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CNN Exclusive: US intel and satellite images show Saudi Arabia is now building its own ballistic missiles with help of China

U.S. Aid to Saudi Arabia on Missile Defense Is Not Unconditional​

Biden must make it clear to Saudi leaders that continued ballistic missile cooperation with China will jeopardize U.S. missile defense assistance.​


By Bilal Y. Saab, a senior fellow and director of the Defense and Security Program at the Middle East Institute.

JUNE 24, 2022, 10:16 AM

The White House has repeatedly emphasized that U.S. President Joe Biden’s meeting in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, with Saudi and other Arab leaders in mid-July will cover a variety of issues beyond soaring international oil prices.
The administration is right to insist on this message. Biden’s conversation with the Saudis shouldn’t be limited to asking them to pump more oil, which isn’t going to solve the energy market’s problems in the short run anyway.
There are other priorities U.S. officials should and hopefully will address with the Saudis—all usefully summarized in a letter issued by six leading House Democrats on June 7. Saudi Arabia’s recent ballistic missile procurement plans—and possibly indigenous development with the help of China—is one of those priorities, and it is what worries the U.S. Defense Department the most.


Foreign Policy article. I cannot read the full article.

In all honesty why would a Saudi Arabian ballistic missile program "worry" the US? What are they "worrying" about? Do they expect Saudi Arabia to be a sitting duck or what is this about? How can it be Saudi Arabia's problem that a trusted long-term partner like China is willing to help the country while USA is not? I don't get it. This is not the rhetoric of a supposed ally.
 
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What I talked about earlier in this thread weeks ago is already happening in US media. It is like if those guys had been reading this thread.

How Biden Can Reverse China’s Gains in Saudi Arabia

Preventing growing Chinese influence in the Middle East is more important than making Riyadh a pariah.​

By Dore Feith, a former special assistant to the deputy administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development, and Ben Noon, a writer focused on U.S.-China rivalry.

JULY 7, 2022, 8:17 AM
When U.S. President Joe Biden visits Saudi Arabia next week, China should be on his mind. His agenda will, of course, include other important matters: recent Saudi commitments to increase oil production, a cease-fire with the Houthis in Yemen, and progress in Saudi normalization with Israel. But the president should also use this trip to argue that deeper ties with China are not in the kingdom’s long-term interest and to show that the United States wants to return to its traditional position as Saudi Arabia’s partner of choice.
The goal is not to block the Saudi-Chinese oil trade. Biden’s aim should be to strive to reverse the two countries’ emerging strategic relationship.
China is Saudi Arabia’s most important crude oil customer. Beijing buys about a quarter of Saudi oil exports, more than three times the U.S. share. The kingdom was the largest source of China’s oil imports in 2021, though this year it has been supplanted by Russian oil exporters seeking markets unaffected by the West’s sanctions over Russia’s war in Ukraine. This bilateral trade is fundamental to both countries’ economies and does not, in and of itself, harm U.S. interests.


Sadly I cannot read the full article for the same reasons as earlier.

A friendly advice to MBS and decision makers within KSA, do not let yourself be forced into making decisions that are not in the interests of KSA by listetning to empty US promises. MbS has learned this in recent years (or always knew it) so I don't expect it to occur but you never know. Politics are dirty.
 
What I talked about earlier in this thread weeks ago is already happening in US media. It is like if those guys had been reading this thread.

How Biden Can Reverse China’s Gains in Saudi Arabia

Preventing growing Chinese influence in the Middle East is more important than making Riyadh a pariah.​

By Dore Feith, a former special assistant to the deputy administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development, and Ben Noon, a writer focused on U.S.-China rivalry.

JULY 7, 2022, 8:17 AM
When U.S. President Joe Biden visits Saudi Arabia next week, China should be on his mind. His agenda will, of course, include other important matters: recent Saudi commitments to increase oil production, a cease-fire with the Houthis in Yemen, and progress in Saudi normalization with Israel. But the president should also use this trip to argue that deeper ties with China are not in the kingdom’s long-term interest and to show that the United States wants to return to its traditional position as Saudi Arabia’s partner of choice.
The goal is not to block the Saudi-Chinese oil trade. Biden’s aim should be to strive to reverse the two countries’ emerging strategic relationship.
China is Saudi Arabia’s most important crude oil customer. Beijing buys about a quarter of Saudi oil exports, more than three times the U.S. share. The kingdom was the largest source of China’s oil imports in 2021, though this year it has been supplanted by Russian oil exporters seeking markets unaffected by the West’s sanctions over Russia’s war in Ukraine. This bilateral trade is fundamental to both countries’ economies and does not, in and of itself, harm U.S. interests.


