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The issue leads with Iran, where an election campaign is under way whose outcome is likely to hinge on how many apathetic voters can be persuaded to turn out and how many conservative contenders decide to pull out before polling day on 28 June. GSN examines concerns about Saudi Arabia's King Salman health, which were given added momentum when Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman (MBS) stayed away from the G7 summit in Italy. Politics coverage includes a focus on Kuwait, where former prime minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al- Hamad Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah has been named crown prince, becoming the first member of the ruling Al- Sabah family’s Hamad branch to hold the position. Defence and security coverage examines news of a US Air Force Office of Special Investigations inquiry into a planned support services contract at an Iraqi airbase, following allegations over kickbacks and claims of links between a local subcontractor and Iran-backed militias. Wealth watch focuses on Riyadh's latest moves to raises funds for PIF via debt issuance and an Aramco share sale. Energy and industry news includes a look at Abu Dhabi National Oil Company’s decision to buy a 10% stake in Mozambique’s offshore Area 4 concession from Portugal’s Galp. GSN’s latest Qatar Risk management report examines how, since the end of the football World Cup, which shaped economic strategy between 2010 and 2022, the government has turned back to natural gas, while making efforts to promote Doha as a global hub and diplomatic player. Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim and prime minister and foreign minister Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman are the first in a new series of GSN profiles of senior members of Qatar’s ruling Al-Thani family. The GSN View focuses on the clear gulf opening up between Saudi Arabia and the UAE on their approach to artificial intelligence (AI), in light of the intense competition between the United States and China over the development and use of the potentially transformative technology.  

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The issue leads with an examination of how Gulf governments have sought to manage potentially negative impacts of the Gaza conflict. Across the region – notably Oman and Kuwait – consumers have latched on to a boycott of US franchises to express their anger over Israel’s actions, highlighting the potential for a dangerous divide to emerge between leaders and their subjects on the emotive Palestinian issue, which most regimes had come largely to ignore until Hamas launched its October attack. The issue also focuses on Kuwait, where Emir Sheikh Mishaal has suspended the National Assembly for up to four years is an effort to break the gridlock between the elected chamber and the appointed government that has stymied change for so many years.  Critics fear a new period of repression – and some are planning to flee Kuwait. Whether Mishaal can ‘correct the path’ or will be forced to back down may depend on internal dynamics within the ruling Al-Sabah family. Politics coverage also looks at Iraq, where Shia leader Moqtada Al-Sadr has indicated he plans to return to public life, while local parliamentary elections in Iraqi Kurdistan have been delayed. Defence and security coverage lead with Iran, where there are hints at a potential change to its policy of not developing nuclear weapons. Wealth watch includes an examination of a bond prospectus that has shed light on the finances of Abu Dhabi wealth fund ADQ. Energy and industry coverage includes a look at the award of two GH2 projects from Oman’s second auction round, launched in mid-2023. GSN also focuses on regional aviation rivalry. Dubai has revived long-standing plans for a huge expansion of Al-Maktoum International Airport, as the competitive threat from Saudi Arabia’s hugely ambitious aviation strategy becomes more apparent. The Risk Management Report is on Oman.  

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The issue leads with an in-depth look at UAE national security advisor Sheikh Tahnoun Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan's $1trn-plus investment empire. Through its lead article and five linked charts, GSN examines the structure of Tahnoun’s business empire and the identities of those individuals who work most closely with him. Politics coverage also leads with the UAE. GSN presents a new series of profiles of the Al-Nahyan family, including the powerful Bani Fatima brothers – UAE President Mohammed Bin Zayed and sheikhs Hamdan (ruler’s representative in Al-Dhafra region), Hazza (Abu Dhabi deputy ruler), Tahnoun (national security advisor and Abu Dhabi deputy ruler), Mansour (vice president, deputy prime minister and Presidential Court chairman) and Abdullah (foreign minister). GSN's coverage includes a new Al-Nahyan influence chart that focuses on the family relationships that are central to decision-making in Abu Dhabi and the UAE, alongside a second chart focused on all the sons of the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan, including the Bani Fatima brothers. The issue also looks at Kuwait, where elections on 4 April returned a National Assembly that is expected to once again provide resolute opposition to any government. Economy and business coverage focuses on Saudi Arabia, where Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman’s government is reportedly scaling back some of its vastly expensive megaprojects, such as The Line in Neom, in a sign that Riyadh continues to struggle to attract the foreign direct investment it needs for MBS’ Vision 2030 reform agenda. Energy and industry coverage leads with a look at how wealthy Gulf national oil companies are seeking lower-carbon expansion opportunities across Africa.

