In Friday's Middle East papers

22 August 2008 05:30  [Source: ICIS news]


Front Page

His majesty returns home
His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said returned home on Thursday after a three-day private visit to Qatar.

NSG members propose stiff terms for N-deal
Nuclear supplier nations on Thursday proposed conditions for lifting a global ban on fuel and technology exports to India, a step required to implement a US-India nuclear cooperation deal.


Oil gains $4 on Russia-US tension
Oil rose by more than $4/bbl to nearly $120 on Thursday, climbing for a third day, as Washington’s missile shield deal with Poland angered Russia, adding to international tension. 

US wants push to revive trade talks
The United States wants officials to resume international trade talks in September after a meeting of ministers collapsed without a breakthrough last month, US trade chief Susan Schwab was quoted as saying.


Front Page

US military frees Iraqi journalist after 26 days
The US military released an Iraqi television cameraman for the Reuters news agency and other news organizations without charges on Thursday, after 26 days in detention.

Crisis-hit Pakistan coalition to meet (AFP)
Pakistan's shaky ruling coalition was set for a make-or-break meeting on Friday, a day after a double suicide bombing killed 64 people and underscored the government's struggle with extremism.


Middle East has world's highest hotel occupancy
The Middle East had the highest hotel occupancy and average room rates in the world in the first half of the year, Deloitte & Touche LLP said.

Tamweel says no corruption probe on company
The country's largest mortgage provider Tamweel said on Thursday it is not being investigated by authorities over allegations that two former officials had embezzled from the company.


Front Page

Amir condemns Algeria violence
His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah has sent a cable to Algerian President Abdel Aziz Baouteflika expressing deep condolences on demise of scores of Algerians in the blast that targeted a school of the security forces in East Algeria.

Azmi qualifies for second round
Kuwait’s runner Mohammad Al-Azmi qualified Wednesday for the second round of the 800 meters race after coming first in the seventh heat in 1:46.94. minutes.


Market dinar rates deter speculators 
Kuwaiti banks have made it more expensive for speculators to bet on the dinar-dollar exchange rate after the central bank withdrew an interbank guarantee this month, drying up liquidity, bankers and traders said. As the dollar strengthens on global markets, investors expect Kuwait’s central bank which tracks the dinar against a basket of currencies comprised mainly of dollars  to allow the currency to fall.

Berlin moves to block takeovers by wealth funds 
Berlin moved on Wednesday to block takeovers of German firms by petrodollar-rich investment vehicles known as sovereign wealth funds if they are deemed to jeopardise national security.


Front Page

More judges pronouncing alternative sentences
Discretionary substitute sentences have become an alternative form of punishment meted out by Saudi judges for crimes that do not normally invite capital punishment.

Ministry asked to pay citizens for land acquisition
In what has been hailed as a first in Saudi Arabia, the Court of Grievances here issued 18 verdicts compelling the Ministry of Transport to compensate citizens whose lands were claimed by imminent domain for the construction of the Jeddah-Jizan coastal road.


OPEC faces new challenges as global oil demand slows
With market dynamics undergoing massive transition, literally in a matter of weeks, the focus is back on the next move of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) on the global energy chessboard. In the evolving scenario, eyes are once again set on the next OPEC ministerial scheduled on Sept9 in Vienna.

GCC unified tariff likely from 2009
Gulf Arab states are likely to scrap a system of charging import duties for the benefit of the state of final destination in 2009, the last step in implementing a regional customs union, a United Arab Emirates official said yesterday. Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Oman and Kuwait are supporting a plan to introduce a simplified customs duty collection system, said Saeed Khalifa Al-Marri, deputy director general of the UAE Federal Customs Authority.


Front Page

Bush accelerated US decline: professor Lehmann
Jean-Pierre Lehmann, a professor of international political economy at IMD, has said, “I share the opinion of those who see Bush as one of the worst presidents the US has had. Although the US relative decline was perhaps inevitable, Bush has accelerated this process in many ways: economically, politically, morally.”

“Solomon’s Conference” rehearsal stopped
Hadi Marzban’s “Solomon’s Conference with a Bird” rehearsals were stopped due to unknown reasons.


US economy weakest in about 30 years
High commodity prices and continuing mortgage problem have plagued the US economy with the highest inflation since the 70s, a report says.

Iran accounts for 96% of world saffron output
The head of Iran’s Saffron Exports Promotion Fund here on Wednesday announced that Iran ranks first on the list of the world saffron producers, accounting for 96% of the production, IRINN reported.


Front Page

US and Iraq near troop pullout plan 
The United States and Iraq are close to reaching an agreement on the future of US forces in Iraq, Condoleezza Rice, the US secretary of state, has said.

Bombers hit Pakistan arms factory 
Two suicide bombers have killed 59 people at an arms factory near Islamabad, the Pakistani capital, according to medical officials.


S Korea officials warned off golf 
Lee Myung-bak, South Korea's president, has told his officials to stop playing golf, saying it sends the wrong message to people suffering the effects of the country's economic downturn.

US woes rattle Asian stockmarkets 
Asian stocks have fallen to a two-year low, due mainly to fears the US government will have to bail out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, two troubled US mortgage giants.


Front Page

Lebanese Cabinet issues decree to establish ties with Syria
Lebanon's Cabinet issued an executive decree on Thursday to officially establish diplomatic ties between Beirut and Damascus.

After 30 years, Imam Sadr's message of unity lives on
When Amal representative Hassan Zeineddine introduced March-14 allied parliamentarian Ghassan Tueni on Tuesday at an exhibition commemorating the 30th anniversary of the disappearance of Imam Musa Sadr, it was a moment that might have made the missing cleric proud.


Lebanon's remittance inflow reaches $5.5bn in 2007 - report
The World Bank indicated that inward remittance inflow into Lebanon reached $5.5bn in 2007, up by 6.2 percent from $5.183bn in 2006 and by 11.7% from $4.924m in 2005, according to the 2008 edition of the "Migration and Remittances FactBook." Bank Audi's Weekly Monitor, which published the report.

Tourism to make up 14.5% of Syria's 2008 GDP
The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) expected the tourism sector to account for 14.5% of Syria's GDP in 2008 and to rise to 16.8% of GDP in 2018. It forecast the broad tourism and travel economy to generate demand of $4.9bn in 2008, growing to $9.6bn in 2018, as reported by the Country Risk Weekly Bulletin, the economic publication of the Byblos Bank Group.


Front Page

Blaze victims rebuild lives 
More than 150 Indian and Pakistani workers yesterday set about re-building their lives, as their gutted accommodation in the heart of Manama remained out of bounds, pending forensic examination.

24,000km tour of friendship 
Bahrani traveller Ali Mushaima is now back in Bahrain after three-months on the road promoting his country and friendship between nations.


Kuwait delays tenders to upgrade refineries 
Kuwait has delayed tenders for contracts to upgrade refineries and build a power plant, energy officials said yesterday.

Iraq and China to sign $1.2bn oilfield accord 
Iraq and China will sign a deal next week to develop the Ahdab oilfield, restoring an agreement that was cancelled after the 2003 US-led invasion and is worth $1.2bn, an Iraqi spokesman said yesterday.

By: Staff Reporter
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