Gulf in the News – September 30, 2013

Sharjah delegation arrives in US for roadshow

Source: Gulf News (Read full story)

Sharjah’s largest ever delegation, comprising more than 20 government and private organisations, arrived in Washington, D.C. on Friday, for the first roadshow in the US organised by the Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) under the slogan, ‘Sharjah — Promising Opportunities, Global Horizons’. Taking place from Monday until October 4, the roadshow aims to promote Sharjah’s investment, business and cultural offerings — as well as to explore avenues of cooperation with US companies and organisations.

GE inks Saudi deal to boost health care training skills

Source: Arab News (Read full story)

King Fahd Medical City (KFMC), one of the largest medical complexes in the Kingdom, and GE Healthcare have signed a definitive agreement to set up a comprehensive Healthcare Skills Training Institute within KFMC. In the presence of Minister of Health Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah and GE’s Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Immelt, Dr. Mahmoud Al-Yamany, CEO of KFMC, and Skander Malcolm, president and CEO of GE Healthcare’s Eastern and Africa Growth Markets region, signed the agreement, which outlines the scope of the partnership, the roles of the respective partners and the long-term objectives of the Institute. Combining the extensive capabilities and expertise of KFMC and GE, the Healthcare Skills Training Institute is part of GE’s $1 billion investment commitment to the Kingdom announced last year and will offer technical, clinical and healthcare management courses.

Qatar will host successful World Cup, says UK envoy

Source: The Peninsula (Read full story)

The new British ambassador yesterday said Qatar will host a very successful World Cup in 2022. Qatar’s winning 2022 bid is a great opportunity for countries such as the UK to work closely with Qatar to help it have a very successful World Cup, Nicholas Hopton told a press conference. “Qatar has been chosen to have the World Cup in 2022. I think Qatar will have great success in it,” he said. To a question about an article in The Guardian on deaths of Nepalese workers in Qatar, Hopton said: “I can’t talk on behalf of the newspaper. But, of course, I have read the report.” However, he remains optimistic Qatar is taking steps to safeguard migrant workers’ rights.

Kuwait warns ‘stateless’ people against protests

Source: Kuwait Times (Read full story)

Kuwait’s interior ministry yesterday warned stateless people against staging demonstrations to mark the international day for non-violence, saying it will firmly deal with any protest. The ministry said in a statement that any processions or protests by “illegal residents”, the phrase the government uses to describe stateless people or bedoons, “would be dealt with firmly and harshly in accordance with the law and procedures”. Kuwaiti police have repeatedly dispersed bedoon protests by force, using tear gas and stun grenades and arresting hundreds of protesters who are currently in trial for taking part in illegal gatherings and resisting police orders. Bedoon activists have been urging their people to demonstrate peacefully in large numbers on the international day for non-violence which falls on October 2, using social networks, especially Twitter. Bedoon activists yesterday distributed leaflets calling for bedoons to take part in the planned protests.

Bahrain said to sentence 50 antigovernment activists

Source: Al Jazeera America (Read full story)

A Bahrain court sentenced 50 people to prison Sunday after a mass trial for alleged links to a militant group blamed for bombings and other antigovernment attacks in the Gulf nation, a rights activist said. “A group of Feb. 14 activists were sentenced to between five and 15 years in jail,” Yousif al-Muhafda of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights told Reuters. The center said there were human-rights campaigners among those convicted “under the internationally criticized and vague terrorism law” and that the sentences added up to more than 400 years. “This was a sham trial with a political verdict. They should be released immediately,” the center’s acting president, Maryam al-Khawaja, said in a statement. The defendants are accused of forming an illegal group opposing the political system, “training elements to commit violence and vandalism” and “attacking security men,” according to the charge sheet.

Oman looks forward to fuel deal with Iran

Source: Albawaba News (Read full story)

Oman remains hopeful that talks between US and Iran will eventually lead to the much sought after natural gas supplies needed for the country to resume traffic through the Straight of Hormuz. As reported by Reuters, Omani officials have been frequenting Tehran in order to continue negotiations in the hopes that the economic sanctions will be lifted from Iran.  Oman has been attempting to buy fuel from Iran since 2005 but western sanctions have prevented any progress. The Oman energy minister, Mohammed bin Hamad al Rumhy commented on the issue just after signing the biggest trade deal for fuel between the two countries. “The new government of Iran has a different approach. We are very optimistic that all the political issues between Iran and the West, particularly, will be resolved,” said al Ruhmy.