08 December, 2017

GCC IN REVIEW: 3 – 8 December 2017


A Weekly Publication of the main news surrounding the GCC States

Kingdom of Bahrain

Wednesday, 6 December—Bahrain’s Oil Minister, Mohammed bin Khalifa Al-Khalifa, opened the Oil East Catalyst Technology Conference 2017. The event is organised by Euro Petroleum Consultants and Bahrain’s Petroleum Company (Bapco) in cooperation with the National Oil and Gas Authority. 

Thursday, 7 December—The Kingdom of Bahrain strongly believes that President Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel threatens the peace process in the Middle East and disrupts all initiatives and negotiations. It is also a clear violation of international resolutions and hence international law.

Friday, 8 December—Bahrain opened the 2017 Manama Dialogue, in which leading policymakers from the Middle East and beyond are set to examine the region's most pressing security questions. The Dialogue is in its 13th edition and is organised by the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS).

State of Kuwait

Sunday, 3 December—Kuwait’s Emir, Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah, hosted the chief of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), Abdullatif bin Rashid Al-Zayani, to discuss the bloc's crucial upcoming summit. 

Thursday, 7 December—Kuwait announced that its Oil Minister, Essam Abdul Mohsen Al-Marzouq, will lead Kuwait’s delegation to the 99th meeting of the Organisation of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries (OAPEC).

Sultanate of Oman

Tuesday, 5 December—Oman’s Deputy Prime Minister for the Council of Ministers, Sayyid Fahd bin Mahmoud Al-Said, arrived yesterday in Kuwait to chair the Sultanate’s delegation at the 38th GCC Summit and to convey the greetings of the Sultan to the GCC leaders and their representatives.

Wednesday, 6 December—Oman’s Minister of Manpower, Abdullah bin Nasser Al-Bakri, said that the goal of creating 25,000 jobs for Omani nationals would be met by focusing on the private sector. The minister added that employment will be created in a variety of sectors, notably in oil and gas, finance, insurance, logistics and mining. The jobs will include those in Oman’s special economic zones.

State of Qatar 

Wednesday, 6 December—Qatar’s Central Bank Governor, Abdullah bin Saud Al-Thani, spoke at an international business conference in Doha to reassure. The governor said that Qatar’s Central Bank has plenty of reserves with which it can support the Riyal and achieve its monetary policy goals. This comes despite investors concern over Qatar’s recent dip into its Sovereign Wealth Fund.

Thursday, 7 December—Qatar signed a deal to purchase 12 French Rafale fighter jets, while Qatar Airways is looking to buy 50 Airbus A321 aircrafts. This comes as France’s President, Emmanuel Macron, travelled to Qatar to visit French soldiers stationed at the Al-Udeid airbase. Macron also discussed terrorism financing with Doha’s leaders.

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Sunday, 3 December—Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman, met with the United States’ Secretary of Energy, Rick Perry, in Riyadh. They discussed the strategic partnership between the two countries in various fields, especially in energy, environment, industry and joint investments between the two countries, especially in the petrochemical, infrastructure and energy sectors.

Monday, 4 December—The Saudi-led Arab coalition fighting in Yemen launched several air raids on Houthi military sites near Sanaa airport and Dulaimi military base. The coalition also raided Houthi militia positions west of the capital Sanaa. The air raids started after the Arab coalition made a statement announcing its support for  the uprising of the Yemeni people against Houthis in Sanaa following the death of Yemen’s former President Ali Abdullah Saleh. 

Tuesday, 5 December—Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources, Khalid bin Abdulaziz Al-Falih, and Iraqi Oil Minister, Jabbar Al-Alluaibi, singed 18 Memorandums of Understanding between Saudi and Iraqi companies in the field of energy. Saudi Arabia is increasingly engaging with Baghdad in an effort to roll-back Iran’s regional influence. 

Wednesday, 6 December—Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman, welcomed, the Russian President’s Special Representative for the Middle East and African Countries and Deputy Foreign Minister, Mikhail Bogdanov, in Riyadh. Bilateral relations and regional developments were discussed during their meeting. 

Thursday, 7 December—Saudi Arabia described the US decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and move its embassy there as inexplicable, irresponsible and unjustified. It added that this position discredits Washington’s neutrality with regards to the peace process. Saudi Arabia called on the US administration to review its position and said that this decision is greatly biased against the rights of the Palestinian people.

United Arab Emirates

Sunday, 3 December—The National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority, (NCEMA), has denied claims made by Houthi militias in Yemen of a missile launch towards the UAE’s airspace and targeting a nuclear plant. NCEMA reassured the UAE’s citizens and residents that the nation is safe and stressed that the country will always maintain its safety and security. 

Wednesday, 6 December—The UAE’s Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, announced the formation of a new military and trade partnership separate from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). According to an official statement from the UAE foreign ministry, the new committee aims to ensure enhanced cooperation and coordination between the UAE and Saudi Arabia in all military, political, economic, trade and cultural fields, as well as in future regional developments.

By Antonino Occhiuto