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Subscriber

CROWN PRINCE SALMAN: Korea visit; PM JABER: Visit from Tony Blair; SULTAN QABOOS: Holiday; EMIR SHEIKH HAMAD: Meetings

Kuwait | Bahrain | Oman | Qatar
Free

Saudi Arabia’s decision to relinquish a coveted United Nations Security Council (UNSC) seat and a spate of briefings by some of the kingdom’s most prominent Atlanticists recording Riyadh’s growing impatience with US policy and its implementation, come after at least two years of rising frustration at misfiring diplomatic initiatives and deep post-Arab Spring strains (see page 6). The critical question is whether the friction between Riyadh and Washington, which is understandable in any long-term alliance, goes deeper still, threatening the international order that the coming together of King Abdelaziz Ibn Saud and Franklin D Roosevelt helped to create.

Saudi Arabia
Issue 1033 - 09 March 2017

Bahrain empowers military courts

Subscriber

The National Assembly’s 40-member appointed upper house, the Consultative Council, approved a constitutional change on 5 March allowing military courts to try civilians. The move takes Bahrain back to before reforms intended to improve its human rights record, and followed a mid-February vote in the 40-seat Council of Representatives (elected lower house), which put up little opposition to a measure that removes limitations on who military courts can try.

Bahrain
Issue 1002 - 16 October 2015

Saudi oil policy struggles for coherence

Subscriber

Palace politics – which have placed Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman (MBS) at the centre of economic as well as defence policy – combined with the Yemen intervention and depleting finances may have had an impact on the coherence of Saudi hydrocarbons policy.

Saudi Arabia
Issue 917 - 09 February 2012

Baghdad delays bid round

Free

Baghdad has said it is delaying bidding for the next round of exploration rights by more than a month to May 30.

Iraq
Subscriber

Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) governments have been raising debt and cutting budgets in an attempt to keep ballooning fiscal deficits under control, as the costs involved in locking down economies to limit the spread of Covid-19 are compounded by the oil price collapse.The scale of the challenge was made clear in the International Monetary Fund (IMF)’s latest World Economic Outlook (WEO), released on 14 April. The WEO predicts double-digit deficits for five GCC states, ranging from 11.1% of GDP in the case of the UAE to 16.9% for Oman.

Subscriber

Bahrain is lobbying for a seat on the UN Human Rights Council’s Advisory Committee. “I can confirm we have received a letter containing the candidature of Saeed Mohamed Al-Faihani,” council spokesman Rolando Gomez said on 5 July.

Bahrain
Issue 1066 - 21 September 2018

Yemen: Noose tightens around Hodeida

Subscriber

The latest attempt by UN Special Representative Martin Griffith to bring the warring factions in Yemen to the negotiating table collapsed on 8 September after the Houthis failed to appear for talks in Geneva. Since then, attention has once again focused on the Saudi-led coalition’s efforts to wrest control of the port city of Hodeida from the Houthis.

Yemen
Issue 981 - 14 November 2014

Iraq: $1bn spent on militias since June

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Iraq’s new finance minister, Hoshyar Zebari, said on 4 November that the Iraqi government had spent more than $1bn financing Shiite militias as part of its fight against the Islamic State (ISIL) extremist group. In an interview with Reuters, Zebari accused Iraqi leaders past and present of mismanagement, poor planning and failing to reach out to Sunni tribesmen, whom he sees as the only group able to defeat ISIL on the ground. “Part of the economic and financial problem we have is this expenditure on the popular committees, on the militias, on the army, on the contracts,” he said.

Iraq
Issue 836 - 16 September 2008

COMPANY WATCH

Subscriber

Gulf Finance House’s latest initiative to establish a bank that caters specifically to the energy sector could create some attractive investment opportunities, adding another powerful instrument to Bahraini mover and shaker Esam Janahi’s ever growing portfolio.

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
Issue 933 - 12 October 2012

Politics hinder intra-Gulf gas trade

Subscriber

When Qatar set up its gas export infrastructure, it focused on international markets. A regional energy specialist tells GSN why the rest of the region is paying the price – and why that is unlikely to change.

Kuwait | Bahrain | United Arab Emirates (UAE) | Qatar
Free

Whether President Barack Obama should have carried through on his threat to intervene in Syria when evidence of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) were revealed in 2013, or if Western allies should have been more robust in projecting their interests in building a post-Qadhafi state in Libya, remain live issues today. The fact that neither happened can be traced directly to the catalogue of disasters that began with the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003; an ignominious chapter of recent western history which has now been elegantly and intensively recorded in Sir John Chilcot’s Report of the Iraq Inquiry, which covers the UK’s involvement from mid-2001 until its troops formally withdrew in July 2009.

Issue 870 - 29 January 2010

Qatar’s Brazilian plays

Subscriber

Qatar is interested in buying minority stakes in state oil company Petrobras and in a major financial institution, Banco do Brasil

Qatar
Issue 913 - 25 November 2011

Bahrain and Dubai vie to host channel HQ

Subscriber

Bahrain is looking to expand its media influence and is lobbying heavily for Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal’s new Alarab channel to be based in Manama, seeing it as a potential job creator that could help boost the economy.

Saudi Arabia | Bahrain
Subscriber

The thaw in Baghdad-Erbil relations since the beginning of this year has continued with encouraging statements from both federal oil minister Hussain Al-Shahristani and Kurdistan Regional Government natural resources minister Ashti Hawrami.

Iraq