[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on the Arabian Peninsula and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Arabian Peninsula Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion to firstname.lastname@example.org.]
Regional and International Relations
Kuwait's crown prince, oil min to visit Saudi Arabia on Tuesday – Kuwait's crown prince Sheikh Meshal al-Ahmad will lead a delegation, which includes the oil and foreign ministers, on an official visit to Saudi Arabia on 1 Jun. The visit comes amid a separate meeting of OPEC+.
Qatar pledges $500 mln for Gaza reconstruction – Qatar will provide $500 million to help rebuild Gaza, following a ceasefire that ended the worst fighting in years between Israel and Palestinian militants.
Qatar sees no reason for normalising ties with Syria, says foreign minister – According to Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, Qatar has no plans to normalise ties with Syria after Syrian President Bashar al-Assad won a fourth term in office, in an election on 26 May, which was derided by the opposition and the West as a farce.
Russia offers cooperation with Saudi Arabia on hydrogen production – Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak on 25 May offered to work with Saudi Arabia on hydrogen production, speaking during an online meeting of the intergovernmental commission of Russia and Saudi Arabia.
Russia and Saudi Arabia prepare for joint manned space mission – Russia is training cosmonauts from Saudi Arabia as both countries are preparing for a joint manned space mission.
Syria says efforts ongoing to improve relations with Saudi – Efforts are being made to improve relations with Saudi Arabia and positive results may come soon, president Bashar al-Assad's political adviser said on 26 May.
Saudi, U.S. foreign ministers discuss regional challenges in phone call – On 27 May, Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud and his US counterpart Antony Blinken, discussed by phone the “strategic” partnership between their countries and cooperation in dealing with regional and global challenges.
UAE offers to play role in Israel-Palestine peace talks –The UAE is willing to play a role in peace efforts between Israel and the Palestinians, joining an Egyptian push to bolster a ceasefire in Gaza and de-escalate tensions between the two sides. Such a move marks a rare attempt by the Emirates to support Gaza.
Israel, UAE sign tax treaty to boost economic cooperation – Israel and the UAE signed a tax treaty wherein tax deductions, dividends and royalties are capped, Israel’s Finance Ministry said, describing the move as a spur to business development between the countries after they normalised relations last year.
UAE does business with Israel more quietly following Gaza violence – The UAE is pressing on with plans to further ties with Israel, but with much less fanfare since last month's bloodshed in Gaza and Israeli provocations around Jerusalem's al-Aqsa mosque. The formal opening of the UAE embassy in Tel Aviv, the inking of a bilateral tax treaty and a plan to open an Israeli economic attache office in Abu Dhabi were this week reported in Israel. But those events were not announced by UAE authorities or covered by the tightly-controlled local media.
Israelis, Emiratis meet in Dubai to discuss investments – Israelis and Emiratis gathered in Dubai to discuss investment opportunities. They aimed to make the most of deepening ties nine months after the two countries agreed to formalize relations. The conversations were laser-focused on business; speaking about boosting tourism, creating jobs, technology sharing, diversifying economies and tackling issues of water scarcity. There was no mention of the 11-day war in Gaza, which ended with an inconclusive cease-fire May 21.
U.S. envoy for Yemen to visit Saudi Arabia, Oman – US Special Envoy for Yemen Tim Lenderking travelled to Saudi Arabia and Oman on 25 May for talks with senior government officials aimed at reaching a ceasefire in Yemen.
U.S. envoy to Qatar, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kenya to discuss dam, other issues – The US envoy for the Horn of Africa, Jeffrey Feltman, is traveling to Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Kenya from 31 May to 6 June. Feltman planned to meet with senior officials "to discuss cooperative approaches to supporting a stable and prosperous Horn of Africa, including a resolution of the dispute over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam that is acceptable to all parties."
Oman frees activists arrested during unemployment protests – Omani authorities released on 2 June, dozens of activists who were arrested during the protests the week prior, as the state attempts to defuse tensions over unemployment. Around six people remain in jail but are expected to be released soon as well, according to the executive director of the GCHR.
Kenyan arrested in Qatar first targeted by phishing attack – A Kenyan security guard, Malcolm Bidali, now facing charges in Qatar after writing compelling, anonymous accounts of being a low-paid worker there found himself targeted by a phishing attack that could have revealed his location just before his arrest. While analysts from Amnesty International and Citizen Lab said they were unable to say who targeted Bidali, the phishing attack mirrored others previously carried out by Gulf sheikhdoms targeting dissidents and political opposition.
