Oil prices were mixed on Monday after a steep five-day fall, as the United States formally imposed punitive sanctions on Iran but granted eight countries temporary waivers allowing them to keep buying oil from the Islamic Republic. The sanctions are part of U.S. President Donald Trump’s effort to curb Iran’s missile and nuclear programs and diminish its influence in the Middle East.
The United States received a payment of US$ 100 million from Saudi Arabia on Tuesday, the same day Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrived in Riyadh to discuss the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a State Department official confirmed Wednesday amid global calls for answers in the case.
The strategic Naseeb crossing between Syria and Jordan on the Damascus-Amman international highway was reopened Monday, just one day after both countries agreed to it. The crossing had been closed since 2015 when the rebels took over that area in Syria's southern province of Daraa. Also Monday the only crossing point near the Syrian border town of Quneitra between Syria and the Golan Heights, under Israeli occupation since 1967, was reopened for United Nations observers, four years after closing due to the civil war, following a deal between Israel, Syria and the UN.
According to the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)’s latest barometer, international tourist arrivals grew 6% in the first six months of 2018 after a record year of growth in 2017. All world regions enjoyed robust growth in tourist arrivals in January-June 2018. The increase was fueled by strong demand from major source markets, supported by an upswing in the global economy. It comes after record year-round growth of 7% in 2017.
President Donald Trump should stop interfering in the Middle East if he wants the price of oil to stop rising, Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh was quoted as saying on Wednesday.
The most prominent driver of oil prices over the next two years is not likely to come from OPEC, Iran or Venezuela, but rather in the shape of a shipping revolution, analysts have warned. New rules coming into force in approximately 18 months' time are seen as a source of great concern for some of the world's biggest oil producers.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau backed air strikes by the United States and its allies on Syria’s chemical weapons program but Argentina, Brazil and Peru voiced caution during a regional summit about the escalating military action.
Bombs have fallen. Damascus has been beaten again. The United States, United Kingdom and France coalition launched airstrikes against Syrian targets as Donald Trump sought to punish Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for a suspected chemical attack last weekend near Damascus that killed more than 40 people.
For the terrorist group known as the Islamic State, Syria and Iraq were a good place to start their campaign, but in order to survive and prosper it knew from the outset that it had no choice but to set its sights on the ultimate prize: the oil fields of Saudi Arabia.
China's foreign minister urged restraint in the growing tensions over Syria, saying any military intervention in the crisis would only worsen turmoil in the Middle East. China all along has tried to maintain a neutral position on the issue, not accompanying the West’s intentions of imposing sanctions to Syria but calling on Damascus to begin talking with the rebels.