(Image: Recently constructed Barakah nuclear power plant in United Arab Emirates. Photo credit: AFP)
Here’s what’s happened since last week’s updates: Qatar intervened to save former Saudi king from assassination attempt: Al Attiyah -- GCC Crisis Updates Week 93
Qatar has called on the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to intervene in a dispute over a $24 billion nuclear power plant which the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is building, reported Reuters. In a letter to the IAEA, which was seen by Reuters, Qatar says the Barakah plant poses a serious threat to regional stability and the environment and calls for a framework to ensure the safe operation of nuclear energy in the Gulf.
Qatar said that a radioactive plume from an accidental discharge could reach its capital Doha in five to 13 hours and a radiation leak would have a devastating effect on the region’s water supply because of its reliance on desalination plants.
“Qatar believes that the lack of any international co-operation with neighboring states regarding disaster planning, health and safety and the protection of the environment pose a serious treat to the stability of the region and its environment,” the letter from Qatar’s Foreign Affairs ministry to IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano said.
(Image: U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks during a news conference in Kuwait, Wednesday, March 20, 2019. Photo credit: Jim Young/Pool Photo via AP)
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday called for an end to a long-running row between a Saudi-led bloc of countries and neighbouring Qatar, reported the Gulf Times.
"It's not in the best interest of the region, it's not in the best interest of the world," the top US diplomat said in Kuwait, the first leg of a three-nation trip to the Middle East.
"We all have the same set of threats, the threats from al-Qaida and from [Islamic State], " he said at a press conference with Kuwaiti Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah al-Khaled al-Hamad al-Sabah. The US Secretary of State started an official visit to Kuwait on Tuesday, where he met with the Amir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah. Pompeo is leading the US delegation for the third US-Kuwait Strategic Dialogue meetings.
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