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17 - 21 June 2018

Frauke Greiffenhagen


Kingdom of Bahrain

Sunday, 17 June–The Kingdom is hosting the World Heritage Young Professionals Forum in Manama under the theme ‘Protecting Heritage in an Ever-Changing World’ from 17 to 26 June.

Bahrain is due to host the World Heritage Committee meeting from 24 June to 4 July, organized by the UNESCO. The meeting is set to attract delegations from all over the world, including from Israel as well as Palestine.


Wednesday, 20 June–A delegation of the Supreme Council for Women (SCW) represented Bahrain at the 2018 UN Women Executive Council meeting at the UN headquarters in New York. Shaikha Dina bint Rashid Al-Khalifa, the Director for Policies and Development of the SCW, reaffirmed the Kingdom’s commitment to implementing policies to support the advancement of women in Bahrain.


Thursday, 21 June–Bahrain dismissed reports that it would be the first Arab Gulf country to develop ties with Israel. The rumours stem from an Israeli television report, which cited an unnamed Bahraini official. Bahrain’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that no Bahraini official made such a statement and that the reports were ‘merely false allegations’.


State of Kuwait

Tuesday, 19 June–Officials of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) will reportedly visit Kuwait in July to complete discussions on how Kuwait’s controversial Sports Law could be changed to comply with the IOC Charter. Kuwait was suspended by the IOC in 2015, after the law was introduced. Kuwaiti officials in April met with IOC representatives in Lausanne, signaling positive outcomes of the talks and the hope that a solution would be found soon. The IOC visit is set to finalise a solution and allow Kuwait to return to the international sports scene, Hmoud Al-Fulateih, Kuwait’s Director of Public Authority for Sport, said.


Wednesday, 20 June–Kuwait’s Shaikh Fahad Jaber Al-Ahmed Al-Sabah met with Bahrain’s Prime Minister Khalifa bin Salman Al-Khalifa in Manama. Both discussed the advanced cooperation between their countries and their role in the Gulf Cooperation Council and the Arab world.

Sultanate of Oman

Wednesday, 20 June–Oman’s Minister of Oil, Mohammed bin Hamad Al-Rumhy, said he believed that Iran would agree to an OPEC deal to increase output during the organisation’s scheduled meeting on Friday. Iran has previously signaled that it would only support modest increase in output. Saudi Arabia and Russia have been trying to gain support for raising output to meet rising global demand and furthermore called on the US, China and India to cool down prices by producing more crude.


Wednesday, 20 June–Oman’s Vision 2040 office held a meeting with undersecretaries and CEOs in preparation of Vision 2040, following a series of workshops and meetings with different segments of society. A series of workshops spanning the areas of man and society, economy and development, and governance and institutional performance were held. Oman is working to include representatives from all governorates and economy sectors to best implement the future vision.

State of Qatar

Wednesday, 20 June–Barwa Bank and International Bank of Qatar have entered advanced talks to merge, according to insiders. The combined worth of the banks amounted to some $22.45 billion at the end of last year, with the value of the merger transaction not immediately available. Previous talks of a three-way merger with Islamic lender Masraf Rayan fell through last week. Qatar is working on securing its financial sector amid the ongoing Gulf crisis.


Thursday, 21 June–The European Commission opened an investigation on Qatari long-term liquefied natural gas (LNG) contracts. The case will investigate whether Qatar is breaching EU rules by imposing territorial restrictions in its contracts with EU companies. Qatar supplies around 40% of the EU’s LNG and is its largest supplier. The Commission stated that the Qatari contract restrictions could limit or prevent EU importers from diverting Qatari LNG to other destinations, restricting free flow in the European Economic Area.


Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Tuesday, 19 June–Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi rebels announced they had fired a missile at a Saudi Aramco oil facility in Asir, south-western Saudi Arabia. Aramco stated that all its facilities were safe and operating normally. Saudi state TV announced e