06 October, 2017

GCC IN REVIEW: 2 - 6 October 2017


 A Weekly Publication of the main news surrounding the GCC States     

Kingdom of Bahrain

Tuesday, 3 October—A terrorist bombing in Bahrain’s capital city, Manama, left several police officers injured. Bahrain and Saudi Arabia strongly condemned this act of terrorism aimed at destabilising security and stability in the Gulf.

Wednesday, 4 October—Bahrain’s Mumtalakat, announced investments for the creation of up to 1000 jobs by 2020 in the country’s profitable pearling industry.

Thursday, 5 October—Bahrain’s government launched a large environmental campaign in the Northern governorate. The operation involved the removal of abandoned vehicles in the Salmabad industrial area and the reduction of gas emissions from nearby cement factories by 80%.

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Monday, 2 October—Saudi Arabia-led coalition forces announced the intensification of operations in Yemen’s Saada region near the Saudi-Yemen border to enhance military efforts to defeat the Iran-backed Houthi militias and prevent further attacks on Saudi Arabia’s Jizan region.

Monday, 2 October—Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) has announced the establishment of the “Rou’a Al Madinah” company, which will deliver projects designed to increase capacity for pilgrims and visitors to the Prophet’s Mosque. The company’s establishment is in line with Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030.

Wednesday, 4 October—Saudi Arabia established “The National Development Fund.” The fund will oversee the functions of the Saudi Fund for Development, the Saudi Industrial Development Fund, the Agricultural Development Fund, the Social Development Bank and the Human Resources Development Fund. 

Thursday, 5 October—Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdul Aziz began a historic visit to Russia today in which both the Yemen and the Syrian crisis are expected to be high on the agenda. In today’s bilateral meeting with Russian President, Vladimir Putin, King Salman will be accompanied by Amin al-Nasser, Aramco’s Chief Executive. Saudi oil giant Aramco, plans to cooperate with several Russian companies on oil, gas, petrochemicals, renewable energy and advanced technology.

Thursday, 5 October—Saudi Arabia’s State Security Authority announced the arrest of 22 people, among them a Qatari citizen, for inciting, via social media, people to commit illegal acts of sabotage.

State of Kuwait

Wednesday, 4 October—Kuwait’s Ministry of Defense announced that the country’s Navy conducted a shooting drill with live ammunition.

Thursday, 5 October—Kuwait’s Oil Minister, Essam Abdulmohsen Al Marzooq, announced talks between the Kuwait and Iraq governments to barter the remaining war compensations for Kuwait with gas supplies from Iraq. 

State of Qatar 

Tuesday, 3 October—Iran's Foreign Minister, Javad Zarif, held talks with top Qatari officials and with his counterpart, Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani. During the visit, Zarif confirmed Iranian support to Qatar.

Wednesday, 4 October—Qatar’s Emiri Land Forces conducted military exercises in Sealine and Al Galayel districts.

Thursday, 5 October—The Chairman of Qatar’s National Anti-Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing Committee Sheikh Fahad bin Faisal Al Thani opened a Technical Exchange workshop between Qatar and the US. This workshop is part of the follow-up of a memorandum of understanding on combating terrorism financing signed in July between Qatar and the US.

Sultanate of Oman

Wednesday, 4 October—Oman’s Minister Responsible for Defence Affairs, Sayyid Badr bin Saud bin Harib Al Busaidi, received Ambassador of the Kingdom Spain to the Sultanate, Mr Jose Antonio Bordallo to discuss shared regional and international concerns.

Thursday, 5 October—Oman’s Glass Point Solar, a leading supplier of solar energy, announced a 55% cost reduction. These savings resulted from the use of improved designs and enhanced tooling and demonstrate the Sultanate’s remarkable progress in the field of renewable energies.

Thursday, 5 October— Oman’s Council of Ministers has approved plans and programmes needed to provide suitable employment opportunities for the national manpower. This includes a plan to provide 25000 jobs in public and private establishments for Omani nationals.

United Arab Emirates

Wednesday, 4 October—UAE’s Emirates Group joined the UK government’s efforts to create and develop a learning module against human trafficking. The joint programme seeks to help improve aviation personnel's capability in detecting trafficking cases and also tackle other types of crime on board, such as drug smuggling and theft.

By Antonino Occhiuto