Gulf in the News – December 9, 2013

GCC Summit Kicks off in Kuwait tomorrow

Source: Bahrain News Agency (Read full story)

The 34th session of the Supreme Council for the leaders of GCC states kicks off tomorrow Tuesday, where Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) stated that the GCC leaders would discuss a number of issues concerned with achieving the aspirations of the Gulf nations in the political, security, and economic areas. The GCC leaders would also discuss vital issues such as human rights, environment, education, combating infectious diseases, cultural and media affairs, and unified Gulf currency, in addition to what has been achieved in regard of Customs Union between GCC countries. During the summit, GCC leaders will discuss the obstacles to trade exchange, in a way to standarise systems, customs, financial, and administrative procedures, as well as the flow of goods between GCC countries without customs restrictions, and treatment of goods produced in any GCC country as a national product.

New Saudi investments in Egypt expected to reach SR8.5 billion

Source: Arab News (Read full story)

Abdullah bin Mahfouz, chairman of the Saudi-Egyptian Business Council (SEBC), says that the volume of Saudi investments in Egypt — from June 30 until the end of the year — is expected to reach SR8.5 billion. The investments will mainly be in housing, minerals, pharmaceuticals and agriculture. He was speaking at the conclusion of a recent conference in Cairo for Gulf investors in Egypt. Saudi and Egyptian officials attended the event. Mahfouz told Arab News: Egyptian officials have assured us that they will remove the hurdles standing in the way of Gulf, especially Saudi investors, who are more knowledgeable about the Egyptian market, due to their long experience there.

Criminal court to rule on storming Assembly – MPs say easing supervision will encourage graft

Source: Kuwait Times (Read full story)

The criminal court is scheduled to issue its rulings today against 70 opposition activists including around 11 former MPs on charges of storming the National Assembly building more than two years ago. The case, involving leading opposition figures like former MPs Musallam Al-Barrak, Faisal Al-Mislem, Jamaan Al-Harbash, Fahd Al-Khanna and others, has been in court for around 20 months. The court may however decide to delay passing the verdicts until another date in order to complete the sentences due to the large number of defendants in the case.

QP signs butadiene extraction deal

Source: Gulf Times (Read full story)

Qatar Petroleum (QP) and Zeon Corporation and Mitsui & Company, both Japan-based, have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the development of an integrated butadiene extraction and elastomer complex in Ras Laffan. The MoU was signed by HE the Minister for Energy and Industry Dr Mohamed bin Saleh al-Sada; Yoshimasa Fushimi, Zeon Corporation director and executive corporate officer and Seiichi Tanaka, Mitsui & Company representative director and executive vice president, in Doha yesterday.

Gen. Mohammed receives Commander of Centcom

Source: Emirates 24/7 (Read full story)

General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, received today, the visiting Commander of the US Central Command (Centcom), General Lloyd J. Austin. The Crown Prince welcomed General Austin and discussed with him cooperation, bilateral relations and ways of strengthening them in the joint interest of the two friendly countries, especially in with regards to defence cooperation and coordination. They also exchanged views on the latest developments in the region, in addition to a number of issues of joint interest.

Pentagon Sees “Significant Interest” In F-35 From Gulf

Source: Gulf Business (Read full story)

Strong demand from Gulf countries for Lockheed Martin Corp’s F-35 fighter jet has prompted Washington to grapple with the thorny question about releasing the jet to the region sooner than expected, a senior U.S. defense official said. Washington has already approved sales of the new stealth fighter to a range of allies, including Turkey, South Korea, Japan and Israel, but sales to the Gulf require a deeper review given U.S. policy guidelines that call for Israel to maintain a qualitative military edge in the Middle East. Talk about selling the plane to the United Arab Emirates and other U.S. allies in the Gulf came into the open during the Dubai air show last month, with potential buyers weighing whether to buy existing planes or wait for the U.S. government to release the new radar-evading F-35.