Sadly I cannot read the full article for the same reasons as earlier.

A friendly advice to MBS and decision makers within KSA, do not let yourself be forced into making decisions that are not in the interests of KSA by listetning to empty US promises. MbS has learned this in recent years (or always knew it) so I don't expect it to occur but you never know. Politics are dirty.
Reuters:
The powerful Saudi prince, Mohammed bin Salman, is not subject to anyone

1657732493158.png
 
1657733117273.png


Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said:

"We certainly hope that Riyadh’s development of relations with other capitals of the world will be in no way aimed against us,"

"We highly value the work with our partners, including with our leading partners, such as Saudi Arabia," he stated. "We highly value our interests, our approach to and cooperation with Riyadh."

https://tass.com/politics/1479447
 
Does anyone have access to the full article?

Saudi-Ukrainian Cooperation on Hrim Short-Range Ballistic Missiles (SRBMs)​

Published on January 18, 2022

hrimcover_783008.jpg

Secretly funded by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), Hrim is a short-range ballistic missile (SRBM) currently under development in Ukraine. In exchange for the sponsorship, KSA will receive a full transfer of technology (ToT) that will enhance the Kingdom’s ability to domestically produce ballistic missiles (BMs).
Our 1045-word (3 pages) special report sheds light on the shadowy Hrim BM program and subsequent Saudi involvement, and provides an update on the system’s status (e.g. when the Saudis will receive the first transfer).


I am curious if this system has been used by Ukraine in the Ukraine-Russia war.

Ukraine could for the first time use the Grim-2 complex based on a ballistic missile​

By: Maksim Panasovskyi | 01.07.2022, 19:33

Ukraine could for the first time use the Grim-2 complex based on a ballistic missile


On June 26, Russia launched several missiles at Odessa. Two of them were shot down.

What we know​

To destroy Russian missiles, the Grim-2 operational-tactical missile system could be used. Previously, its use has not been reported. TSN writes. The Armed Forces have not yet officially commented.

"Grim-2" is built on the basis of a ballistic missile. The complex was developed in 2013 by the design bureau "Pivdenne" according to the projects "Borisfen" and "Sapsan". The range is 280 km, but in the future it will be increased to 500 km, as in the Russian Iskander-M. If necessary, Grim-2 can use anti-aircraft, anti-ship and operational-tactical missiles.


 
Last edited:
Does anyone have access to the full article?

Saudi-Ukrainian Cooperation on Hrim Short-Range Ballistic Missiles (SRBMs)​

Published on January 18, 2022

hrimcover_783008.jpg

Secretly funded by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), Hrim is a short-range ballistic missile (SRBM) currently under development in Ukraine. In exchange for the sponsorship, KSA will receive a full transfer of technology (ToT) that will enhance the Kingdom’s ability to domestically produce ballistic missiles (BMs).
Our 1045-word (3 pages) special report sheds light on the shadowy Hrim BM program and subsequent Saudi involvement, and provides an update on the system’s status (e.g. when the Saudis will receive the first transfer).


I am curious if this system has been used by Ukraine in the Ukraine-Russia war.

Ukraine could for the first time use the Grim-2 complex based on a ballistic missile​

By: Maksim Panasovskyi | 01.07.2022, 19:33

Ukraine could for the first time use the Grim-2 complex based on a ballistic missile


On June 26, Russia launched several missiles at Odessa. Two of them were shot down.

What we know​

To destroy Russian missiles, the Grim-2 operational-tactical missile system could be used. Previously, its use has not been reported. TSN writes. The Armed Forces have not yet officially commented.

