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Issue 853 - 16 May 2009

GSN interview with Al-Baydh

Subscriber

Southern Movement chief sets out his agenda

Yemen
Subscriber

Engagement without marriage: Beltway pessimistic as Obama's team prepares to tackle Iran

Iran
Free

Saudi Arabia, after all, is to house the planned Gulf Co-operation Council central bank. Following the 11th GCC consultative summit, held in the Kingdom on 5 May, the GCC’s outgoing secretary-general Abdelrahman Al-Attiyah announced that Riyadh would be the new joint monetary council’s base; this institution will eventually evolve into the GCC central bank.

United Arab Emirates (UAE) | Kuwait | Saudi Arabia
Issue 853 - 16 May 2009

ISSA BIN ZAYED: Under house arrest

Subscriber

The Abu Dhabi authorities have said that Sheikh Issa Bin Zayed Al-Nahayan – the figure at the centre of the torture tapes scandal that has made headlines worldwide (GSN 852/20) – has been detained in a criminal investigation.

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
Subscriber

Heritage Oil Corporation’s announcement on 6 May of a discovery in the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) zone, with oil in place of between 2.3 bbls and 4.2bn bbls, eloquently demonstrated why international oil companies (IOCs) from minnows to supermajors are prepared to take huge risks to participate in Iraq’s hydrocarbons sector.

Iraq
Subscriber

As it focuses on what many in Washington view as Iran’s uncomfortable rise up the international pecking order, US analysts are reappraising old ideas about detaching Syria from the so-called Shia Crescent linking Iran and Hizbollah in Lebanon. This so-called ‘Wedge Theory’ argued that a strategic deal with Syria, most likely involving peace with Israel and international rehabilitation, could be used to induce Damascus to end its strategic alliance with Iran and cut off one avenue of support for Hizbollah and Hamas.

Iran | Syria | Lebanon
Issue 853 - 16 May 2009

Somalia fractured politics

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Policy-makers are looking at Somalia’s politics to tackle the root causes of the problem, in a fractured state where there have been 15 attempts to create a viable national government since the 1992 overthrow of late dictator Siad Barre. 

Somalia
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Successful new sovereign bond issues by Qatar and Abu Dhabi have improved the sentiment toward the region, even though impacts of the global recession continue to be felt – not least in the credit profile of Gulf banks, which will deteriorate this year amid tighter liquidity and slumping stock markets, as Standard & Poor’s predicted recently.

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France is opening its much-anticipated first permanent military base in the Gulf later this month, in Abu Dhabi, signalling its long-term strategic commitment to the region as well as further reinforcing an already close bilateral relationship.

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
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The collapse of energy export revenues is piling further pressure on President Ali Abdullah Saleh as the tribal and post-socialist wings of the southern campaign unite around a figurehead, Ali Salem Al-Baydh, who talked exclusively to GSN about the evolving crisis.

Yemen
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The Middle East markets have felt the global recession, including a project finance market that was until last year the world’s strongest. International financial institutions (IFIs) are playing a role in helping to keep the wheels of commerce turning. There was a strong signal of returning confidence when on 24 April the sponsors of

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
Subscriber

The $2.6bn of commercial bank commitments for the Dolphin refinancing included some very large chunks of single bank finance,

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
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AIM-listed Gulfsands Petroleum seems well positioned to capitalise on Syria and Iraq’s political re-awakenings. Listed on London’s Alternative Investment Market, Mayfair-based Gulfsands Petroleum’s share prise rose by 2.7% on 24 April to £2.02 on news that its Khurbet East Field on Block 26 in Syria was larger than expected.

Iraq | Syria
Issue 852 - 02 May 2009

Major IOCs downsize

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With the government still in limbo, and the financial crisis putting pressure on everyone, it comes as no surprise that major international oil companies are withdrawing staff and nearing ‘the end of their tether’ with Kuwait’s energy project delays, which in recent months has seen the cancellation

Kuwait
Subscriber

With an election looming, and continued Shia and Kurdish opposition, Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki’s efforts to bring Sunnis into the political fold are proving difficult and costly. Sunnis are complaining that Baghdad is inconsistent, and at times unfair, in its approach to Awakening and Sons of Iraq groups across the country

Iraq