Gulf countries braced for Syrian blowback and sectarian divides

The Gulf countries that have led international support for the campaign to topple the government of Bashir Al-Assad face a number of negative consequences as the bloody civil war drags on, with the increasing likelihood that the Baathist regime or...

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Anbar voters disenfranchised and leading Sunni candidates barred in Iraq’s elections

Clashes between the Iraqi army and Sunni insurgents in the Sunni majority province of Anbar over the past three months mean that voting cannot take place in many localities on 30 April. On 1 April, Iraq’s Independent High Electoral Commission...

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Security deteriorating in southern Yemen

Security is deteriorating in the southern province of Lahij, which stretches from Bab Al-Mandab almost to the port of Aden. Southern Movement (Al-Hirak) activists in Aden tell GSN that Lahij is rapidly falling into lawlessness as conflict increases...

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Rising oil exports give Iran taste of potential gains

The latest round of talks between Iran and the P5+1– that is China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States, led by European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton – took place in Vienna on 8-9 April, and when the...

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Saudi Arabia: Tuwaijri tweets

The powerful – and usually behind-the-scenes – head of Saudi Arabia’s royal court, Khalid Bin Abdelaziz Al-Tuwaijri, has started using Twitter. The private secretary to King Abdullah Bin Abdelaziz Al-Saud has had a dormant account since 2012;...

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Saudi Arabia: Prince Bandar replaced

Saudi Arabian intelligence chief Prince Bandar Bin Sultan has been removed from his post and will be replaced by his deputy, state news agency SPA said on 15 April. “Prince Bandar was relieved of his post at his own request and General Youssef...

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A selection of free articles from GSN's extensive database

Ten years after the Iraq invasion, the GSN 2003 archive opens to general readership

To mark the tenth anniversary of the US-led invasion of Iraq, and to give wider public access to some of our reporting and analysis, GSN has unlocked the archive of its newsletters published in 2003 (accessible at The invasion was hardly a surprise; US determination to depose Saddam Hussein had been clear for months, but too little thought went into its repercussions. Few of those behind the invasion saw the potential for the turbulence it unleashed. A reading of pre-2003 GSN shows just how inevitable conflict was. ‘Global terrorism’ was high on the agenda as the George W Bush administration came to power.

Issue 942 - 5 March 2013

Concerns over democracy and human rights

The mood of crisis in Gulf affairs, with decisions on a war against Iraq perhaps just weeks away, is proving a delicate test for the West’s readiness to promote a democracy and human rights agenda.

Issue 697 - 7 November 2002

Peninsula Shield and Abu Musa

Defence ministers of the GCC states, meeting in Kuwait, endorsed an earlier proposal by Oman that the Peninsula Shield joint defence force be increased tenfold to 100,000 men. Currently the Peninsula Shield force, based at Hafr Al-Batin in north-eastern Saudi Arabia, has a strength of about 10,000 men.

Issue 450 - 30 November 1992

Iran, Iraq and Baghdad’s troubled finances

Iraq’s financial situation is far from satisfactory. The Gulf states and Saudi Arabia have provided the country with something like $30bn but there are some signs of a growing reluctance to lend any more.

Issue 200 - 28 November 1982

Loves me, loves me not: Ten years of the Qatar/Bahrain causeway

This week’s story on Qatar and Bahrain notes that plans for a causeway linking the two countries remain dead in the water, despite hopes they might be revived before the 2022 soccer World Cup.

Issue 933 - 11 October 2012

It is how weapons are used, not where they come from, that counts

Sweden’s defence minister quit last week after outcry at government plans to help Saudi Arabia build a weapons plant. Swedish outrage at the idea of signing military agreements with undemocratic countries is admirable; British and US newspapers have also recently decried massive arms deals to the Gulf. But arguably, the provenance of weapons – while important to the domestic politics of source countries – is only a sideshow.

Issue 921 - 5 April 2012

Growing tensions with Baghdad over oil law, Hashemi

long- standing political tensions between the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and Baghdad have escalated in recent months, putting the Kurds at the centre of Iraqi politics: issues at stake include the presence on Kurdish soil of fugitive vice president Tariq Al-Hashemi, wanted by Baghdad, and a dispute over oil contracts which shows no signs of resolution.

Issue 919 - 8 March 2012

Saleh accepts UN resolution, but escalating unrest continues to claim lives

Embattled President Ali Abdullah Saleh has accepted the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolution 2014 of 24 October condemning the country’s violence on all sides and demanded a political transition.

Issue 911 - 28 October 2011

Senior Al-Saud still absent abroad, huge 2011 budget announced

Four senior royals (King Abdullah, interior minister and second deputy premier Nayef, Riyadh governor Prince Salman and Crown Prince Sultan) have long-standing health problems, highlighted by their various absences from Saudi Arabia in the past two years.

Issue 892 - 17 January 2011

Some signs of economic recovery in Dubai, but yet more debt is revealed

Dubai Group, a subsidiary of Dubai Holding, has revealed $4bn of debt in addition to the $6bn already declared. The group is now looking to restructure all $10bn, of which the original $6bn is owed to banks and $4bn made up of inter-company loans.

Issue 899 - 29 April 2011

CROWN PRINCE SALMAN: High public profile

Crown Prince Salman Bin Hamad Al-Khalifa has been seen in several western capitals (including London in May and Washington in June) over the past few months, but has also been travelling at home.

