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The Gulf Region & Yemen in June 2023

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THE GULF 6-2023

June 1, 2023

  1. UAE Says it Withdrew Two Months Ago From a Washington-led Naval Coalition (New Arab). The UAE said today, Wednesday, that it withdrew two months ago from a US-led maritime security coalition in the Middle East. The unified naval force consists of 34 countries and works to ensure security and combat terrorism and piracy in the Red Sea and Gulf regions, where some of the most important shipping routes in the world are located. The main headquarters of the force is located in Bahrain.
  2. UAE Boosts Diplomatic Ties with Iran (Al Sharq Al Awsat). Khalifa Shaheen Al-Marar, Minister of State in the UAE and envoy of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, paid an official visit to Tehran, during which he met with Hussein Amir Abdollahian, Iranian Foreign Minister…The UAE said it is committed to peaceful dialogue and diplomatic means to promote common goals of regional security and stability. The UAE Foreign Ministry said in a statement issued on Wednesday: “As a result of our continuous evaluation of effective security cooperation with all partners, the UAE withdrew two months ago from its participation in the Unified Naval Force.” The statement affirmed that the UAE continues its commitment to ensuring the safety of navigation in a responsible manner, in accordance with international law. According to previous information, the unified naval force consists of 34 countries, is based at the US naval base in Bahrain, and works to ensure security and combat terrorism and piracy in the Red Sea and Gulf.

June 5, 2023

  1. Saudi Aramco is Discussing $50 Billion of Projects with Turkish Companies (Arabian Business). Erdal Eren, head of the Turkish Contractors Association, said in a telephone interview with Bloomberg News Agency that the giant Saudi energy company, Saudi Aramco, met with a large number of Turkish construction and contracting companies this week to discuss ways of cooperation in implementing projects worth $50 billion in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, in light of the improvement in economic and diplomatic relations between the two countries.
  2. Between the Congo and the UAE:  An Agreement to Export Gold Raises Great Concerns (The New Khalij). This week, the government in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) published an agreement granting a little-known Emirati company exclusive rights to export gold mined by artisans from the country at preferential tax rates for a period of 25 years, prompting criticism that the agreement would not solve any of the problems it was supposed to address.
  3. Saudi Arabia Set to Host Major China Business Conference, as Ties Grow (Al Monitor). Saudi Arabia and China will participate in a business conference in Riyadh this month, expected to draw major businesses and investment firms, as the kingdom continues to pursue stronger economic, energy, and political ties with the People’s Republic, and despite concerns from Washington. 

June 6, 2023

  1. Oil Prices Rise After Saudi Arabia Pledged to Reduce Production (Al Khaleej Online). Oil prices rose by more than $2 a barrel in early Asian trading today, Monday, after Saudi Arabia said it would cut supplies by one million barrels per day in July.
  2. Saudi Arabia to Build $1 Billion Project in Baghdad (Iraqi News). The Saudi Ambassador to Iraq, Abdulaziz Al-Shammari, announced on Sunday that Saudi Arabia signed a contract with Iraq to build a mega project near Baghdad International Airport. The vast project is worth approximately $1 billion. The project is called Baghdad Avenue and is expected to be the largest shopping mall in Iraq.

June 7, 2023

  1. PGA Tour Agrees to Merge with Saudi-backed Rival LIV Golf (Cnbc). The PGA Tour has agreed to merge with Saudi-backed rival LIV Golf in a deal that would see the competitors quash pending litigation and move forward as a larger golf enterprise.
  2. Kuwait: Opening Ballot Boxes to Select Members of the National Assembly (New Arab). At precisely eight o’clock in the morning on Tuesday, the polls opened in Kuwait for citizens to choose 50 members of the National Assembly (Parliament) from among 207 candidates, including 13 women, distributed among the five constituencies, in a total number that is the weakest since the July elections. July 2013 witnessed, for the first time, signs of the opposition breaking the boycott of the elections, amid fears of voter reluctance and a decline in the turnout in the polls.
  3. Amid Talk of Normalization Deal with Israel, Blinken Departs for Saudi Arabia (Times of Israel). US Secretary of State says Washington ‘has a real national security interest’ in a Riyadh-Jerusalem agreement, but White House officials have downplayed reports of an imminent deal.
  4. Karim Benzema signed with the Saudi Federation for 3 Years (Sky News). Benzema signed his transfer contracts for the federation for three years, starting next season, without specifying the deal’s value.
  5. Qatar is Preparing for a Strategic Dialogue with France and an American Gulf Meeting (Alkhaleej Online). Qatar announced that it would participate in a meeting in Saudi Arabia that brings together the foreign ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council countries and the United States. It also revealed the date for the second strategic dialogue session with France.

