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Issue 1122 - 19 March 2021

Emir Nawaf’s medical trip to Ukraine

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Emir Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah continues to struggle with poor health after an emergency trip to New York for medical treatment earlier this month. Accompanied by Kuwait’s top gastroenterologist, Dr. Fahad Al-Ibraheem, the ruler was sent for tests related to the long-term impact of his stomach cancer. Sheikh Nawaf has for years struggled with the ailment.  

Kuwait
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Dubai Crown Prince and Dubai Executive Council chairman Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al-Maktoum attended the ceremony for the 21st batch of graduates from the Rashid Bin Saeed Al-Maktoum Naval College in Al-Taweelah, Abu Dhabi on 9 March, posing for a photo with the graduating officers.

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
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The corruption case against former prime minister Sheikh Jaber Mubarak Al-Sabah, former defence minister Khaled Jarrah Al-Sabah and four other senior officials is set to start on 14 April in the Ministerial Court. The court’s Investigative Committee, which is responsible for prosecuting high-ranked members of the ruling family, has demanded they be punished for mismanagement of government funds at the Ministry of Defence.

Kuwait
Free

In a royal decree on March 30, King Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa appointed Khalid Yusuf Al-Jalahma as Bahrain’s first ambassador to Israel, following the Abraham Accords signed in September.

Bahrain | United Arab Emirates (UAE) | Israel
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Syria’s foreign affairs and expatriates minister Faisal Mekdad was in Muscat on 21 March for talks with officials including Royal Office minister General Sultan Mohammed Al-Nuamani, foreign minister Sayyid Badr Bin Hamad Al-Busaidi and deputy prime minister for international relations and co-operation Sayyid Asaad Bin Tariq Al-Said.

Oman
Free

Dubai Holding has signed an agreement with Itochu Corporation, Hitachi Zosen Inova, Besix Group and Tech Group to develop an energy-from-waste facility, which will process up to 45% of Dubai’s current level of municipal waste.

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
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The apparent involvement of Bassem Awadallah in the alleged plot to overthrow King Abdullah II signals the fall of a Palestinian Jordanian (born in Jerusalem in 1964) who flew high in Hashemite politics and later cultivated the senior Saudi leadership.

Saudi Arabia | Jordan
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The northern peninsula continues to be a focus for policy-makers in Muscat, not least due to the perceived risk of outside interference and a small separatist movement. The isolated region is getting long-awaited infrastructure spending by the Omani government – and has also attracted the attention of a Texan oil company.

Oman
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Omani citizen Abdullah Awad Al-Shamsi was reportedly released by the UAE authorities in April, having been arrested on charges of spying for Qatar in August 2018. In May 2020 he was sentenced to life imprisonment by the Abu Dhabi Federal Court of Appeals in what advocacy group Human Rights Watch described as “a grossly unfair trial.”

Oman | United Arab Emirates (UAE) | Qatar
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President Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan’s diplomatic adviser Anwar Gargash led the UAE delegation at a meeting with the foreign ministers of Greece, Cyprus and Israel on 16 April. The talks, held in Cyprus, covered recent developments in the east Mediterranean and links between the four countries in investment, tourism and other economic areas.

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
Free

Governments around the Gulf appear to have rediscovered the potential for diplomacy to settle their differences in a significant mood shift after the turmoil of the Donald Trump presidency, when allies knew there was little chance of being upbraided for anything deemed ethically questionable or destabilising, as long as they kept buying American military equipment.

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Oil companies have ramped up KRI activity as they continue to report payments bring made by the KRG for current production and overdue sums for past output (known as ‘over-ride’ payments). On 13 April, Norway’s DNO said it had received $54m, of which $35.2m was its share of February exports from the Tawke licence and the rest over-ride payments for 2017 and 2019/20.

Iraq
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Bell has begun building the 12 AH-1Z Viper attack helicopters destined for the Bahrain Air Force. A Bahraini delegation visited Bell’s Amarillo, Texas facility on 12 April to mark the start of production.

Free

Sheikh Salman Bin Ahmed Bin Salman Al-Khalifa has been appointed president of the court of Crown Prince Salman Bin Hamad, via a royal order issued by King Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa on 3 May.

Bahrain
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Shopping centre developer Prince Bandar Bin Khaled managed to have his name removed from a list of naturalised citizens published in Malta’s Government Gazette, according to an investigation by local publications The Malta Independent and MaltaToday.

Saudi Arabia