Gulf in the News – January 22, 2014

Saudi Arabia: Foreign fighters must leave Syria

Source: Arab News (Read full story)

Speaking at the UN Security Council on Tuesday, Abdullah Al-Moallemi, the Kingdom’s permanent ambassador to the UN, slammed the UN Security Council for not issuing a statement condemning grave human rights violations in Syria.

He said the presence of foreign fighters in Syria was dangerous for the country. He called on the international community, led by influential countries, to pressure Assad’s government to stop its crimes against humanity.

Iran’s nuclear stockpile may rise for now despite deal with powers

Source: Khaleej Times (Read full story)

While Iran this week halted its most proliferation-sensitive work, enrichment to a fissile concentration of 20 per cent, it is allowed under the interim agreement to continue producing uranium refined to up to 5 per cent.

Iran says it is doing so to fuel a planned network of nuclear power plants, not to develop bombs as the West fears. Uranium must be enriched to a high degree – about 90 per cent fissile purity – for a nuclear weapon.

UAE court convicts 30 Muslim Brotherhood men

Source: Khaleej Times (Read full story)

Thirty people accused of links to the Muslim Brotherhood, and charged with setting up a branch of the organisation in the UAE, were sentenced by the State Security Circuit at the Federal Supreme Court to jail terms ranging from three months to five years. The verdicts were issued in the presence of 24 accused. Six others were sentenced in absentia.

Yemen leader’s term extended

Source: The Peninsula (Read full story)

Yemen’s political factions extended the president’s term by a year and approved a new federal system at the end of national reconciliation talks yesterday. Political factions gave interim President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, whose two-year term had originally been due to end with elections in February 2014, an extra year after delays in the transition to democracy. He will oversee a shift to a federal system intended to accommodate southern separatist demands for more autonomy.

GCC current civil construction projects valued at $ 1.3 trillion

Source: Gulf Times (Read full story)

The GCC (Gulf Co-operation Council) civil construction market has returned to growth with a total $59bn in contracts awarded last year, a level not seen since 2008, the report said.

Historically, Meed Insight said the civil construction market has been the largest sector in the GCC projects, driven mainly by booming economies and populations in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.