- - Sunday, July 15, 2012

RIYADH — Saudi Arabia has hit out at a Russian official for his remarks on unrest in the kingdom’s east, saying his comments were a “blatant interference” in its internal affairs, a report said.

It accused Konstantin Dolgov, the Russian Foreign Ministry’s commissioner for human rights, of diverting attention from the “massacres” that were being committed by Moscow’s ally, Damascus, in Syria.

Saudi Arabia “noted with strong disapproval” remarks by Mr. Dolgov, the kingdom's foreign ministry said in a statement carried by the official news agency SPA.

Mr. Dolgov, in a statement published last week on the Russian Foreign Ministry’s website, had expressed “great concerns” over clashes between Saudi police and Shiite protesters in the kingdom’s Qatif district that left two demonstrators dead.

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

New pipeline avoids Iranian threats

DUBAI — The United Arab Emirates on Sunday inaugurated a much-anticipated overland oil pipeline that bypasses the Strait of Hormuz, giving the OPEC member insurance against Iranian threats to block the strategic waterway.

The 236-mile Abu Dhabi Crude Oil Pipeline snakes across western desert dunes and over the craggy Hajar mountains to the city of Fujairah on the UAE’s Indian Ocean coast, south of the strait.

Until now, all Emirati exports were loaded in the Gulf and then sailed out through Hormuz. Once it is running at full capacity, the pipeline could allow the country, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries’ third-biggest exporter, to ship as much as two-thirds of its peak production through the eastern port city.

It is designed to carry at least 1.5 million barrels a day of crude, though capacity is expected to rise eventually to 1.8 million barrels daily.

Efforts to bring the long-awaited export route online have gained increased urgency in recent months because of repeated threats by Iranian officials to close Hormuz if the country’s own exports are blocked.

CUBA

Cuba gets first cargo from Miami in 50 years

HAVANA — A cargo vessel carrying humanitarian aid docked Friday at Havana Bay with the first maritime shipment from Miami to Cuba in half a century.

The Ana Cecilia sailed in shortly after 7 a.m. carrying family goods, food, medicine and clothing as well as medical equipment such as orthopedic mattresses and electric wheelchairs.

Story Continues →