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The exchange of envoys finally comes after Manama and Doha agreed in April 2023 to fully restore diplomatic relations, ending a schism that started in 2017 with the boycott of Doha by Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

Bahrain | Qatar
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The 615,000 b/d Al-Zour refinery has come online more than a decade later than planned, following numerous delays caused by the retendering of contracts, construction issues and parliamentary investigation.

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Saudia placed an order for 105 Airbus planes during the Future Aviation Forum in Riyadh, where local conglomerate AHQ Group signed an MoU with Brazil’s Embraer to review the potential launch of a new airline in the region.

Saudi Arabia
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PTT Exploration and Production has bought its 10% stake in the offshore concession from Germany’s Wintershall Dea, which now plans to close all its operations in the UAE.

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
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Faisal Bin Saud Al-Mujfel has been named as Saudi Arabia’s envoy to Damascus as formal diplomatic ties are slowly restored, but wider relations with GCC countries continue to be undermined by the flow of illegal drugs to the Gulf from regime-held areas in Syria.

Saudi Arabia | United Arab Emirates (UAE) | Qatar
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Stockholm has released former public prosecutor Hamid Nouri, who was sentenced to life in prison by a Swedish court in July 2022 for his role in the mass execution and torture of political prisoners in Iran.

Iran
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Despite a $10m US bounty on his head, Sirajuddin Haqqani held talks with UAE President Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan in Abu Dhabi during what is believed to be the Afghan interior minister’s first trip abroad since the Taliban seized control in 2021.

United Arab Emirates (UAE) | Qatar
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Abu Dhabi Deputy Ruler Sheikh Tahnoun Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan held talks with US national security advisor Jake Sullivan and former president Barack Obama in Washington on 5 June, before travelling to Seattle to meet senior Microsoft figures.

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
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The recently-appointed Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah held talks in Jeddah on 11 June with his Saudi counterpart Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, in the latest of a wave of bilateral meetings involving senior figures from the neighbouring countries.

Kuwait | Saudi Arabia
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Former Supreme National Security Council secretary Ali Shamkhani may once more be in charge of indirect talks with the US over the nuclear file, with Oman acting as the key intermediary.

Iran | Oman | Qatar
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Iraqi Kurdistan could finally go to the polls in September after the Kurdistan Democratic Party reportedly lifted its boycott of the regional parliamentary election.

Iraq
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Assets under management at Oman’s sovereign wealth fund increased to $50bn by end-2023, on the back of an improved rate of return on OIA’s investments.

Oman
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Riyadh has continued to tap a range of sources of finance to support investments in the domestic economy, with Aramco shares worth $11bn being sold and the Public Investment Fund issuing $830m in debt, pushing the PIF’s total debt burden close to $40bn.

Saudi Arabia
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An arbitration hearing between the English Premier League and championship-winning football club Manchester City FC is due to start on 10 June over a policy designed to prevent clubs signing artificially inflated commercial deals with companies linked to their owners. It is only one element in a complicated saga surrounding Abu Dhabi’s financing of a prized soft power asset.

United Arab Emirates (UAE)