Issue 1182 PDF: Kuwait’s elite prepares for succession with pardons and careful handling of parliament

Issue 1182 - 08 Dec 2023

This issue of GSN leads with concerns surrounding succession in Kuwait. As Emir Sheikh Nawaf suffers more medical issues, the leadership is moving to resolve outstanding political tensions with parliamentarians and within the ruling family. 

In a special report, GSN examines Oman’s economic recovery and ambitions since Sultan Haitham Bin Tariq Al-Said took office in 2020. A blend of reforms to tackle a debt bulge, savvy hiring decisions and ambitious green energy plans make for a more positive outlook for the sultanate, even if there remains much more to do. 

The first Iraqi provincial elections in a decade take place later this month. GSN examines the politics, including what the vote means for the Shia/Sunni balance of power and how the Kurds are involved — or not – and, it asks, whether the 2019 Tishreen protestors can still be a potent force.

Also in Iraq, GSN examines the Federal Supreme Court’s decision to remove Mohammed Al-Halbousi as Council of Representatives speaker.

GSN follows up its Gaza coverage by looking at Qatar’s role in diplomatic efforts to reconcile Israel and Hamas – and criticism that Doha may be too close to the Palestinian group. 

Ever louder concerns are being expressed in the UK over UAE Vice President Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan’s bid for the influential Telegraph Media Group. GSN analyses another big soft power play coming from Abu Dhabi.

Artificial Intelligence is another area where recent Gulf expansion has caused discomfort for western powers as the US Committee on Foreign Investment has forced Saudi Aramco backed Prosperity7 Ventures from investing in AI startup Rain Neuromorphics. 

Meanwhile COP28 has begun, with disputes over the UAE leadership apparent scepticism towards global climate reduction targets and a host of investment pledges.

GSN's Risk Management Reports cover Yemen – with an accompanying map showing oil and gas infrastructure, as well as areas of military control – and also regional institutions (including the GCC’s annual summit) and Opec and energy markets. 

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