Daily Archives: July 9, 2017

Tillerson Travels to Kuwait in Hopes of Brokering Qatar Deal

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson travels to Kuwait Monday to try to help broker a deal between Qatar and its Gulf neighbors.
Kuwait has tried to mediate a resolution between the small monarchy on the Arabian Peninsula and its neighbors, but has been unsuccessful so far.
Tillerson met with top Qatari and Kuwaiti officials late last month in an effort to end the escalating standoff, but he is apparently taking a more hands-on role in the negotiations with his trip to Kuwait. The secretary of state has emphasized the need for all parties to exercise restraint to allow for productive diplomatic discussions.
Gulf neighbors cut ties
Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt have imposed trade and diplomatic embargoes on Qatar. The Saudi-led group has suspended all relations with Qatar and has accused the oil-rich nation of supporting extremist groups and destabilizing the region, claims Qatar has denied.
The Gulf states have also shown no willingness to ease their 13-point list of demands, which includes calls for Qatar to downgrade its relations with Iran and close the Qatari-state-funded Al-Jazeera news network.
“We believe that this could potentially drag on for weeks. It could drag on for months,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said last week, about the row among the Gulf states.
Trump weighed in
After his first trip abroad to Saudi Arabia, U.S. President Donald Trump, weighed in on the Qatar crisis, albeit in a way that contrasted his views with those of his secretary of state.
“The nation of Qatar unfortunately has historically been a funder of terrorism at a very high level,” Trump said last month, “and in the wake of that GCC [Gulf Cooperation Council] nations came together and spoke to me about confronting Qatar over its behavior.”
After the Saudis and their neighbors instituted a land, air and sea blockade of Qatar, Iran and Turkey promised to help the Qataris weather the diplomatic crisis.
US bases
Tillerson said in a statement: “Our role has been to encourage the parties to get their issues on the table, clearly articulated, so that those issues can be addressed and some resolution process can get under way to bring this to a conclusion.”
Qatar hosts the largest U.S. military base in the region, Al Udeid Air Base, while Bahrain, which is allied with Saudi Arabia in its anti-Qatar stance, is home port for the U.S. Fifth Fleet.

Source: Voice of America

CONTINUE BUDGETARY SUPPORT FOR GULF AIR: BAHRAINI MP

A Bahraini MP called for reconsidering the move to cut off financial support to the Kingdom’s national carrier.

Commenting on reports indicating that no funds will be allocated to support Gulf Air in the State Budget, MP Khalid Al Shaer insisted on the importance of backing the airlines, especially when its board of directors was changed less than two months ago.

“The new board should be given the opportunity to fulfil its promises to make positive and drastic changes by the end of 2018,” Al Shaer said, in a statement.

“The Government and the House of Representatives should not let go of Gulf Air at this crucial point,” Al Shaer said, adding that, such a move would harm the national economy.

“Gulf Air is a national asset and benefits the national economy a lot. Supporting it is very important at this juncture,” Al Shaer said in the statement.

Al Shaer, who’s also the Deputy Chairman of the Council’s Legislative and Legal Affairs Committee, highlighted in his statement that, the company is taking serious measures to increase its revenues and overcome deficit, such as launching new destinations and joining an agreement that exempts its employees from paying visas, “a step that is expected to annually save BD 76,000 (USD 201,547.51),” Al Shaer affirmed.

The MP also noted that the national carrier annually contributes around eight percent to the national economy.

Stressing his rejection to the intentions to stop financial support to Gulf Air, Al Shaer added, “The company has only requested BD 100 million out of the state budget, against around BD 300 million of financial responsibilities, debts and losses. The company has efficiently reduced its losses by around BD 180 million in the past four years. Gulf Air pumps direct and indirect revenues worth hundreds of millions of dinars into the Kingdom’s economy.”

Al Shaer’s statements come while the Economic and Financial Affairs Committee in the Council discusses approving the State budget with the Finance Ministry and other governmental authorities

Source: NAM News Network

Bahrain weather forecast

Manama: The Meteorological Directorate forecasts a hot and humid weather with slight haze but misty in places early morning.

Wind: Easterly to southeasterly directional, from 5 to 10 knots, reaching 12 to 17 knots at times.
Temperature: Maximum 40 degrees Celsius and minimum 32 degrees Celsius.
Humidity: Maximum 90% and minimum 35%

Sea waves: 1 to 2 feet inshore, 2 to 4 feet offshore.

Source: Bahrain News Agency

HM King condoles with Egyptian president

Manama: His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa sent a cable of condolences to Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi, over the victims of terrorist explosion that targeted a security checkpoint in North Sinai province that led to several deaths and injuries of military servicemen.

In the cable, HM the King expressed strongest condemnation of such criminal acts that breached all the values of heavenly religions, reiterating the Kingdom of Bahrain’s firm supportive stance with Egypt in all the measures it takes to tackle such criminal attacks, supplicating to Almighty Allah to accommodate the souls of the fallen servicemen in His vast mercy, to bestow patience and solace on the bereaved families, wishing the injured a quick recovery, and wishing Egypt and its people safety from all harm or mischief.

Source: Bahrain News Agency

Municipal services needs reviewed

Manama: Director-general of the Northern Area Municipality, Yousef Ibrahim Al Ghattam, said the municipality directly coordinates with the Northern Area Municipal Council to fulfill the municipal services needs of Duraz residents, in compliance with the directives of HRH the Prime Minister, with constant follow up from the Minister of Works, Municipalities Affairs and Urban Planning.
Al Ghattam paid a field inspection visit to Saar village during which he toured Bu Saibie beach and Duraz village park, where he was accompanied with Northern Area Municipal Council member Fatima Al Khamis.

The visit was in implementation of the directives of His Royal Highness Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa the Prime Minister, to determine the citizens’ needs of municipal services following the visit of the Minister of Woks to determine the citizens’ needs, he stressed.

Source: Bahrain News Agency