Saudi Arabia announces the downing of a booby-trapped drone … and the Houthis confirm the targeting of two airports inside the Kingdom

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Investors are still involved in the construction of the Saudi city of Neom, despite the release of the US intelligence report, which concluded that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman “authorized” the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

A report told the agency, “ReutersAnalysts believe that the American report is likely to not lead to a change in the investors ’motives regarding participation in building the mega project that the Saudi crown prince is adopting, in the absence of US action against it.

The White House spokeswoman, Jane Saki, said Monday, that Washington “reserves the right to impose sanctions on the Saudi crown prince, Prince Mohammed bin Salman, in the future”, in relation to the killing of the journalist, Jamal Khashoggi.

“They expected a bigger step from the administration of US President Joe Biden, but if this is (the step), the signal is somewhat weak,” said Neil Quilliam, director at Azurey, a consultancy firm that focuses on the Middle East.

“So I don’t see this (the report) as a major barrier to most companies looking for opportunities in Saudi Arabia,” added Quilliam.

At the same time, Quilliam indicated that there are some doubts about the huge projects in NEOM, citing the King Abdullah Economic City at the beginning of the second millennium, which did not take off on the ground.

The Saudi government media office and NEOM did not respond to Reuters’ questions about the status of the city of Neom, following the release of the US intelligence report, according to the agency.

Before the report was released, Saudi Arabia said that the NEOM project had attracted the interest of local and international investors.

Two sources told Reuters that NEOM’s funding initially came from the Saudi sovereign wealth fund and the Public Investment Fund.

A financial source familiar with the project added, “The investors will be interested (in the project), when the basic infrastructure works, so that they do not take risks.”

In 2017, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman announced NEOM, a project to build a huge economic zone that includes lands in Jordan and Egypt with investments amounting to more than $ 500 billion, under the name of “NEOM.”

The city will be located in the northwest of the country, overlooking the Red Sea, and will include flying taxis and robots, according to the authorities.

The team in charge of building “NEOM” said that 20,000 people would have to leave and move to another location in order to make room for construction work. The first part of the city is to be completed by 2023.





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