Migrant guards in Qatar ‘still paid under £1 an hour’ ahead of World Cup – Promises of better working conditions ring hollow for tens of thousands of security guards, who say they still work long hours for low pay. Qatar recently boasted of introducing “comprehensive and long-lasting” labour reforms, including a new minimum wage, in response to widespread criticism of the state’s treatment of its vast low-wage workforce.
Lebanese singer deported from Saudi after 50-day detention – Samir Sfeir, a prominent Lebanese singer and composer known for his strong opinions said he has been deported from Saudi Arabia after a 50-day detention — mostly in solitary confinement — because of opinions expressed online in support of Lebanon’s president and his ally the Iran-backed Hezbollah.
Marise Payne presses Saudi Arabia on disappearance of Australian citizen –Australia’s foreign affairs minister Marise Payne, has contacted her Saudi Arabian counterpart to raise the plight of a dual national, Osama al-Hasani, 42, who was extradited from Morocco amid mounting concerns about his detention.
Social media postings appear to show Dubai ruler’s daughter – Two images of Sheikha Latifa, a daughter of the ruler of Dubai, have appeared on Instagram in recent days, three months after the BBC aired a video message in which she said she was being held captive in a barricaded villa. The images, if verified, would mark one of the few times Latifa has been photographed in public since shortly before she mounted a failed attempt to escape her father three years ago.
S&P revises Bahrain's outlook to 'negative' on continued fiscal pressures – S&P Global Ratings revised Bahrain's outlook to 'negative' from 'stable', citing the country's pace and ability to service its finances and external debt. The state's economy contracted by 5.4% last year, the International Monetary Fund estimated, as the pandemic hurt vital sectors such as energy and tourism.
Oman Arab Bank launches $250 million debut bond deal – Oman Arab Bank was set to raise $250 million in its first foray in the international debt markets with an Additional Tier 1 perpetual bond issue, a document showed. The bank launched the bonds at a yield of 7.625% after initial price guidance in the low 8% range for the AT1 bonds after it received more than $1.1 billion in orders.
Oman, S.Arabia discuss investment, days after Omanis protest over unemployment – Senior Saudi and Omani officials discussed investment opportunities in both countries, a few days after Oman was hit by protests over unemployment. The virtual meeting was held by Saudi Investment Minister Khalid al-Falih and Omani Commerce and Industry Minister Qais al-Yousef.
Qatar's Commercial Bank to take controlling stake in National Bank of Oman – Qatar's Commercial Bank said on 3 June it has made an offer to increase its stake in National Bank of Oman to just over 50% as it seeks to extract more benefits from business in its Gulf neighbour. Commercial Bank plans to buy an additional stake of 15.2% for 49.4 million rials ($128 million). The deal reflects a near 18% premium to the Omani lender's closing price on 1 June, pushed the price of National Bank of Oman shares up 9.5%.
Qatar National Bank removes ex finance minister from board after arrest – Qatar National Bank announved on 25 May that former Qatar Finance Minister Ali Sherif al-Emadi has been removed from the bank's board of directors after his arrest earlier this month over embezzlement allegations.
Qatar Petroleum hires banks to run 'jumbo' bond sale in June – Qatar Petroleum has hired international banks for a multi-billion dollar debut public bond sale by the end of June, as lower oil and gas prices prompt Gulf energy firms to raise cash. The company appointed BofA Securities, Citi, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, JPMorgan and MUFG to lead the deal of up to $10 billion.
Qatar Airways says Airbus spat risks 'industrial repercussions'— Airbus faces "industrial repercussions" if it fails to resolve a dispute that has driven a wedge between the European planemaker and major customer Qatar Airways.
Saudi oil exports in March rise to $14 billion – The value of Saudi Arabia's oil exports in March rose by 75% year on year to 52.3 billion riyals ($13.95 billion). Non-oil exports increased by 42.9% to 22.4 billion riyals, the General Authority for Statistics said, while drude exports accounted for 70% of total exports.
Saudi Arabia closes May sukuk program at 3.53 billion riyal – Saudi Arabia's National Debt Management Center closed on 25 May its local issuance for May 2021 of the government's Saudi riyal-denominated sukuk program at a total of 3.53 billion riyal ($941.36 million).
