Region

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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Biden’s top security advisor visits Saudi Arabia and the UAE

Biden’s top security advisor visits Saudi Arabia and the UAE

US President Joe Biden’s national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, travelled to Saudi Arabia on Monday (27 September) to and later will travel to the UAE to discuss a range of “regional and global challenges”. With Yemen expected to be a key topic in the discussions, the Yemeni PM travelled back to Yemen.
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MEPs praise Qatar for its migrant reforms

MEPs praise Qatar for its migrant reforms

A delegation visiting Qatar from the European Parliament praised the country for its progress in labour reforms and also for its humanitarian efforts to help Afghan refugees. The MEPs met Prime Minister and Minister of Interior HE Sheikh Khalid bin Khalifa bin Abdulaziz Al Thani and a number of other officials and civil society representatives over the last few days. 
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IAEA makes small gains in talks with Iran, but Vienna talks remain stalled

IAEA makes small gains in talks with Iran, but Vienna talks remain stalled

After the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) director admitted that the agency had “a major communication breakdown” with Iran, a meeting resulted in an interim agreement to store monitoring data. The Iranian nuclear talks are expected to resume but the determination of actors to reach a deal is not yet clear.
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GCC foreign ministers vow support for Iraq and Yemen

GCC foreign ministers vow support for Iraq and Yemen

The Ministerial Council of the GCC countries held its 149th meeting yesterday (16 September) where it discussed progress in GCC relations since AlUla agreement was signed. The Iraqi and Yemeni foreign ministers were also present to meet separately with the Council to discuss economic recovery and relations with GCC.
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UAE prepares to address the economic challenges of the future

UAE prepares to address the economic challenges of the future

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has announced measures to help diversify its economy away from dependency on hydrocarbons, and to create jobs for Emiratis in new private-sector opportunities. The package includes an investment of AED24 billion to create 75,000 new private-sector jobs. The UAE government is looking to balance between creating incentives for expats to relocate to the UAE and creating employment opportunities for its own population.
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Iran prepares to start process to join the Shanghai Co-operation Organisation

Iran prepares to start process to join the Shanghai Co-operation Organisation

During the upcoming summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in Tajikistan, it will be announced that Iran is launching the procedure on joining the organisation. The Russian newspaper Kommersant wrote on 9 September that earlier, the process was hindered by international sanctions, and later, by the objections of one of the members.