Update: Saudi king denies US seeking funds
Saudi Arabia‘s King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz denied the US is seeking billions from the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC), including Saudi Arabia, as part of its efforts to overcome the financial crisis. He stressed that Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states did not and will not give any amount of money to the US for that purpose.
« All major countries in the world have been affected by the economic meltdown amounting to trillions and therefore, they are not in need of mere billions from the Gulf, » he said. King Abdullah made the remarks in an interview with Kuwait’s Al Seyassah newspaper. He said that the economy of Saudi Arabia is in an excellent position and that Saudi sovereign wealth funds are safe in the global economic crisis.
He said that the kingdom’s budget was not affected by the global financial crisis. The budget was prepared on the assumption that the price for oil is $75 per barrel. King Abdullah vowed the kingdom’s determination to pursue ongoing development projects totalling $200 billion (Dh735 billion) despite the global crisis.
Source: Gulf News, by Abdul Rahman Shaheen November 29, 2008
The United States has asked four oil-rich Gulf states for close to 300 billion dollars to help it curb the global financial meltdown, Kuwait’s daily Al-Seyassah reported. Quoting « highly informed » sources, the daily said Washington has asked Saudi Arabia for 120 billion dollars, the United Arab Emirates for 70 billion dollars, Qatar for 60 billion dollars and was seeking 40 billion dollars from Kuwait.
Al-Seyassah said Washington sought the amount as « financial aid » to face the fallout of the financial crisis and help prevent its economy from sliding into a painful recession. The daily said the United States plans to use the funds to help the ailing automobile industry , banks and other companies suffering from the global financial turmoil.
The four nations, all members of OPEC, produce together 14 million barrels of oil per day, around half of the cartel’s production and about 17 percent of world supplies. The four states are estimated to have amassed close to 1.5 trillion dollars in surplus in the past six years due to high oil prices that rocketed above 147 dollars in July before sliding to just above 50 dollars.
The daily also said that the United States has asked Kuwait to forgive its Iraqi debt estimated at around 16 billion dollars.
Source: AFP, November 20, 2008