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The issue leads with an examination of how the Al-Salman gained unparalleled political and economic power in Saudi Arabia. GSN's analysis of key figures in 88-year-old King Salman Bin Abdelaziz’s ruling group shows how power has become concentrated to an unprecedented extent in the monarch’s immediate family and their close aides. GSN's coverage includes a new family tree and influence chart, with linked profiles, which shows an Al-Salman ruling group that could dominate the Saudi polity long after King Salman Bin Abdelaziz’s reign is over. Politics coverage leads with Iran, where  turnout for 1 March parliamentary and Assembly of Experts elections was the lowest since the 1979 revolution. GSN takes a closer look at the power of Iran's clerics and presents new profiles of the key clerics surrounding Ayatollah Ali Hosseini Khamenei. GSN also examines the latest developments from Kuwait, where another election is scheduled for 4 April, following Emir Sheikh Mishaal’s mid-February dismissal of parliament. Most outgoing MPs are seeking re-election and there is little reason to think the fourth poll in four years will do much to solve deep political and economic problems. The Risk Management Report is on Iraqi Kurdistan. The GSN View focuses on how the UAE has set its sights on carving out a leading international role in the fast- developing field of AI.  

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The issue leads with the impact of the four-month-old Gaza conflict between Hamas and Israel, which is steadily spreading around the region, bringing fresh instability to Iraq where the US and Iran-backed militia are engaging in an escalating series of strikes and counter-strikes. GSN examines the Iranian elite, including power-brokers linked to Rahbar (Supreme Leader) Ayatollah Ali Hosseini Khamenei and the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corp, supported by an initial batch of profiles and an influence chart showing how they are connected. Politics coverage includes a focus on Kuwait, where Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed Sabah Al-Salem Al-Sabah has presented his government’s legislative programme to parliament and the wait for a much-anticipated crown prince appointment goes on. Critics inside and outside the National Assembly are likely to make political life difficult for the premier in the coming months. The Diplomatic brief section leads with a look at  the European Union's sanctioning of two UAE-based companies over commercial and military ties to Sudan’s Rapid Support Forces (RSF) and a UN report that says evidence of UAE arms supplies to the rebel RSF are ‘credible’. The issue also includes a new 'Wealth watch' section, covering developments within sovereign wealth funds and other Gulf-based investment plays. A new expanded version of GSN's Risk management reports series- starts with Iraq. The GSN View examines the art of soft power projection by regional heavy-hitters Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

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The issue leads with the response to the Houthis’ campaign against commercial shipping in the Red Sea, with Arab states pushing for Israel to end its bombardment of Gaza while trying to ensure the war doesn’t escalate into a regional conflagration. The issue also focuses on Kuwait, where new Emir Sheikh Mishaal Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah has set a forthright tone to his rule by criticising the government and members of parliament (MPs), and distancing himself from pardons issued under his late predecessor Sheikh Nawaf Emir Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah. GSN also takes a closer look at Sharjah, which is looking to upgrade its infrastructure and increase capacity at its airport with a record budget worth $11bn announced for 2024. The independently-minded emirate has stood out among its UAE peers in its attitude to the Israel-Palestine conflict and much else. GSN's coverage includes a new Al-Qasimi family tree.      

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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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The issue leads with a focus on the role Qatari diplomacy is playing in the conflict between Israel and Hamas. GSN examines the details of events surrounding an agreed four-day truce in Gaza and the key Qatari figures involved in the diplomatic push. GSN also focuses on Yemen, where Omani officials appear confident that, despite international diplomatic attention having largely switched to the Gaza conflict, a peace settlement can be achieved soon between Saudi Arabia and the warring factions in Yemen. Politics coverage include an examination of the latest development in Kuwait, which may be heading for a change in government and yet another election, amid a series of political challenges facing Prime Minister Sheikh Ahmed Al-Nawaf Al-Sabah. Defence and security coverage includes a closer look at the recent Dubai Airshow where, among the 54 deals signed by the UAE government’s Tawazun Council, was an air defence order with the unknown Black Diamond company, which GSN’s research suggests is an Israeli-linked venture created after Abu Dhabi’s Abraham Accord with Israel was concluded. Finance and business coverage includes a look at a joint venture bid between a US-based investment firm and Abu Dhabi’s International Media Investments (IMI) to acquire the UK's Telegraph Media Group (TMG). The GSN View looks at the growing profile of Abu Dhabi's Sheikh Khalid Bin Mohammed Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, who has been trying to cement his status within the political arena and among local citizens since being named crown prince in March. Two Risk Management Reports focus on the UAE (Federation and individual emirates).

