The GCC Briefing: 30 Jan – 13 Feb 2017
Politics: Qatar completely rejected news reports that asserted that it was Emir’s Special Forces which got involved in protection of the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan during the coup attempt, which happened in July but failed. “A senior official at Qatar's Foreign Ministry Media Office said that the allegations about a highly confidential document issued by the Qatari Embassy in Ankara on dispatching Emir’s Special Forces in the early hours of the coup attempt at the request of the Turkish president to save his life were "baseless and completely untrue," Qatar News Agency (QNA) reported on Wednesday”. The relationship between Qatar and Turkey are strained-free relations.
Politics: The new director of the CIA, Mike Pompeo had an appointment with Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al Jubeir in Riadh. Mike Pompeo had also an opportunity to meet with Crown Prince Mohammad bin Nayef to talk about questions of security. The heir to Saudi Arabia's throne has been awarded a George Tenet medal by the new director of the US Central Intelligence Agency, who honoured his contributions to "counter-terrorism" work. According to SPA, the prince also said: “no attempt will succeed in driving a wedge between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the US” and described the relationship as “historic and strategic”.”
Economics: Applications for setting up 300 new industrial ventures are being processed by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry for clearance, thanks to a recovery in the country’s investment climate, Dr. Ali bin Masoud Al Sunaidi, Minister of Commerce and Industry, told the Times of Oman in an exclusive interview. “We are optimistic that if the prices of oil remain at this level, investors will be encouraged to invest in the industrial sector. Existing industries are expanding because of (export potential) in non-traditional markets in Africa, Yemen, Iran and some other Arab countries,” said Dr. Al Sunaidi after an inter-active meeting with the business community.
Environment: Researchers claimed the highest sand dune in the world has been discovered in Oman in Dhofar, reaching the height of 455 metres above sea level. It is named Ramlat Al Jadilah and it breaks the record of a Namibia sand dune, which is 418 metres high
Security: Security forces of Kuwait have been transferred close to the border with Iraq. According to Abdullah Al Muhanna, reported by Kuwait daily Al Jareeda “Based on the information about the presence of Iraqi crowds in Umm Qasr adjacent to the area of Khur Abdullah, several Kuwaiti military battalions, particularly security, control and arm forces, were moved to the border region as a precautionary measure and the state of alert and readiness was raised.” In 2012 an agreement between Kuwait and Iraq about navigation rights in the estuary was signed. This is the reason for escalating demonstrations on Iraqi side.
Security: Bahrain's Defense Minister Yusuf bin Ahmed Al-Jalahma and his Turkish counterpart, Fikri Isik, inked a memorandum of understanding on cooperation in the field of arms industry in the presence of the king of Bahrain and the Turkish president, the Bahrain news agency (BNA) said.