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The Turkish TB-2 uncrewed aerial vehicle (UAV) already has buyers in the Mena region and by proving its worth in Ukraine is likely to find even more.

Saudi Arabia | Oman | Iraq | Qatar
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A consignment of 52 Iranian-made Dehlavieh anti-tank missiles has been intercepted at the Al-Mazyunah border crossing between Oman and Yemen. The missiles were hidden in a consignment of four electrical generators, which had been rigged to appear fully operational should they have been test-run at the border.

Iran | Yemen | Oman
Free

Amid their growing distance from western powers, Gulf states have continued to try and maintain a neutral stance on the Ukraine crisis. However, a weakened Russia could lead to the GCC powers stepping up their outreach to the pariah state of President Bashar Al-Assad’s Syria. That engagement has been energetically driven by the UAE, whose foreign affairs and international co-operation minister Abdullah Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan visited the Syrian capital in November for talks with Assad.

Iran | Saudi Arabia | Bahrain | Oman | United Arab Emirates (UAE) | Qatar
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GSN Risk Grade: B3↓ Recent developments Ukraine hesitancy: The government said it was watching developments in Ukraine “with deep anxiety”, following a Council of Ministers (cabinet) meeting at Al-Barakah Palace on 3 March chaired by Sultan Haitham.

Oman
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GSN understands that Sultan Haitham Bin Tariq Al-Said’s decision to extend his trip to Germany in February was due to the Omani ruler’s family being captivated by the pleasure of their first stay in a mountain-top villa in Garmisch-Patenkirchen, which the sultan inherited from his cousin Sultan Qaboos Bin Said Al-Said.

Oman
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The invasion of Ukraine by Russian forces was widely expected, but most Gulf states were slow to make any public statements in response as they sought to avoid taking sides between the US – which remains the region’s most important international player for all its reduced enthusiasm for policing the Gulf – and Russia, which is an important ally in setting oil prices, selling military equipment and providing a model of 21st century autocracy. Amid the muted rhetoric, clear differences have appeared between GCC states.

Iran | Kuwait | Saudi Arabia | Bahrain | Yemen | Oman | Qatar
Free

Sultan Haitham Bin Tariq Al-Said returned to Oman from Germany on 27 February, following a private visit.

Oman
Free

Sultan Haitham Bin Tariq Al-Said left on a three-day trip to Germany on 10 February.

Oman
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The Islamic Republic of Iran Navy (Nejada) and Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy (Nedsa) carried out a now annual joint naval exercise with the Russian and Chinese navies in late January.

Iran | Oman
Issue 1140 - 04 February 2022

Oman: Ibri solar plant starts up

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Oman’s largest renewable energy project began operating on 24 January.

Oman
Issue 1140 - 03 February 2022

Syria: Oman foreign minister in Damascus

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President Bashar Al-Assad welcomed foreign minister Badr Hamad Al-Busaidi to Damascus on 31 January, in the latest sign of GCC states’ interest in strengthening ties with the Syrian regime following Assad’s survival through 11 years of a brutal civil war.

Oman
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Political rapprochement between GCC rivals, along with rich pickings from high oil prices and a successful coronavirus vaccine rollout meant the past year has been a relatively benign one for those outside the region’s conflict zones, according to GSN’s annual survey of developments across the region. In this special issue, we present refreshed Risk Management Reports for each of the nine countries in the region (as well as the Kurdistan region and individual UAE emirates) and some big picture analysis to complement GSN’s usual detailed focus on the minutiae of political and business life.

Iran | Kuwait | Saudi Arabia | Bahrain | Yemen | Oman | United Arab Emirates (UAE)
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GSN’s latest Risk Management Report maintains Qatar’s B3 rating but with a negative economic and financial outlook. Oman played an important balancing role in the region during Sultan Qaboos’ reign, and while this role has been less pronounced in Sultan Haitham’s first two years Muscat remains an important diplomatic hub in the GCC. Key meetings with Iranian officials, have underscored Oman’s efforts to enable diplomacy – not least in regard to the Yemen war – and provide a reliable link between Tehran, Houthis and other actors. Relations with Saudi Arabia are warming and strong links with the United Kingdom appear to have persisted.

Oman
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Saudi chief of general staff Fayyad Bin Hamid Al-Ruwaili visited Oman from 2-4 January for talks with senior officials including deputy prime minister for defence affairs Sayyid Shihab Bin Tariq Al-Said and the Sultan’s Armed Forces chief of staff Abdullah Bin Khamis Bin Abdullah Al-Raisi.

Saudi Arabia | Oman
Issue 1139 - 07 January 2022

The Omani top team who met Al-Ruwaili

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During his visit to Oman in early January, Saudi chief of general staff Fayyad Bin Hamid Al-Ruwaili met a number of key officials. Who were they?

Oman