia since Khashoggi’s murder at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul last month.

Khashoggi, a Saudi national and columnist for The Washington Post, was killed Oct. 2 inside the diplomatic facility.

After weeks of denying involvement, Saudi Arabia admitted that Khashoggi had been killed at the consulate but claimed the Saudi royal family had no prior knowledge of a plot to murder him.

Saudi king meets UK foreign secretary in Riyadh

RIYADH (AA) – Saudi King Salman Bin Abdulaziz held talks with British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt in Riyadh on Monday, according to the official SPA news agency.

The discussions tackled ways of boosting bilateral cooperation and regional development, SPA said, without giving any further details.

On Sunday, the Saudi monarch held talks with U.K. envoy Simon McDonald on bilateral ties between Riyadh and London.

McDonald’s visit was the first by a senior British official to Saudi Arabia since the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul last month.

Khashoggi, a Saudi national and columnist for The Washington Post, was killed Oct. 2 inside the diplomatic facility.

After weeks of denying involvement, Saudi Arabia admitted that Khashoggi had been killed at the consulate but claimed the Saudi royal family had no prior knowledge of a plot to murder him.

UPDATE – Yemeni rebel minister defects to Saudi Arabia

UPDATES WITH STATEMENT, DETAILS

By Shukri Hussein

ADEN, Yemen (AA) – The information minister in Yemen’s rebel government has defected to neighboring Saudi Arabia, according to a government official on Sunday.

Abdul Salam Gaber had fled Sanaa and flown to Riyadh, the official said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

Gaber is the most senior rebel official to defect since the Yemeni conflict broke out in 2014 when the Shia Houthi group overran much of Yemen, including capital Sanaa.

“The putschists are in their last breath,” Gaber told a press conference held in Riyadh on Sunday.

“The desperate Houthi militias are trying to apply a project and a foreign scheme unfamiliar with Yemen and its people,” he said, asserting that the rebel group “has committed horrible crimes”.

The former minister lauded intervention by the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen, saying the situation could have been worse without the coalition’s military action.

“Yemen’s future should be decided by its honorable sons,” he said.

According to Saudi media, Gaber was “forced” to work with Houthis.

Meanwhile, Al-Hadath Saudi T.V. broadcast a video showing Gaber thrown at his face with a shoe while talking, without giving further details.

There was no comment from the rebel group on the defection, but the pro-Houthi Al Masirah television said Deifullah al-Shami was appointed as an information minister in the Houthi government.

In 2015, Saudi Arabia and its Arab allies launched a devastating air campaign in Yemen aimed at rolling back Houthi gains.