June 8, 2023

  1. Blinken’s Meeting with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman Open and Candid (The National). US Secretary of State Antony Blinken held “open and candid” talks with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Jeddah early Wednesday, a US official said…Meeting after midnight in the seaside city, a US official said the senior officials spoke for an hour and 40 minutes. They discussed the wars in Yemen and Sudan.
  2. Kuwait Eelects Opposition-led Parliament Featuring One Woman (Nahar Net). Opposition lawmakers won a majority in Kuwait’s parliament in the Gulf state’s seventh general election in just over a decade, with only one woman voted into office, according to results announced on Wednesday.
  3. GCC Launches Gulf-European Conference to Combat Extremist Ideology (Alkhaleej Online). The Gulf Cooperation Council announced the launch of the Gulf-European Conference on Combating Extremist Ideology, with the participation of specialists from the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and the concerned authorities in the Council and the European Union.
  4. Saudi-American Statement Calls for Sudanese Talks in Jeddah on Facilitating Humanitarian Aid (Alarabiya). Washington and Riyadh “call on the parties to agree on a new ceasefire and to implement it effectively to build a permanent cessation of military operations.”
  5. Bahrain: We Aspire to Enhance Cooperation with Türkiye After Erdogan’s Victory (Al Khaleej Online). Bahraini Deputy Prime Minister Sheikh Khalid bin Abdullah Al Khalifa said that the relations between his country and Turkey are strong and based on respect and understanding, expressing Manama’s aspiration to enhance cooperation and trade exchange with Ankara after the elections in which President Recep Tayyip Erdogan won.
  6. Canada’s Arms Exports Boom to Saudi Arabia, Israel, Qatar (Al Monitor). Some 92% of Saudi Arabia’s purchases were armored combat vehicles, with most of the shipments coming from a $15 billion contract reached in 2014 but only approved for export by Canada’s current government.

June 9, 2023

  1. MBS Holds Call with Putin, Talks Oil Prices as Blinken Visits Saudi Arabia (Al Monitor). Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) received a phone call from Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday. According to Saudi and Russian state news agencies, the two leaders discussed increasing economic ties and balancing oil demand and prices.
  2. Riyadh and Washington Urge Western Countries to Take Back their Jihadist Nationals and Families from Syria and Iraq (Al Nahar). At the outset of the meeting, attended by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan said that it was “disappointing and unacceptable” that some rich and developed countries had not yet repatriated their citizens. He addressed these countries by saying, “You must do something; assume your responsibility.”
  3. Qatar and France Hold Second Session of Strategic Dialogue in Doha (Al Khaleej and Online). The Prime Minister of Qatar and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdul Rahman Al Thani, discussed with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of France, Catherine Colonna, the strengthening of cooperation between their two countries in many areas, in addition to the various crises and issues in the region.
  4. With the Participation of Qatar, “Anatolian Phoenix” Maneuvers Continue in Türkiye (Al Khaleej Online). The “Anatolian Phoenix 2023” international search and rescue maneuvers continue at an air base in the Turkish city of Konya, with the participation of military personnel from different countries, including Qatar.
  5. Saudi Energy Minister: Electrical Interconnection Project Between the Gulf States and Iraq Will Enhance Energy Security (Al Arabiya). Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said that the electrical interconnection project between Saudi Arabia and Iraq would support the Iraqi electrical grid…Prince Abdulaziz added that the electrical connection between the Gulf countries and Iraq achieves tangible economic benefits.
  6. US-Gulf Military Maneuvers Conclude in Saudi Arabia (Al Khaleej Online). On Thursday, the “Resolve Eagle 23” military maneuvers were concluded in several regions of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, with the participation of forces from the Gulf states and the United States of America.

