Archive for the ‘Kuwait’ Category
Arming ‘indirectly’: US, Frace and Italy to buy Libya rebel oil, Britain and Kuwait to simply throw money at them
AP: US administration gives go-ahead for oil deals with Libya rebels
The Obama administration has eased its sanctions on Libya to allow for the sale of oil controlled by the rebels. The move will allow Libya’s opposition forces to use the income from oil sales to purchase weapons and other supplies.
The U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control issued the order Tuesday. It will allow U.S. companies to engage in transactions involving oil, natural gas and other petroleum products if the petroleum exports will benefit the opposition Transitional National Council of Libya.
Expatica.com: Italy and France to work with Libya rebels on oil sales
Rome is set to host a meeting of the international contact group on Libya early next month which will also discuss ways of helping oil sales from rebel-held eastern Libya to aid the uprising against Kadhafi.
Reuters: Britain, Kuwait setting up fund to aid Libya rebels
Britain hopes for international agreement in the coming week on setting up a fund to help Libya’s rebel-held east, Foreign Secretary William Hague said on Tuesday.
The fund is aimed at helping the rebel’s interim national council help pay public sector salaries and with other costs.
“In the coming week, we hope to agree internationally the process for establishing a temporary financial mechanism to provide a transparent structure for international financial support for the financial requirements of the (national council) such as public sector pay,” Hague told parliament.
Kuwait will contribute 50 million Kuwaiti dinars ($182 million) to the rebel council, a rebel leader said on Sunday.
And, of course, Qatar is already arming the rebels
Egypt and Saudi Arabia are also suspected of exporting arms to Libya
Eman Goma, Reuters, April 24, 2011
Kuwait will contribute 50 million Kuwaiti dinars ($177.2 million) to Libya’s rebel council to help pay salaries in the breakaway east of the country, a rebel leader said on Sunday.
“His Highness the Emir gave us a financial grant valued at 50 million Kuwaiti dinar. This amount will help us a lot in paying the salaries of employees who did not receive their little salaries for two months,” said Mustafa Abdel Jalil, head of the Libyan rebel national council.
“We are capable of only covering 40 percent of this amount. We are in need of urgent aid,” he told a Kuwait news conference.
On April 4, Kuwait became the second Arab state after Qatar to officially recognize the Libyan rebel forces.
Abdel Jalil said the rebels had also received weapons from “friends and allies,” but did not specify which countries or organizations had donated them.
“We requested light and medium arms, and we received some from our friends and allies which have enabled us to free Misrata now,” he said.
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Brian Downing, Asia Times, April 16, 2011
The once seemingly overwhelming momentum of the democratic movements in the Middle East has been stopped or at least slowed in many countries. The forces behind staunching the tide of change are often domestic in nature, but Saudi Arabia is playing an important supporting role – sometimes behind the scenes, sometimes through open use of force. These actions will have consequences throughout the region for quite some time.
Saudi Arabia and Iran
Once the “twin pillars” of US policy in the Persian Gulf, Saudi Arabia and Iran have become increasingly antagonistic over the past three decades. This was especially so after the Saudis supported Iraq’s lengthy and bloody war with Iran in the 1980s, which included a handful of air skirmishes between Saudi and Iranian aircraft.
More recently, Saudi Arabia has helped to build a coalition of Sunni Arab states opposed to Iranian influence and nuclear research. Such is the fear of Iran in Saudi Arabia that it is reportedly willing to grant fly-over rights for Israel to attack Iran.
The House of Saud’s concern with Iran has become a veritable obsession. It can be usefully likened to the obsession US national security institutions had for the Soviet Union during some of the more heated moments of the Cold War when many reformist movements around the world were deemed the machinations of Soviet intelligence officers. A pertinent case in point would be the Central Intelligence Agency’s conviction that the popular uprising that unseated the shah was the work of the Soviet KGB.
Similarly, the House of Saud has badly misinterpreted reform movements both inside the kingdom and throughout the region. The various crowds that assembled peacefully to call for a voice in their future are seen as the nefarious work of Iranian intelligence officers.
However, there is no evidence of Iranian intelligence personnel in the eastern province of Saudi Arabia, where the kingdom’s Shi’ite minority is concentrated, or in neighboring Bahrain, where the Shi’ites constitute 70% of the population. In both countries, Shi’ite and Sunni alike called for social and political change. “No Shi’ite, no Sunni, Just Bahraini.” Neither group needed foreign operatives to tell them that their futures were limited by monarchal cliques or that the Shi’ites were looked down upon and excluded from many parts of public life.
Nonetheless, the Saudis responded swiftly and forcefully. They issued dire warnings before the called-for demonstrations of March 11 in their country and security forces immediately set upon groups trying to coalesce that day, intimidating and beating them before they could form the numbers that assembled in Cairo until Hosni Mubarak had to step down. Outside the kingdom, Saudi national guard troops crossed the causeway into Bahrain and helped to crush the protest movement in Pearl Square with considerable loss of life.
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PAUL SONNE And STEVE STECKLOW, The Wall Street Journal, March 28, 2011
As Middle East regimes try to stifle dissent by censoring the Internet, the U.S. faces an uncomfortable reality: American companies provide much of the technology used to block websites.
McAfee Inc., acquired last month by Intel Corp., has provided content-filtering software used by Internet-service providers in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, according to interviews with buyers and a regional reseller. Blue Coat Systems Inc. of Sunnyvale, Calif., has sold hardware and technology in Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar that has been used in conjunction with McAfee’s Web-filtering software and sometimes to block websites on its own, according to interviews with people working at or with ISPs in the region.
A regulator in Bahrain, which uses McAfee’s SmartFilter product, says the government is planning to switch soon to technology from U.S.-based Palo Alto Networks Inc. It promises to give Bahrain more blocking options and make it harder for people to circumvent censoring.
Netsweeper Inc. of Canada has landed deals in the UAE, Qatar and Yemen, according to a company document.
Websense Inc. of San Diego, Calif., has a policy that states it “does not sell to governments or Internet Service Providers (ISPs) that are engaged in government-imposed censorship.” But it has sold its Web-filtering technology in Yemen, where it has been used to block online tools that let people disguise their identities from government monitors, according to Harvard University and University of Toronto researchers.
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