"Grim-2" is built on the basis of a ballistic missile. The complex was developed in 2013 by the design bureau "Pivdenne" according to the projects "Borisfen" and "Sapsan". The range is 280 km, but in the future it will be increased to 500 km, as in the Russian Iskander-M. If necessary, Grim-2 can use anti-aircraft, anti-ship and operational-tactical missiles.


https://defence.pk/pdf/threads/saudi-arabia-buys-the-full-grom-2-missile-project.535029/
 
Important news:


According to a Saudi source: The Saudi ballistic missile that appeared in the last defense exhibition was tested outside Saudi Arabia by the forces … while it did not refer to the area in which it was tested. -: Work is currently underway on additional development to increase the range - : It is expected that additional information about the missile will appear soon.

Could this be the Grim-2/Grom-2 ballistic missile that was jointly developed by Ukraine and KSA and funded by KSA that I talked about earlier in this thread?

Or something else entirely?
 
Unrelated but at the same time related news.


- A system worthy of admiration, and we await the results of the Saudi tests for it soon. This is God alone who knows best.


- With a temperature of up to 60 degrees Celsius in the sun and the dunes of Rumailah and mountains, the success of the system in such an environment and under the hands of the Saudi crews, will be one of the biggest marketing factors for the system that China aims to market to the region.


A leaflet for the Chinese LY-70 air defense system. - The publication includes a definition of the system, its specifications, capabilities, Saudi interest in the system and China's desire to market it through the Saudi portal.

I think that a lot of groundbreaking news will occur when Xi Jinping visits KSA. Official and non-official news.
 
Important news:


According to a Saudi source: The Saudi ballistic missile that appeared in the last defense exhibition was tested outside Saudi Arabia by the forces … while it did not refer to the area in which it was tested. -: Work is currently underway on additional development to increase the range - : It is expected that additional information about the missile will appear soon.

Could this be the Grim-2/Grom-2 ballistic missile that was jointly developed by Ukraine and KSA and funded by KSA that I talked about earlier in this thread?

Or something else entirely?
It is something else entirely..

1662746423831.png
 
December 23, 2021

View attachment 802905
New satellite images taken by Planet show a burn operation occurred at a ballistic missile production facility near Dawadmi, Saudi Arabia between October 26 and November 2. Experts say this is the first unambiguous evidence that the facility is operating to produce missiles.


Washington (CNN)US intelligence agencies have assessed that Saudi Arabia is now actively manufacturing its own ballistic missiles with the help of China, CNN has learned, a development that could have significant ripple effects across the Middle East and complicate the Biden administration's efforts to restrain the nuclear ambitions of Iran, the Saudis' top regional rival.

Saudi Arabia is known to have purchased ballistic missiles from China in the past but has never been able to build its own -- until now, according to three sources familiar with the latest intelligence. Satellite images obtained by CNN also suggest the Kingdom is currently manufacturing the weapons in at least one location.

US officials at numerous agencies, including the National Security Council at the White House, have been briefed in recent months on classified intelligence revealing multiple large-scale transfers of sensitive ballistic missile technology between China and Saudi Arabia, according to two sources familiar with the latest assessments.

The Biden administration is now confronted with increasingly urgent questions about whether Saudi's ballistic missile advancements could dramatically change regional power dynamics and complicate efforts to expand the terms of a nuclear deal with Iran to include restraints on its own missile technology -- a goal shared by the US, Europe, Israel and Gulf countries.

Exclusive: US intel shows Saudi Arabia escalated its missile program with help from China
Exclusive: US intel shows Saudi Arabia escalated its missile program with help from China

Iran and Saudi Arabia are bitter enemies and it is unlikely Tehran will agree to stop making ballistic missiles if Saudi Arabia has begun manufacturing its own.

"While significant attention has been focused on Iran's large ballistic missile program, Saudi Arabia's development and now production of ballistic missiles has not received the same level of scrutiny," Jeffrey Lewis, a weapons expert and professor at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies, told CNN.

"The domestic production of ballistic missiles by Saudi Arabia suggests that any diplomatic effort to control missile proliferation would need to involve other regional actors, like Saudi Arabia and Israel, that produce their own ballistic missiles," Lewis added.
Any US response could also be complicated by diplomatic considerations with China, as the Biden administration seeks to reengage Beijing on several other high-priority policy issues, including climate, trade and the pandemic.

