Aramco shares inch up in early Sunday trade

DUBAI (Reuters) - Saudi Aramco (2222.SE) shares were up 1% at 37.2 riyals ($9.89) in early trade on Sunday.

The state-owned oil company listed 1.5% of its shares at 32 riyals on Riyadh’s Tadawul exchange .TASI on Dec 11 in the world’s largest initial public offering (IPO).

Initially valued at $1.7 trillion, the shares have since hit $2 trillion, a value long sought by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The IPO is the centerpiece of the Saudi leader’s plans for diversifying the economy away from its dependence on oil.

Turkey says Tripoli government has not asked yet for troop deployment

DUBAI (Reuters) - Libya has not made a request to Turkey for sending troops to back forces of the internationally-recognized government battling Khalifa Haftar’s Libya National Army (LNA), Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Saturday.

“No, not yet” Cavusoglu said when asked at the Doha Forum if such a request had been made.

President Tayyip Erdogan said last week that Turkey could send troops to Libya if the Tripoli-based government of Fayez al-Serraj requested it, following a security and military deal between the two countries.

Rouhani says Iran budget set to resist U.S. sanctions by curbing oil dependence

DUBAI (Reuters) - Iranian President Hassan Rouhani presented a draft state budget of about $39 billion to parliament on Sunday, saying it was designed to resist U.S. sanctions by limiting dependence on oil exports, which Washington has targeted.

U.S. President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of a multilateral nuclear deal with Iran last year and reimposed sanctions on Iran, focusing on its vital oil industry.

“This is a budget to resist sanctions ... with the least possible dependence on oil,” Rouhani told parliament, according to state television.

Iran frees Chinese-American scholar for US-held scientist

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — A Princeton scholar held for three years in Iran on widely criticized espionage charges was freed Saturday as part of a prisoner exchange that saw America release a detained Iranian scientist, a rare diplomatic breakthrough between Tehran and Washington after months of tensions.

Iran's Zarif says jailed Iranian and Chinese-American will be freed soon

DUBAI (Reuters) - A Chinese-American detained in Iran in 2016 and later charged for spying will soon be united with his family while an imprisoned Iranian will be released by Washington in return, Iran’s foreign minister said on Saturday.

“Glad that Professor Massoud Soleimani and Mr. Xiyue Wang will be joining their families shortly. Many thanks to all engaged, particularly the Swiss government,” Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted.

Saudi Arabia's Jubeir says possible to calm situation in Yemen in prelude to settlement: Al-Arabiya

DUBAI (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel al-Jubeir said there is a possibility of calming the situation in Yemen as a prelude to reaching a settlement in the four-year conflict, Saudi-owned channel Al-Arabiya cited him as saying on Friday.

Saudi Arabia released at the end of November a group of Yemeni prisoners belonging to the Iran-aligned Houthi group, a step that may support efforts to end a war that has killed tens of thousands and pushed millions to the brink of famine.

Iran state TV says ‘rioters’ shot and killed amid protests

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Iranian state television on Tuesday acknowledged security forces shot and killed what it described as “rioters” in multiple cities amid recent protests over the spike in government-set gasoline prices — the first time that authorities have offered any sort of accounting for the violence they used to put down the demonstrations.

The acknowledgment came in a television package that criticized international Farsi-language channels for their reporting on the crisis, which began on Nov. 15.

Israel delegation in UAE to check preparations for Expo 2020

02 Dec 2019; MEMO: Israel’s Foreign Ministry said yesterday that an official Israeli delegation is visiting Dubai to attend a preparatory meeting for participation in Expo 2020, Quds Press reported.

The ministry said in a statement posted on its Facebook page that the meeting which took place over the weekend aimed to inform Israel of the ongoing preparations for the fair.

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