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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
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International Publishers Association (IPA) president Bodour Bint Sultan Al-Qasimi, daughter of Sharjah Ruler Sultan Bin Mohammed Al-Qasimi, was in Tbilisi on 23 April to witness the Georgian capital formally taking over the title of Unesco World Book Capital from Kuala Lumpur.

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
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Faisal Bin Fadel Bin Mohsen Al-Ibrahim was named economy and planning minister in a series of royal orders by King Salman Bin Abdelaziz Al-Saud on 3 May. He is the third economy minister in the past 14 months. Al-Ibrahim, an alumnus of Saudi Aramco, had been deputy minister of economy and takes over from finance minister Mohammed Al-Jadaan, who had been acting economy minister since March 2020.

Saudi Arabia
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Finance minister Mohammed Al-Jadaan on 24 April said the kingdom could make huge savings by replacing liquid fuel with gas and renewables in domestic consumption. The displacement of liquids, “would represent savings for the government of about SR800bn [$213.3bn] over the next ten years which can be utilised for investment,” Reuters quoted him as saying.

Saudi Arabia
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GSN Risk Grade – B↓3 Overview Politics: Sultan Haitham Bin Tariq Bin Taimur Al-Said was named ruler in January 2020, succeeding the late Qaboos Bin Said Al-Said as the 15th ruler of the Al-Busaidi dynasty (founded in 1750). Qaboos was a monumental figure who, having deposed his father in 1970, had led Oman since 1970. The succession process was quick and smooth, orchestrated via the Royal Family Council. Haitham has moved cautiously in the opening period of his rule, broadly following his predecessor’s domestic and regional policies.

Oman
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The sustained barrage of rockets fired by Hamas into Israel during the May conflict has highlighted once again the Islamist group’s capability and the impact that Iranian support can have on regional militia at a relatively low cost and risk for Tehran. The Palestinian group’s capability is similar in character to that which Iran has furnished to others across the region, including Hizbollah in Lebanon, the Houthis in Yemen, the Assad regime in Syria and Iraqi Shia militias such as Harakat Hizbollah Al-Nujaba.

Iran
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Just when international oil companies (IOCs) operating in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq were getting used to receiving funds again, giving comfort to shareholders, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has changed its payment terms without consulting partners – who would like to discuss the issue. Oslo Stock Exchange-listed DNO, London-listed Genel Energy and Gulf Keystone Petroleum (GKP), and TSX Venture Exchange and Nasdaq First North Growth Market-listed ShaMaran Petroleum Corporation were among those who, on 13 May, reported receiving a letter from the KRG proposing amended terms as of the March 2021 production invoice.

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Prime Minister and Crown Prince Salman Bin Hamad Al-Khalifa arrived in Abu Dhabi on 10 May for a short visit. He held talks with Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and deputy supreme commander of the UAE Armed Forces Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan at Al-Shati Palace and attended a banquet held in his honour before heading back to Manama the same day.

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
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Dubai Deputy Ruler Sheikh Maktoum Bin Mohammed Al-Maktoum has been appointed chairman of the Ruler’s Court of his father, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al-Maktoum (MBR).

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
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The Iranian consulate in Karbala was attacked by protestors on 9 May, following the murder of local activist Ihab Jawad Al-Wazni, who had been a key figure in anti-government protests in late 2019, when there was a wave of demonstrations that spread around the country.

Iran | Iraq
Issue 1126 - 20 May 2021

Qatar: Kenyan activist detained

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Human rights groups have expressed concern about the fate of Kenyan labour rights activist Malcolm Bidali, who was arrested on 4 May and taken in for questioning by the Qatari authorities. A week before his arrest Bidali had given a presentation to civil society organisations and trade unions about his experience of working in Qatar, since arriving in 2016 to work as a security guard.

Qatar
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Oman could revive plans to import Iranian gas via a subsea pipeline, provided the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear deal is reinstated, oil and gas minister Mohammed Al-Rumhy told S&P Global Platts on 17 May.

Oman
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Crown Prince Sheikh Mishaal Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah was in Saudi Arabia on 1 June for talks with his counterpart Mohammed Bin Salman (MBS) at Al-Yamamah Palace in Riyadh. It was Sheikh Mishaal’s first official trip overseas since his appointment in October 2020.

Kuwait
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Ruler Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Al-Qasimi has raised the minimum wage for local citizens by 43%, to Dh25,000 ($6,800) from Dh17,500. It follows a Department of Social Services study into Sharjah living standards.

United Arab Emirates (UAE)