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US President Joe Biden’s imminent trip to the Middle East has prompted renewed discussion about the idea of a region-wide defence pact to counter Iran. Such ideas have long been floated for the GCC states alone – and always failed due to a lack of commitment among the six countries to pool their defence resources and command-and-control structures. The talk these days is of an even wider arrangement, involving the likes of Egypt, Iraq, Jordan and Israel.

Israel | Kuwait | Saudi Arabia | Bahrain | Oman | United Arab Emirates (UAE) | Qatar
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Bahrain’s King Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa received Bahraini-Russian Friendship and Business Society chairman George Al-Zuraikat and vice chairman Anatoly Mitrochin at Safriya Palace in Manama.

Bahrain
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Bahrain’s Sheikh Nasser Bin Hamad Al-Khalifa won a 160km endurance horse race at Šamorín, Slovakia.

Bahrain
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Bahrain’s King Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa issued a royal order to set up a Military Institution for the Development of Warfare Industries, as Bahrain takes further steps to develop its own military manufacturing sector, following the lead of the UAE and Saudi Arabia in the region.

Bahrain
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Leaders from across the Arab Gulf states and Egypt have been travelling around the region to heal fractures and head off the perceived threat from Iran’s nuclear ambitions, amid speculation that more GCC member states could move towards normalisation with Israel when US President Joe Biden comes to the region.

Iran | Kuwait | Saudi Arabia | Jordan | Bahrain | United Arab Emirates (UAE) | Iraq | Qatar
Subscriber

Yemen’s Presidential Leadership Council chairman Rashad Al-Alimi has also been on a regional tour - visiting Bahrain, Egypt, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Qatar - as a recently-extended truce with the Houthi rebels continues to hold.

Kuwait | Saudi Arabia | Bahrain | Yemen | Qatar
Issue 1150 - 30 June 2022

Gulf funds flex oil-fuelled muscle

Subscriber

Gulf sovereign wealth funds (SWFs) are flexing their muscles again, with logistics now a key focus. While high oil prices have bolstered Gulf funds, their recovery began before prices shot up this year.

Kuwait | Saudi Arabia | Bahrain | United Arab Emirates (UAE) | Qatar
Subscriber

Gulf Co-operation Council countries continue to develop their links with Moscow, in the face of concerted pressure by western governments to loosen the ties.

Saudi Arabia | Bahrain | United Arab Emirates (UAE)
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Former Bahraini ministers who lost out in a wide-ranging government reshuffle, including several members of the ruling Al-Khalifa family, have been appointed to new roles, in a series of royal orders issued by King Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa.

Bahrain
Subscriber

Gulf Co-operation Council countries formally launched the process to negotiate a free trade agreement (FTA) with the UK. The GCC is the UK’s seventh largest export market.

Kuwait | Saudi Arabia | Bahrain | Oman | United Arab Emirates (UAE) | Qatar
Subscriber

The United States is reportedly drawing up plans for a defence co-operation agreement between Israel and the six Gulf Co-operation Council states, as well as Egypt, Jordan and Iraq, to counter the perceived threat from Iran.

Bahrain | United Arab Emirates (UAE) | Israel | Iran | Kuwait | Saudi Arabia | Oman | Qatar
Subscriber

King Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa made 17 new cabinet appointments on 13 June, although most of the more influential government posts were untouched. Mohammed Bin Mubarak Bin Dainah becomes oil and environment minister, while Sheikh Khalid Bin Abdulla Al-Khalifa was named deputy prime minister and infrastructure minister; new tourism minister Fatima Bint Jaafer Al-Sairafi is one of four women in the 25-strong cabinet.

Bahrain
Subscriber

Sheikh Salman Bin Ibrahim Al-Khalifa is to seek a third term as Asian Football Confederation (AFC) president when the post comes up for election in February 2023.

Bahrain
Subscriber

The organisers of the Martin Ennals Award – one of the most prestigious in the human rights field – noted Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja's long history of protesting against unlawful detention and torture in Bahrain and his criticism of corruption.

Bahrain
Subscriber

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi’s recent visit to Muscat was accompanied by a flurry of announcements hailing their “centuries-old” friendship (as the Iranian leader put it), but with differing expectations over what benefits might be expected from a boost in relations.

Iran | Bahrain