Gulf in the News – February 24, 2014


Sabahi running for president to protect the Egyptian revolution

Source: Al-Monitor (Read full story)

Hamdeen Sabahi, an Egyptian politician who has been named as a potential candidate for the presidential elections, has confirmed that he decided to run to achieve the objectives of the January 25 Revolution. In an interview with As-Safir, Sabahi said that he gave in to pressures to run from the revolutionary youth, who believed that his absence from the elections would contribute to the continuation of the current situation. Egypt is witnessing a decline in political freedoms and a return to a security grip that is greater than the one present during the reign of former President Hosni Mubarak.  Sabahi said there is an open dialogue with a number of political forces to coordinate before the official start of the election battle. He added that a meeting will be held with the former presidential candidate Khaled Ali to discuss the level of available consensus on a single candidate to represent the revolutionary forces.

Expert nuclear talks next week: Tehran

Source: The Peninsula Qatar (Read full story)

Iran and world powers will hold technical talks “next week” in Vienna ahead of a political meeting to negotiate a comprehensive nuclear deal, a top Iranian negotiator said yesterday.  Iran and the P5+1 group of world powers agreed last week on a timetable and framework for the negotiations for an accord that would allay Western concerns about Iran’s nuclear programme in return for the lifting of crippling sanctions.  “The issues on the agenda are enrichment (of uranium), the lifting of sanctions and international cooperation on peaceful nuclear energy,” said Abbas Araqchi, also a deputy foreign minister.

Gulf cohesion crucial for Mideast region

Source: Al-Monitor (Read full story)

It is obvious that there is an intense regional competition over influence in the Middle East. Even though it is not new, the accelerated changes and regional political shifts, as well as the dynamics of regional events, have particularized the foreign policy trends of the main forces in the region. This is more evident regarding Turkey, Iran and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in light of the Arab Spring’s repercussions — particularly the Syrian crisis and the regional and international polarization it has triggered.    

Egypt orders 504 Islamists to face mass tribunal

Source: Arab News (Read full story)

Egyptian authorities have ordered more than 500 supporters of Islamist President Muhammad Mursi to face a mass tribunal on violence charges.  Thousands of Mursi supporters have been arrested, killed and injured in a heavy crackdown on his Muslim Brotherhood since the Islamist leader was toppled on July 3. The Muslim Brotherhood has been labeled a terrorist organization and its assets have been confiscated.

Kuwait looks to improve human rights record – Joint efforts to identify, prosecute visa traffickers

Source: Kuwait Times (Read full story)

The Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor prepares to launch efforts in cooperation with other state departments in order to identify fake companies in Kuwait, so that proper legal action can be taken accordingly.  The step, if successful, will be considered the biggest action against visa traffickers who use licenses of inactive companies in order to obtain work permits, which are then sold to workers either inside or outside Kuwait.

Bank on your wages as cash salaries face axe in Oman

Source: Times of Oman (Read full story)

Cash-in-hand wages will become a thing of the past under new rules which will ensure all employees in Oman, local and expatriates, get their salaries paid into a bank account.  The Ministry of Manpower (MoM) in association with the Central Bank of Oman (CBO) is in the process of implementing the Salary Payment System (SPS), which will apply to all workers in all sectors, officials confirmed. “The process of implementing SPS began in December 2013. We have started to compile data,” an official from MoM said.