GULF IN REVIEW

07 - 12 July 2019

by

Nikola Zukalová

Kingdom of Bahrain
 

Sunday, 7 July—The Dilmun Burial Mounds were added to the UNESCO World Heritage List. It is the third Bahraini site on the List after Qal’at Al-Bahrain — Ancient Harbour and Capital of Dilmun (2005) and Pearling, Testimony of an Island Economy (2012). The Dilmun Burial Mounds, built between 2050 and 1750 BC in western Bahrain, represent evidence of the Early Dilmun civilization, which developed a burial tradition for the entire population due to Bahrain’s prosperity as a trading hub at that time.

 

Tuesday, 9 July—Bahrain’s cabinet introduced new quota, according to which 10% of all public tenders must be awarded to small and medium enterprises (SMEs), companies with less than 100 employees and an annual turnover up to 3 million Bahraini Dinars (approximately 7 million EUR). It is a part of the government’s initiatives to support the Kingdom’s SMEs.

State of Kuwait

Tuesday, 9 July—Speaking at the at the UN Security Council, Kuwait’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Mansour Al-Otaibi, warned of the growing links between transnational organised crime and international terrorism, where terrorist groups fund their operations through activities such as drug, arms or human trafficking, and called for concerted national, regional and international efforts to counter them.

 

Thursday, 11 July—The European Union (EU) will inaugurate the European External Action Service (EEAS) mission in Kuwait on Sunday. The mission will be the third EU mission in the Gulf after Riyadh and Abu Dhabi, affirming the strengthening of ties between Kuwait and the Union. The ceremony will be attended by Kuwaiti as well as EU officials, including the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, who will on the occasion hold talks with the country’s officials.

Sultanate of Oman
 

Wednesday, 10 July—Oman’s Minister of Commerce and Industry, Ali bin Masoud Al-Sunaidy, received  Iran’s Minister of Industry, Mines and Trade, Reza Rahmani, who was visiting the Sultanate, to discuss ways to enhance cooperation and bilateral relations in various economic fields, especially in industry, minerals, and manpower. The Iranian Minister also held talks with Oman's Minister of Transport and Communications, Ahmed Mohammed Salem Al-Futaisi, on enhancing trade and cooperation on mineral resources’ exploration. The Iranian delegation also explored investment opportunities in Madayn’s industrial cities.

State of Qatar

Tuesday, 9 July—The United States’ President, Donald Trump, received Qatar’s Emir, Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani, in the White House. They focused mainly on bilateral economic ties and five new commercial agreements, notably the Qatar’s Defence Ministry committed to acquiring Raytheon’s NASAM and Patriot missile defence systems, Qatar Airways will purchase five Boeing 777 freighters and a large-cabin aircraft from Gulfstream Aerospace, and Chevron Phillips Chemical and Qatar Petroleum agreed to jointly develop and operate a petrochemical complex in Qatar.

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Sunday, 7 July—Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud received the United Kingdom’s Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, accompanied by the CEO of the London Stock Exchange, David Schwimmer, and the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy for Vision 2030, Ken Costa, in Jeddah. They discussed bilateral economic and investment ties, Saudi Aramco’s initial public offering (IPO), and security cooperation in light of raised tensions with Iran. A day earlier Mr Hammond attended the first Meeting of the Economic and Social Pillar of KSA-UK Strategic Partnership Council, which discussed ways to boost investment and trade ties, notably through promotion of exports exchange and direct investments.

 

Sunday, 7 July—The Arab Coalition Spokesman, Colonel Turki Al-Maliki, announced that the Coalition forces shot down another drone carrying explosives, launched by the Houthis from Yemen toward a civilian target in Saudi Arabia. Over the weekend, the Coalition intercepted several armed Houthi drones on the way to southern Saudi Arabia as the group has stepped up its attacks on the Kingdom in the past few weeks.

 

Tuesday, 9 July—Saudi Arabia’s state-owned energy giant, Saudi Aramco, awarded 34 contracts worth $18 billion to boost production capacity by 550,000 barrels a day in two offshore oil fields, Marjan and Berri.

 

Friday, 12 July—Saudi Arabia is reportedly preparing to relax the guardianship system to allow men under the age of 21 and women over the age of 18 to travel without the permission of a designated male family member. 

United Arab Emirates

Monday, 8 July—The UAE provided $5.6 billion in foreign assistance to Yemen since April 2015, of which a majority was dedicated to development and one third to humanitarian relief. The main recipients were the governorates of Aden, Hadramaut and Al-Hodeidah. Much of the funding was channelled through international organisations, notably the World Food Programme (WFP); the United Nations Agencies, such as UNICEF, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR); the International Organization for Migration (IOM); and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).  

 

Wednesday, 10 July—The Khawla bint Al-Azwar Military Academy for Women in Abu Dhabi will host the second round of military and peacekeeping training in 2020, in collaboration with the UAE’s Ministry of Defence, the United Nations Women, and the UAE General Women’s Union.

 

Thursday, 11 July—The UAE’s Minister of State, Dr Sultan Al-Jaber, and Minister of State for International Cooperation, Reem Al-Hashimi, arrived in Berlin as part of the continuous efforts to enhance cooperation between the UAE and Germany. They discussed bilateral ties as well as the situation in Libya, Yemen and Iran with Foreign Policy Advisor to German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, Prof Dr Jan Hecker, and Germany’s Minister of State at the Federal Foreign Office, Niels Annen. They also focused on bilateral economic ties with the Director General for Economic and Financial Policy at the German Chancellery and Merkel’s Chief Economic Advisor, Prof Dr Lars-Hendrik Röler.

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