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Bahrain's Prime Minister and Crown Prince Salman Bin Hamad Al-Khalifa inaugurated the King Hamad American Mission Hospital (KHAMH) in Aali on 26 January, 120 years to the day since the first American Mission Hospital (AMH) was opened in Bahrain under the name Mason Memorial Hospital.

Bahrain
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Prominent UAE lawyer Essam Al-Tamimi is being sued in courts in Massachusetts and New York by a former business partner over claims of malicious prosecution, fraud, abuse of process and unjust enrichment.

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
Issue 1162 - 26 January 2023

Bhutan's King Jigme Khesar visits Kuwait

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Bhutan’s King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck visited Kuwait in January for what official Kuwaiti media described as a private visit but which the Bhutanese side called a royal visit. King Jigme Khesar previously visited Kuwait in February 2011. Bhutan has far more extensive links with Kuwait than with any other Gulf country.

Kuwait
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UAE federal finance minister and Deputy Ruler of Dubai Sheikh Maktoum Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al-Maktoum and his wife Sheikha Maryam Bint Butti Al-Maktoum added a third daughter to their family on 25 January, with the birth of Sheikha.

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
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A joint venture between Saudi Prince Sultan Bin Abdullah Bin Abdelaziz’s Arkal company and Spain’s Urbas Grupo Financiero (Urbas) is bidding for a government contract to construct homes in Riyadh.

Saudi Arabia
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Prince Sultan Bin Khalid Bin Faisal was appointed chief executive of the Saudi Industrial Development Fund (SIDF) early January. At the SIDF, which was set up in 1974, Sultan takes over from Ibrahim Al-Mojel, who had held the role since 2018.

Saudi Arabia
Issue 1161 - 14 January 2023

Yemen: US Navy seizes Iranian rifles

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The United States Navy said it had seized 2,116 AK-47 assault rifles in the Gulf of Oman in January that were being sent from Iran to Yemen.

Iran | Yemen
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UAE President Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan (MBZ) appointed Staff Lieutenant General Engineer Issa Saif Mohammed Al-Mazrouei as chief of staff of the UAE Armed Forces, via a decree issued early January. It was the first time the role has changed hands in 18 years.

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
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Kuwait Projects Company (Kipco) subsidiary Burgan Bank said on 10 January that it had gained approval from Central Bank of Iraq (CBI) to sell its 51.8% stake in Bank of Baghdad to Amman-based Jordan Kuwait Bank (JKB). The value of the transaction was not revealed, but Burgan said it would help it to avoid a rise in its non-performing loans ratio.

Kuwait | Iraq
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UAE Environment Agency Abu Dhabi (EAD) chairman Sheikh Hamdan Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan inaugurated a marine research vessel in January.  The 50-metre Jaywun was built by Spain’s Freire Shipbuilding Company.

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
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Bahraini Sheikha Muneera Bint Khalifa Bin Hamad Al-Khalifa was appointed director-general of the Mohammed Bin Mubarak Al-Khalifa Academy for Diplomatic Studies (MBMA) in December.

Bahrain
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The White House briefed journalists in early December that Moscow may be preparing to supply fifth generation Sukhoi Su-35 fighter aircraft to Iran in 2023, in exchange for deliveries of Shahed-136 drones. Iranian pilots are apparently already in Russia training to fly the aircraft.

Iran
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Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) states, including Saudi Arabia and Qatar, are reportedly cautiously moving toward "soft normalisation or partial recognition" of the Taliban, amid fears that international terrorist organisations like the Islamic State Khorasan Province (ISKP) could exploit Afghanistan's security vacuum and pose a security threat to Gulf Arab countries.

Saudi Arabia | Qatar
Issue 1161 - 13 January 2023

Iraq hosts football Gulf Cup

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After the excitement of the Fifa World Cup in Qatar in November and December, a rather smaller soccer tournament opened on 6 January in the southern Iraqi city of Basra. The 25th running of the Gulf Cup features the six Gulf Co-operation Council member states alongside Iraq and Yemen. It is the first time the tournament has been held in Iraq since 1979.

Iraq
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The UAE is to introduce a new federal law covering all non-Muslim foreigners, which will give women equal rights in proceedings for divorce, inheritance and custody of children. The measures will come into effect from 1 February 2023.

United Arab Emirates (UAE)