Canada and Saudi Arabia announced that they had agreed to resume full diplomatic relations and appoint ambassadors to each other’s capitals. The move followed discussions between Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on the sidelines of last November’s Apec forum in Bangkok.
Iran has appointed Alireza Enayati as its ambassador to Saudi Arabia, following the China-brokered rapprochement between the two Gulf powers in March. Enayati previously served as ambassador to Kuwait, from 2014 to 2019.
Princess Sara Bint Mashour Bin Abdelaziz, wife of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman (MBS), launched an education centre for science, technology, reading, engineering, arts and maths, in a rare public outing for the 'first lady'.
Saudi Arabia's Al-Baha governor Prince Hussam Bin Saud Bin Abdelaziz is likely to be served with a bankruptcy petition from Kuwait's Mobile Telecommunications Company (Zain or MTC) through his legal representatives Millbank Solicitors, after the High Court in London ruled that the telco had "a good arguable case" that the Saudi prince had a place of residence in the UK during the relevant period.
Former Italian foreign affairs minister Luigi di Maio was named as the European Union’s special representative for the Gulf region. Critics have questioned his suitability for the role, given the difficulties in Italian-Gulf relations when he was foreign minister.
Saudi Aramco appointed Nasir Al-Naimi as president of its upstream business and Mohammed Al-Qahtani as president of its downstream activities, in a shake-up. Both men will report to group president and chief executive Amin Nasser once they assume their newly-created positions on 1 July.
Bashar Al-Assad's regime in Syria has been readmitted to the Arab League after more than a bloody decade on the sidelines, after Saudi Arabia and the UAE orchestrated a vote in favour ahead of a 19 May summit in Jeddah. Regional opposition to Syria hasn't disappeared, but Qatar and Kuwait decided not to stand in the way of readmission, in a further indication of Riyadh's new-found desire to flex its diplomatic muscles whatever western allies might think.
Algerian foreign affairs and national community abroad minister Ahmed Attaf arrived in the Saudi city of Jeddah on 15 May for bilateral talks and preparations for the planned League of Arab States summit, to be held on 19 May.
MBC Group Holdings, a British Virgin Islands-registered company connected to Saudi Arabia’s Al-Ibrahim family, has submitted a petition to a Cayman Islands court to wind up its partnership with a son of Saudi Arabia's late King Abdullah Bin Abdelaziz. The move offers an insight into how lucrative deals were awarded in the later years of Abdullah’s reign and how those deals were treated when King Salman Bin Abdelaziz took over in 2015.
A son of the late Saudi Prince Talal Bin Abdelaziz, Prince Mohammed Bin Talal, in early May married a daughter of Dr Khaled Al-Fadal. Mohammed's brothers include businessman Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal and Asir governor Prince Turki Bin Talal.
Falling unemployment: The unemployment rate for Saudi nationals fell to 8% in Q4 2022 from 9.9% in Q3 22, according to data released by the General Authority for Statistics (Gastat) in early April. The female jobless rate fell from 20.5% to 15.4% over the same period. The Medina region had the highest rate of unemployment among Saudis at 12.2%, followed by Jazan at 11%. Riyadh had the lowest level at 6.7%, with Eastern Province at 6.9% and Mecca at 7%.
Several sons of former Saudi crown prince Muqrin Bin Abdelaziz attended a wedding in Jeddah in late April between a daughter of Sheikh Gharam Allah Bin Rashid Al-Zanan Al-Zahrani and a man from the Al-Gharsan. Muqrin's sons present included Princes Fahd, Faisal and Bandar.
Almost 5,000 people have been evacuated from Sudan to Saudi Arabia since fighting broke out between rival generals in Khartoum on 15 April, the vast majority of them citizens of other countries.
The Saudi authorities have launched a new anti-drugs campaign, amid continued concern about the use of narcotics, in particular fenethylline hydrochloride, an amphetamine better known by the brand name Captagon, which is being smuggled in large quantities into Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries.
The High Court in London has issued a summary judgement against Prince Fahd Bin Sultan Bin Abdelaziz in his dispute with Credit Suisse over a loan for his yacht Sarafsa. Mr Justice Bright ruled in favour of the Swiss bank on 31 March and set out his reasoning in a full statement on 5 April, saying the prince had no real prospect of succeeding in defending his position if the case went to trial.
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