June 12, 2023

  1. UAE President Discusses Strengthening Strategic Relations with Türkiye (Al Khaleej Online). Emirati President Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed discussed with his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, “strengthening strategic relations between the two countries” after he arrived in Istanbul…it is indicated that the Turkish President, the new Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan, and several officials received him.
  2. Saudi-American Air Maneuvers with the Participation of the B1 Bomber (Al Khaleej Online). The Saudi Ministry of Defense announced a military exercise with the US Air Force, with the participation of an American bomber that used its live ammunition…It indicated that the F-15SE fighter system of the Saudi Air Force and the American B-1 Lancer strategic bomber participated in the military exercise… During the joint exercise, the two sides used live ammunition to destroy simulated targets in the firing range, according to the statement.
  3. Saudi-Funded LIV Golf Merger with PGA Tour Changes US Sports Landscape (Al Monitor). The merger between the Saudi-funded LIV Golf and the PGA Tour this week was a historical event, demonstrating the kingdom’s entry into the US sports market and the success of its diversification efforts, despite persistent criticism.

June 13, 2023

  1. $10 Billion in Agreements Signed During the First Day of the Arab-China Conference in Riyadh (Al Ahram). More than 30 deals were signed covering technology, renewables, agriculture, real estate, minerals, supply chains, tourism, and healthcare…The two-day conference, which kicked off in Riyadh on Sunday, aims to support and promote economic cooperation to advance the common interest of both Arab nations and China… The conference has attracted some 3,500 business leaders, innovators, and policymakers from China, the Arab world, and beyond. Egypt’s Minister of International Cooperation, Rania Al-Mashat, and billionaire Egyptian businessman Samih Sawiris were among them.
  2. Saudi Arabia Seeks to Benefit From China’s Renewable Energy Capabilities (Anadolu Agency). Saudi Arabia said Sunday it seeks to benefit from China’s advanced capabilities in renewable energy…“Saudi Arabia does not compete with China in the energy sector,” Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman told the 10th Arab-China Business Conference, held in Riyadh’s capital.
  3. Iran Rejects GCC Concerning the Occupied Emirati Islands (Al Khaleej Online). On Monday, Iran rejected a Gulf statement dealing with the Emirati islands occupied by Tehran and the Iranian nuclear file…Commenting on a statement issued by the 156th meeting of foreign ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council countries, which was held on Sunday in the Saudi capital, Riyadh…Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Nasser Kanani said, “The three islands, the Greater Tunb, the Lesser Tunb, and Abu Musa, are an integral and eternal part of the land of Iran.”

June 14, 2023

  1. Saudi Arabia and Assad Regime Agree to Resume Economic Cooperation (Syria TV). The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the ASSad regime announced the resumption of economic, commercial, and investment cooperation and financial activities, in conjunction with Arab normalization with the Syrian government…This came after talks conducted by the President of the Federation of Saudi Chambers of Commerce, Hassan bin Mojib Al-Huwaizi, with the President of the Federation of Syrian Chambers of Commerce, Muhammad Abu Al-Huda Al-Lahham, on the sidelines of the Arab-Chinese conference that was held in Riyadh on Monday.
  2. Kuwait Buys Bayraktar Aircraft from Türkiye for $367 Million (Al Khaleej Online). The Kuwaiti Ministry of Defense announced its contract with Turkey to supply the Turkish “Bayraktar TB2” unmanned aircraft system, at a value of $367 million, through direct negotiation between the governments of the two countries without intermediaries. The Ministry of Defense confirmed in a statement on Tuesday that the contract to supply Bayraktar TB2 aircraft aims to enhance the defense capabilities of the Kuwaiti army.
  3. Saudi Arabia and Qatar to Chair Donors’ Conference in Support of Sudan (Al Khaleej Online). Saudi Arabia announced that it would co-chair a high-level conference with Qatar and other countries to announce pledges to support the humanitarian response to Sudan and the region, which will be held on the nineteenth of June. The Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated…that it will co-chair this conference with Qatar, Egypt, Germany, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the European Union, and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

