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A summit of regional leaders, held in Abu Dhabi on 18 January, appeared to be hastily arranged and did not include representatives from Saudi Arabia or Kuwait. It has nevertheless prompted widespread speculation about what may have been discussed and the meeting’s wider meaning. Such interest reflects its host’s apparently ever increasing prominence in international affairs.

United Arab Emirates (UAE) | Kuwait | Saudi Arabia | Oman | Qatar
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Overshadowed by the events in Kuwait's parliament was a new set of amnesties for 34 critics announced by the Diwan Amiri on 19 January. The majority of those affected were either jailed or convicted in absentia for voicing criticisms of the government. Leading figures in the ruling family appear to have decided they need to do all they can to remain coherent, so they can respond to the opposition from parliament.

Kuwait
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Mixed outlook but oil buoys economy: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) said economic growth was likely to slow down in 2023, after growing by more than 8% in 2022, thanks to higher than expected oil prices.  

Kuwait
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Kuwait Projects Company (Kipco) subsidiary Burgan Bank said on 10 January that it had gained approval from Central Bank of Iraq (CBI) to sell its 51.8% stake in Bank of Baghdad to Amman-based Jordan Kuwait Bank (JKB). The value of the transaction was not revealed, but Burgan said it would help it to avoid a rise in its non-performing loans ratio.

Kuwait | Iraq
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Oman's state energy company OQ signed an agreement with Saudi giant Sabic and Kuwait Petroleum International (KPI) in late December to develop a jointly-owned petrochemicals complex in the special economic zone at Duqm (Sezad).

Kuwait | Saudi Arabia | Oman
Issue 1161 - 14 January 2023

UK hosts 21 Gulf troops

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The United Kingdom government said in December that it was hosting some 21 military personnel from the Gulf for liaison and engagement purposes.

Kuwait | Saudi Arabia | Oman | United Arab Emirates (UAE) | Qatar
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Kuwaiti diplomat Abdullah Abdulsamad Dashti was appointed United Nations Co-ordinator for the Black Sea Grain Initiative. The initiative was launched by Ukraine, Turkey, Russia and the UN to enable exports of grain, foodstuffs and fertiliser from Ukraine via a safe maritime corridor.

Kuwait
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Kuwait's parliament speaker Ahmad Al-Saadoun has adjourned proceedings until 24 January, after two cabinet ministers walked out of the chamber and refused to return. The walkout came after MPs pushed to hold a debate on a draft law which would require the government to repay bank loans owed by citizens.

Kuwait
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Kuwait's Emir Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah returned to Kuwait late December from his latest trip to Italy for medical treatment. It was his fourth trip to Italy in 2022.

Kuwait
Issue 1160 - 15 December 2022

Kuwaiti parliament probes arms deals

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Kuwait’s National Assembly (parliament) agreed on 14 December to look into alleged graft in two controversial defence contracts: a $9bn deal with Leonardo in 2016 to supply 28 Eurofighter Typhoons and a deal to buy 30 Caracal helicopters from Airbus.

Kuwait
Issue 1160 - 14 December 2022

Ailing Kuwait Emir heads back to Italy

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Emir Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah went back to Italy on 12 December, for what was officially termed a “private visit”. It comes just over seven weeks after the emir returned from his last trip to Italy for medical tests and was the fourth time he had travelled to the country in 2022.

Kuwait
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The Kuwaiti government survived its first parliamentary grilling since the 29 September general election, when public works minister Amani Bugammaz was quizzed by member of parliament (MP) Hamdan Al-Azmi on 29 November over alleged conflicts of interest, wasting public money and giving false information to parliament.

Kuwait
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The High Court of Bombay rejected an interim application by Kuwaiti Sheikha Fadiah Saad Al-Abdullah Al-Sabah to evict three Mumbai businessmen from a property in the Indian city in November. The case dates back to 2013, when the Kuwaiti royal family sought to force the men from the Al-Sabah Court apartment block on Marine Drive in the Mumbai and pay compensation.

Kuwait
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Recently-appointed Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC) chief executive Sheikh Nawaf Saud Al-Sabah has reshuffled the senior management of the state-owned group’s main subsidiaries, in the latest sign of change in the country’s energy sector.

Kuwait
Issue 1158 - 16 November 2022

Kuwait adds to rising death penalty use

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Kuwait executed seven people at the Central Prison on the morning of 16 November, including four locals and citizens of Ethiopia, Pakistan and Syria. The Public Prosecution said their various crimes included murder, kidnapping, possession of unlicensed firearms and adultery. It was the largest number of executions since 2017.

Kuwait