Kingdom to increase wages for military
At about $41 billion, military expenditure accounted for about 33 percent of the budget of the world’s top oil exporter last year, according to the Finance Ministry’s website.
A weekly Cabinet meeting chaired by King Abdullah late Monday approved a proposal to raise wages for all soldiers as well as senior officers such as generals and lieutenants.
Defense Minister and Crown Prince Sultan did not attend the meeting.
The desert kingdom does not provide statistics on its military forces. Diplomats estimate various corps of the Saudi army to number a total of 175,000.
Abbas seeks mediation in Mideast talks
President Obama is hosting Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for the first direct talks in nearly two years. Mr. Obama has said he hopes to see a peace agreement within a year.
Mr. Abbas told reporters accompanying him to Washington on Tuesday that the deadline is reasonable because many of the issues already have been discussed in previous rounds. However, Mr. Netanyahu has not agreed to pick up where negotiations left off.View Entire Story
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