June 15, 2023

  1. Do Saudi Arabia and Russia Use Oil as a Weapon Against the White House? (Al Khaleej Online). When US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken was preparing for his scheduled visit to Saudi Arabia in early June to restore his country’s tense relationship with Riyadh, the news came to him of Riyadh and OPEC+ announcing an additional cut in oil production until the end of 2024, which is the largest since the significant decline during the peak of the Corona pandemic, about two years ago…However, the announcement of the recent reduction sparked a less severe American reaction than similar previous decisions…Western powers had criticized the decisions of the “OPEC +” coalition to reduce oil production, and they believed that there is a Saudi partnership with Russia, especially after Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, in February 2022, but Riyadh and other countries in the coalition say: “The organization is not politicized, and only seeks to stabilize energy markets.
  2. Saudi Crown Prince Heads to France (Elaph). The Saudi Royal Court announced that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman departed to France on an official visit, during which he will meet President Emmanuel Macron…the Crown Prince will lead the Kingdom’s delegation participating in the summit “For a New Global Financial Pact” to be held in Paris on June 22-23.
  3. Saudi Shura Council Calls for Protecting Society from the Effects of Artificial Intelligence (Al Khaleej Online). The Saudi Shura Council called on the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development to protect society from an increase in the unemployment rate due to artificial intelligence…This came during a session held by the Council, during which it discussed the annual report of the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development for the fiscal year 2022-2023, according to the Saudi Press Agency (SPA).

June 16, 2023

  1. 410,000 Amphetamine Tablets Seized In Saudi Arabia (Al Khaleej Online). On Wednesday, the official spokesman for the Saudi General Directorate for Drug Control, Major Marwan Al-Hazmi, revealed the seizure of 410,000 tablets of the drug amphetamine hidden inside a truck transporting goods and a den prepared for promotion in Jeddah Governorate.

June 19, 2023

  1. In Tehran, Saudi Foreign Minister Stresses Freeing the Region from Weapons of Mass Destruction (Al Sharq Al Awsat). Prince Faisal bin Farhan, the Saudi Foreign Minister, stressed, from the Iranian capital, Tehran, the importance of cooperation between Riyadh and Tehran with regard to regional security, especially the security of maritime navigation and waterways, and the importance of cooperation between all countries in the region to ensure that they are free of weapons of mass destruction…He explained that work is currently based on resuming the work of diplomatic and consular missions in the two countries, pointing to the recent opening of the Iranian embassy in Riyadh and the consulate in Jeddah, and that it will be followed soon by the opening of the Saudi embassy in Tehran.
  2.  Saudi Arabia Dispatches More Relief for Quake Victims of Türkiye, Syria (Daily Sabah). Saudi Arabia has dispatched a new plane loaded with humanitarian aid for the victims of the Feb. 6 earthquakes that killed thousands in Türkiye and Syria…A plane loaded with 90 tons of medical materials landed on Saturday at Gaziantep Airport in Türkiye, the Saudi Arabian state news agency SPA reported…The aid is part of “the Saudi relief airlift launched by King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center to help the quake victims in Türkiye and Syria,” it added.
  3.  Mohammed Bin Zayed and Putin Discuss Bilateral Relations and Regional and International Issues (Al Sharq Al Awsat). UAE President Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan noted “The UAE’s firm approach to supporting peace and stability in the regional and international arenas, and political solutions to disputes and conflicts, including the Ukrainian crisis, through de-escalation, dialogue, and diplomacy,” while also noting the importance of intensifying efforts to mitigate the humanitarian repercussions of the crisis, and support the exchange of prisoners for the two parties…This came during Russian President Vladimir Putin’s reception for Sheikh Mohammed on Friday in St. Petersburg, as part of Sheikh Mohammed’s working visit to Russia. 
  4.  Oman’s Foreign Minister Announces New Talks Between America and the Assad Regime (Orient). Omani Foreign Minister Badr al-Busaidi confirmed the existence of new talks, mediated by Oman, between the United States and the Assad regime regarding the American journalist Austin Tice, who has been missing in Syria since 2012…Messages exchanged…Al-Busaidi told Al-Monitor during an interview in the Omani capital, Muscat, a few days ago that “Syria (the Assad regime) and the United States exchanged messages with the help of Oman regarding Tice.”… He added, “We know at least that messages are swinging back and forth… I cannot tell you that they are any closer to finding a way out yet, but the process has begun, and I hope it will continue.”

