Gulf in the News – January 18, 2013

Yemen seeks to talk its way out of chaos

Source: Gulf News (Read full story)

Perhaps the greatest of all problems facing Yemen is the clashing identities of different parts of the country. Aden and the South — shaped by the British presence from 1839 until 1967 and then by two decades of Marxist rule — were greatly disillusioned by union with the north in 1990. In 1994, the South tried to break loose but was defeated. Today, a powerful southern movement known as Al Hirak, embittered by the corruption, land grabs and aggression of northern tribes, is campaigning for autonomy or even outright secession.

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Saudi-US accord to ease travel

Source: Arab News (Read full story)

Saudi Arabia and the United States yesterday signed an agreement for trusted traveler programs and strengthening cyber security, opening a new era in political, cultural and trade relations between the two longtime allies. The landmark accord was signed by Interior Minister Prince Muhammad bin Naif with US Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano in Washington following talks on expanding security cooperation. Saudi officials, students and businessmen and businesswomen have welcomed the agreement, saying it would facilitate travel and boost trade between the two countries.

Gulf Air restructuring plan discussed with unions

Source: Gulf Daily News (Read full story)

The measure is part of a deal put on the table by the government to secure National Assembly approval for a BD185 million bailout. It was drawn up to help cut the airline’s losses from BD95m to BD58m a year by 2017. Mr Mahdi also said that unions have rejected the voluntary retirement scheme and sought more details of the restructuring plan. The airline had issued an internal memo to Bahraini staff stating that the voluntary retirement scheme would include four month’s salary plus another month for every year they had worked for the airline.

Abbas thanks KSA for $100 million aid

Source: The Saudi Gazette (Read full story)

“President Abbas thanked the Saudi King for his generous donation,” the official Wafa news agency said. The report said that Abbas Wednesday received a phone call from the Saudi Finance Minister Ibrahim Al-Assaf who “informed him of a decision by King Abdullah… to transfer $100 million (75 million euros) to the budget of the state of Palestine.” The decision comes at a time when the state budget is suffering from a severe deficit due to the Israeli government’s seizure of Palestinian funds as punishment for Palestine becoming a UN non-member observer state.

UAE plans green growth strategy

Source: Khaleej Times (Read full story)

In line with the UAE’s effort to diversify its economy and support global initiatives that promote clean energy and sustainable development, the UAE became a member of the GGGI in 2010, which established its Mena headquarters in Abu Dhabi in 2011, with an agenda to develop and promote the concept of green growth in the region. GGGI officially started operating in June 2010, and is dedicated to supporting the implementation a new model for sustainable growth.