Gulf in the News – April 08, 2013

Doha conference endorses strategy to rebuild Darfur

Source: Gulf Times (Read full story)


Representatives of donor countries and aid groups, meeting in Doha, yesterday approved a mechanism to rebuild Sudan’s Darfur region after a decade-long conflict. The total cost  for Darfur’s reconstruction  is estimated at $7.2bn. The Sudanese government is committed to $2bn whereas $5.245bn is expected to be pledged by the donors at the conference. The director of the International Development Department at the Foreign Ministry,  Ahmed bin Mohammed al- Meraikhi, said the mechanism was called the “funding and governance mechanism for the implementation of the Darfur development strategy”.

King’s order a humanitarian act: Fakieh

Source: Saudi Gazette (Read full story)

Labor Minister Adel Fakieh has said the directive of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah to give a three-month grace period to all expatriates to rectify their status was a wise decision that included three dimensions. King Abdullah ordered the interior and labor ministries to allow workers violating the labor and residency system a maximum of three months to rectify their situation, a Royal Court statement said on Saturday. Fakieh said first of all, the King considered the humanitarian aspect of expatriates while providing them a final chance to comply with residency regulations.

MPs want amendments to residency law for expats

Source: Kuwait Times (Read full story)

Five MPs yesterday proposed amendments to the residency law that call to allow foreign residents to stay outside Kuwait as long as their residence permit is valid and also call to make it easier to grant certain categories of expats with residencies. The five MPs – Nabeel Al-Fadhl, Abdulhameed Dashti, Hani Shams, Faisal Al-Kandari and Abdullah Al-Mayouf – also proposed in the amendments to make it mandatory for the immigration department to grant residence permits and renew them in a number of cases, especially when the foreigners are relatives of Kuwaitis.

Anti-Terror Bid Approved

Source: Gulf Daily News (Read full story)

The Cabinet yesterday approved parliament’s proposal to brand Lebanese militant group Hizbollah a “terrorist organisation”. His Royal Highness Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa has referred the proposal to the Interior and Foreign ministries to prepare legal mechanisms for implementation in co-ordination with the National Assembly. The Premier chaired the session at Gudaibiya Palace in the presence of His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and First Deputy Premier.

UAE trial: Ninety-four in court over ‘coup plot’

Source: BBC (Read full story)

Ninety-four people, said to be members of an Islamist organisation, have gone on trial charged with plotting to overthrow the United Arab Emirates government. The group – all Emiratis – was arrested in a series of raids last year. The detainees include two prominent human rights lawyers, as well as judges, teachers, and student leaders. If convicted, the group, believed to include 12 women, faces up to 15 years in jail, with no right of appeal. The government alleges that they were part of a secret cell with links to the Muslim Brotherhood organisation.

‘Cell of 88’ plotted suicide missions abroad, court told

Source: Saudi Gazette (Read full story)

Alleged members of a terror cell planned suicide missions in the US  and several Gulf countries, especially against American expatriates, the Riyadh Criminal Court was told Sunday. The court had convened to hear the various charges against the alleged members of the so-called “Cell of 88”. The prosecutor accused one of the members of joining a terrorist cell and committing a number of criminal activities. He is accused of agreeing with another terrorist member inside Al-Ruwais prison to form a terrorist cell to achieve the goals of Al-Qaeda.

Qatar’s overall exports grow 16% to $133bn in 2012

Source: Gulf Times (Read full story)

Driven by liquefied natural gas shipments, Qatar’s overall exports reached $133bn in 2012, up 16% on the previous year, recently released data show. The bulk of the increase came from exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG), which accounts for around 40% of oil and gas exports, QNB said in its latest economic monitor. “The production of LNG was close to full capacity in 2011 and maintained the same level in 2012. Therefore, the increase in export earnings from LNG was mainly due to higher prices,” QNB said.  Benchmark Japanese LNG prices were 14% higher in 2012 than in 2011 and EU prices were 9.1% higher.