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Saudi Arabia takes the lead in trying to find a regional answer to the Gaza conflict, with two summits due to take place in Riyadh in the coming days in a display of the country’s influence and convening power. GSN explores the impact which the conflict has had on the Gulf region and the foreign policy challenges it has presented.  GSN’s defence and security coverage leads with a new airlift the UAE Air Force has launched to Ethiopia. It is unclear what is being sent, but the development is stoking international interest in light of a similar operation from the UAE to Chad in recent months and the UAE’s involvement in other African conflict zones.  This issue of GSN also contains a special report on Ras Al-Khaimah’s economic strategy and how this often-overlooked emirate is pushing the boundaries to try and attract more international investment. GSN offers a short history of the emirate and its ruling Al-Qasimi family, along with an updated family tree. Western sanctions on Russian diamond exports are due to be stepped up soon, offering a fresh opportunity for the Dubai Diamond Exchange, which has grown rapidly in recent years and already claims to be the world’s largest trading hub for rough diamonds. The GSN View delves into this issue, which is yet another example of how some Gulf states have indirectly benefitted from Russia’s ongoing war in Ukraine.  This issue’s maps cover oil and gas infrastructure as well as provincial governance and population sizes for Saudi Arabia and Oman.

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  Governments across the region are trying to ensure the war between Hamas and Israel doesn't escalate beyond their control, with its expansion onto other fronts a particular fear. Meanwhile they are trying to assuage the anger many citizens feel towards Israel’s actions in Gaza. GSN analyses the latest phase of the conflict, its impact on the Gulf monarchies and popular responses across the region. The potential for Iran’s ‘Axis of Resistance’ network to destabilise the wider region has been manifest in attacks on bases hosting US troops in Iraq and Syria by IRGC-backed militias. GSN looks into the attacks and analyses the Axis of Resistance’s membership.  Even before the new Middle East war shattered comfortable assumptions about regional security, the global economic climate remained hostile, as shown in analysis of the International Monetary Fund’s new reports on the global outlook and regional economic performance. GSN takes the temperature of oil, growth and other key economic indicators.  China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy has used a routine rotation of its ships based in Djibouti to double its regional presence, just as the US Navy is preparing to deploy its first aircraft carrier strike group to the region for two years. Among articles in Energy and industry, GSN examines QatarEnergy's new long-term agreements with European partners that could complete its order book for gas from North Field expansion projects. There is also a deep dive into Sheikh Ahmed Dalmook Juma Al-Maktoum and his Blue Carbon company's deals across Africa. Oman’s economic liberalisation drive has produced a record breaking IPO, covered in one of this issue’s Risk management reports. The other RMR covers Kuwait.

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Hamas' 7 October attack on Israel and the potentially unprecedented response places the region at the centre of a new Middle East conflict, upending uncomfortable assumptions about normalisation and the remaking of regional economies. GSN 1,178 analyses the attack and its fallout, and addresses speculation surrounding the involvement of the Iranian regime and how Hamas were able to bypass Israeli defences. Another article analyses the reactions around the GSN region. There is a map showing areas under Israeli control and the Palestinian Authority area, attack sites and the movement of various forces. GSN view focuses on Yemen and the prospects for a sustainable deal between Saudi Arabia and Houthi rebels. GSN looks into pressure on Saudi Arabia to secure peace on its southern border and how Houthi demands might have changed as a response.  Diplomatic brief includes a report on Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Khaled Bin Mohammed’s visit to Serbia and Albania. This issue’s Defence and security section outlines Iranian intentions to establish a military base in Antarctica among other recent military initiatives. Accusations have been levied towards the UAE for supplying weapons to Hemet’s forces in Sudan under the guise of a Chad field hospital. GSN explores the validity of these claims, taking account of evidenced construction in the area, diplomatic relationships and sounding out a range of sources.  There are Risk management reports looking at recent developments in Iraq and Iraqi Kurdistan.