"It's all a matter of calibration," a senior administration official told CNN.
The National Security Council and CIA declined to comment.


Pentagon pulls missile defense, other systems from Saudi Arabia and other Middle East countries

Asked if there have been any recent transfers of sensitive ballistic missile technology between China and Saudi Arabia, a spokesperson for China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs told CNN in a statement that the two countries are "comprehensive strategic partners" and "have maintained friendly cooperation in all fields, including in the field of military trade."

"Such cooperation does not violate any international law and does not involve the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction," the statement said.

The Saudi Government and embassy in Washington did not respond to CNN's request for comment.

New challenges for Biden

CNN first reported in 2019 that US intelligence agencies were aware that Saudi Arabia was collaborating with China to advance its ballistic missile program.

The Trump administration did not initially disclose its knowledge of that classified intelligence to key members of Congress, infuriating Democrats who discovered it outside of regular US government channels and concluded it had been deliberately left out of a series of briefings where they say it should have been presented.

That fueled Democratic criticism that the Trump administration was too soft on Saudi. Nuclear proliferation experts also say Trump's lack of response emboldened the Saudis to continue expanding their ballistic missile program.

Biden administration notifies Congress of $650 million arms sale to Saudi Arabia
Biden administration notifies Congress of $650 million arms sale to Saudi Arabia

"Normally, the U.S. would have pressured Saudi Arabia not to pursue these capabilities, but the first indicators that the Saudis were pursuing these capabilities indigenously emerged during the Trump era. The Trump administration, to put it lightly, was not interested in bearing down on Riyadh over these issues," according to Ankit Panda, a nuclear policy and weapons expert at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

Some lawmakers have been briefed over the past few months on new intelligence about transfers of ballistic missile tech between Saudi Arabia and China, multiple sources told CNN.

The Biden administration is preparing to sanction some organizations involved in the transfers, sources told CNN, though some on Capitol Hill are concerned the White House is not willing to impose significant consequences on the Saudi government for its actions.

Given the current state of negotiations with Iran, the Saudi missile program could make an already thorny problem even more difficult.

"A robust Saudi missile program would introduce new challenges to constraining other missile programs in the region. To take just one example, Iran's missiles, which are a major concern to the U.S., would be more difficult to constrain in the future without parallel constraints on a growing Saudi program," Panda told CNN.

'First unambiguous evidence'

New satellite images obtained by CNN indicate the Saudis are already manufacturing ballistic missiles at a site previously constructed with Chinese assistance, according to experts who analyzed the photos and sources who confirmed they reflect advancements that are consistent with the latest US intelligence assessments.

Satellite photos taken by Planet, a commercial imaging company, between October 26 and November 9 show a burn operation occurred at a facility near Dawadmi, Saudi Arabia, according to researchers at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies, who told CNN this is "the first unambiguous evidence that the facility is operating to produce missiles."


New satellite images suggest Saudi Arabia is now producing ballistic missiles at the site. The key piece of evidence is that the facility is operating a burn pit to dispose of solid-propellant leftover from the production of ballistic missiles.


New satellite images suggest Saudi Arabia is now producing ballistic missiles at the site. The key piece of evidence is that the facility is operating a "burn pit" to dispose of solid-propellant leftover from the production of ballistic missiles.

Satellite image captured on November 2 shows the facility is operating a burn pit to dispose of solid-propellant leftover from the production of ballistic missiles.

Satellite image captured on November 2 shows the facility is operating a "burn pit" to dispose of solid-propellant leftover from the production of ballistic missiles.

"The key piece of evidence is that the facility is operating a 'burn pit' to dispose of solid-propellant leftover from the production of ballistic missiles," said Lewis, a weapons expert and professor at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies who reviewed the images.

"Casting rocket motors results in leftover propellant, which is an explosive hazard. Solid-propellant missile production facilities often have burn pits where leftover propellant can be disposed of by burning. Burn operations are, therefore, a strong signature that the facility is actively casting solid rocket motors," he added.


A satellite image captured on November 9 shows the burn pit, which is used to dispose of solid-propellant leftover from the production of ballistic missiles, post-burn cleanup.

