Gulf in the News – January 21, 2014

Iran has stopped high-end uranium enrichment: UN

Source: Khaleej Times (Read full story)

The UN nuclear agency is confirming that Iran has halted its most sensitive uranium enrichment work as part of a landmark deal struck with world powers.

Riyadh: No room for Tehran at Geneva 2

Source: Arab News (Read full story)

Saudi Arabia has rejected Iran’s participation in the Geneva 2 peace talks on Syria unless Tehran backs efforts for a transitional government in war-torn country.

Iran did not “announce officially and openly its agreement to the creation of a transitional government,” said a Saudi government spokesman.

Government plans to award two oil blocks for exploration to international firms this year

Source: Times of Oman (Read full story)

Oman government plans to award two oil blocks to international firms for exploration in Southern Oman this year, which is part of five blocks tendered last year.

The Ministry of Oil and Gas is on the verge of finalising negotiations with foreign companies, said a senior official of the Ministry of Oil and Gas, on the sidelines of the International Unconventional Gas Conference and Exhibition here yesterday.

Dubai to invest $8.1 billion in infrastructure for Expo 2020

Source: Arab News (Read full story)

Total spending related to the expo, including private sector projects, could reach $18.3 billion, according to HSBC estimation. According to Deutsche Bank estimation, as much as $43 billion in infrastructure projects will need to be developed in preparation for the event.

Sharif upbeat on Saudi-Pak ties

Source: Arab News (Read full story)

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif held talks here Monday with visiting Saudi Deputy Defense Minister Prince Salman bin Sultan and highlighted the strong ties between the two countries.

Sharif said Pakistan considers relations with Saudi Arabia of “top importance” and was keen to take these ties to “new heights.”