GULF IN REVIEW

06 - 11 January 2019 

by
Nikola Zukalová

 

Kingdom of Bahrain
 

Monday, 7 January—Bahrain’s King, Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa, received the new head of United States Naval Forces Central Command and US 5th Fleet, Vice Admiral Jim Malloy. During the meeting they lauded the military and defence cooperation between the US and Bahrain.
 

Tuesday, 8 January—Bahrain’s Minister of Justice, Islamic Affairs and Endowments, Khalid bin Ali Al-Khalifa, received Secretary General of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL), Anna-Joubin Bret, in the presence of officials from the Bahrain Chamber for Dispute Resolution. During the meeting, they focused on cooperation in international trade law, particularly in relation to alternative ways of dispute settling, such as arbitration and mediation. On Wednesday, the Minister discussed cooperation in legal and judicial development in commercial disputes and some other issues of common interest with Chief Economist of the World Bank, María Antonia Quesada.  
 

Wednesday, 9 January—Commander-in-Chief of Bahrain Defence Force, Field Marshal Khalifa bin Ahmed Al-Khalifa, and the newly-appointed German Ambassador to Bahrain, Kai Thamo Boeckmann, in the presence of Bahrain’s Defence Minister, Lieutenant General Abdullah bin Hassan Al-Nuaimi, explored ways how to enhance military and defence cooperation between Bahrain and Germany.
 

Wednesday, 9 January—Bahrain’s Speaker of the Council of Representatives, Fawzia bint Abdulla Zainal, received Italy’s Ambassador to Bahrain, Domenico Pilato, to discuss enhancing Bahraini-Italian parliamentary cooperation and activation of the joint parliamentary friendship committees. The Bahraini Speaker praised Italy’s support for Bahrain’s efforts to ensure security and stability in the Kingdom and fight against terrorism and called for strengthening coordination and expertise exchange with Italy particularly in the parliamentary field.
 

Friday, 11 January—The US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo arrived in Bahrain as part of his Middle Eastern tour to hold strategic dialogues with the selected countries’ officials. In Manama, he attended a working lunch with Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa, Crown Prince, Salman bin Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa, and Foreign Minister, Khalid bin Ahmed Al-Khalifa. Mr Pompeo began the round of visits on Tuesday in Jordan, from where he travelled to Iraq and Egypt. From Manama, he is expected to continue to the UAE, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Oman and Kuwait.

 

State of Kuwait

Thursday, 10 January—Kuwait’s Ambassador to Belgium and Head of Kuwait’s missions to the European Union and NATO, Jassem Al-Budaiwi, met with the Director of the Private Office of NATO Secretary-General, Stian Jenssen. They discussed how to boost and strengthen relations between NATO and Kuwait. 
 

Friday, 11 January—Kuwait and the United States resumed direct flights between the two countries.

Sultanate of Oman
 

Wednesday, 9 January—Oman hosted a High-Level meeting on economic development and strategic energy cooperation between the United States and its Middle Eastern partners, sponsored by Oman’s Minister Responsible for Foreign Affairs, Yousuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah. The participants included Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council, Dr Abdul Latif bin Rashid Al-Zayani, and several officials from the GCC countries, Egypt and Jordan.
 

Wednesday, 9 January—Oman’s Minister Responsible for Foreign Affairs, Yusuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah, accompanied by the Gulf Cooperation Council Secretary General, Abdul Latif bin Rashid Al-Zayani, visited Kuwait, Bahrain and later Saudi Arabia to meet with their Foreign Ministers as Oman holds presidency of the current GCC session. The countries expressed support for Oman’s presidency and discussed their bilateral relations as well as joint GCC action and other issues of common interest.
 

