Gulf in the News – February 25, 2014

Riyadh briefed on Geneva talks

Source: Arab News (Read full story)

American and Saudi officials held top-level talks Sunday on the visit by US President Barack Obama in March.  US Undersecretary of State Wendy Sherman met with senior Saudi and Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) officials at the meeting.  Sherman, who led the American negotiating team at talks in Vienna aimed at curbing Iran’s nuclear program, also discussed this issue and other regional and bilateral matters with Prince Saud Al-Faisal, the foreign minister. “Sherman met with Foreign Minister Prince Saud and discussed regional issues, bilateral cooperation, and the upcoming visits of President Obama and senior US officials,” said a statement released by the US Embassy on Monday.

Qatar can lead GCC in creating local currency debt market: StanChart

Source: Gulf Times (Read full story)

Standard Chartered has said Qatar’s upgrade to ‘emerging’ market, effective from June this year, is important for the country but there was a need for more investment instruments, particularly local currency debts; where Doha can take the lead in the Gulf region in creating the market.  “The upgrade is important because global investors will be looking at Qatar, whose economy will grow fast and boom. It is stable economy as well,” StanChart Global Head Macro Research (Global Markets) Marios Maratheftis said.  Recently, al khaliji, one of the 42-listed companies, received shareholders’ approval to increase the foreign ownership limit to 49% from the existing 25%.

Morocco aims to attract more investment from Gulf states

Source: Arab News (Read full story)

Morocco aims to strengthen its trade and economic partnerships with the UAE, Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries.  Mohammed Abbou, minister of industry, trade,investment and digital economy of Morocco, told Arab News that his country has plans to build more ports, airports, highways, rail and express ways to attract more investment from the Gulf and Middle East.  “Morocco is platform for Europe, Middle East, Africa and ideally situated as an export platform for the EU market, US East Coast and other markets. Moreover, we have a dynamic and growing industry with a liberal and beneficial policy to the investments,” he added.

Ibrahim Mehleb to form new Egypt government

Source: Ahram Online (Read full story)

Ibrahim Mehleb has been asked to form Egypt’s new government by interim President Adly Mansour.
Mehleb, who resigned as housing minister on Monday, said he would immediately start consultations on the appointment of a new cabinet.  A former member of Hosni Mubarak’s National Democratic Party (NDP) and ex-chairman of Arab Contractors, one of the region’s leading construction companies, Mehleb will succeed Hazem El-Beblawi as prime minister.  … The new cabinet will have security and public services at the top of its agenda.

Iraq to buy Iran arms

Source: Arab News (Read full story)

Iran has signed a deal to sell Iraq arms and ammunition worth $195 million, according to documents seen by Reuters — a move that would break a UN embargo on weapons sales by Tehran.  The agreement was reached at the end of November, the documents showed, just weeks after Iraq’s Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki returned from US, where he lobbied the Obama administration for extra weapons to fight Al-Qaeda-linked militants.

GCC states keen on Lebanon”s stability – Kuwait Amb.

Source: Kuwait News Agency (Read full story)

Kuwait’s Ambassador to Lebanon Abdul-Aal Al-Qenaie said Monday the ambassadors of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states to Lebanon, reaffirm keenness of their countries on Lebanon’s sovereignty and stability.  Ambassador Al-Qenaie lauded, on behalf of GCC ambassadors accredited in Lebanon, the strong ties between the GCC countries and Lebanon.