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Gulf and Red Sea Regions

Stories under this heading cover the Gulf and the Red Sea regions, including the Arabian Peninsula, Iran and the countries bordering the Red Sea.

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The Emirates in mourning following the death of Sheikh Khalifa

The Emirates in mourning following the death of Sheikh Khalifa

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) have started a forty days mourning period after the death was announced yesterday of the country's second president, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al Nahyan. Khalifa succeeded his father as Ruler of Abu Dhabi and President of the UAE in 2004. However since 2014, following a stroke, he has played only a symbolic role in public life, with most day to day government decisions taken by his heir and brother, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed. Sheikh Khalifa was laid to rest on Saturday (14 May) in the UAE capital Abu Dhabi.  The United Arab Emirates is a federation of seven emirates, each of which still have control over many internal issues. However all defence, foreign policy and security issues are decided at the federal level. The accession of Sheikh Mohammed as president is not automatic, since the rulers of the seven emirates will have to meet in the next thirty days to formally elect the new president. But tradition and real politik has it that the Ruler of Abu Dhabi, by far the richest and the strongest of the seven emirates, gets the position of President.

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Yemeni president transfers his powers to a new presidential leadership council

Yemeni president transfers his powers to a new presidential leadership council

In a televised address, Yemeni President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi relinquished his powers today (7 April) after being elected in 2012 and announced the formation of a new Presidential Leadership Council. Hadi, who had led Yemen through one of its most turbulent times, said the Council was established to complete the implementation of the transition phase and will have the authority to negotiate with the Iran-backed Houthi militia to end the war.
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Intra-Yemeni consultations kick off in Riyadh under the auspices of the GCC

Intra-Yemeni consultations kick off in Riyadh under the auspices of the GCC

Under the auspices of the Gulf Cooperation Council, several Yemeni leaders, politicians and activists are meeting in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia for a week-long consultation aimed at ending the war in Yemen. The Riyadh consultations are considered to be the largest Yemeni-Yemeni dialogue event since the National Dialogue Conference in 2013.