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Wednesday, March 15, 2017
Excerpts: Information for Trump Administration about Saudi.'corruption' at Israel's weapons giant.Morocco arrests Hizbullah-linked businessman.Jordan,Israel gas deal March 15, 2017

Excerpts: Information for Trump Administration about Saudi.'corruption' at
Israel's weapons giant.Morocco arrests Hizbullah-linked
businessman.Jordan,Israel gas deal March 15, 2017

+++SOURCE:Al Arabiya 15 March’17:”The seven things Trump administration
needs to know about Saudi Arabia”,by Staff Writer
SUBJECT: Information for Trump Administration about Saudi

]Saudi Arabia’s Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman arrived in
Washington on Tuesday[14 Mar] for meetings with newly-elected US President
Donald Trump and his administration.

This will be the first meeting between the two countries after Trump took
office in January, with the main grounds being to reaffirm security
alliances.

Here are seven things the Trump administration needs to know about Saudi
Arabia before heading into the meeting, as reported by Fox News:

The Trump administration’s stance towards Iran’s trouble-making has not gone
unseen by Saudi’s leaders

The Trump administration has been very vocal of its stance against the
Iranian regime’s meddling and in the region. The US president, the pentagon,
and the defense secretary have already deemed Iran a troublemaker in the
Middle East and the Gulf, calling it the “biggest security threat to the
region.”

Saudi is on the front line of the War on Terror, destroying al-Qaeda and
ISIS, while working closely with the US tracking them across the region

Saudi Arabia have provided vital intelligence to the US that has
preemptively halted attacks planned to take place in America. The US’s
assistant secretary of treasury recognized the Kingdom as a world leader in
battling terrorism financing in a testimony to Congress last year.

Saudi Arabia is transforming its economy from an oil-dependent state into a
modernized, technologically innovative and economically expanded one

Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 campaign highlighted the Kingdom’s long-term
economic goals, with close ties to US businesses shown to be vital.

Saudi Arabia is frustrated that, too often, the US does not fully appreciate
the relationship between the two countries

The US has sold top military equipment to Saudi Arabia, which in turn has
brought hundreds of billions of dollars, as well as created tens of
thousands of jobs, to the country. This has also enhanced Saudi Arabia role
of maintaining stability in the region.

The US should vocally support and understand the pace of social reform in
Saudi Arabia

The US’s acknowledgment of Saudi Arabia’s systemic change towards modernity
would be received gratefully. Recognizing the Kingdom’s accomplishments,
such as appointing a woman to the head of the Saudi Stock Exchange, would
show US support of the Saudi leadership’s path to change.

Saudi Arabia’s government has pushed to end intolerance in the Kingdom by
rewriting textbooks and other literature to show the need to understand
other cultures and religions

This is crucial in the forward movement of Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Aramco is moving towards becoming partially privatized

When Aramco becomes partially privatized, it will likely be the largest IPO
in history – which will be a huge financial opportunity for US advisors and
investment banks.


+++SOURCE:Naharnet(Lebanon) 15 March’17:”13Held for ‘corruption’at Israel
Weapons Giant”,by Agence France Presse
SUBJECT:’corruption’ at Israel’s weapons giant

FULL TEXT:More than a dozen employees of Israel's giant state-owned weapons
manufacturer have been arrested over allegations of "systematic" corruption,
police said on Wednesday[15 Mar].

The 13 staff of Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) included top directors,
heads of department and a prominent former military official, police said in
a statement.

The investigation concerns suspicions of bribes paid to win IAI tenders, as
well as allegations of theft, breaches of trust and money laundering.

The police did not provide any further details on the suspects or say
whether the alleged corruption affected trade with foreign countries.

But "the investigation revealed systematic criminal practices," the police
said.

"Everywhere we looked, we found elements of corruption," police spokesman
Meirav Lapidot told army radio.

Investigators searched the homes and offices of suspects.

A court was expected to rule on the extension of their custody on
Wednesday[15 Mar], police said.

