Gulf in the News – July 13, 2012

Saudis boost security in Eastern Region amid tension

Source: Reuters (Read full story)

Saudi Arabia may be further worried about Tehran’s reaction after a European Union oil embargo, widely expected to hurt Iran’s vital energy exports, went into effect on July 1 over its disputed nuclear programme.

Iran has threatened to shut down the Strait of Hormuz, a strategic waterway at the mouth of the Gulf where about a third of sea-borne oil exports pass, if it came under attack over its disputed nuclear programme.

Youth groups threaten to boycott opposition – Frustrated activists want bold political reforms

Source: Kuwait Times (Read full story)

In a surprising move reflecting frustration and dismay, youth activists yesterday threatened to withdraw their support for the opposition majority bloc unless they adopt broad-based program of reforms that aim at achieving a full parliamentary system and a constitutional monarchy. Several leading opposition figures like Jamaan Al-Harbash, Waleed Al-Tabtabaei, Mubarak Al-Waalan, Ammar Al-Ajmi and others immediately responded by expressing total support for the youth reform demands. And the majority bloc decided to change the venue of their next “Monday Diwaniya” gathering to the residence of veteran opposition leader MP Ahmad Al-Saadoun in an important indication to the importance the opposition attaches to the gathering.

Mursi holds ‘fruitful’ talks with Saudi King

Source: Gulfnews (Read full story)

Few details were given on the talks between Mursi and Abdullah, though the Egyptian president said regional stability was a key focus of their discussions.

“The stability of the region depends on the stability of Egypt and the Gulf, at the head of which stands Saudi Arabia,” he said.

Mursi said he chose Saudi Arabia for his first official visit due to the “deep rooted and historical relationship shared between the two countries.”

In Yemen, Little Relief for Hunger

Source: New York Times (Read full story)

About 10 million Yemenis, or 44 percent of the population, no longer have enough to eat, and 5 million are in need of urgent emergency aid, according to a report from the World Food Program in May. Over a quarter of a million children are so malnourished that they risk dying, and nearly half of all children under 5 years old are chronically malnourished, putting their physical and mental development at risk, the report said.

Some 90 percent of Yemenis have been affected by higher food and fuel prices, the report said, and the situation is expected to stay difficult because the country depends on international food markets, where prices remain high.

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