Saudi Monarch Announces 2020 Budget

The Saudi monarch, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, announced the country’s budget for the year 2020 on Monday, and the value of its spending amounted to 1020 billion Riyals ($272 billion). The total size of the new budget deficit, which was announced during the Saudi monarch’s presidency of the cabinet meeting, was estimated at 187 billion Riyals ($49.8 billion) against revenue of 833 billion Riyals ($222 billion).

Putin Tours Middle East for Clout and Crude

Russian President Vladimir Putin visited Saudi Arabia Monday to meet with Saudi leaders.  Putin also held talks with King Salman, as well as with Saudi Arabia over Iran and Syria. The leaders’ talks focused on the issue of oil production and the price of the product in world markets. Political analysts believe that tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia, as well as Turkey’s progress in Syria, are among the issues to be discussed at the summit of the leaders of the two countries.

“Insufficient”: NGOs Demand Justice in Saudi Arabia

Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have denounced a “lack of transparency” in the trial of the 11 defendants for the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. “The Saudi Arabian government should make clear to the world that it would be willing to cooperate with a UN investigation, including allowing access to evidence and suspects implicated in the crime in Saudi Arabia,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “If the Saudi government seeks a UN investigation into the recent attack on its oil facilities, then it should also show that it is committed to and will cooperate with an investigation into this murder.”

Khashoggi’s Son Defends MBS Over Father’s Murder

Salah Khashoggi, son of the murdered Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, has come out in defense of Saudi authorities, accusing “enemies of the motherland” of “exploiting” the case ahead of the first anniversary of his father’s killing. “A year has gone by since the passing of my beloved father. During this time, opponents and enemies in the East and West sought to exploit his case . . . to undermine my country and leadership,” he said in a tweet.

MBS Denies Ordering Khashoggi Murder in Turkey

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said he assumed “full responsibility” for the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a critic of the regime, but denied ordering the murder. “This was a heinous crime but I take full responsibility as a leader in Saudi Arabia especially because it was committed by individuals working for the Saudi government,” the Crown Prince said in an interview with the US TV program 60 Minutes on Sunday.

MBS Warns of Possible War with Iran, Disruption to Global Economy

Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman of Saudi Arabia has said that if other countries of the world do not come together to deal with the threat of Iran, then it will affect the supply of crude oil in the world market and the prices of oil could rise unexpectedly. In an interview with the American TV program, 60 Minutes, he said that if the tension between Iran and Saudi Arabia increases, it will affect the global economy.