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Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah left on 1 February for the UK, where he was expected to play a prominent role in the Syria Donors Conference, alongside UK and Norwegian prime ministers David Cameron and Erna Solberg, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

Kuwait
Issue 940 - 07 February 2013

US: Terrorist designation

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The US Department of State has added Saudi national and senior member of Al-Qaeda Ahmed Abdullah Saleh Al-Khazmari Al-Zahrani – better known as Abu Maryam Al-Zahrani – to its list of specially designated global terrorists.

Saudi Arabia
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One of former crown prince Mohammed Bin Nayef (MBN)’s close Ministry of Interior (MoI) colleagues, Dr Saad Al-Jabri, was able to escape to Canada in 2017. Jabri is a respected figure in western intelligence circles, having played a key role in thwarting a 2010 Al-Qaeda plot to blow up passenger aircraft (the terrorists using bombs hidden in printer toner cartridges) and over the years dramatically improving the effectiveness of the kingdom’s intelligence operations against Al-Qaeda.

Saudi Arabia
Issue 860 - 12 September 2009

Reema Bint Bandar’s Student initiative

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Partnership to encourage US students to visit Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia
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Theresa May became the first British prime minister (and, according to her office, the first woman) to attend a Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) Summit, during a two-day trip to Bahrain in early December. The briefing from London was that she was seeking to “open a new chapter” in relations with the Arab Gulf states, which collectively form the UK’s third largest export market. Foreign secretary Boris Johnson took the same journey a few days later to take part in the Manama Dialogue, fresh from his use of characteristically undiplomatic language at a gathering in Rome, where he accused Saudi Arabia of being a “puppeteer” engaging in “proxy wars”

Free

Prince Miteb, Saudi Arabian National Guard (SANG) commander and King Abdullah’s son, was in Qassim just before the start of Ramadan, where he visited a SANG base.

Saudi Arabia
Issue 1007 - 07 January 2016

Bahrain: Naval exercise with Pakistan

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The Bahrain National Guard Special Operation Unit in early January conducted a joint exercise focused on maritime counterterrorism and interdiction operations, with Pakistan’s Special Services Group-Navy (SSG-N). Bahrain National Guard commander Lieutenant General Sheikh Mohammed Bin Isa Al-Khalifa was among the top brass who oversaw the so-called Shaheen Al-Jazeera exercise’s final stage; he highlighted the two countries’ growing – now “model” – military security relationship. The Shaheen Al-Jazeera series of special forces exercises have been regularly conducted since 1997 between SSG-N and the Bahrain Navy’s special forces.

Bahrain
Issue 1065 - 07 September 2018

UAE: Mohammed Bin Zayed’s Cairo visit

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Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and UAE Armed Forces deputy supreme commander Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan (MBZ) travelled to Cairo on 7 August for a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi at the Etihadeya Palace, where they discussed bilateral relations and regional events. Among the delegation travelling with MBZ were minister of state for foreign affairs Anwar Gargash, Supreme Council for National Security deputy secretary-general Ali Bin Hammad Al-Shamsi and chairman of the Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Charitable and Humanitarian Foundation board of trustees Sheikh Nahyan Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan.

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
Issue 1044 - 22 September 2017

UAE: Military ties with Mauritania

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A military delegation visited Mauritania, in the wake of claims that it was pressure from Abu Dhabi that led the government in Nouakchott to side with the GCC-3. Mauritania cut off diplomatic relations with Doha on 6 June. A source told the UK-based Quds Press that “Mauritania has cut its relations with Qatar in response to UAE and not Saudi pressure”.

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

Kuwait
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Former Galfar Engineering and Contracting head Mohammed Ali was released in early June following a Ramadan amnesty-related pardon. Ali was sentenced in 2014 to lengthy jail terms for his part in two high-profile bribery cases, the ramifications of which run on to today. His release, and persistent reports of the authorities’ lax approach to other financial criminals, raise questions about Muscat’s commitment to punishing those convicted in corruption cases.

Oman
Issue 1012 - 01 April 2016

King Salman: Guinean president visits

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King Salman Bin Abdelaziz on 20 March received Guinea’s President Alpha Condé. Princes in attendance included Riyadh governor Prince Faisal Bin Bandar, state minister Prince Mansour Bin Miteb, Saudi Arabian National Guard minister Miteb Bin Abdullah, youth welfare president Prince Abdullah Bin Musaid and royal advisors Dr Abdelaziz Bin Sattam and Prince Khalid Bin Bandar.

Saudi Arabia
Issue 1029 - 17 January 2017

Saudi Arabia: New leader for Saudia

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Ghassan Bin Abdulrahman Al-Shabal has been appointed chairman of Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia), replacing Sulaiman Al-Hamdan, under a royal decree issued on 9 January. The airline’s board will also now include representatives from the Public Investment Fund and the ministries of economy and planning, civil service, and finance.

Saudi Arabia
Issue 1011 - 04 March 2016

Bahrain: Sharif jailed again

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Ibrahim Sharif was sentenced to one year in prison for making a speech calling for reform, Amnesty International said on 24 February. The Sharif news was highlighted as the London-based advocacy group unveiled its annual report. Former National Democratic Action Society (Waad) head Sharif has appeared regularly in court. Governments including the United States have previously raised his case.

Bahrain
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Simpler tactics, softer targets and waves of recruits emerging from US detention have led to a resurgence of Al Qaeda in Iraq, demonstrated by the group’s ability to stage major co-ordinated attacks on an increasingly regular basis

Iraq