Every Thursday, we bring you the latest GCC updates. Here's what happened in Week 213. (There were no GCC updates during weeks 214-215).
Speaking virtually at the Aspen Security Forum, Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan said that the 'Al-Ula Declaration' signed in the Saudi city of Al Ula on 5 January 2021 has helped resolve disputes between Saudi Arabia and Qatar, in addition to an enhanced GCC cooperation, as posted by the Anadolu Agency.
The Saudi FM told the virtual gathering that his country's relations with Qatar are:
“We continue to work together primarily to strengthen the GCC countries. We both believe that along with the other members of the Gulf Cooperation Council, this is an essential component of stability not only for the Arab Gulf but for the entire region.
"We will continue to work for that: reaping the fruits of that unity for the people of the region."(Gulf Times)
Al Jazeera Mubasher producer and journalist Rabie Al-Sheikh was arrested by Egypt's security services when he landed at Cairo Airport on 1 August 2021 after returning from Doha where he had been visiting family, based on a report by Middle East Eye.
It's believed an audio recording of Al-Sheikh was leaked a few days ago in which he asked Egyptian columnist Abdel Nasser Salama to join him in a live interview to talk about the Ethiopian Dam crisis. Salama was detained last month after a Facebook post in which he called for Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi to resign in relation to the Ethiopian Dam crisis.
Al-Sheikh was detained soon after the leaked audio recording and is in pre-trial detention for 15 days after which he will be investigated for "spreading false news". (Middle East Eye)
An Al Jazeera investigation has revealed that the original script of a Hollywood film 'The Misfits' was amended to show Qatar as a 'terrorist state’. The movie is co-produced by an Emirati company FilmGate Production in partnership with Paramount Pictures and Highland Film Group and tells the story of a crook Richard Pace (Pierce Brosnan) who escapes from a US prison and then steals millions of dollars from the world’s most high-security facilities.
In his latest episode of 'Tip of the Iceberg', Al Jazeera journalist Tamer Al-Mishal reported that 'The Misfits', which was released in the US in June 2021 mentioned 'Qatar' over 15 times, along with the names of real Qatari personalities and different Qatari institutions like 'Al Jazeera', 'Lekhwiya' and 'Emadi Hospital'. In addition, the film accuses Qatari citizens of supporting terrorism and refers to Qatar as 'Jazeeristan'. On the other hand, it shows mercenaries from the UAE as heroes.
The film was shot in the UAE, but believed to be edited to look like it had been filmed in Qatar to depict the country in a bad light and to ruin its reputation, based on a leaked exchange in which the Emirati producers asked the US producers to make changes to the script to "include more political topics and propaganda against Qatar". (Al Jazeera). The film has been banned in Qatar.
H.H. the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani issued Amiri Decision No. 23 of 2021 to appoint H.E. Salem bin Mubarak bin Shafi Al Shafi as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Arab Republic of Egypt. (QNA)
This move comes after Egyptian President Al-Sisi appointed Amr El-Sherbiny as Egyptian Ambassador to Qatar on 24 June 2021.
Political analysts in Qatar like Jaber Al-Harmi believe that the move to appoint an ambassador to Egypt will help to increase communication with Cairo and also contribute to solving some of the issues that pertain between Qatar and Egypt. (Al Monitor)
H.H. the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani sent a cable of condolences to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques on His Royal Highness Prince Musab bin Saud bin Abdulaziz Al Saud's mother's death. (QNA)
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