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10-13 December 

Nikola Zukalová


Kingdom of Bahrain

Wednesday, 12 December—Bahrain’s King, Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa, opened the first session of the 5th legislative term of the National Assembly following the Parliamentary elections held earlier this month. During his speech, King Hamad named the main priorities of the Kingdom, highlighting the diversification of the economy and some necessary reforms, including in regards to the pension funds’ sustainability. Later, King Hamad congratulated Fouzia Zainal on being elected as the first female chairwoman of Kingdom’s National Assembly.

Tuesday, 11 December—The US delegation, led by the former New York City Mayor, Rudolph Giuliani, was received by King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa and other senior Bahraini officials, including the Crown Prince, Salman bin Hamad Al-Khalifa, and Foreign Minister, Khalid bin Ahmed bin Mohammed Al-Khalifa. During the talks both sides praised the longstanding Bahrain-US relations and reiterated their continued interests to further enhance them.

Wednesday, 12 December—Bahrain’s Crown Prince, Salman bin Hamad Al-Khalifa, received former Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Norway and President of the Oslo Center for Peace and Human Rights, Kjell Magne Bondevik, to discuss ways of strengthening cooperation between the two Kingdoms and the work of the Norway-Bahrain Business Council, formed to promote trade cooperation between Manama and Oslo.


State of Kuwait


Wednesday, 12 December—Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, Khaled Al-Jarrah Al-Sabah, received the Undersecretary-General of the UN Counterterrorism Office, Vladimir Ivanovich, and his delegation to discuss boosting coordination and enhancing regional and international cooperation to fight against terrorism as both sides already cooperate in sharing experience and information. During the meeting, Mr Ivanovich praised Kuwait’s counterterrorism efforts.


Sultanate of Oman

Wednesday, 12 December—Muscat hosted the 84th session of the Executive Council of the Arab Bureau of Education for the Gulf States (ABEGS) under the patronage of Oman’s Minister of Education and the Head of the 25th General Conference, Dr Madiha bint Ahmed Al-Shibani.


State of Qatar

Wednesday, 12 December—Prime Minister and Interior Minister, Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al-Thani, and Iraq’s Minister of Trade, Dr Mohammed Hashim Abdul Majeed Al-Ani, reviewed bilateral relations and ways how to enhance them, particularly in economy and trade. On Tuesday, the Iraqi Minister co-chaired the 6th session of the Joint Qatari-Iraqi Committee for Economic, Trade and Technical Cooperation, where Qatari Minister of Commerce and Industry, Ali bin Ahmed Al-Kuwari, called on Iraq to join Qatar, Iran and Turkey and sign the 2017 Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Facilitating Transport and Transit Traffic to Strengthen Economic and Trade Cooperation. A number of MoUs were signed on the occasion, notably on establishing the Qatari-Iraqi Business Council.

Thursday, 13 December—Qatar and People’s Republic of China held the 1st round of strategic dialogue in Beijing, during which they discussed cultural, economic, security and tourism. Both sides highlighted the need for strengthening their partnership and intensifying coordination of positions on regional issues as well as cooperation in international organisations. They announced an operational plan for cooperation on the Belt and Road Initiative and the exemption of visa requirements for the Qatari and Chinese citizens from 21 December. The next round of the strategic dialogue will be held in 2019 in Doha.


Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Sunday, 9 December—Riyadh hosted the 39th Sum