Gulf in the News – January 24, 2014

Assad regime threatens to withdraw from Syria peace talks

Source: The National (Read full story)

Foreign Minister Walid Al Muallem has told UN-Arab League peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi “that should serious sessions fail to take place by tomorrow, the official Syrian delegation will leave Geneva”.

The regime accused the opposition National Coalition of being “not serious and not ready” for the talks, which opened on Wednesday.

Protests hit Yemen after Huthi envoy’s assassination

Source: Arab News (Read full story)

“The people want to overthrow the government,” chanted the protesters, who gathered in response to calls by the Huthi rebels, known as Ansarullah (Partisans of God). “Government of corruption, leave the country.”

On Tuesday, gunmen in Sanaa shot dead Ahmed Sharafeddin as he drove from his house in the capital Sanaa to the hotel where the final working session of the talks was being held.

MP Rashed launches scathing attack on PM

Source: Kuwait Times (Read full story)

“The prime minister is hypothetically and legally supposed to select the ministers, but in truth only two advisors form the government, and one of them when asked ‘why do not you become a minister because this is a good opportunity as the premier is your friend and the Assembly is cooperative’, his answer was ‘why do I demote myself and become minister, when I appoint and remove ministers now’,” Rashed said.

Iran tells the world it is open for business

Source: The National (Read full story)

Mr Rouhani told politicians, businessmen and policymakers at the meeting that he wanted Iran to be among the top economic powers in the world. “Our economy has the potential to be among the top 10 in the next two decades. This is a goal I am promising and I am laying the groundwork for it while I am in office,” he said.

According to the IMF, Iran currently ranks at number 21 in the global rankings by GDP, which reached US$549 billion in 2012. To become a member of the top 10, its economy would have to become larger than that of India, at $1.84 trillion.

Riyadh metro to be 73 km underground

Source: Arab News (Read full story)

One of the world’s largest metro projects, this automatic driverless network will be over 170 km and have 87 stations on six lines, and is scheduled for completion in 2018, said the High Commission for the Development of Riyadh (HCDR).