Posts Tagged ‘Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan’

Gulf rulers boycotting Qatar skip GCC annual summit

December 5, 2017

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Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani gestures as he poses for a family photo during the annual summit of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), in Kuwait City, Kuwait, December 5, 2017. REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed Reuters

By Ahmed Hagagy

KUWAIT (Reuters) – Qatar’s Emir said on Tuesday he hoped a summit of the Gulf Cooperation Council in Kuwait would help maintain stability in the region, Al-Jazeera TV said, though four Arab heads of state involved in a rift with Qatar stayed away.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain and Egypt which have imposed economic, diplomatic and trade sanctions on Qatar in a dispute that began in June, sent ministers or deputy prime ministers instead to the annual event.

Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, who with Kuwait’s Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah were the only heads of state to attend the meeting, acknowledged that the summit took place in “highly sensitive circumstances” in the life of the GCC.

“I am full of hope that the summit will lead to results that will maintain the security of the Gulf and its stability,” Tamim said, according to the Doha-based Al-Jazeera.

Sheikh Sabah, opening the summit, called for a mechanism to be set up in the Western-backed grouping to resolve disputes among its members.

Relations within the Gulf have soured since the four Arab states accused Qatar of supporting terrorism. Qatar had denied the charges.

Kuwait, which had spearheaded unsuccessful mediation efforts since the rift began, had hoped the summit would provide an opportunity for leaders to meet face-to-face and discuss the crisis, according to two Gulf diplomats.

Earlier, the UAE said it would set up a bilateral cooperation committee with Saudi Arabia, separate from the GCC, on political, economic and military issues.

UAE president Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahyan said the new committee would be chaired by Abu Dhabi’s crown prince, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahayan, Mohammed Bin Zayed, state news agency WAM reported.

Saudi Arabia has not yet commented.

The proposal also coincides with an escalation in the conflict in Yemen, where both Saudi Arabia and the UAE are heavily involved. Veteran former president Ali Abdullah Saleh was killed in a roadside attack on Monday after switching sides in Yemen’s civil war, abandoning his Iran-aligned Houthi allies in favor of a Saudi-led coalition.

Founded in 1980 as a bulwark against bigger neighbors Iran and Iraq, the GCC is facing an existential crisis after Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt accused Qatar of supporting terrorism, charges Doha denies.

(Writing by Aziz El Yaakoubi; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)

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UAE Ruler Leaves Country on Private Trip Abroad

July 1, 2017

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — The ruler of the United Arab Emirates has left the country on a private trip.

The state-run WAM news agency reported Saturday that Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan had traveled abroad. It provided no other details.

Sheikh Khalifa was born in 1948 and became president after his father, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, died in 2004. He is also the ruler of Abu Dhabi, the oil-rich capital of the seven UAE sheikhdoms.

Sheikh Khalifa suffered a stroke on Jan. 24, 2014, and underwent emergency surgery. He has taken several private trips abroad since then.

In late June, he made a rare public appearance on state media to mark the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. The video showed him speaking, but carried no sound.

Emirates to Privatize Government Services

February 8, 2016

The Associated Press

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Dubai’s ruler said Monday the United Arab Emirates will privatize some government services in the oil-rich country, as well as create a state minister position devoted to ensuring the happiness of its citizens.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who also serves as the UAE’s prime minister, made the comments on Twitter after appearing at the World Government Summit being hosted in his city-state. He also announced that some government ministries would be merged, while also creating a minister of state position to oversee tolerance in a country that is home to many faiths and ethnicities.

“It is a beginning of a new journey of achievement and giving to the people and we ask Allah to help us to serve and take care of them,” one message read.

The series of tweets sent out to coincide with the summit did not offer a timeframe for when the plans would be implemented. However, they come amid a monthslong push by the 66-year-old ruler focused on happiness in his emirate, which is known for its futuristic skyscrapers and a liberal disposition compared to the rest of the largely conservative Arabian Peninsula.

The United Arab Emirates is a federation composed of seven autonomously ruled emirates. The ruler of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, serves as the country’s president. In his tweets Monday night, Sheikh Mohammed said the changes in the federal government came after he consulted with Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi’s crown prince.

This isn’t the first time Sheikh Mohammed has turned to Twitter to make a major announcement. Last week, he posted messages to Twitter saying he wanted a young person under 25 to serve as a UAE government minister to oversee youth issues.