June 20, 2023

  1. Qatar and UAE Resume Embassy Operations (Al Nahar). Qatar’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Monday that Qatar and the UAE agreed to restore diplomatic representation by resuming the work of the two countries’ embassies, starting today, June 19.
  2. Saudi-French Investment Forum Promises New Partnerships (Al Sharq Al Awsat). The investment forums hosted periodically in the French capital have rarely known the turnout witnessed by the “Saudi-French Investment Forum,” which was held in Paris and saw an exceptional presence from both the Saudi and French sides…The forum provided an opportunity for the signing of no less than 24 agreements, memorandums and understandings between French and Saudi companies, dealing with the sectors of energy, tourism, water, transportation, food, construction and hotels.

June 21, 2023

  1. Saudi Arabia Jumps Seven Places in Global Competitiveness Index (Al Arabiya). The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia ranked 17th out of the 64 most competitive countries globally, becoming one of the top 20 countries for the first time in the Global Competitiveness Yearbook Report issued by the Global Competitiveness Center of the International Institute for Administrative Development (IMD)…the Kingdom advanced seven ranks in the 2023 edition…outperforming countries with advanced economies in the world, such as South Korea, Germany, France, Japan, Italy, India, the United Kingdom, China, Mexico, Brazil, and Turkey.
  2. Qatar Agrees to Supply China with Gas for 27 Years (Al Khaleej Online). On Tuesday, Qatar signed an agreement with a Chinese state company, the second in less than a year with China, to obtain gas supplies from the Gulf state’s vast gas production expansion project…Qatar Energy has concluded two agreements with the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) for the long-term supply of liquefied natural gas and partnership in the Northeast Field Expansion Project.
  3. Qatari Emir Receives Iran’s Foreign Minister in Doha..and an Official Reveals Details of the Talks (CNN). The Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, received Iranian Foreign Minister Hussein Amir Abdollahian on Tuesday…An informed official source said that Qatari officials are discussing with the Iranian foreign minister “ways to move forward” regarding the exchange of prisoners and the release of billions of dollars of Iranian funds frozen in South Korea.

June 22, 2023

  1. Iran Meets its Houthi Agents in Muscat (Mareb Press). Iranian-Houthi talks were held in the Omani capital, Muscat, on developments in Yemen…The Iranian News Agency (IRNA) stated that Foreign Minister Abd Allahian received Abd al-Salam Muhammad, the Houthi spokesman, at the Iranian embassy in Muscat, and held a round of talks with him on the situation in Yemen, without giving further details…On Tuesday, Abdullahian arrived at the head of a delegation to Muscat, the second leg of his tour in the Arabian Gulf, which he began on Tuesday with a visit to Qatar…For months, regional and international efforts have been intensifying to achieve a comprehensive political solution to the crisis in Yemen, which included visits by Saudi and Omani delegations to Sana’a, in addition to multiple UN and international moves to advance the peace process.
  2. Qatari Prime Minister Arrives In Moscow (Mehr News). The Russian Prime Minister discussed with his Qatari counterpart the current issues related to the Russian-Qatari economic and humanitarian cooperation. During this, special attention will be focused on the implementation of joint projects in the fields of energy, industry and agriculture…One of the main mechanisms for cooperation between the governments of Russia and Qatar is the Joint Commission on Trade, Economic and Technical Cooperation. On the Russian side, this committee is chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak.