State of Qatar
 

Monday, 7 January—A delegation of US House of Representatives was received by Qatar’s Minister of Justice and Acting Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs, Dr Issa bin Saad Al-Jafali Al-Nuaimi. During the meeting they reviewed legal and legislative cooperation between Doha and Washington and ways of developing them. On Tuesday the delegation met with Qatar’s Chairman of the Supreme Judiciary Council and the President of the Court of Cassation, Dr Hassan bin Lahdan Al-Hassan Al-Mohannadi, to discuss judicial cooperation and ways how to boost it. 
 

Thursday, 10 January—Qatar’s Emir, Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, sent a letter to the French President, Emmanuel Macron, concerning the means to enhance and develop bilateral ties between Doha and Paris.
 

Thursday, 10 January—President of Iraq, Dr Barham Salih, arrived to Doha with his delegation for official talks with Qatar’s Emir, Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani. During the meeting the two sides reviewed bilateral relations and how to develop them, particularly in trade, investments, tourism and reconstruction of Iraq. They also touched upon regional and international developments of common interest and Iraqi president invited the Qatari Emir to visit Iraq.

 

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
 

Sunday, 6 January—Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to Yemen, Mohammed bin Saeed Al-Jaber, called on the UN agencies to break the silence and stand to the crimes and violations of Stockholm peace agreements by the Houthi militias, who also often destroy or block the humanitarian aid aimed for the Yemeni people. He claimed that only 40% of the $1.25 billion donated by Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the UAE to the United Nations for humanitarian aid were spent in the Houthi-controlled areas because of their violations. On Tuesday, Saudi Arabia’s Council of Ministers condemned the Houthis’ actions.

 

Tuesday, 8 January—Saudi Arabia’s King Salman received President of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, Gabriela Cuevas Barron, who praised the Kingdom’s support for the IPU. During the meeting they also reviewed the ties between Saudi Arabia and Mexico and how to enhance them. On Monday the IPU President met with the Chairman of the Saudi Shoura Council, Abdullah Al-Asheikh, and affirmed the importance of Saudi Arabia’s partnership with the IPU.

 

Wednesday, 9 January—Saudi Arabia’s Presidency of State Security announced that on Monday, it carried out a security operation against a terrorist cell in the eastern Qatif region. The operation resulted in death of six suspects and one arrest.

 

Wednesday, 9 January—Saudi Arabia’s Media Minister, Turki bin Abdullah Al-Shabanah, held a meeting with his Arab League counterparts in Riyadh, the Arab Media Capital for 2018-2019. During the session, they focused particularly on coordinated promotion of the Palestinian cause, amendment to the code of conduct for Arab media about avoiding spreading rumours and fake news, ensuring objectivity and professionalism and avoiding hate speech, as well as the positive role of Arab media in the fight against terrorism. 
 

United Arab Emirates

 

Sunday, 6 January—The Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, Mohamed bin Zayed, travelled to Islamabad for official talks with Pakistan’s Prime Minister, Imran Khan. The meeting was aimed to strengthen cooperation between Pakistan and the UAE in all fields, including trade, investments, and development.
 

Monday, 7 January—The Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, Mohamed bin Zayed, discussed ways to enhance bilateral relations and increase cooperation between the UAE and the United States with the Head of the US Special Operations Command at Qasr Al-Bahr, Lieutenant General Raymond Anthony Thomas. They also focused on the latest regional and international developments of common interest.
 

Wednesday, 9 January—A high-level delegation of the UAE Federal National Council, led by FNC’s Speaker, Dr Amal Al-Qubaisi, arrived in Brussels, where they met with the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini. Ms Mogherini expressed EU’s interest in strengthening cooperation with the UAE, commended the country’s role in Yemen and reaffirmed the importance of the Iran Nuclear Deal but noted that the EU would like Iran to change its foreign policy. The UAE delegation brought up the issue of the three disputed islands, Abu Musa and the Greater and Lesser Tunbs, occupied by Iran. On Thursday, the UAE delegation held talks with the President of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani, and explored ways and means of enhancing bilateral and parliamentary relations between the two sides. 

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