"I'm holding onto all of them (my investments)
and in all honesty increasing my stakes in certain companies in the
US," he said.
Some Saudi businessmen and economist warned last
weekend that investors would withdraw from the US after a $1,000bn
lawsuit was filed claiming Saudis, including members of the royal
family, funded the 11 September attacks.
The Financial Times added fuel to the story on
Wednesday by reporting that Saudi investors had already withdrawn $200bn
from the US.
"I have read the Financial Times and I was
surprised," he said.
"My information tells me none of this is
correct. Now there may be some withdrawals, but not of the magnitude
mentioned in the Financial Times."
"What I am telling you represents the position
of the Saudi Royal Family 100%."
While there are no precise figures on how much Saudi
investors have committed to the US, analysts put the total at about
The denial comes as Saudi newspaper Al-Watan reported
that a group of Saudi businessmen had pulled out of a technology project
in New York over fears of having their assets frozen by US authorities.
The Saudi Gazette on Wednesday reported that the
governor of the Saudi General Investment Authority, Prince Abdullah bin
Faisal bin Turki, expected repatriation of Saudi capital invested abroad
The Saudi banks, also named in the US lawsuit, have
denied any role in funding terrorism.
DATE OUTPUT SET TO RISE THIS YEAR
UAE date output this year is set to rise 10-15 per
cent as high-yield tissue culture modified date palms supplied to
farmers three years ago start bearing fruit.
The Ministry Agriculture and Fisheries has also
increased its date procurement prices to encourage farmers to increase
their annual production.
Ibrahim Abdul Rahman Ali, director of the Eastern
Agricultural Zone in Fujairah, Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries,
said: "The date research laboratory in Dibba has improved and
multiplied date palms through its tissue culture programme.
He said these tissue culture modified date palms
produce nearly double the yield of pre-existing date palms.
Until last year, the annual production of dates in
the UAE generally remained steady compared to previous years. In 1998,
the Ministry Agriculture and Fisheries introduced a large number of
cross-bred tissue culture palm saplings to farms across the country, and
these are expected to begin weighing in, with the palm trees starting to
become productive this year.
About 77 types of dates are produced annually in the
UAE. Higher procurement prices have been announced for 11 types of
dates, recognised as top quality. These include: Al Barhi, Bu Ma'an,
Maktoumi, Jabri, Hilali, Al Raziz, Al Lulu, Al Fardi, Al Khaneezi,
Khadrawi and Shishi.
Sharjah has approximately 7,800 palm farms covering
an area of 48,239 donums. The estimated number of palm trees is
2,229,399, and includes 786,222 yielding trees.
The farms are mainly located on the eastern coast
which includes Khor Fakkan and Kalba with the number here estimated at
6,000. The central region also includes about 1,800 farms mainly in
Dhaid, Falaj Al Mualla, Al Nuaimi and Kadra.
The farms in Sharjah have been registering a slow but
steady rise in yield, last placed at 61,325 tonnes in 2001.
ISRAELI ARMY STORMS GAZA DP CAMP
Israeli forces blasted their way into a Gaza town on
Wednesday, killing a Palestinian civilian and wounding four more in an
operation to root out militants, as fresh violence threatened to cripple
the latest efforts to restore calm.
Despite the Israeli raid, which followed the killing
of a soldier guarding a Jewish settlement, security officials met to
discuss an Israeli withdrawal from Al Khalil, the next step in a phased
pullback plan designed to defuse the 23-month crisis.
Israel tanks and infantry stormed into the southern
Gaza Strip town of Khan Yunis in the small hours of the day, sending
residents of the bullet-scarred refugee camp scattering. The troops
ordered the evacuation of two high buildings overlooking the
neighbouring Jewish settlement of Gush Katif.
Twenty tanks and armoured vehicles, backed by attack
helicopters, opened fire on the camp, after which army sappers moved in
and dynamited the buildings.
RUSSIA, IRAQ TO ABORT US EFFORTS
Russia and Iraq are planning to sign a $40 billion
economic cooperation agreement, ignoring US efforts to isolate Iraqi
regime, media reports said.
The five-year package focuses on oil but also covers
electrical energy, chemical products, irrigation, railroad, construction
and transportation, the Washington Post said.
"Russia was, is and will be our main
partner," Abbas Khalaf, Iraq's ambassador to Moscow, told the
"What we need from Moscow is moral, political
and diplomatic support because Iraq has shown the whole world that it
can defend itself. America's aggressive statements against Iraq aroused
negative reaction in Russia."
It said Russia's apparent refusal to abandon its
longtime ally, would hurt Washington's efforts to rally world leaders
behind its planned military offensive against Baghdad.
Russia maintains close ties with all three countries
branded the "axis of evil" by President Bush: Iran, Iraq and
SAUDI GAS INITIATIVE HIGHLY AMBITIOUS AND COMPLEX
Saudi Arabia's national gas initiative has yet to
make concrete progress due to differences between international oil
companies (IOCs) and the government.
The two sides held two rounds of negotiations in
early August but could not agree on a course of action to move forward.
Crown Prince Abdullah revealed the gas initiative in
1998 during a visit to the U.S. In June 2001, the government granted a
group of IOCs from the U.S. and Europe exclusive right to explore and
process gas in three core ventures across the kingdom.
The integrated programme involves exploration and
processing of gas plus power stations, water desalination plants and
petrochemical schemes. Total investments are initially projected between
$25-30 billion in the first ten years covering gas field development
plus other downstream projects.
UAE TO HIGHLIGHT COUNTRY'S GAINS AT GLOBAL SUMMIT
Although it is classified a developing nation by
international organisations, the UAE believes its achievements in
development places it far ahead of that category.