June 23, 2023

  1. Iran’s Foreign Minister Concludes his Gulf Tour in UAE, Invites MbZ to Iran (Al Ahram Online). On Thursday, Iran’s foreign minister concluded a three-day tour of neighboring Gulf Arab countries with a visit to the United Arab Emirates, where he held talks with the country’s president. Hussein Amir Abdullahian’s visit to the UAE came after stops in Qatar, Kuwait, and Oman…Amir Abdollahian had invited Sheikh Mohammed from Iranian President Ibrahim Raisi to visit the country. Gulf Arab states seek to ease tensions with Iran, fueled in recent years by conflicts in Yemen and Syria.
  2. Talks in Moscow between Putin and Qatari Foreign Minister (Al Jazeera). Russian President Vladimir Putin said, at the outset of talks he held with Qatari Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdul Rahman Al Thani in Moscow, that his country is counting on fruitful cooperation with the State of Qatar and that there is tangible progress in this field…Putin added that the joint ministerial committee between the two countries would set broad lines for developing relations and increasing the volume of trade exchange between them.
  3. UAE and Iran Sign Air Transport Services Agreement (Al Khaleej Online). The UAE and Iran announced the signing of a bilateral agreement on expanding air transport services between the two countries, coinciding with a visit by the Iranian Foreign Minister to Abu Dhabi. And the Emirates News Agency, WAM, reported today, Thursday, that the UAE General Civil Aviation Authority signed an agreement with Iran in air transport at its headquarters in Dubai.
  4. In Cooperation With Saudi Arabia, Oman Dismantles Captagon Smuggling Network (Al Sharq Al Awsat). Cooperation with the Saudi security authorities enabled the Omani authorities to dismantle an international network smuggling large quantities of drugs in various shipments and goods through the land and sea border crossings. The seized quantity amounted to more than 6 million tablets of the drug Captagon, which were stored in various warehouses in preparation for their export in shipments and other goods.

June 26, 2023

  1. Exciting Competition Between Saudi Arabia and Italy to Host Expo 2030 (Arab21). The British newspaper “Financial Times” said there is fierce and exciting competition between Saudi Arabia and Italy to win the right to host the “Expo 2030” exhibition. The newspaper stated in a report that the prolonged visit of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to France, followed by the visit of Italian Prime Minister Georgia Meloni to the same country, indicates the extent of competition between the two parties over hosting the Expo.
  2. Saudi Foreign Minister Discusses Economic Cooperation with BRICS Development Bank (Al Sharq Al Awsat). Prince Faisal bin Farhan, the Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs, discussed with Dilma Rousseff, President of the Development Bank of the “BRICS” group, aspects of economic and development cooperation in light of “Vision 2030”, to achieve the global sustainable development goals, during a meeting in the French capital, Paris, 
  3. Omani Economy Grew by 7.4% in First Quarter (Al Sharq Al Awsat). Oman’s gross domestic product at current prices at the end of the first quarter of 2023 increased by 7.4 percent to reach 10.4 billion Omani riyals ($27 billion), compared to the end of the first quarter of 2022, when the gross domestic product at current prices reached 9.7 billion riyals. Omani ($25.1 billion), according to preliminary data issued by the National Center for Statistics and Information in the Sultanate.
  4. Former US Ambassador to Israel Enumerates Three “Expensive” Demands by Mohammed Bin Salman for Normalization with Israel (CNN). The former US ambassador to Israel, Martin Indyk, enumerated 3 “expensive” demands of the Saudi Crown Prince, Prince Mohammed bin Salman, to move forward with the normalization of relations between Saudi Arabia and Israel…the Saudi crown prince is demanding a “security guarantee from the United States, such as NATO’s Article 5 commitment to Saudi Arabia, and wants the free flow of weapons, including F-35 aircraft, from the United States, and wants Washington to give the green light to an independent Saudi ability to enrich Uranium.
  5. Qatar Delivers Last Batch of Mobile Homes for Quake Victims in Türkiye (Anadolu Agency). Qatar has announced that it has completed the delivery of 10,000 fully furnished mobile homes to Türkiye and Syria, intended for the victims of the earthquake disaster that occurred on February 6. The mobile homes arrived in Hatay in southern Türkiye and were part of Qatar’s pledge to assist the affected communities. 

