Gulf in the News – May 22, 2013

UAE slams Iran for Bahrain interference

Source: Khaleej Times (Read full story)

The UAE on Sunday condemned Iran for its interference in Bahrain’s domestic issues, accusing Tehran of trying to distract from its forthcoming elections. Addressing a joint Press conference, UAE Foreign Minister Shaikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, along with his Australian counterpart Bob Carr, said Iran had no right to interfere in GCC regional affairs. “Our Iranian neighbors have a real problem in understanding and identifying the way in which they deal with their neighbors,” Shaikh Abdullah said.

Oman-US air defence deal announced

Source: Times of Oman (Read full story)

The Sultanate of Oman and the United States announced a deal to purchase an integrated US air defense system. The announcement came during the reception for US Secretary of State John Kerry by Sayyid Badr bin Saud bin Harib Al Busaidi, Minister Responsible for Defense Affairs.During the meeting, both sides reviewed the good relations between the two countries, especially in military field. They also discussed the means of enhancing the existing cooperation and benefiting from the advanced US military industries.

Islamists reject religion-state division

Source: The Peninsula (Read full story)

Leaders of the ruling Islamist parties in Egypt and Tunisia attending the Doha Forum yesterday categorically rejected a separation of religion and state in their new governments and said that they are working on a new democratic model that will integrate elements of Islamic Shariah and Islamic values. The policies being adopted by the Islamist parties that have come to power in the two Arab Spring countries were at the centre of discussions at a lively session at the Forum yesterday.

Salman, Erdogan discuss Mideast

Source: Arab News (Read full story)

Crown Prince Salman, deputy premier and minister of defense, held talks here with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the latest developments in the Middle East. The talks, which were attended by Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal, focused on ways to strengthen bilateral cooperation, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) said. Erdogan hosted a luncheon in honor of Prince Salman and his accompanying delegation. During the meeting with Erdogan, the crown prince highlighted the brotherly relations between the two Islamic countries.

Watchdog decries abuses against expats, women – Amnesty: Human rights abuses rampant in Gulf

Source: Kuwait Times (Read full story)

Human rights abuses remained widespread last year in the Gulf states, including discrimination against dissidents, migrant labourers, women and religious minorities, Amnesty International said in a report yesterday. In particular, authorities severely restricted freedom of speech, association and assembly and clamped down on the dissent and unrest that swept several countries during the so-called Arab Spring, the London-based group said. Arbitrary arrests of critics and opposition members were commonplace in almost all the Gulf states and accompanied with long periods of detention without trial, it said.

Suicide attempt worker facing arson charges

Source: Gulf Daily News (Read full story)

A man accidentally burned three of his sponsor’s cars during a botched suicide attempt. The Indian, 32, bought a can of petrol and emptied the contents in a garage with the plan of burning himself to death. He started the fire, but had second thoughts and battled in vain to stop it from spreading to the cars parked inside. The cleaner then fled the scene and went to his room, where he tied a rope around his neck with the intent of hanging himself from a ceiling fan. However, after standing on a chair for five minutes he untied the rope, sat on the chair and began crying. It was the second time he had tried to hang himself in his room that day, but he backed down the first time because he was scared the ceiling fan would fall on his head. The expatriate was accused of arson when he appeared before a judge yesterday and has been remanded in custody for 45 days.