Saudi Arabia Courts Latin America and the Caribbean

By Emilie Sweigart

Next week’s Saudi-run summit in Rio is the latest step in the Gulf nation’s increased engagement with the region.

Last November, a group of Caribbean dignitaries departed from Barbados and Miami in two private jets headed for Riyadh. Following the inaugural CARICOM-Saudi Arabia Summit, they returned with a $2.5 billion investment commitment for Caribbean development. The pledge, announced by Guyana’s President Irfaan Ali, was one of many outcomes from the high-profile gathering.The agreement to increase investment in a cash-strapped region came along with the 15-member bloc’s support for Saudi Arabia’s bid to host World Expo 2030, which the kingdom won easily later that month over South Korea and...

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