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GULF IN REVIEW 23 – 26 July

BY Nozheen Murad

Al-Fateh Grand Mosque in Bahrain

Kingdom of Bahrain Kingdom of Bahrain-img

Monday, 23 July – Bahrain’s Prime Minister, Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al-Khalifa, emphasised Bahrain’s eagerness to support all initiatives aimed to preserve the unity of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). The Minister made these remarks while receiving the GCC secretary General Dr. Abdullatif Al-Zayany.

Monday, 23 July – According to Bahrain’s Public Security Chief, General Tariq Al-Hassan, the increasing terrorist crimes that are being faced by Bahrain are coordinated by fugitive terrorist elements in Iran. General Tariq Al-Hassan made the statement while taking part in a meeting in London regarding Bahrain-UK security co-operation. In particular, the UK and Bahrain reviewed ways to develop counter terrorism strategies and cyber security.

Wednesday, July 25 – Bahrain’s Interior Ministry accused Qatar of running fake accounts by wanted fugitives. Such Qatari based accounts are allegedly designed to damage Bahrain’s economy and create false information in order to jeopardise the future parliamentary elections.

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State of Kuwait Sultanate of Oman-img

Wednesday, July 25 – Over the last month violent protests have gripped Iraq over electricity shortages and lack of public services. Kuwait intervened in this crisis by sending fuel to operate suspended power plants. A Kuwaiti oil tanker arrived to Southern Iraq earlier this week carrying 130,000 cubic liters of fuel.

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Sultanate of Oman Sultanate of Oman-img

Tuesday, 24 July – Oman’s Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Sayyid Asa’ad bin Tariq Al-Said, and Sultan Qaboos bin Said received the Minister of the Republic of Korea, Lee Nak-yon. The meeting included economic cooperation between the two countries.

Wednesday, 25 July – A strategic partnership was signed by Oman’s Ministry of Tourism and Omantel enabling tourists to enjoy a data based application that will offer experience and Wi-Fi at numerous forts in the Sultanate of Oman.

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State of Qatar State of Qatar-img

Tuesday, 24 July – Qatar’s Defence Minister, Khalid bin Mohammad Al-Attiyah, laid the foundation stone for the expansion project of the Al-Udeid airbase. The planned expansion will include construction of additional housing facilities and service buildings to benefit US Air force personnel already stationed at the base.

Wednesday, July 25 – According to Qatari media, the United States is planning to organise a summit open to all the Gulf leaders. The Summit will have the objective to end the crisis which started in June 2017 when the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Bahrain cut ties with Qatar in reaction to Doha’s foreign policy.

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Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Kingdom of Saudi Arabia-img

Monday, July 23 – Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Labour and Social Development banned Saudi businesses from dealing with a Kuwaiti charity called the Social Reform Society. The Kuwaiti charity is accused of funding and having close ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.

Tuesday, 24 July – Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to the United States, Prince Khalid bin Salman, called for supporting a broader strategy that would tackle the Iranian regime’s destabilizing regional policy. Such comments come in response to threats, issued by Tehran, to target US and KSA interests in the Bab El-Mandeb and Hormuz straits.

Wednesday, July 25 – Saudi Arabia and Iraqi Kurdistan set up a council to enhance ties and relations. A Saudi delegation travelled to Erbil to meet with Kurdish officials and business leaders of the Iraqi Kurdish region in order to expand economic investments.

Thursday, July 26 – Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources, Khalid Al-Falih, announced that Saudi Arabia is set to suspend all shipments of crude oil passing through the Straits of Bab El-Mandeb. This comes after oil tankers belonging to the Saudi National Shipping Company, each carrying two million barrels of crude oil, were attacked by the Houthi militia in the aforementioned Red Sea straits. The Iran-backed Houthis have targeted Saudi Arabia since the Kingdom militarily intervened in Yemen to restore the UN-legitimised government which was ousted by the Houthis in 2015.

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UAE United Arab Emirates-img

Monday, 23 July – The UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs stressed the importance of complying to the EU full-face veil ban. All UAE nationals who are planning to travel to the EU have been recommended to conform with the ban on wearing a full-face veil (niqab) in order to prevent legal accountability.

Wednesday, July 25 – The UAE government decided that foreign diplomatic missions of labour-sending countries will have counters for amnesty seekers around the UAE. As for illegal residents in the UAE, they will be able to leave the country without paying any fines or getting an entry ban.