SANAA – Yemen’s national airline operated on Monday its first commercial flight in years from the capital Sanaa, raising hopes for renewal of a U.N.-brokered truce in the seven-year-old conflict that has pitted a Saudi-led coalition against the Iran-aligned Houthis and put Middle East security in peril. Water canons sprayed Sanaa airport’s runway as an airplane of the national carrier Yemenia landed against a backdrop of destroyed buildings surrounding the airfield. Dozens of Yemenis, including…"First commercial flight takes off from Sanaa, raising Yemen peace prospects"
MANAMA -Saudi Arabia is on track to lift oil production capacity by more than 1 million barrels per day to over 13 million barrels bpd by the end of 2026 or start of 2027, the energy minister said on Monday. Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman told an energy conference in Bahrain that production could be maintained at that level once it was reached should market demand require it. The prince also said all upstream investments would…"Saudi Arabia on track to hit oil output of over 13 million bpd by 2027 -minister"
BEIRUT – Iran-backed Hezbollah has been dealt a blow in Lebanon’s parliamentary election with preliminary results showing losses for some of its oldest allies and the Saudi-aligned Lebanese Forces party saying it had gained seats. With votes still being counted, the final make-up of the 128-member parliament has yet to emerge. The heavily armed Shi’ite Muslim group Hezbollah and its allies won a majority of 71 seats when Lebanon last voted in 2018. The current…"Lebanon vote brings blow for Hezbollah allies in preliminary results"
JERUSALEM – A Palestinian gunmen, brother of a prominent militant in the occupied West Bank, died in an Israeli hospital on Sunday, two days after being wounded in clashes with Israeli forces. The Palestinian Health Ministry announced Daoud Zubeidi’s death, citing information from Israeli authorities, and armed groups vowed revenge. He was the brother of Zakaria Zubeidi, a former commander of the Fatah party’s Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades in the West Bank city of Jenin…"Palestinian militant dies of wounds, days after clashes with Israeli troops"
DUBAI -State-owned oil producer Saudi Aramco on Sunday reported an almost 82% rise in first-quarter net profit, broadly in line with analyst forecasts, helped by strong oil prices. Aramco, which is at par with Apple Inc as the world’s most valuable company, reported a net income of $39.5 billion for the quarter to March 31 from $21.7 billion a year earlier. The world’s top oil exporter was forecast to post a net income of $38.5…"Saudi Aramco net profit soars 82% in Q1 on high oil prices"
BERLIN -Foreign ministers from Finland, Sweden and Turkey will hold clear the air talks in Berlin on Saturday to resolve disagreements over Finnish and Swedish plans to join NATO, as the alliance meets against the backdrop of the Ukraine war. The Nordic states are gearing up to apply for membership of the 30-strong transatlantic alliance in response to what they see as a fundamentally altered security situation due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. That has…"Turkey to hold talks with Sweden, Finland over NATO membership"
KABUL – Afghanistan faces a budget deficit of 44 billion Afghanis ($501 million) this financial year, the country’s Taliban authorities said on Saturday without clarifying how the gap between expected revenues and planned spending will be met. Announcing the first annual national budget since the Taliban took over the war-torn country in August last year, Deputy Prime Minister Abdul Salam Hanafi said the government foresaw spending of 231.4 billion Afghanis and domestic revenue of 186.7…"Taliban’s first annual Afghan budget foresees $501 million deficit"
DUBAI – United Arab Emirates strongman Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, who was formally elected president on Saturday, led a realignment of the Middle East that created a new anti-Iran axis with Israel and fought a rising tide of political Islam in the region. Working behind the scenes for years as de facto leader, Sheikh Mohammed, 61, transformed the UAE military into a high-tech force, which coupled with its oil wealth and business hub status,…"UAE’s newly elected ruler sees Iran, Islamists as threat to Gulf safe haven"
DUBAI -The United Arab Emirates’ de facto leader Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan was elected president of the Gulf Arab state by a federal supreme council on Saturday, solidifying his rule over the OPEC oil producer and key regional player. The council, which groups the rulers of the seven emirates of the UAE federation, elected Sheikh Mohammed, known as MbZ, a day after the death of his half-brother, President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed, who was…"UAE strongman Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed named new president"
RAMALLAH, West Bank – The Palestinian Authority would welcome the involvement of international groups in the investigation into the death of an Al Jazeera journalist killed while reporting on an Israeli raid in the occupied West Bank, a Palestinian official said on Saturday. The death of veteran reporter Shireen Abu Akleh has sparked an outpouring of grief and Israel police charged at a crowd of Palestinian mourners carrying her coffin through Jerusalem’s Old City on…"Palestinians welcome foreign support in inquiry into reporter’s death"