Saudi stock market trading stops over technical error – Saudi Arabia’s key stock market, Tadawul, suspended trading 2 June over what it referred to as an unexplained technical glitch. Trading had resumed, but remained halted despite the stock market’s statement.
Saudi non-oil private sector expansion quickens as recovery deepens – Saudi Arabia's non-oil private sector expanded for the ninth consecutive month in May and did so at a pace that quickened for a second straight month, further solidifying its recovery from the pandemic and last year's historic slide in oil prices.
UAE's NPCC wins $744 mln Abu Dhabi oilfield development contract – Abu Dhabi-headquartered National Petroleum Construction Company has been awarded a $744 million local oilfield development contract. The engineering, procurement and construction contract is for the for the full field development of the Belbazem Offshore Block in Abu Dhabi.
Emirates says to work closer with flydubai, not merging – Emirates will work closer with flydubai but the two Dubai state-owned airlines will not merge into a single brand.
Emirates performing better than expected, president says – Emirates is performing better than it had initially forecast, according to the airline's president, Tim Clark.
Abu Dhabi's ADIA buys minority stake in healthcare IT group Dedalus – The private equity arm of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority said on 25 May it had bought a significant minority stake in
Abu Dhabi expected to raise $2 bln in its first bond deal of 2021 –Abu Dhabi is expected to sell $2 billion in seven-year U.S. dollar-denominated bonds on 25 May and has tightened the price guidance by 20 basis points after it received over $6 billion in orders, a document showed.
Abu Dhabi sells $2 billion in bonds despite oil rebound – Abu Dhabi sold $2 billion in seven-year bonds on 25 May in its first foray into the international debt markets this year, raising cash for state coffers despite a recent rebound in oil prices.
SoftBank tech fund in talks to invest in Dubai cloud kitchen Kitopi – SoftBank Group is in talks to invest in Dubai "cloud kitchen" Kitopi's latest funding round through its second technology fund. The Japanese company's Vision Fund 2 has put forward a proposal to lead an investment of about $400 million in Kitopi, said the sources, who declined to be named as the matter is not public.
Israel to open economic office in Abu Dhabi to boost Gulf investment – Israel plans to open an economic attache office in Abu Dhabi this summer to attract foreign investment and boost economic relations with Gulf states and the broader Arab world.
UAE non-oil private sector recovery continues but pace softens slightly – The UAEs non-oil private sector expanded for a sixth consecutive month in May, though it did so at a place slightly lower than in April and employment shrank for the fourth straight month.
Buy now, pay later players tackle credit conundrum in Mideast’s Gulf – Financial technology start-ups in Saudi Arabia and the UAE offering online short-term credit say they are enjoying exponential growth as the coronavirus pandemic drives a shift in consumer spending online. Digital buy now, pay later purchasing is relatively new to the region where consumers have traditionally been sceptical of paying for goods before getting them. But Saudi Arabian-based Tamara and UAE's Spotii, Tabby and Postpay all say the take-up has far exceeded initial expectations. And investors are paying attention. Tamara last month raised $110 million in debt and equity, a large amount for an early stage Middle East start-up.
Gulf 2021 deficits to fall to $80 bln on higher oil – Budget deficits of the six GCC countries are expected to drop sharply this year, supported by higher oil prices, fiscal consolidation and a rebound in economic output as coronavirus measures are eased. The aggregate deficits of the central governments of the GCC are expected at about $80 billion this year from $143 billion in 2020, S&P said in a report on 26 May.
Bahrain daily COVID-19 deaths hit record as infections surge – Bahrain's health ministry on 24 May reported 28 deaths from COVID-19, the highest daily toll in the small island nation which has seen a surge in coronavirus cases to record levels. The state restricted access to most public venues to immunized people after the spike in infections, which authorities mostly blamed on large gatherings during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan and Eid holiday
Bahrain offers Pfizer booster for some who got Chinese shots – Bahrain has begun offering a booster shot of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine for some people, six months after they received two shots of China’s Sinopharm vaccine.
Russia, Bahrain to produce Sputnik V vaccine for MENA region – The sovereign funds of Russia and Bahrain signed a preliminary agreement on Thursday to manufacture and distribute the Russian Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine across the Middle East and North Africa region, The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) said.
Kuwait political standoff escalates in game of musical chairs – Kuwaiti opposition lawmakers intent on questioning the prime minister were on 25 May obstructing parliamentary business by occupying ministers' seats, escalating a standoff between the appointed government and the elected assembly.
