Playing Catch-up: The Gulf

Here are some fun reads from the Gulf region.

– Saudi Arabia, the top OPEC exporter, has passed its highest budget ever, reaching $144 billion while forecasting a deficit of  $18.7 billion.

– To combat the Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Northern Yemen, the Yemen government has apparently been receiving US intelligence and support (see New York Times also).  Meanwhile, the Saudi air raids hit a town in North Yemen, killing 54 people.

– The government of Yemen received six prisoners that were held without trial for years at the US military prison in Guantanamo Bay.

– Last week, Saudi foreign minister Prince Saad al-Faisal said that Hizbollah’s arms denied true sovereignty to Lebanon.  While Hizbollah doesn’t take the statement negatively, diplomats have said the message was meant for Iran and not for Syria, a country with whom Saudi has improving relations.  Prince Faisal also criticized the US support of Israel.

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