Gulf in the News – September 12, 2013

U.S. ties in Persian Gulf at risk as Obama allows space for Russian-Syrian plan

Source: The Washington Post (Read full story)

“The gulf feels misled,” said Mustafa Alani, a Geneva-based security analyst with the Gulf Research Center, referring to the U.S. shift. “Certainly, there’s a fear that this means Iran will be much stronger. Strategically speaking, the Iranian position is going to be enhanced in the region.” One of the main worries for the Gulf Cooperation Council, he added, is “that Syria and its allies have gained the upper hand.” At a summit of the council’s six member countries in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, on Tuesday night, Bahraini Foreign Minister Khalid bin Ahmad al-Khalifa called for “deterrent measures” against Syria, telling reporters that the Russian proposal is “all about chemical weapons but does not stop the bloodshed.”

Yemen parties agree on federalism: FM

Source: The Saudi Gazette (Read full story)

Participants in Yemen’s national reconciliation talks have agreed on the principle of changing the Arab republic into a federal state, Foreign Minister Abu Bakr Al-Kurbi said on Wednesday. “There is an agreement on the principle of federalism,” Kurbi said on the sidelines of a conference here. But differences remain on the number of regions proposed by each party, he said. Southern delegates to the national dialogue are demanding a federal state consisting of north and south Yemen, while northerners are proposing more than two entities, according to sources close to the talks. The minister said he hoped the dialogue would end as scheduled on Sept. 18, adding that if necessary the talks would be extended by one week.

 GCC FMs back UAE sovereignty on islands

Source: Khaleej Times (Read full story)


The GCC Council ministers expressed deep regret that contacts with Iran in this regard have not produced positive results. They noted that solving this issue will contribute to the stability and security of the region. They urged Iran to respond positively to the UAE endeavors to solve the problem either through direct negotiations or referring the issue to the International Court of Justice. The ministers also expressed hopes that Dr. Hassan Rouhani’s presidency of Iran would contribute to closer relations between the GCC and Iran based on the principles of good neighbourhood, non-interference in the internal affairs of others, respect of the sovereignty of the region’s countries and refraining from using force or threatening to use it.

UAE drafts nuclear emergency plan

Source: Arabian Business (Read full story)

As the UAE looks to have its first nuclear reactor in operation by 2017, the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR), the country’s independent nuclear regulatory body, has invited the public to review and comment on its draft regulations on its emergency procedures, the WAM news agency said. The objective of these regulations is to establish the requirements that must be satisfied to ensure there is effective off-site emergency planning for the nuclear facilities in the UAE.

Qatar to double number of listed companies in 5 years

Source: The Saudi Gazette (Read full story)

The Qatar Exchange (QE) has 42 listed companies. Its aggregate market capitalization as of Sept. 10 was $144 billion. In June, the MSCI upgraded Qatar from frontier market to emerging market status. Qatar is due to be included in the MSCI emerging market index in May 2014. Director of Legal Affairs and Enforcement at Qatar Financial Markets Authority (QFMA) Dr. Zain Al Abdin Sharar told the MEED Qatar Banking Summit that the forecast of a sharp increase in the number of listed firms and the volume of trade on the QE will reflect the impact of a wide-ranging program of capital market reform. He said important further changes will soon be implemented. “We have new rules for listing on the second market. This will be for companies that can’t meet requirements for listing on the primary market. We have amended the corporate governance code for companies listed on the main market. They will improve the disclosure requirements,” Sharar said.