Ex-premier’s graft case a test of justice in oil-rich Kuwait – Kuwait was abuzz as citizens on social media demanded to know the whereabouts of their 79-year-old former prime minister, Sheikh Jaber. He’d been ordered detained pending trial in an unprecedented move last month over the alleged embezzlement of millions of dollars from a military aid fund. When the scandal involving the sheikh and another royal family member erupted into public view nearly two years ago, it unleashed a rare wave of street protests. It prompted the Cabinet’s resignation and forced a reckoning in the Gulf Arab state about endemic corruption that has entrapped ministers and stained the country’s sprawling bureaucracy for generations.
Kuwait approves Sotrovimab COVID-19 treatment – Kuwait has approved GSK and Vir Biotechnology's Sotrovimab as a treatment for coronavirus. Kuwait also announced a $40 million donation to COVAX, the international program designed to help supply developing countries with vaccines against the disease.
Rare protests in Oman over jobs draw massive police response – Scattered protests in Oman over layoffs and poor economic conditions drew a massive police presence in at least two cities, Sohar and Salalah, in the sultanate, with protesters throwing stones at one point and police firing tear gas.
Protests spread across once-quiet Oman as economy flounders – Protests over mass layoffs and Oman’s poor economy spread on 25 May to cities across the sultanate, underscoring the financial challenge ahead for this nation a decade on from its Arab Spring protests. Oman already faced economic trouble with tens of billions of dollars of outstanding debts and trouble finding enough work for its young people. Then came the coronavirus pandemic and repeated lockdowns that followed, further depressing growth in this nation of 4.5 million people.
Oman orders speedier job creation amid protests over unemployment – Groups of Omanis demanding jobs held fresh protests on 25 May, activists said, in the biggest challenge yet to the Gulf state's new ruler, Sultan Haitham, who ordered the government to accelerate plans to create thousands of jobs. Protests were reported in several other towns, including Rustaq, Nizwa and Sur.
Oman protests see police fire tear gas in flashpoint city – Police in Oman fired tear gas on 26 May at demonstrators in Sohar, a flashpoint city amid unrest over the sultanate’s floundering economy and mass layoffs. Sohar similarly saw unrest during the 2011 Arab Spring.
Oman plans to build world’s largest green hydrogen plant – Oil-producing nation aims plant powered by wind and solar energy to be at full capacity by 2038. Oman is planning to build one of the largest green hydrogen plants in the world in a move to make the oil-producing nation a leader in renewable energy technology. Construction is scheduled to start in 2028 in Al Wusta governorate on the Arabian Sea. It will be built in stages, with the aim to be at full capacity by 2038, powered by 25 gigawatts of wind and solar energy. The consortium of companies behind the $30bn (£21bn) project includes the state-owned oil and gas company OQ, the Hong Kong-based renewable hydrogen developer InterContinental Energy and the Kuwait-based energy investor Enertech.
Oman says expat workforce fell by 200,000 in year to March – More than 200,000 foreign workers left Oman between March 2020 and March this year, the ministry of finance said, a week after protests over unemployment erupted in several cities of the Gulf state. The population in the oil-rich Gulf region declined by about 4% last year amid an exodus of expatriates due to the coronavirus pandemic and lower oil prices, according to estimates. This was partly caused by the economic downturn, and partly to workforce nationalisation policies.
Qatar starts phased easing of coronavirus restrictions – Qatar said on 26 May that leisure and education centres and restaurants can reopen at limited capacity as of Friday under a phased easing of coronavirus-related measures. A cabinet statement allowed limited gatherings at homes for vaccinated people and said malls can operate at 30% capacity, but children under 12 are not allowed. Gyms, pools and salons can also reopen at limited capacity but bans remain on weddings, conferences and exhibitions. Local and international sporting events can take place with fully vaccinated fans at 30% capacity in open-space venues with permission from the public health ministry.
Saudi Arabia to widen privatisation scope –Saudi Arabia will look to sell assets in sectors not previously considered for privatisation, according to the country’s finance minister, as the country contends with the economic impact of sustained low oil prices.
Saudi Arabia authorizes resumption of entertainment activities for the vaccinated – Saudi Arabia will allow entertainment activities to resume for those who are vaccinated against the novel coronavirus, as the kingdom relaxes restrictions imposed to check the spread of the disease. Entertainment venues will be allowed to open at 40% capacity, it said.
