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In a major coup for Qatar, Doha has been credited with brokering a four-day truce in Gaza, which was due to come into effect as GSN was going to press, in a deal where Hamas would start freeing its 7 October hostages while Israel releases Palestinian prisoners from its jails. There is still a huge amount of work to do by international partners if a wider peace settlement is to be achieved, but what is clear is that Qatari actors have emerged as international players after years of effort to position Doha as a deal-broker that can be all things to all men.

Israel | Palestine | Qatar
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Kuwait may be heading for a change in government and yet another general election, with a series of political challenges facing the government of Prime Minister Sheikh Ahmed Al-Nawaf Al-Sabah – who, GSN understands, is in any case losing interest in the job.

Kuwait
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Plans to build the 'Friendship Bridge' between Bahrain and Qatar have been revived, during a visit by Qatari foreign affairs minister and Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman Bin Jassim Al-Thani to Manama in November.

Bahrain | Qatar
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The Riyadh-based Hevolution Foundation, set up in 2018 and now jointly run by Princess Haya Bint Khalid Bin Bandar Al-Saud and former Mayo Clinic endocrinologist Mehmood Khan, is due to hold its inaugural Global Healthspan Summit in late November. The event will focus on extending healthy years of life and announce investments in the sector. 

Saudi Arabia
Issue 1181 - 24 November 2023

Key figures in Qatar's diplomatic push

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While Qatar has not signed up to the Abraham Accords to normalise ties with Israel, it has developed a viable working relationship with the Israeli government over recent years, particularly in regard to funding and other aid to Hamas-run Gaza.

Qatar
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Emirati Sheikh Rashid Bin Ahmed Al-Maktoum and his British wife Natalie Lankester announced they were expecting a third child. Rashid Bin Ahmed is a professional show jumper, while his wife represents the UAE in dressage competitions; together they run the DXB Horses team. 

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
Free

Qatar Foundation (QF) chair Sheikha Moza Bint Nasser led a roundtable discussion in Doha in November to review the humanitarian situation in Gaza and ways to provide support to Palestinians.

Palestine | Qatar
Issue 1181 - 23 November 2023

Dubai's Hamdan Bin Mohammed: AI competition

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Dubai Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al-Maktoum launched a generative artificial intelligence (AI) competition in early November, with prizes of AED1m ($272,000) available for winners of the Global Prompt Engineering Championship.

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
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Prominent Saudi businessman Sheikh Mohammed Bin Issa Al-Jaber has lost a long-running case against the founders of Al-Arabiya television channel over a disputed $30m payment. 

Saudi Arabia
Issue 1181 - 21 November 2023

Oman hopeful a Yemen peace deal is imminent

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Omani officials appear confident that, despite international diplomatic attention having largely switched to the Gaza conflict, a peace settlement can be achieved soon between the warring factions in Yemen and Saudi Arabia, with all parties now appearing to recognise that ending the civil war is in their overwhelming political interest.

Saudi Arabia | Yemen | Oman
Issue 1181 - 21 November 2023

EBRD: Baghdad joins development bank

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Iraq joined the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) in November, taking the London-based multilateral's number of shareholders to 74. Joining the bank means Baghdad will be able to apply for financial and policy support from the EBRD.

Iraq
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Leaders from the 15-strong Caribbean Community (Caricom) arrived in Riyadh mid-November for the first Saudi-Caricom summit.  Separately, Saudi ambassador to the UN Abdelaziz Bin Mohammed Al-Wasel signed protocols to establish diplomatic relations with Micronesia and Nauru. 

Saudi Arabia
Free

Hussein Ali Saleh Al-Fadala has taken up his position as Qatar's first consul general in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. Qatar opened its consulate in Erbil during the summer.

Iraq | Qatar
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Omani officials told GSN that the failure to achieve a settlement to the Israel/Palestinian conflict was nurturing radicalisation and undermining the prospects for resolving other political problems across the Middle East.

Oman | Israel | Palestine
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Former UK Prime Minister David Cameron made a surprise return to the British government when he was appointed foreign secretary. During his time as premier, from 2010 to 2016, he did much to expand relations with the Gulf states.

Saudi Arabia | United Arab Emirates (UAE)