A satellite image captured on November 9 shows the "burn pit," which is used to dispose of solid-propellant leftover from the production of ballistic missiles, post-burn cleanup.

Still, little is known about the ballistic missiles that Saudi Arabia is building at this site, including important details like range and payload.

Considering the facility in question was built with Chinese assistance and new intelligence assessments showing Saudi Arabia has recently purchased sensitive ballistic missile technology from China, it is possible that the missiles being produced there are of Chinese design, according to Lewis.

But there is also evidence Saudi Arabia has looked to other countries for help with developing a ballistic missile program in recent years, making it difficult to identify exactly which weapons system the Kingdom is now building at this facility, Lewis noted.


CNN's Natasha Bertrand and Jeremy Herb contributed to this report.



https://www.cnn.com/2021/12/23/politics/saudi-ballistic-missiles-china/index.html
Would American dare to embargo Saudis?
 
December 23, 2021

View attachment 802905
New satellite images taken by Planet show a burn operation occurred at a ballistic missile production facility near Dawadmi, Saudi Arabia between October 26 and November 2. Experts say this is the first unambiguous evidence that the facility is operating to produce missiles.


Washington (CNN)US intelligence agencies have assessed that Saudi Arabia is now actively manufacturing its own ballistic missiles with the help of China, CNN has learned, a development that could have significant ripple effects across the Middle East and complicate the Biden administration's efforts to restrain the nuclear ambitions of Iran, the Saudis' top regional rival.

Saudi Arabia is known to have purchased ballistic missiles from China in the past but has never been able to build its own -- until now, according to three sources familiar with the latest intelligence. Satellite images obtained by CNN also suggest the Kingdom is currently manufacturing the weapons in at least one location.

US officials at numerous agencies, including the National Security Council at the White House, have been briefed in recent months on classified intelligence revealing multiple large-scale transfers of sensitive ballistic missile technology between China and Saudi Arabia, according to two sources familiar with the latest assessments.

The Biden administration is now confronted with increasingly urgent questions about whether Saudi's ballistic missile advancements could dramatically change regional power dynamics and complicate efforts to expand the terms of a nuclear deal with Iran to include restraints on its own missile technology -- a goal shared by the US, Europe, Israel and Gulf countries.

Exclusive: US intel shows Saudi Arabia escalated its missile program with help from China
Exclusive: US intel shows Saudi Arabia escalated its missile program with help from China

Iran and Saudi Arabia are bitter enemies and it is unlikely Tehran will agree to stop making ballistic missiles if Saudi Arabia has begun manufacturing its own.

"While significant attention has been focused on Iran's large ballistic missile program, Saudi Arabia's development and now production of ballistic missiles has not received the same level of scrutiny," Jeffrey Lewis, a weapons expert and professor at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies, told CNN.

"The domestic production of ballistic missiles by Saudi Arabia suggests that any diplomatic effort to control missile proliferation would need to involve other regional actors, like Saudi Arabia and Israel, that produce their own ballistic missiles," Lewis added.
Any US response could also be complicated by diplomatic considerations with China, as the Biden administration seeks to reengage Beijing on several other high-priority policy issues, including climate, trade and the pandemic.

"It's all a matter of calibration," a senior administration official told CNN.
The National Security Council and CIA declined to comment.


Pentagon pulls missile defense, other systems from Saudi Arabia and other Middle East countries

Asked if there have been any recent transfers of sensitive ballistic missile technology between China and Saudi Arabia, a spokesperson for China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs told CNN in a statement that the two countries are "comprehensive strategic partners" and "have maintained friendly cooperation in all fields, including in the field of military trade."

"Such cooperation does not violate any international law and does not involve the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction," the statement said.

The Saudi Government and embassy in Washington did not respond to CNN's request for comment.

New challenges for Biden

CNN first reported in 2019 that US intelligence agencies were aware that Saudi Arabia was collaborating with China to advance its ballistic missile program.

The Trump administration did not initially disclose its knowledge of that classified intelligence to key members of Congress, infuriating Democrats who discovered it outside of regular US government channels and concluded it had been deliberately left out of a series of briefings where they say it should have been presented.

