Gulf in the News – September 11, 2013

GCC welcomes transfer of Kuwaiti prisoners’ file

Source: Kuwait Times (Read full story)

GCC foreign ministers welcomed UN Security Council (UNSC) resolution 2107 which referred the file of missing Kuwaiti and thirdcountry nationals and Kuwaiti properties under UNAMI’s responsibility. Resolution 2107, adopted on July 24, extended mandate of UN Assistance Mission for Iraq until July 31 2014, “acknowledging” its responsibility in future to handle the missing Kuwaiti and third-country nationals and the Kuwaiti property, mainly the national archive. This change formally transferred the two Kuwait files to UNAMI, under Chapter VI, instead of Chapter VII, and put an end to the post of the High-Level Coordinator which was created in 1999. The UNSC resolution is the “fruit of positive development of relations between the State of Kuwait and Iraq, and the exchange of visits between officials of the two countries, and the outcome of these visits of the signing of important agreements over bilateral issues and international obligations,” the foreign ministers said in a statement following their one-day meeting.

Russian plan won’t stop Syrian bloodshed: GCC

Source: The Saudi Gazette (Read full story)

In a statement issued at the end of their meeting, the GCC foreign ministers appealed to the UN Security Council to act quickly to protect the Syrian people and extend support for self-defense. The ministers voiced serious concern over the worsening of the Syrian crisis and its impact on the region’s security and stability. They called for international deterrent action to stop the killing of the Syrian people. The ministerial council slammed involvement of foreign forces, mainly Hezbollah militia, in the conflict.  In Washington, US Secretary of State John Kerry said the Obama administration was waiting to see the Russian proposal to put Syria’s chemical weapons stock under international control, but will not wait for long.

Phase1 of Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park expected to be completed by end of 2013

Source: Emirates News Agency (Read full story)

The project is in line with the Green Economy for Sustainable Development initiative launched by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, Ruler of Dubai, which aims to strengthen the Emirate’s position as a leader in energy efficiency, and strengthen the use of renewable energy, complementing the Dubai Integrated Energy Strategy 2030 to diversify energy sources as follows: natural gas 71%, nuclear energy and clean coal 24%, and solar power 5% of Dubai’s total power output. Setting up the Solar Park is an important step towards implementing the energy and growth strategy of Dubai.

Saudi Aramco Said to Plan Gasoline Exports From New Jubail Plant

Source: Arabian Business (Read full story)

Saudi Arabian Oil Co. may offer the first cargoes of gasoline and diesel next month from a newjoint-venture refinery, according to two people with knowledge of the situation. The state-owned company known as Saudi Aramco may ship light products from the facility at the Persian Gulf port of Jubail, said the people, asking not to be identified because the information is not public. The venture with France’s Total SA (FP), called Saudi Aramco Total Refining and Petrochemical Co. or Satorp, already plans to offer one or two cargoes of straight-run fuel oil this month. Saudi Aramco Products Trading Co., an Aramco unit, will sell the fuel oil, according to the people. The shipments will each comprise 80,000 metric tons and the first of them could be available through direct negotiation, rather than by tender, late in September, one of them said.

Qatar chairs Arab Court of Human Rights meeting

Source: The Qatar Peninsula (Read full story)

The second meeting of the high-level committee of legal experts began at the Arab League General Secretariat headquarters in Cairo yesterday to prepare a draft protocol statute of the Arab Court of Human Rights.  The meeting was chaired by Qatari Ambassador Dr Ahmed Al Hammadi, the Director of Legal Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and attended by Arab League Secretary General Dr Nabil Al Arabi. In a statement, Al Arabi stressed the importance of the three-day meeting which will discuss the draft statute of the court, being set up at the initiative of the King of Bahrain H M Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa. It was endorsed by the Arab Summit in Doha last March. He also highlighted the significance of setting up such a court which resembles human rights courts in Europe, Latin America and Africa.

Oman-Iran gas pipeline may be ready in 18 months, says envoy

Source: Times of Oman (Read full story)

A pipeline for carrying Iranian gas to Oman is expected to be ready within a year-and-a-half, Iranian Ambassador to the Sultanate, Ali Akbar Sibeveih, has told the Times of Oman. “The agreement on the gas pipeline dates back to 10 years ago when negotiations over the pipeline started, but the two countries could not finalise it. The main reason was lack of agreement on the price of the gas that was supposed to be exported,” Sibeveih said, when asked about a  memorandum of understanding (MoU)  recently signed between Iran and Oman, according to which the Sultanate will buy around $60 billion worth of natural gas from the Islamic Republic of Iran for 25 years. The MoU, which includes an agreement for laying a gas pipeline to Oman, was signed during the visit of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said to Iran from August 25 and 27.