GULF IN REVIEW

01-05 July

by
Antonino Occhiuto

 

Kingdom of Bahrain
 

Tuesday, 3 July—Bahrain’s Airport Company (BAC) announced the launching of a new Passenger Terminal Building at Manama’s International Airport. This is in line with plans by Bahrain’s national air carrier, Gulf Air, to expand operations worldwide.

 

Wednesday, 4 July—The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) approved the Mutual Evaluation Report (MER) for the Kingdom of Bahrain, which assesses and summarises the anti-money-laundering and counter-terrorist financing measures. The Kingdom of Bahrain—under the guidance of King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa—has long been at the forefront of combatting all forms of terrorism and religious extremism.

 

State of Kuwait
 

Sunday, 1 July—The government of Kuwait awarded a $1.5 billion (USD) contract to the US Navy for the production and delivery of 22 F/A-18E and six F/A-18F Super Hornets. The Boeing-made F/A-18 Hornet attack aircraft was built for both traditional strike operations, in addition to air support. Kuwait will use the aircraft for homeland defence and replacing aging aircraft.

 

Wednesday, 4 July—Kuwait’s Social Affairs and Labour Ministry commenced coordinating with India, Indonesia to sign new labour treaties in order to facilitate the hiring of domestic helpers. This move comes as a result of deterioration relations between Kuwait and the Philippines. Over the years, the Philippines has been the country of origin of the majority of Kuwait’s expatriate workers.

 

Thursday, 5 July—Kuwait’s Emir, Shaikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, attended the opening ceremony of the new terminal 4 (T4) at Kuwait International Airport (KWI). Kuwait’s Minister for Housing and Utilities Affairs, Dr. Jenan Mohsen Hasan Ramadan, declared that the inauguration of the facility will provide necessary job opportunities for Kuwaitis at the Civil Aviation Department and will develop the capabilities of the national carrier Kuwait Airways.


Sultanate of Oman
 

Monday, 2 July—Oman’s Minister of Commerce and Industry, Ali bin Masoud Al-Sunaidi, met with Saudi Arabia’s Director General for International Relations and Commercial Attaché at Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Commerce and Investment. During its visit to the Sultanate, the Saudi delegation is scheduled to meet with a number of officials from the Special Economic Zone Authority at Duqm (SEZAD) and the State General Reserve Fund (SGRF) in addition to visiting Sohar Port to view the facilities offered for investors in the port.

 

Wednesday, 4 July—Oman’s Sultan Qaboos bin Said has sent a cable of congratulations to President Donald Trump of the United States of America on the occasion of his country's Independence Anniversary. The Sultan expressed his whish for a continued fruitful economic cooperation between Oman and the US. Oman’s government is currently worried about the negative repercussions that a US-China trade war could have on the Sultanate’s economy.


State of Qatar

Monday, 2 July—The International Court of Justice (ICJ) announced the end of public hearings regarding the airspace case opposing Qatar and the UAE. Following Qatar's move to take the UAE to the UN's highest court Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and the UAE filed a separate complain to the ICJ against Doha pointing that Qatar is constantly and severely violating all the sovereign rights of the four countries, including interference in their internal affairs.

 

Monday, 2 July—The Assistant Undersecretary for Environment Affairs at Qatar’s Ministry of Municipality and Environment, Eng. Ahmed Mohammed Al-Sada, unveiled plans, which will be founded by the government, to combat desertification and to mitigate the effects of drought. Global warming and further desertification are increasingly concerning and forcing Doha’s rulers to take action.

 

Wednesday, 4 July—Qatar’s Speaker of the Advisory Council, Ahmed bin Abdullah bin Zaid Al-Mahmoud, met with Syria’s Ambassador to Qatar, Nizar Al-Haraki and the Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Iran to Qatar, Mohammed Ali Subhani, in the following meeting. The two meetings signal Doha’s willingness to reconcile with the Iran-supported Assad government in Syria.
 

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
 

Sunday, 1 July—Twenty-five relief trucks provided by the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief) crossed from Saudi Arabia’s Southern border into Yemen. These efforts are part continuous support provided by the Saudi Arabia for Yemeni people in implementation of the directives of Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud.

 

Sunday, 1 July—Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, and US President, Donald Trump, stressed the need to maintain the stability of the oil markets and support the efforts of oil producing countries to compensate for any potential shortage of supplies. They also tackled bilateral relations and latest regional and international developments.

Trump tweeted that he spoke to King Salman on the oil markets in wake of the “turmoil and dysfunction in Iran and Venezuela.”

 

Monday, 2 July—Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, had a telephone conversation with Kuwait’s Defence Minister, Sheikh Nasser Sabah Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, to inquire about his health following Al-Sabah’s recent surgery. The two discussed joint KSA-Kuwait military efforts against Iran-backed Houthi militias in Yemen.

 

Wednesday, 4 July—Saudi Arabia’s southern Jizan province was hit by a Katyusha rocket fired from Yemen by Iran-backed Houthi rebels. The missile strike left a five-year-old child wounded. The latest missile strikes, by the Houthis, come after Yemeni pro-government forces backed by Saudi Arabia and the UAE paused their push into Yemen’s strategic Red Sea port city of Hodeidah.

 

Thursday, 5 July—Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, has appointed Nadhmi Al-Nasr as the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the NEOM mega-project replacing previous CEO Klaus Kleinfeld. Al-Nasr’s appointment comes at a low point in the relationship between Kleinfeld’s home country, Germany, and Saudi Arabia.


UAE

 

Tuesday, 3 July—Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince, Shaikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, received Eritrean President, Isaias Afwerki. The two sides exchanged views on regional and international issues of mutual concern. UAE military forces are currently using their base in Assab, Eritrea to support Yemen government forces battling against Houthi rebels in the port city of Hodeidah.

 

Wednesday, 4 July—The Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) is seeking to double oil production at the Bou Hasir field from 8,000 bpd to 16,000 bpd. The CEO of the 70% state owned company National Petroleum Construction Company (NPCC), Ahmed Salem Al-Dhaheri, declared that in order for such objective to be accomplished NPCC would need to invest in engineering, manufacturing and transportation for the installation of a new platform and a 16km cable on the island of Zirku.

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