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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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Algeria prepares to host negotiations over GERD

Algeria prepares to host negotiations over GERD

Negotiations around the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) dispute between the Nile basin countries has been stalled since Ethiopia completed the second filling of the dam. Contrary to Egypt’s fears, the dam is yet to be fully constructed and filled. Meanwhile, Algeria is preparing to begin a round of mediation between Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia. 
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Commentary: The West needs more than a charm offensive if it wants to maintain its relevance in the GCC space

Commentary: The West needs more than a charm offensive if it wants to maintain its relevance in the GCC space

Throughout the oil boom in the last quarter of the 20th century and since, the GCC countries were seen in the United States, Britain, France and elsewhere in Europe through the prism of being major oil exporters and arms importers. Western countries and the Arab Gulf monarchies need each other. But for their friendship to last it needs to be rebuilt on a different basis than has been the case so far.
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Top US officials visit Arab Gulf states

Top US officials visit Arab Gulf states

US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Secretary of State Antony Blinken are visiting Arab Gulf states where they will meet several leaders. The two US officials are travelling on a separate itinerary which also includes Europe, hoping to build some support after the aftermath of the US withdrawal from Afghanistan. The trip will also serve to reassure allies of US support and the rejection of extremism. 
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In  Yemen Houthi forces suffer heavy casualties as they try to advance on Marib

In Yemen Houthi forces suffer heavy casualties as they try to advance on Marib

The casualties came on the fifth consecutive day of heavy fighting as the group intensified its attacks on government positions in an attempt to break through defenses and capture the city of Marib. Backed by Arab coalition warplanes, Yemeni army officials said government forces had succeeded in fending off the latest assaults. The Saudi newspaper Arab News said non-stop fighting over the past 24 hours, coupled with more than 41 sorties by coalition jets targeting dozens of enemy reinforcements and equipment, had resulted in major losses for the militant group.
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USAID accuses Tigray rebels of looting its warehouses causing a humanitarian crisis

USAID accuses Tigray rebels of looting its warehouses causing a humanitarian crisis

Amid increasing violence in the fighting between the Ethiopian government  and the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF), who also have the support of other regional forces, civilians continue to bear the brunt of the suffering due toi difficulties with distributing humanitarian aid.