Gulf in the News – December 14, 2012

A Union in Danger: Where the GCC is Headed is Increasingly Questionable

Source: Gulf Research Center (Read full story)

Even if the GCC leaders wanted to move forward with a closer union, under current circumstances the organization might not survive if pressed for true integration. Without a doubt, with the current ideas being put forward, the GCC would be stepping on new and unknown territory. The deeper concern is that both horizontal (geographical expansion) and vertical (devolution of power) extension of the GCC would ultimately lead to the group’s disintegration given that the present structure as it exists will not be able to cope with such changes. Institutionally, the GCC remains weak and underdeveloped.

Bahrain Embassy in Washington Celebrates National and Accession Days

Source: Bahrain News Agency (Read full story)

Bahrain Ambassador to the United States Huda Nonoo hosted a party on December 12 at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Washington marking Bahrain’s 41st National Day and the 13th anniversary of the anniversary of His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa.  Senior US Administration officials, members of the Arab and foreign diplomats and leading American figures attended the ceremony and offered congratulations marking both occasions.

Kuwait-US trade ties ‘promising’ – US Chamber of Commerce delegation in Kuwait on landmark visit

Source: Kuwait Times (Read full story)

On the Kuwaiti side, Chavern said, “There have been some concerns about the length of time it takes for approval of projects and about the uncertainty around contracting. Similarly, there has been an impediment to more transactions and more trade. Some of the processes in the country have to be made easy.” On the priority areas that came under discussion, he said, “Two areas that have been talked about consistently are healthcare – from medical services to clinics and hospitals – and education. We have not only an excellent educational system, but also very vibrant and innovative educational companies that are very good at delivering quality content. So we think that there are a lot opportunities in these areas in particular.”

Governors, senior officials, and citizens express happiness over the recovery of King Abdullah

Source: Arab News (Read full story)

 A number of governors, senior officials and female and male citizens expressed pleasure over the recovery of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, it was reported here today. In his own name and on behalf of the people of Hail Region, Governor Prince Saud bin Abdulmohsen bin Abdulaziz congratulated the King on being discharged from hospital yesterday. Prince Mashari bin Saud bin Abdulaziz, Governor of Albaha Region, and Prince Abdulaziz bin Saad bin Abdulaziz, Deputy Governor of Hail Region, also forwarded their greetings to the King on the occasion of his compete recovery.

Qatar, three GCC states pledge to cut emissions

Source: The Peninsula Qatar  (Read full story)

Four GCC countries — Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates — together submitted a concept paper at the just-concluded UN climate conference that noted their plans to cut emissions and improve climate resilience as endorsed by the conference. The four countries have pledged to present their plans in the near future. The decision opens the door for the participating countries to present “Economic Diversification Plans” under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), a joint statement from Qatar National Food Security Programme (QNFSP) and the Directorate of Energy and Climate Change, UAE, said here yesterday.