Saudi Arabia restructures Scholars Council, Shoura Council, Supreme Court

News Network
October 19, 2020

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Riyadh, Oct 19: Saudi Arabia announced a series of royal decrees on Sunday to restructure the Council of Senior Scholars, Shoura Council and Supreme Court.

The decrees appointed 20 people to the Council of Senior Scholars, the Kingdom’s highest religious body, which is headed by the Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdulaziz bin Abdullah Al-Sheikh.

Another royal decree ordered the restructuring of the Shoura Council with the appointment of Hanan bint Abdul Raheem Al-Ahmadi as assistant to the speaker and Mishaal bin Fahm Al-Salami as deputy speaker.

The decree appointed 150 members to the council for a period of four years and it will be headed by Abdullah bin Mohammed Al-Asheikh.

Khalid bin Abdullah Al-Luhaidan was appointed as president of the Supreme Court with the rank of minister.

Ghayhab bin Mohammed Al-Ghayhab has been named as an advisor to the royal court with the status of minister.

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Agencies
November 22,2020

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Beirut, Nov 22: At least 14 pro-Iran militia fighters, mostly Iraqis, were killed in air strikes in war-torn eastern Syria, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Sunday.

The strikes on Saturday night in Deir Ezzor province, on the border with Iraq, were likely carried out by Israeli war planes, the Observatory said. There was no immediate reaction from Israel.

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Agencies
November 19,2020

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Abu Dhabi, Nov 19: With tensions running high between the United Arab Emirates and its petroleum allies, Saudi Arabia and Russia, Abu Dhabi considers the idea of leaving OPEC plus, the Bloomberg news agency reported on Thursday, citing its sources.

This step was not in line with the UAE's policy, as the country has stayed away from public conflicts for a long time, preferring to address issues quietly behind closed doors, the news outlet reported, adding that it was unclear yet whether the warning was "a maneuver to force a negotiation over production levels, or represents a genuine policy debate."

The relations between Riyadh and Abu Dhabi escalated since the late summer, when the UAE increased its oil output beyond the OPEC+ quota envisaged in the deal, prompting warnings from Saudi Arabia. The situation has deteriorated by now in light of the UAE's rising backlash on the distribution of production targets, which the country's government considers unfair.
Meanwhile, Bloomberg reported that the UAE officials have not announced in public its intent to withdraw from the organisation. According to the agency, reports on the UAE's exit from OPEC+ have appeared in very challenging circumstances, as any internal disputes may undermine the already fragile oil market against the backdrop of the long-standing coronavirus pandemic that threatens oil demand.

Along with these developments, the UAE Energy Ministry said on Wednesday that it had reached a 126-per cent compliance with the OPEC+ oil output cuts deal in October by reducing its production level by 153,000 barrels per day.

Earlier in the week, the OPEC+ Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee discussed the situation in the oil market amid the second wave of the pandemic, as well as the feasibility of increasing the alliance's production from 2021 under prevailing conditions. It made no recommendation, although a day earlier, OPEC+ experts recommended that ministers consider maintaining the current production restrictions for the first quarter or for the first half of 2021.

The final decision is expected to be made at the annual OPEC+ ministerial meeting, scheduled for December 1.

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News Network
November 26,2020

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Dubai, Nov 26: His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has pardoned 472 prisoners on the occasion of the 49th UAE National Day.

The prisoners belong to several nationalities, state news agency WAM added.

Earlier this week, the UAE President, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, had ordered the release of 628 prisoners.

Rulers of Umm Al Quwain and Ajman have also announced pardons.

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