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The Heritage Foundation says US-Oman relations must improve in 2020 with the new Sultan Haitham.  They note, “The United States and Oman share many geopolitical challenges and have had good relations dating back two centuries. Under the leadership of Sultan Haitham, U.S.–Omani relations will be entering a new chapter. The …

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Russia wants to extend security network to Gulf states

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Wednesday Moscow has been urging Gulf countries to consider a common security mechanism for the region. “We have been suggesting to the Gulf countries to think about collective security mechanisms … starting with confidence building measures and inviting each other to military exercises,” …

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Japan sending troops to Middle East

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s cabinet decided on Tuesday to use about 507 million yen ($4.6 million) from this fiscal year’s budget reserves for the Self-Defense Forces in the Middle East, the finance ministry said. The move is aimed at ensuring peace and stability in the Middle East and the …

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Bahrain in defence talks wih US

Bahrain’s Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa discussed by phone on Monday with U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper the importance of maintaining regional security and stability, state news agency BNA reported. Their conversation followed the killing of a top Iranian military commander, Qassem Soleimani, in a U.S. drone strike …

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British naval escorts for UK ships in Gulf

Britain’s navy will accompany UK-flagged ships through the Strait of Hormuz to provide protection after the U.S. killing of Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani inflamed tensions in the region. Britain’s defence minister, Ben Wallace, ordered the HMS Montrose and HMS Defender to prepare to return to escort duties in the …

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Sudanese government backtracks on subsidy cuts

Sudan’s transitional government is to postpone lifting fuel subsidies, initially planned as part of the 2020 budget, the information minister said on Saturday. Finance minister Ibrahim Elbadawi had said on Friday the fuel subsidies will be gradually removed. But the government met on Saturday with the former opposition which helped …

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Japan sending forces to Gulf after all

Japan will send a warship and patrol planes to protect Japanese ships in the Middle East as the situation in the region, from which it sources nearly 90% of its crude oil imports, remains volatile, Japan’s top government spokesman said on Friday. Under the plan approved by Prime Minister Shinzo …

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Egypt to begin importing Israeli gas

Egypt will begin importing natural gas from Israel by mid-January 2020, a senior industry source said on Sunday. Israeli gas exports to Egypt will gradually reach 7 billion cubic meters, the source said on condition of anonymity. Egyptian company Dolphinus Holdings reached a landmark deal last year with the Israeli …

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Oman sells electricity stakes to China

Oman’s state-owned Electricity Holding Company, also known as Nama, has sold a 49% stake in Oman Electricity Transmission Co. to State Grid Corporation of China, raising around $1 billion, Mansoor Al Hinai, a Nama spokesman, said on Sunday. The deal is one of five privatizations that Nama is planning as …

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Qatar pushing up gas production on schedule

Qatar’s QP chief executive Saad al-Kaabi said on Saturday the Gulf state was on track to expand its gas production to 110 million tons annually by 2024. “We are on plan for 2024,” Kaabi told the Doha Forum conference. Qatar announced earlier plans to expand production from the current 77 …

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GCC summit calls for financial integration

A summit of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries called for finalizing legislation for regional economic integration by 2025, including financial and monetary unity, according to the meeting’s final communique. The statement, read by GCC General Secretary Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani and broadcast live, called also for boosting military …

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Qatari FM in Saudi capital

Qatar’s minister of state for foreign affairs arrived in Saudi Arabia on Monday, state news agency QNA said, for a preparatory meeting ahead of an annual summit of Gulf Cooperation Council leaders that could see a thaw in a 2-1/2-year Gulf crisis. Minister Soltan bin Saad Al-Muraikhi represented Qatar last …

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Oman Oil making strides towards IPO

The process of the initial public offering of Oman Oil Co will be completed by the end of next year, Oman’s Oil Minister Mohammed al-Rumhi said on Wednesday at an industry event in Dubai. Rumhi also said the OPEC+ production cuts agreement will hopefully be extended. If the listing goes …

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Jordan to start talks with IMF

Jordan has begun negotiations over a new three-year funding program with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to stimulate growth that has been stagnant at about 2% for the last decade, the finance minister said on Thursday. Mohammad Al Ississ however said the country would not accept “dictates” from the international …

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Omar Al-Bashir’s party dissolved

Sudanese transitional authorities approved a law on Thursday to dissolve the former ruling party and repealed a public order law used to regulate women’s behavior under ex-president Omar al-Bashir, the justice minister said. The two measures responded to key demands by a protest movement that helped overthrow Bashir in April. …

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Qatari overture to mend relations with Saudi

Qatar’s foreign minister has made an unannounced visit to Riyadh, two sources told Reuters, amid signs that a 2-1/2-year rift among U.S.-allied Gulf Arab states could soon subside. Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani met with senior Saudi officials last month, said one of the sources familiar with the trip, the …

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