Issue 906 - 5 August 2011

Critics attack ‘regressive’ Saudi press law

Amendments criticised for undoing all the gains in freedom of expression made under King Abdullah. The Kingdom has amended its Press and Publications Law of November 2000.

Issue 902 - 10 June 2011

Iraqiya suspends talks until demands are met

Iraqiya leader Ayad Allawi’s decision to suspend talks with prime minister Nouri Al-Maliki until demands on reform are met is the biggest threat to Iraq’s political stability since the current government was formed

Issue 902 - 10 June 2011

Emir reappoints prime minister despite opposition

Emir reappoints prime minister despite opposition, Nigerian kingpin released, Rafsanjani son accused of cheating, Al-Attiyah in line for Arab League job

Issue 898 - 8 April 2011

Criminal charges for executives in Gosaibi-Sanea debt row

Ahmed Hamad Al-Gosaibi and Brothers (AHAB) is suing the former chief executive of Bahrain-based The International Banking Corporation (TIBC) for allegedly defrauding the company of $9.2bn

Issue 898 - 8 April 2011

Sheikh Saud appoints heir

Ruler Sheikh Saud Bin Saqr Al-Qasimi has issued an emiri decree (23/2010) appointing his son Sheikh Mohammed as crown prince

Issue 891 - 10 December 2010

HBJ Lebanon talks; , Sheikh Tamim Singapore meetings

Foreign minister and premier Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassim Bin Jabr Al-Thani travelled to Lebanon on 22 November. Heir apparent Sheikh Tamim has been in Singapore for high-level meetings.

Issue 890 - 26 November 2010

No sign of an official retreat from the Bahraini crackdown

King Hamad shows no sign of relaxing a security campaign that seems intended to squeeze opposition outside parliament and depress voter turnout in support of opponents within the constitutional framework, when legislative elections are held on 23 October

Issue 885 - 17 September 2010

SAUDI ARABIA: King Abdullah, Faisal Bin Abdullah, Khalid Bin Sultan, Mohammed Bin Nawwaf

Sarko meeting; SEC reshuffle; Swine flu; Yemen crisis, foreign meetings; Term extended

Issue 865 - 20 November 2009

Sheikh Ahmed dies

Sheikh Ahmed Bin Juma Al-Maktoum died on 23 March

Issue 850 - 27 March 2009

King Abdullah, CP Sultan, Princes, Princess Adila

King Abdullah: Reaching out in the United States, CP Sultan: Meets Orange prince, Bahraini King, Princes: Marriages, travel, Princes Adila: Healthcare

Issue 841 - 21 November 2008

QP seeks increased role

Qatar will start supplying Dubai with liquefied natural gas in 2011, once the Qatargas 4 project is completed, Qatar Petroleum (QP) gas development manager Khalid Mohammed Al-Hitmi told GSN. Qatargas 4 is a joint venture between

Issue 888 - 29 October 2010

From tense Basra and Baghdad to ‘relaxed’ Anbar: Iraq’s security outlook as US withdrawal looms

With the 31 August deadline looming for the withdrawal of US combat forces in Iraq, GSN has visited locations across the country to conduct a wide-ranging assessment of the security situation and the likely impact of withdrawal. We asked what the drawdown would mean on the ground and whether the Iraqi Security Forces will cope.

Issue 881 - 16 July 2010

Pressure builds for F-22 sales to Gulf

If Iran acquires an advanced, ‘double-digit’ surface-to-air missile (SAM) from Russia or China, the only aircraft capable of operating safely within its airspace would be the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor.

Issue 876 - 7 May 2010

Yemen-based networks take fight to the Kingdom

Yemeni-based militants constitute one external threat to expatriates. Indeed, the prospect of establishing bases in Yemen has been mentioned prominently in militant communiqués and in Saudi government statements since 2006.

Issue 839 - 24 October 2008

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Licensed oil and gas blocks in the United Arab Emirates

Published in May 2013, this map provides an overview of licensed blocks in UAE both onshore and offshore. The location of oil and gas fields and associated existing and planned pipeline, refineries, processing facilities and tanker terminals are shown.

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Power generation plans in Saudi Arabia

Published in February 2013, this file groups together a series of graphics showing Saudi Arabia's energy comsumption mix, electricity generation capacity gap, and 2032 generation targets.

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GSN View

Bahrain Grand Prix outmanoeuvres political resistance

In 2011, political unrest forced the cancellation of the Bahrain Grand Prix and, each year since, those campaigning for...

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Could repression of Brotherhood work in Qatar’s favour?

The non-executive chairman of the Qatar Investment Fund, Nick Wilson, published an op-ed in Arabian Business on 12 March in...

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Saudi-US relations: from mutual affection to marriage of convenience

The last time US President Barack Obama met King Abdullah Bin Abdelaziz in Saudi Arabia, he was on his way to Cairo to...

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6-7 May

MENASOL 2014 (Middle East & North Africa Solar Conference & Expo), Dubai

18-20 May

Iraq Future Energy 2014, Jordan

27-30 May

Global Anti-Corruption & Compliance in Mining, London

17-19 June

Iraq Petroleum, London

23-25 June

Iran Oil & Gas 2014 Summit, Dubai

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