DUBAI: The United Arab Emirates will grant Bahrain $2.5bn for development projects in the Gulf Arab state, part of a regional funding programme implemented after a pro-democracy uprising in 2011, Bahrain’s state news agency reported. The money from the UAE, to be disbursed on an annual basis over the next 10 years, would finance projects in housing, electricity, water, infrastructure and social services, the Bahrain News Agency (BNA) said. Wealthier Gulf Arab neighbours pledged in March 2011 to each extend $10bn over 10 years to Bahrain and to Oman to ease tensions and support economic development in the two states. Bahrain said last June that it had not yet received any of the pledged money, and it was unclear when the funds would start to flow.
Tunisia PM fails to get new cabinet
TUNIS: Tunisia’s main political parties failed to agree on forming a non-partisan cabinet to tackle turmoil triggered by the assassination of an opposition leader, Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali said yesterday. But he said efforts would continue to form a government supported by most parties in the North African state that spawned the slew of popular uprisings against dictatorship across the Arab world two years ago. “The initiative for a cabinet of technocrats did not receive full political consensus and has failed...But work is continuing with all parties to form a government which has the agreement of most of the political parties,” Jebali told a news conference.
Full report on page 10 UAE to buy Predator drones
ABU DHABI: The United Arab Emirates has signed defence contracts worth Dh5.2bn ($1.4bn), including one for unmanned aerial drones, a spokesman for the country’s military said. The largest deal, worth Dh1.4bn, was for 750 mine-resistant, ambush-protected, all-terrain vehicles from Oshkosh Corp. The UAE’s armed forces also agreed to buy an undisclosed number of Predator drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), from privately-owned US firm General Atomics in a deal worth Dh722m. “UAVs are significant for any armed forces in present times. There is a lot of demand for these,” Major General Obeid Al Ketbi told reporters at the largest arms exhibition in the Middle East, held in Abu Dhabi.