Saudi minister defends order to turn down the volume on mosques – Saudi Arabia's Islamic Affairs minister defended an order to lower the volume on mosque loudspeakers, saying families had been complaining that competing speakers were keeping their children awake. In a circular last week, the Islamic Affairs Ministry said loudspeakers on mosques should not be set higher than a third of their maximum volume. Speakers that are used to broadcast the call to prayer and the signal for prayers to start should then be switched off, rather than continue to broadcast full prayers and sermons. The changes come at a time of wider reform to the role religion plays in public life under Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
UAE to get 3 Amazon Web Services data centres in 2022 – Amazon.com Inc said its cloud service unit will launch three data centres in the first half of 2022 in the UAE, its second Middle East infrastructure region. Its first Middle East data centres were in neighbouring Bahrain in 2019.
UAE opens regional COVID-19 vaccination site for Chinese nationals – The United Arab Emirates will offer China's Sinopharm vaccine to Chinese nationals visiting the regional tourism and business hub, the first non-residents to be eligible for the country's vaccination campaign against COVID-19. Chinese nationals over the age of 16 holding a short-term visa can receive two doses of Sinopharm in Dubai, under an agreement between the UAE and China to launch a regional vaccination site.
UAE mandates COVID-19 vaccines for live events – The UAE said vaccinations against COVID-19 will be mandatory for people attending all "live events" from 6 June, as the country pushes a vaccination campaign which has consistently been one of the fastest in the world. The policy applies to all sports, cultural, social, arts exhibition, activities and events. Attendees must also present a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken at least 48 hours before the event.
Mysterious air base being built on volcanic island off Yemen – A mysterious air base is being built on a volcanic island off Yemen that sits in one of the world’s crucial maritime chokepoints for both energy shipments and commercial cargo. While no country has claimed the Mayun Island air base in the Bab el-Mandeb Strait, shipping traffic associated with a prior attempt to build a massive runway across the 5.6-kilometer (3.5 mile)-long island years ago links back to the UAE.
Dubai developer Emaar hires banks for dollar sukuk sale – Dubai real estate company Emaar Properties has hired banks for issuance of US dollar-denominated Islamic bonds, or sukuk, as soon as next week, without disclosing how much it aims to raise.
Yemen officials demand answers after AP report on air base – Yemeni officials demanded answers after an Associated Press report highlighted a mysterious air base being built on a Yemeni island in one of the world’s crucial maritime chokepoints.
Yemen in Crisis
Saudi-led coalition destroys marine mine by Yemen's Houthis in Red Sea – The Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen said it discovered and destroyed a marine mine planted by Houthis in the south of the Red Sea.
Group says aid worker died after shooting in southern Yemen – An aid worker suffered mortal wounds when he was apparently caught in crossfire earlier this week in southern Yemen. The shooting took place Monday at a checkpoint when a vehicle carrying two workers for the humanitarian group Oxfam was travelling to the port city of Aden. The workers and their driver, all Yemeni nationals, were wounded and taken to a hospital. One of the workers, Fathi al-Zurigi, died.
Saudi-led coalition says it’s behind military buildup on Red Sea island – The Saudi-led military coalition engaged in Yemen said on 27 May it had established a presence on a strategic island at the entrance to the Red Sea to counter perceived threats to maritime trade from the Houthi movement. The statement was issued in response to an Associated Press report citing Yemeni officials saying the UAE was behind an air base that has emerged on Mayun, in the Bab al-Mandab strait.
Saudis: Coalition kit on Yemen island where base being built – A Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen acknowledged having equipment on an island in the Bab el-Mandeb Strait where a mysterious air base is now under construction. However, the coalition’s statement on the state-run Saudi Press Agency did not name who was building the facility across the volcanic island of Mayun.
Top Houthi negotiator meets UN envoy after previous snub – The chief negotiator for Yemen's Houthis said he had met UN special envoy Martin Griffiths, after Washington criticised the group for rebuffing the diplomat on a previous visit to the region. Griffiths' latest trip coincides with that of US envoy Tim Lenderking, who held talks in Saudi Arabia, which is leading a military coalition that has been battling the Houthi group for more than six years.
Yemen's Houthis 'fabricated' attack on Saudi border – The Saudi-led coalition engaged in Yemen dismissed as "fabricated" video footage issued by the Houthis that purportedly show an incursion by its fighters into a Saudi Arabian border area on the frontlines.