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Issue 1,177 leads with the complex relationship between Saudi Arabia and Israel, amid speculation fuelled by key decision-makers that an unprecedented normalisation deal might be in the works. Alongside this major diplomatic initiative are plans to develop a regional corridor that could tie the former belligerents closer together. GSN examines the India-Europe trade corridor plan, launched at the early September G20 summit, which could be developed as a counter to rival schemes that have Iranian, Iraqi, Russian and Turkish backing.  Several regional disputes are discussed in GSN’s Politics section, including analysis of the Iraqi Constitutional Court’s intervention over a waterway shared with Kuwait. Iran, meanwhile, is concerned about Azerbaijan’s conflict with Armenia and fears for its own borders. Tensions around Kurdish communities are also analysed. Kuwaiti politics and society are increasingly dominated by conservative religious and tribal factions after Islamists and Salafists made progress in recent National Assembly elections. GSN outlines the move towards gender segregation and other policies that depart from Kuwait’s traditional constitutional values and asks how the Al-Sabah leadership has reacted. GSN’s Energy and Industry section reports the success of the Saudi/Russian Opec+ alliance, which has pushed crude prices above $90 per barrel – a level that could be sustained through 2024.

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Issue 1,176 leads on Kuwait’s fragile political system and economy, as medical shortages point to a longer-term deterioration of public services, amid a liquidity crisis the government is finding hard to tackle, despite high oil prices. The Politics section includes a focus on conflict in Iraqi Kurdistan, where four people have died in Kirkuk. GSN considers the prospects for further unrest as local elections approach. GSN view focuses on the UAE’s new federal gambling regulator, whose creation points to recent taboo-busting practices that some Gulf states have made an important elements of their economic diversification strategies. Saudi attempts to shake dependence on oil revenues have borne some fruit, according to the IMF’s new Article IV report, but hydrocarbons still dominate the kingdom’s economic fortunes. GSN breaks this down with analysis of macro trends and oil output, with graphics on a number of economic indicators. GSN’s Energy and industry section follows controversies surrounding Brooge Energy’s operations in Fujairah, as two chief executives have stepped down, while filings are delayed and auditors have made accusations of "illegal practices".

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The formal invitation for Iran, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and a few others to join the Brics group is analysed in depth, not least as a further sign of China’s growing international influence and of wider shifting global alignments. A turbocharged Brics has been seen as a boost to the trend of ‘dedollarising’ international trade and fits into a wider pattern of so-called middle powers trying to find a balance in their relations between the world’s established and emerging superpowers. In a special report GSN also analyses Qatar's power dynamics and international relations, as Emir Sheikh Tamim’s rule enters its second decade. Among other issues in Politics are the demands of more than 800 inmates in Bahrain's Jau Central Prison who are undertaking hunger strikes. As the Iranian authorities prepare for the first anniversary of Mahsa Amini’s death, GSN view analyses efforts to prevent a revival of the “Women, Life, Freedom” protests. Fresh measures are being prepared to enforce the hijab, which are likely to prove divisive and could be a key issue in the parliamentary election scheduled for March 2024. In Finance and business, younger Saudi royals are moving beyond the family’s traditional leisure pursuits to take up senior positions in bodies overseeing everything from motorsport to triathlons and diving. This feeds into Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman’s economic and social diversification drive, but has largely gone unnoticed against a backdrop of the state’s headline-grabbing investments in international golf and recruitment of football megastars.

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Turkish relations with the Kurdistan Region of Iraq are a focus for GSN 1,174, as the Kurdistan Regional Government attempts to secure workable energy, economic and security relations – and especially to reopen the Iraq-Turkey Crude Oil Pipeline – while President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is expected in Baghdad. The UK's tightening of sanctions on the Iranian regime is put under a critical spotlight, as GSN presents London's new measures and complaints they don't go far enough. Meanwhile, Iran's deal with Russia to obtain combat aircraft seems to have come unstuck – just at a moment when the United States is building up its forces in the Gulf back to pre-Trump levels.  GSN explores the Saudi Public Investment Fund's deal with the US PGA Tour, giving details of the controversial deal and the people instrumental in making it, while GSN view argues the PIF-led economy is not performing to the hoped-for Vision 2030 levels.Energy and Industry leads with GSN’s continued coverage on connections between the UAE and African resources industries – including mining in Democratic Republic of Congo, where state minister for foreign affairs Sheikh Shakhbut Bin Nahyan Al-Nahyan has been promoting Emirati ambitions on the continent.  This issue’s Risk Management Reports are Qatar – with an accompanying map – and Saudi Arabia, where the lacklustre economic performance also discussed in GSN view  is a longer-term concern, but is insufficient to give Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman any immediate political worries. Indeed, his ruthless approach to opposition means that, for now, MBS gets an RMR political risk upgrade.