That fueled Democratic criticism that the Trump administration was too soft on Saudi. Nuclear proliferation experts also say Trump's lack of response emboldened the Saudis to continue expanding their ballistic missile program.

Biden administration notifies Congress of $650 million arms sale to Saudi Arabia
Biden administration notifies Congress of $650 million arms sale to Saudi Arabia

"Normally, the U.S. would have pressured Saudi Arabia not to pursue these capabilities, but the first indicators that the Saudis were pursuing these capabilities indigenously emerged during the Trump era. The Trump administration, to put it lightly, was not interested in bearing down on Riyadh over these issues," according to Ankit Panda, a nuclear policy and weapons expert at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

Some lawmakers have been briefed over the past few months on new intelligence about transfers of ballistic missile tech between Saudi Arabia and China, multiple sources told CNN.

The Biden administration is preparing to sanction some organizations involved in the transfers, sources told CNN, though some on Capitol Hill are concerned the White House is not willing to impose significant consequences on the Saudi government for its actions.

Given the current state of negotiations with Iran, the Saudi missile program could make an already thorny problem even more difficult.

"A robust Saudi missile program would introduce new challenges to constraining other missile programs in the region. To take just one example, Iran's missiles, which are a major concern to the U.S., would be more difficult to constrain in the future without parallel constraints on a growing Saudi program," Panda told CNN.

'First unambiguous evidence'

New satellite images obtained by CNN indicate the Saudis are already manufacturing ballistic missiles at a site previously constructed with Chinese assistance, according to experts who analyzed the photos and sources who confirmed they reflect advancements that are consistent with the latest US intelligence assessments.

Satellite photos taken by Planet, a commercial imaging company, between October 26 and November 9 show a burn operation occurred at a facility near Dawadmi, Saudi Arabia, according to researchers at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies, who told CNN this is "the first unambiguous evidence that the facility is operating to produce missiles."


New satellite images suggest Saudi Arabia is now producing ballistic missiles at the site. The key piece of evidence is that the facility is operating a burn pit to dispose of solid-propellant leftover from the production of ballistic missiles.


New satellite images suggest Saudi Arabia is now producing ballistic missiles at the site. The key piece of evidence is that the facility is operating a "burn pit" to dispose of solid-propellant leftover from the production of ballistic missiles.

Satellite image captured on November 2 shows the facility is operating a burn pit to dispose of solid-propellant leftover from the production of ballistic missiles.

Satellite image captured on November 2 shows the facility is operating a "burn pit" to dispose of solid-propellant leftover from the production of ballistic missiles.

"The key piece of evidence is that the facility is operating a 'burn pit' to dispose of solid-propellant leftover from the production of ballistic missiles," said Lewis, a weapons expert and professor at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies who reviewed the images.

"Casting rocket motors results in leftover propellant, which is an explosive hazard. Solid-propellant missile production facilities often have burn pits where leftover propellant can be disposed of by burning. Burn operations are, therefore, a strong signature that the facility is actively casting solid rocket motors," he added.


A satellite image captured on November 9 shows the burn pit, which is used to dispose of solid-propellant leftover from the production of ballistic missiles, post-burn cleanup.

A satellite image captured on November 9 shows the "burn pit," which is used to dispose of solid-propellant leftover from the production of ballistic missiles, post-burn cleanup.

Still, little is known about the ballistic missiles that Saudi Arabia is building at this site, including important details like range and payload.

Considering the facility in question was built with Chinese assistance and new intelligence assessments showing Saudi Arabia has recently purchased sensitive ballistic missile technology from China, it is possible that the missiles being produced there are of Chinese design, according to Lewis.

But there is also evidence Saudi Arabia has looked to other countries for help with developing a ballistic missile program in recent years, making it difficult to identify exactly which weapons system the Kingdom is now building at this facility, Lewis noted.


CNN's Natasha Bertrand and Jeremy Herb contributed to this report.



https://www.cnn.com/2021/12/23/politics/saudi-ballistic-missiles-china/index.html
Good we Pakistanis are happy for Saudi Arabia.

Not surprised that Saudi Arabia is looking East instead of relying on USA.
 

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