IAI is wholly owned by the Israeli government and is the country's leading
weapons manufacturer.

The company employed nearly 16,000 people, according to 2015 figures, and
had revenues of $3.7 billion (3.48 billion euros) last year.

The group accounts for nearly half of Israeli arms exports, with more than
three quarters of its sales abroad.

With US firm Boeing, it has developed Israel's anti-ballistic missile
system, the Arrow 3.


+++SOURCE:Naharnet(Lebanon)15March’17:” Reports”Morocco Arrests
Hizbullah-Linked Businessman at Washington’s Request”,by Naharnet Newsdesk
SUBJECT:Morocco arrests Hizbullah-linked businessman at Washington’s request
QUOTE:”arrest was made ‘at the request of US intelligence’ “
FULL TEXT:Prominent Lebanese businessman Qassem Tajeddine, who is close to
Hizbullah, has been arrested in Morocco at Washington's request, media
reports said on Tuesday.[14Mar]

LBCI television said Tajeddine, 61, was arrested at Casablanca's airport on
Monday[13 Mar] morning.

Information obtained by LBCI said the arrest was made “at the request of
U.S. intelligence.”

MTV said Tajeddine arrived at Casablanca's airport from Africa and was
scheduled to travel to Beirut aboard a Royal Air Maroc plane.

Residents of the southern town of Hanaway, Tajeddine's hometown, described
the arrest as a “kidnap,” noting that “U.S. intelligence agencies have
pressed Morocco to detain him.”

According to MTV, Tajeddine's family has communicated with the Foreign
Ministry and Minister Jebran Bassil is “following up on the case in person.”

“Speaker Nabih Berri has also been following up on the issue from the very
first moment,” MTV added.

Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblatt had on Monday[13 Mar]
urged Lebanese authorities to follow up on the case.

“Regardless of the motives and circumstances behind Hajj Qassem Tajeddine's
arrest, logic says that our State should ask about him,” Jumblat tweeted.

The man and his brothers, Hussein and Ali, have been blacklisted by the
United States since 2009.

According to reports, the U.S. Treasury has put him on its sanctions lists
and accused him of laundering money and using the funds to “support
terrorist activities.”

Tajeddine is also accused of running several companies that “cover up for
Hizbullah's activities in Africa.”

Angola had frozen the economic activities of the Tajeddine family in recent
years, “also at Washington's request,” media reports have said.

Together with his two brothers, Qassem Tajeddine has built a global
foodstuffs and real estate network in several countries across the world.
The man is also involved in real estate projects in Lebanon.

In 2003, he was jailed for two months in Belgium where he was interrogated
over charges of “laundering money on behalf of Hizbullah.”



+++SOURCE:Jordan Times 15 March’17:”MPs refer gas deal with Israel to House’s
energy committee”by Jassar Al Tahat

SUBJECT Jordan.Israel gas deal

FULL TEXT:AMMAN — Lawmakers on Tuesday voted to refer a controversial gas
deal with Israel to the House’s Energy and Mineral Resources Committee,
pronouncing that the issue was “not fit for discussion under the Dome yet”,
pending feedback from the panel.

Lower House Speaker Atef Tarawneh stated that the government would provide
the Lower House energy committee with a copy of the deal in the next “24
hours”.

Deputy Musleh Tarawneh (Karak) said: “We need a clear answer from the Prime
Minister, since we asked the government once before for a copy of the deal.”

MP Saleh Armouti (Amman, 3rd District) said that he had addressed the
government regarding the gas deal and had received a response stating that
“[he did] not have the authority to ask for this deal”.

In response, Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Ibrahim Saif said: “We
reached an agreement with the head of the energy committee to provide a copy
of the gas deal, yet there remain trade matters that would be difficult to
divulge.”

Deputy Khaled Fanatseh (Maan) said the reopening of such files would be a
“waste of time”.
=============
Sue Lerner - Associate, IMRA

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