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13 - 18 January 2019 

Nikola Zukalová


Kingdom of Bahrain

Sunday, 13 January—Bahrain’s National Oil and Gas Authority sealed a strategic partnership with Italy’s oil giant, ENI, to explore the Kingdom’s offshore potential. NOGA and ENI signed a Memorandum of Understanding on petroleum exploration at the 2,800 km2 maritime offshore Block 1. The drilling for oil should star this year.

Monday, 14 January—Commander-in-Chief of the Bahrain Defence Forces, Field Marshal Khalifa bin Ahmed Al-Khalifa, received the Commander of the French Forces stationed in the UAE and in the Indian Ocean, Rear Admiral, Didier Maleterre, and his delegation. They reviewed Bahraini-French relations and how to enhance military coordination and defence cooperation.

Tuesday, 15 January—Bahrain’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Khalid bin Ahmed bin Mohammed Al-Khalifa, received the US Special Representative for Iran and Senior Policy Advisor to the Secretary of State, Brian Hook. The Foreign Minister highlighted Bahrain’s full support for all the US efforts to confront the Iranian regime’s destabilising policies, countering Iran’s meddling in other countries’ internal affairs, and Iran’s support for terrorism and efforts to incite tensions and violence in the region and worldwide. On Wednesday, Mr Hook spoke about US-Iran policy at the Bahrain Centre for Strategic, International and Energy Studies (Derasat) and praised Bahrain as a key partner in the US Iran strategy.

Thursday, 17 January—King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa received President of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), Gabriela Cuevas Barron, who is currently visiting the region. The IPU President commended cooperation between the Council of Representatives and the IPU. She also praised Kingdom’s development and progress particularly in the parliamentary field and participation of women in Bahraini politics, highlighting the election of Speaker Fawziya bint Abdulla Zainal.

Friday, 18 January—Bahrain’s court sentenced three Bahrainis on charges of joining a terrorist cell, Saraya al-Muqawama, and revoked their citizenships. One of them was present, the other two are believed to have fled to Iraq. They were charged with terrorist crimes, plots to carry out bombings in the Kingdom, transfer of material for making a bomb and of planning to assassinate an officer at the Interior Ministry.


State of Kuwait

Sunday, 13 January—Lord Mayor of London, Peter Estlin, visited Kuwait and held talks with Emir Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, in which they focused on political issues linked to Brexit of the United Kingdom from the European Union. Following the meeting Mr Estlin stressed that the relations between the UK and Kuwait are historically strong, and would remain so despite the new political realities, and called for joint investments in the future.

Wednesday, 16 January—The US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, had to cancel his visit to Kuwait due to a family death. The Kuwait-US Strategic Partnership will be rescheduled in the near future.

Friday, 18 January—Kuwait contributed $9.1 million US dollars to United Nations specialised agencies to help people in Syria and Syrian refugees.