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Saudi Arabia

Yearbook 2016

Saudi Arabia. On January 2, 47 people were executed in twelve locations around Saudi Arabia, triggering protests both in the country and abroad. Particularly sharp criticism came from Iran's arch rival, when one of the executed was a prominent Shi'ite Muslim imam, Nimr al-Nimr, who was convicted of rioting in connection with protests in 2011. Protesters stormed and set fire to the Saudi embassy in Iran. As a result, Saudi Arabia severed diplomatic relations with Iran.

According to countryaah, the current population of Saudi Arabia is 34,813,882. The conflict with Iran also continued over the congestion accident in Mecca in 2015 when 464 Iranians perished in connection with the annual pilgrimage, hajj. Disappointment over the Saudi stance resulted in no Iranians participating in this year's shark. In September, Iran's supreme leader accused Saudi authorities of assassinating pilgrims and called the royal house "vicious". Saudi religious leader Muhammad Abdul-Aziz Al ash-Sheikh said that the Iranian leaders "are not Muslims".

Saudi Arabia Population

The two arch rivals also supported opposite parties in Yemen and Syria. In Yemen, the Saudi-led alliance of countries continued to fight the Huthirbels who fought against government-loyal forces. Saudi Arabia and its allies were accused of indiscriminate bombings against the civilian population, and both the UN and human rights organizations warned that war crimes might be committed. Particularly sharp was the criticism when around 150 people lost their lives and over 500 were injured since a funeral home in Sana met in October. It was the bloodiest incident since the bombing started in March 2015.

The war in Yemen was also behind a temporary conflict with the UN. It emerged when the United Nations placed the Saudi-led coalition on an annual list of groups and countries at war exposing children to violence, as they were said to have caused nearly 500 children deaths in Yemen in 2015. After just a few days, the decision was changed. UN chief Ban Ki Moon later said that the UN was under pressure with threats of canceled contributions to UN operations, which Saudi Arabia denied.

The government presented a far-reaching program of economic reforms that was intended to enable Saudi Arabia to succeed without oil as early as 2020. A series of concrete measures were presented in June: a threefold increase in the state's revenue from other than oil, the creation of 450,000 new non-governmental jobs, a reduction in the share of public wages in the state budget from 45 to 40%, a continued reduction in subsidies on water and electricity, an increase in the proportion of women in the labor market from 23 to 28% and an increase in the number of foreign visitors during the annual pilgrimage from 1.5 million to 2.5 million.

2016 Saudi Arabia

 

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