Yemen's Houthis say they hit Saudi military air base with drone – Yemen's Houthi group said they hit the King Khalid military air base in Khamis Mushait, in southern Saudi Arabia, with a drone on 31 May. There was no immediate confirmation from Saudi authorities.
UN envoy says he’s frustrated as Yemen truce talks derailed – The UN special envoy for Yemen expressed frustration that his efforts to achieve a cease-fire have been derailed by warring parties seeking gains on the battlefield. Martin Griffiths said ongoing fighting in several parts of Yemen, including a monthslong attack by Houthi rebels on government-held Marib province, has undermined the prospects for peace in the country.
WHO to start COVID-19 vaccination in Houthi-run north Yemen – The World Health Organisation will start COVID-19 vaccinations next week in north Yemen where the Houthi authorities in control have played down the impact of the pandemic.
U.S. says Yemen's Houthis bear "major responsibility" in conflict – The US on 4 June blamed the Houthis for the failure of a ceasefire to take hold in Yemen and accused them of not taking other steps toward ending the brutal conflict.
Explosion in Yemeni city of Marib kills at least 12, death toll may rise – At least 12 people were killed on 5 June in an explosion near a petrol station in the Yemeni city of Marib which members of the Saudi-backed government blamed on a missile strike by Houthi forces.
Reports and Opinions
Analysis: Investors forgiving as Oman's austerity drive hits bumps in the road – Oman may be rowing back on an austerity plan to fix its shaky finances in the face of protests over unemployment, but investors are cutting Sultan Haitham some slack for now. Sultan Haitham promised to create 32,000 jobs and subsidise private companies that take on Omanis – but the move did not trigger any major drop in the price of Oman's bonds, with investors saying some flexibility in its fiscal adjustment was expected to guarantee social stability. Some investors said how Oman reacts to any resurgence of social unrest and other economic challenges would need to be monitored closely.
The Line: A Promising Vision for a Progressive Future? – In January 2021, 4 years after the announcement of the futuristic Neom city, Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman introduced “The Line”– an over 100-mile-long linear city, depicted as a “Saudi blueprint for the global future of urban living.” Situated at the center of Neom, The Line is planned as a new kind of city seeking to attract residents from all over the globe. It targets a global audience by using catchy constructs such as “walkability,” “zero carbon,” and “smart city.” The Line is a continuation of existing futuristic and utopian visions. Regardless of whether The Line comes to fruition, the most important and significant aspect of the project may be its promotion of a new vision of urban living. It is natural for projects to change based on varying circumstances. And it is most likely that The Line will evolve further.
The Gulf Cooperation Council at 40: Finally Ripe for a Regional Security System? The signing of the Al Ula agreement ending the boycott of Qatar, has come amid a necessary shift in threat prioritization to a more human-based approach made evident by the coronavirus pandemic and as the new US administration is adopting a more inclusive approach to the Gulf region. In this context, the Gulf countries might finally be more open to establishing a regional security system that works. A general discussion of ideas for Gulf security cooperation has begun, there remain many details to nail down and hurdles to overcome, particularly given that the perceived threat posed by Iran. There is also reason for hope. Several declarations by GCC officials suggest so, from Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to Qatari Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani, stating their willingness to discuss with Iran. Many Gulf countries have seen the benefits and relevance of a multipolar world.
علاقات إقليمية ودولية
بحثت قطر وتونس عددا من القضايا ذات الاهتمام المشترك والعلاقة الثنائية بين البلدين لا سيما الأوضاع والتطورات في ليبيا.
مجلس صيانة الدستور في إيران يقر سبعة مرشحين للتنافس في انتخابات الرئاسة الشهر المقبل.
توّج الاجتماع الأول لمجلس التنسيق السعودي - الكويتي بتوقيع الجانبين على 6 اتفاقيات ومذكرات تفاهم، من شأنها الإسهام في فتح آفاق أوسع للتعاون الوثيق بين البلدين، وتعكس عزمهما تطوير العلاقات الثنائية وتوطيدها في المجالات كافة وعلى مختلف الأصعدة.
توالت الإدانات للهجوم المسلح الذي نفذه مسلحون مجهولون ليلا على قرية شمال بوركينافاسو وأودى بحياة أكثر من 138 مدنيا، ويعد الأكثر دموية منذ بدء أعمال العنف في البلاد عام 2015.
