Gulf in the News – October 1,2013

A grateful farewell to Saudi Arabia

Source: Saudi Gazette (Read full story)

In 2009, President Obama spoke in Cairo of his hopes for “a new beginning in the Islamic world, one based on shared interest, mutual trust and mutual respect.”  That sentence has guided me over these last four years.  Our cooperation with Saudi Arabia has never been stronger, our shared interests never closer, and the foundation of our relationship never more solid. In 2009, there were 23,000 Saudi students in the United States.  We committed ourselves to making sure that no student missed a class because they could not get a visa appointment, and this started a long, deliberate process to retool the visa process in our Embassy in Riyadh and our Consulates in Jeddah and Dhahran.  Today there are over 71,000 Saudi students in the United States, half of all the Saudis who are studying abroad, with both numbers growing.

Three Gulf telecom operators, UK’s Vodafone form consortium

Source: Khaleej Times (Read full story)

Three Gulf telecom operators and Britain’s Vodafone have formed a consortium to launch 1,400 kilometres fibre network that will meet rising demand for broadband connectivity in the region. The initial phase of the project is estimated to be $36 million to connect the region, but will cost more significantly when the cable will go to Europe, telecom operators said at a news conference in Dubai on Monday. The system, to be called the Middle East-Europe Terrestrial System (Meets) — was both conceived and co-promoted by du, Vodafone, Zain and Zajil. It will be completed in the first quarter of next year. “It’s an equal partnership between all the parties,” Mahesh Jaishankar, vice president at du, told Khaleej Times.

Qatar and US to fight gender-based violence

Source: The Peninsula (Read full story)

Qatar and the US are working together to combat all forms of gender-based violence around the world, the US Ambassador Susan L Ziadeh has said. “The US, Qatar, and key international partners have once again come together here in Doha to address a pressing global issue. “The US and Qatar share an unyielding commitment to combating all forms of gender-based violence around the world, in order to uphold the principles embodied in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” Ziadeh told a training workshop on investigating cases of sexual and gender-based violence as international crimes which concluded on Sunday.

BankDhofar inks agreement with INJAZ Oman — launches versatile CSR efforts

Source: Oman Daily Observer (Read full story)

The award winning BankDhofar after months of studies and research and in line with their overall strategy has launched its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives, commencing with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with INJAZ Oman at BankDhofar premises recently. Abdel Hakeem Omar Al Ojaili, Acting CEO represented BankDhofar and Sheikh Shabib Mohammed al Mamari, Executive Director represented INJAZ Oman at the ceremony — which was attended by a number of other officials. “It is imperative for us as a proud Omani institution to contribute to the betterment of society in numerous ways. We have identified issues of national interest, consulted our staff and aligned ourselves with best practices worldwide to deliver sustainable programs in a structured and inclusive way.

UAE, UK launch joint military exercise

Source: Gulf News (Read full story)

The UAE Navy and UK Royal Navy Task Group on Monday launched joint military exercises across the UAE to safeguard maritime security, economic prosperity, and freedom of navigation in the region, a top UK commander said. The war games codenamed “Sea Khanjar,” which will last until October 9, will see the UK Response Force Task Group deploys a range of the Royal Navy’s capabilities, said Commodore Paddy McAlpine, Commander UK Task Group, which forms part of the Royal Navy’s Response Force Task Group (RFTG). RFTG is the UK’s high readiness maritime force, comprising ships, submarines, aircraft and a landing force of Royal Marines, ready at short notice to act in response to any contingency tasking as required by our government.

Kuwait warns stateless people over protests

Source: Khaleej Times (Read full story)

Kuwait’s interior ministry on Monday warned stateless residents against demonstrating to mark the international day of non-violence on October 2, warning it will deal firmly with protesters. Online activists have been urging stateless residents of the Gulf state, known locally as bidoons, to demonstrate peacefully to renew their demands for Kuwaiti citizenship and basic rights like education and healthcare. The ministry “will deal firmly, in accordance with the law and procedures, with any gatherings or rallies,” said an official statement, which described the stateless people as “illegal residents.”