The UAE officials participating in next week's global
development summit in Johannesburg will tell the world that figures
speak for themselves and what has taken place in the UAE in just a few
decades is tantamount to a miracle.
On several occasions, the UAE has acknowledged that
the oil wealth was instrumental in making such accomplishments a reality
but has stressed that money could be worthless if it is not used wisely.
That is why the UAE people and other countries and organisations credit
such accomplishments to President His Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan
According to the United Nations, the UAE has moved
from medium to a high category in its human development index.
BAHRAIN, IRAN OPPOSE ATTACK ON IRAQ
King Hamad of Bahrain, whose island state hosts the
US Fifth Fleet, joined Iranian leaders in opposing any
"unilateral" strike against Iraq as he wrapped up a landmark
visit to the Islamic republic on Sunday.
"We express our determined opposition to any
unilateral military action against Iraq," said a joint statement
issued after King Hamad's talks with top officials here, including
supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
BRITAIN DIFFERS WITH U.S. OVER IRAQ PLAN
Britain set itself apart from top ally the United
States, which has made a "regime change" in Baghdad a
priority, saying its main aim in Iraq was to get weapons inspectors back
In comments that underlined differences between U.S.
President George W. Bush and London, Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said
the main threat was from Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's suspected
capability with weapons of mass destruction.
A DREAM COME TRUE FOR UAE MOUNTAINEER
The first UAE national woman to scale Mount
Kilimanjaro in Tanzania said her success will hopefully inspire many
more of her people to accept challenges and overcome them.
Hafsa Al Ulama said her achievement was "a dream
come true" and a big step towards promoting sports among national
"Overall, I feel good to have achieved it, for
my dream to have come true. It was a little bit difficult because there
are some aspects of the climb you don't realise," she said.
SAUDI LAWYER SUES OVER 11 SEPTEMBER
A lawyer in Saudi Arabia is planning to launch legal
action against the US Government in connection with the 11 September
attacks, claiming unspecified damages.
It comes less than a week after US lawyers started
proceedings for massive damages from members of the Saudi royal family
and charities in the kingdom, accusing them of helping to finance al-Qaeda
and its leader Osama Bin Laden — the man accused of organising last
year's suicide hijackings.
The Saudi lawyer, Qatib al-Shamri, says he is acting
on behalf of people who were wrongly tied to al-Qaeda by the US
ISLAMIC COLA 'SELLING WELL IN SAUDI'
An Iranian soft drink named after a holy spring in
Mecca is said to have won an enthusiastic reception in Saudi Arabia.
Zamzam Cola, an alternative to US brands Coca Cola
and Pepsi, has gone on sale at the same time as a campaign to boycott
American goods gathers momentum.
The Saudi distributor, Al-Majarah, said it had
imported four million one-litre bottles in the past week, but demand had
been so high it had already ordered several million more.
A company spokesman said it had even asked the
Iranian parent company for permission to set up a bottling factory in
QATAR SET TO BUY SAMSUNG GAS TANKERS
South Korean shipbuilder Samsung Heavy Industries has
claimed it is near winning a $1bn order with Qatar to build six
liquefied natural gas carriers.
Qatar is a major exporter of liquefied natural gas
(LNG), and boasts huge reserves of the fuel.
Samsung, the world's third biggest shipbuilder, said
it expected to seal the Qatar deal next month, with each ship costing
"We are at the final stage of
negotiations," said Samsung spokesman Lee Hong-youn.
"There may be some minor differences, but the
deal will be closed by the end of September."
A collective GCC decision will be taken for measures
against a Gulf brand of frozen chicken products if they are found
This was stated by Engineer Khalil bin Hassan Al
Baloushi, Deputy Director General of Health Control, at the Ministry of
Regional Municipalities, Envir-onment and Water Resources.
Al Baloushi told Gulf News: "We have advised all
food shops in the country to suspend sales of the 700 and 900 gm
products for the time being."
He revealed the UAE authorities first alerted them
regarding the possibility that the product was contaminated with
ADNOC DRILLS 20 EXPLORATORY WELLS
Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. (Adnoc) has drilled 20
exploratory oil wells in the last 19 years.
In future, the focus will be on exploration of deep
oil and gas prospects, reports the latest edition of Adnoc News.
Adnoc has completed all its related programmes in
onshore developments, including a project to upgrade water injection
facilities in Bu Hasa and Sahil fields.
The project was completed in 1996. Sahil will be
upgraded to increase oil production capacity at Thamama reservoirs to
produce 75 million barrels per day (mbpd).
UAE INVITED TO ARAB MARKET MEET
The Arab League has invited the UAE to participate in
the second Arab Common Market for economic, industrial and investment
cooperation scheduled in Cairo on August 28 and 29.
"Your participation has a great importance and
will give a push to our efforts to forge a common Arab market as a
single international economic bloc," said the invitation letter
written by the Arab League to the UAE Embassy in Cairo.
UAE SECOND AMONG GULF IMPORTERS FROM JORDAN
The UAE's imports from Jordan have touched 24.7
million Jordanian dinars during the first half this year, making it the
second largest importer from the kingdom among GCC member states,
reports a study by the Jordanian ministry of industry and commerce.
Saudi Arabia, which is placed first by the study, has
imported goods valued JD 53.5 million from Jordan ( representing 7.7 per
cent of Jordan's total exports) while UAE's imports amounted toJD 24.7
million ( 1.7 per cent ) and Qatar's totaled JD 8.3 million.
Jordan's exports to the region have reached JD 109
million during the first half this year as against 103.9 million for the
same period last year.