في ظل تصاعد التوتر بين القاهرة وأديس أبابا على خلفية أزمة سد النهضة الإثيوبي، تعالت تساؤلات عن إمكانية إقدام مصر على توجيه ضربة عسكرية للسد، ما يستدعي للذاكرة تاريخ التدخل العسكري المصري خارجيا.
قالت الحكومة القطرية إنها منفتحة على الوساطة بين أمريكا وحماس أو حتى بين السعودية وإيران. وشددت قطر على أهمية الحوار بين إيران والدول العربية لتحقيق السلام والاستقرار في المنطقة. وأما بخصوص اتفاق التطبيع بين إسرائيل وبعض الدول العربية، فقد علقت الدوحة أنها لا ترى أي قيمة مضافة لعملية السلام من التطبيع مع إسرائيل في الوقت الحالي.
أعلن الاتحاد الدولي للنقل البري تفعيل اتفاقية النقل البري الدولي للعبور في دولة قطر بنظام “تير”، في خطوة تعزز خلق ممرات نقل ومواصلات تجارية أكثر فاعلية في المنطقة.
تواجه البحرين تدهوراً اقتصادياً في ظل انتشار فيروس كورونا لذلك، أعلن مصرف البحرين المركزي خيار تأجيل أقساط القروض المستحقة لكل الأفراد والشركات سعياً للتخفيف من الآثار الاقتصادية للجائحة. والجدير بالذكر أن البحرين تحتاج سعرا عند نحو 100 دولار للبرميل لتحقيق توازن في ميزانية 2021-2022.
أعلن أمير دولة قطر الشيخ تميم بن حمد آل ثاني أن بلاده ستزيد إنتاجها من الغاز بنسبة 40% بحلول عام 2026، مؤكدا في الوقت نفسه أن المحافظة على البيئة تعتبر من أهم ركائز رؤية قطر.
توقع الجهات القطرية المشاركة في منتدى سان بطرسبورغ على 65 اتفاقية متنوعة مع الجانب الروسي، في خطوة مهمة على طريق ترسيخ الشراكة الاستراتيجية بين الجانبين.
صعدت أسعار النفط فوق 70 دولارا لبرميل برنت، قبيل ساعات من انطلاق اجتماع للجنة الوزارية لتحالف “أوبك بلس”، اليوم الثلاثاء، لبحث وضع سوق الخام العالمية والخطط المستقبلية.
أفادت بعض القنوات الخليجية أن نظام التداول تعطّل لساعتين بسبب عطل فني.
وقالت البورصة السعودية تمت معالجة الخلل وإعادة نشاط السوق بشكل طبيعي ومنتظم.
شهدت سلطنة عمان سلسلة من الاحتجاجات في عدة مناطق حيث تجمع عدد من المسرحين والعاطلين سعيا للحصول على مساعدة وفرص العمل من الحكومة. وعلق مفتي سلطنة عمان على تردي الأوضاع المعيشية قائلا على جميع المسؤولين أن يسعوا إلى حل مشكلات من هم تحت مسؤولياتهم، فكلكم راع وكلكم مسؤول عن رعيته."
تشهد وسائل التواصل الاجتماعي في سلطنة عمان غليانا منذ التفاعل مع ما يحدث في ولاية صحار بمحافظة شمال الباطنة مع محتجين يطالبون بالتشغيل والتنمية.
أصدر السلطان هيثم بن طارق توجيهات جديدة للجهات المعنية لتنفيذ المبادرات التشغيلية لتوفير فرص عمل للباحثين وتأتي هذه المبادرات بعد أن شهدت عمان سلسلة من الاحتجاجات في بعض المناطق حيث دعا المواطنون إلى تأمين فرص العمل في وسط تدهور الوضع الاقتصادي.
تصادف اليوم السبت ذكرى مرور 4 سنوات على فرض السعودية والإمارات والبحرين ومصر حصارا على دولة قطر بزعم دعمها الإرهاب.
كشفت بعض الجرائد الخليجية عن اتصال بين عمان والسعودية بعد اندلاع الاحتجاجات في سلطنة عمان لمناقشة فرص الاستثمار بين البلدين. الجدير بالذكر أنه لم يُعرف على الفور ما إذا كان الاجتماع قد تم التخطيط له قبل احتجاجات الشوارع في عمان.
