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Issue 1159 - 01 December 2022

Qatar: $1bn US anti-drone missile deal

Free

The United States has approved a request from Doha to buy a $1bn anti-drone system. The approval, announced on 29 November by the US State Department, covers ten anti-drone systems from defence companies Raytheon and Northrop Grumman, including 200 Coyote Block 2 interceptors, launch systems, radars, and other related equipment.

Qatar
Issue 1157 - 03 November 2022

Iran's Soleimani gone but not forgotten

Free

That the legendary late head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corp’s Quds Force, Qassim Soleimani, has not been forgotten following his January 2020 assassination by the United States was underlined by a 2 November tweet on Iranian Rahbar (Supreme Leader) Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s Twitter account.

Iran
Issue 1157 - 04 November 2022

Indian Orthodox Church leader visits Manama

Free

Manama continues to make efforts to enhance its credentials for freedom of religion, with King Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa holding talks with the Indian Orthodox Church supreme leader Pope Moran Mar Baselios Marthoma Mathews III at Al-Safriya Palace.

Bahrain
Free

Qatar’s Municipal elections came and went in mid-March attracting a lot of international attention, generating some excitement within the country and laying down an important, if undramatic, landmark in the progress of political reform in the Gulf. The participation of women as voters and candidates was the critical issue.As one might expect, bearing in mind the small numbers of voters and candidates, the elections ran smoothly and the turnout of registered voters was high; some 90-95% in Doha and 60-75% in rural areas.

Qatar
Free

Ambassador Hunina Al-Mughairy has stepped down after almost 15 years in the United States. Al-Mughairy took up the post in December 2005, having previously worked as the representative of the Omani Center for Investment Promotion and Export Development in New York.

Oman
Free

Emirati Sheikh Hazza Bin Sultan Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan has joined cryptocurrency venture IslamicCoin as a member of its advisory board. Hazza joins four other UAE royals who make up the current advisory board.

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
Free

Sheikh Arhama Bin Saud Bin Khaled Al-Qasimi has been named director of the office of Ras Al-Khaimah Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed Bin Saud Bin Saqr Al-Qasimi. Arhama had previously served as director of the crown prince’s media office.

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
Free

The Industrialisation and Energy Service Company ("TAQA") announced the closure of its 100% acquisition of Al Mansoori Petroleum Services ("AMPS"), expanding TAQA's Well Solutions business internationally.

Saudi Arabia
Free

Saudi Princess Lamia Bint Majed Bin Saud was reappointed as a goodwill ambassador to the Arab world for the UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) late February, for a second term (she was first appointed in 2020).

Saudi Arabia
Free

In contrast to the UAE’s public withdrawal from Yemen – where Emirati military forces formally pulled out last October, although it has retained a less widely publicised presence, notably on the islands of Socotra and Mayyun – Oman has steadily increased its influence in the worn-torn state.

Yemen | Oman | United Arab Emirates (UAE)
Free

The resignation of Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Sabah’s government has been formally accepted by Crown Prince Sheikh Mishaal Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah.

Kuwait
Free

Despite all his efforts to project a more modern, tolerant and less corrupt image of Saudi royalty, unhelpful stories continue to buzz around Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman (MBS), in the process undermining his hopes of recasting the image of his country and its ruling dynasty. In the days leading up to his protracted visit to the United States, which began on 20 March, stories broke in the international media which take at least some of the sheen off his carefully-curated reformist image.

Saudi Arabia
Free

 There is mounting evidence of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman (MBS)’s recent appreciation of diplomatic endeavours, which is apparent in the revelations of talks with Iran in Baghdad (GSN 1,124/17), renewed attempts to secure a peace deal in Yemen, signs of a reset of relations with Syria and Turkey and the Al-Ula agreement in January, which ended the Qatar boycott.

Saudi Arabia
Free

Dean Dilley’s firm Waltham has been retained (at $55,000/month) by the Qatar Embassy in Washington to provide legal counsel. This follows the embassy on 12 December dropping its longstanding relationship with Squire Patton Boggs (SPG), where Dilley also works. No reason was given for SPG’s dismissal; it has been a top law firm for the Qatari leadership since Father Emir Sheikh Hamad took over – playing a big role in tracking down funds taken abroad by his father Sheikh Khalifa after he was deposed in June 1995.

Qatar
Free

While America and Europe continue to present a united front in response to Russia’s war in Ukraine, the UAE’s more ambivalent stance continues to cause concern in western capitals – and has the potential to undermine, or at least complicate, the country’s diplomatic and commercial relations with the United States and its allies.

United Arab Emirates (UAE)