June 27, 2023

  1. Qatar Seeks to Mobilize Support in Tripoli for Libyan Elections (Al Khaleej Online). Qatari Ambassador to Libya Khaled Al-Dosari discussed with the head of the Libyan Electoral Commission, Imad Al-Sayeh, the parliamentary elections scheduled for the end of 2023, which are expected to represent a solution to the power struggle crisis…the meeting “reviewed several files related to the electoral issue, and the importance of Arab and regional countries’ support for the upcoming Libyan elections, as it reflects on the peace and stability of the Arab region.”
  2. Iran:  Preparations to Open Saudi Embassy and Consulate Soon (Al Khaleej Online). Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani said on Monday that preparations had been made to reopen the Saudi Embassy in Tehran and the Consulate General in Mashhad…Iran officially reopened its embassy in Saudi Arabia on June 6, followed by reopening its consulate in Jeddah, about three months after announcing the agreement to resume relations between Tehran and Riyadh, with Chinese mediation, after a 7-year rupture.

June 28, 2023

  1. Adjusted OPEC+ Production Quotas Strengthens Dominance of the Gulf States (Al Khaleej Online). Reuters reported on Tuesday that the recent adjustments in the oil production quotas for the member states of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) granted more lavish quotas for the production of the Gulf countries in the organization at the expense of African countries that suffer from weak output due to security problems or inadequate investment…Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz, bin Salman, announced one of the most significant amendments to the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) framework in the past few years, describing it as a reward for countries that invest in the oil sector.
  2. Gulf Leaders Communicate With Putin after the Aborted Wagner Rebellion (New Arab). Leaders of the Arab Gulf states on Monday and Tuesday expressed support for Russian President Vladimir Putin following the aborted mutiny by the Wagner mercenary group on Saturday…Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman held a phone call with Putin on Tuesday, in which the prince expressed his full support for Russia’s efforts to thwart the short-lived coup attempt, according to the Russian state media agency…Mohammed bin Salman’s call came after the leaders of Qatar and the UAE similarly reached out to the embattled Russian president on Monday in separate support offers.
  3. Saudi Ambassador to Washington: We Focus on “Integrating Relations” With Israel, Not Normalization (Libyaa Khbar). The Saudi ambassador said, in a press interview published by the Israeli “i24NEWS” channel, that “Saudi Arabia focuses on integration over normal relations with Israel,” adding: “We are not saying normalization, we are talking about an integrated, unified Middle East, as a bloc like Europe, Where we all have sovereign rights and sovereign states, but we have a common interest, so this is not normalization.”

June 29, 2023

  1. King of Bahrain Becomes 4th Gulf Leader to Call Putin After Wagner Rebellion (Al Khaleej Online). Today, Wednesday, Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa called Russian President Vladimir Putin, becoming the fourth Gulf leader to communicate with the latter against the backdrop of the Wagner Group’s rebellion…The Bahrain News Agency, BNA, said that the King of Bahrain reviewed, during his call with Putin, “the bilateral relations between the two countries, and ways to develop them in all fields,” in addition to “discussing the most prominent issues of common concern.”
  2. US Sanctions Emirati, Russian, and Central African Gold Companies for Funding the Wagner Company (The New Arab).The United States on Tuesday imposed sanctions on companies in the United Arab Emirates, Central African Republic, and Russia accusing them of engaging in illicit gold dealings to fund Russia’s Wagner mercenary group…The US Treasury said in a statement that it had imposed sanctions on four companies linked to the Wagner Group and its leader, Yevgeny Prigozhin. It noted that illegal gold dealings finance the militia to support and expand its armed forces, including in Ukraine and Africa.

June 30, 2023

  1. UAE Summons Swedish Ambassador to Protest Against Qur’an Burning in Sweden (Sky News Arabia). The UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs summoned Sweden’s ambassador to the UAE, Liselotte Anderson. It informed her of the state’s strong protest and condemnation of the Swedish government’s allowing extremists in the Swedish capital, Stockholm, to burn a copy of the Holy Quran…The Swedish ambassador was also informed of the Emirati Foreign Ministry’s protest against Sweden’s evasion of its international responsibility and lack of respect for social values, stressing the importance of monitoring hate speech and racism that negatively affect the achievement of peace and security.
  2. Saudi Arabia Will Not Allow Israeli Representatives to Attend September UNESCO Meetings in the Kingdom (Al Ghad News). Saudi Arabia has so far refused to sign a document under which it commits itself to allow all members of UNESCO, including representatives of Israel, to attend the meetings of the World Heritage Committee scheduled for the Kingdom next September…Saudi Arabia is cautious about general steps that could be considered normalization with Israel.

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