وافق مجلس النواب الكويتي بالإجماع من حيث المبدأ على اقتراح تعديل بعض أحكام القانون رقم (21) لسنة 1964 بشأن القانون الموحد لمقاطعة إسرائيل ويحيله للجنة المختصة لإعادة الصياغة.
عمّت الاحتجاجات العمانية عددا كبيرا من المحافظات وحاول السلطان هيثم بن طارق احتواء المتظاهرين الذين طالبوا بمحاربة الفساد تحت شعار "إسقاط الفساد" من خلال المبادرات الجديدة التي تشمل فرص العمل. والجدير بالذكر أن عمان لم تشهد احتجاجات مكثفة منذ الربيع العربي.
أفرجت السلطات العمانية عن عشرات المحتجين بينهما الناشط البارز إبراهيم البلوشي إثر سلسلة من الاحتجاجات في عدة مدن في سلطنة عمان كنتيجة لارتفاع معدل البطالة ناهيك عن فرض إجراءات تقشفية.
الحرب في اليمن
دعت السلطات بمحافظة مأرب اليمنية المجتمع الدولي إلى اتخاذ موقف ضد ما ترتكبه قوات الحوثي بحق المدنيين والنازحين بالمحافظة، وكان آخرها مقتل 14 مدنيا باستهداف محطة وقود بصاروخ باليستي وطائرة مسيرة ملغمة.
وصل وفد عُماني مع وفد من الحوثيين إلى صنعاء، تزامنا مع زيارة لوزير الخارجية اليمني أحمد عوض بن مبارك إلى مسقط، حيث يتواصل الحراك الدبلوماسي لدفع عملية السلام.
أوجد البرنامج السعودي لتنمية وإعمار اليمن لصغار المزارعين اليمنيين موطئ قدم في أسواق محافظة المهرة (شرق)، وذلك عبر دعمهم بمدخلات زراعية مختلفة وبذور ذات أصناف زراعية جديدة، باعتبارها محاصيل مستحدثة لم توجد في أسواق بعض من المناطق قبل تنفيذ البرنامج لمشاريعه فيها، إذ استهدف مزارع المناطق النائية التي تعاني من صعوبة الوصول إليها بسبب وعورة طرقها وعدم توفر الخدمات الأساسية فيها.
بي بي سي التقت أربعة من الصحفيين اليمنيين الذين يزعمون تعذيبهم في سجون جماعة أنصار الله، وهو ما نفته وزارة الإعلام التابعة للحوثيين.
حادثة وفاة طفل من فئة "البدون" في الكويت دهساً، أثناء بيعه الورود بأحد الشوارع لكسب قوت يومه، تثير موجة غضب عارمة بين النشطاء على مواقع التواصل الاجتماعي.
أثار قرار السلطات السعودية تنظيم وتحديد استخدام مكبرات الصوت في المساجد جدلا كبيرا، وانقسم السعوديون بين مرحب وغاضب.
اعتبر رئيس هيئة الرقابة ومكافحة الفساد السعودية مازن الكهموس إنشاء الشبكة العالمية لسلطات إنفاذ القانون المعنية بمكافحة الفساد «GlobE» بداية لمرحلة جديدة لجميع الدول في مكافحة الفساد.
أرجع وزير الإعلام السعودي المكلف، الدكتور ماجد القصبي سبب تأخر إعلان بلاده عن آلية الحج لهذا العام إلى تحورات فيروس «كورونا» المستجد، وشح اللقاحات في العالم.
عقدت الرياض قمة للقادة من القطاع الخاص والعام لمناقشة جهود تعافي القطاع السياحي الذي يعاني من تردي في ظل انتشار فيروس كورونا ودعا وزير السياحة السعودي إلى تعزيز أطر التعاون بين القطاعين العام والخاص مشدداً على أن تعافي السياحة يعتمد على 3 مبادئ رئيسية هي الاستدامة والشمولية والتعاون.
أعلنت الإمارات أمس (الخميس) تعليق دخول المسافرين القادمين من فيتنام على جميع الرحلات الجوية للناقلات الوطنية والأجنبية، إضافة إلى ركاب الترانزيت القادمين منها باستثناء رحلات الترانزيت القادمة للبلاد والمتجهة إلى فيتنام.
غدت مكتبة قطر الرقمية رائدة في التاريخ والتراث المعاصر لمنطقة الخليج العربي ومحيطها الإقليمي وأعلنت المكتبة مؤخرا عن إضافة الصفحة الرقمية مليونين.