Gulf Cooperation Council
Low economic growth, weak consumer and business confidence, and foreign exchange volatility will keep the overall outlook for Turkish, Middle Eastern and South African non-financial corporates in 2017 negative, Moody's Investors Service said in a report on Dec. 15. However, some investment grade rated companies, including some in Turkey, will remain resilient, it added.
The formation of a new government by Yemen's armed Houthi movement and its political allies will hinder peace efforts in the country, the U.N. special envoy to Yemen said on Nov. 29.
The move, reported by the Houthi-run state news agency on Nov. 28, has been seen as a blow to U.N.-backed efforts to end 20 months of war in Yemen.
Three wanted members of the Gülen movement, believed to be behind Turkey's July 15 coup attempt, were deported from Malaysia on Oct. 13, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said on Oct. 14.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of a hospital in Antalya, Çavuşoğlu said Malaysia sent back to Turkey three members of the group who took refuge in the country.
A bitter war of words between Iran and Saudi Arabia intensified on Sept. 7 ahead of the annual hajj pilgrimage from which Iranians have been excluded for the first time in decades. Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei blasted the "incompetence" of the Saudi royal family as he met with the families of victims of a deadly stampede during last year's hajj.
U.S. President Barack Obama said April 21 that Washington and the Arab monarchies of the Gulf were united in their commitment to defeating the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
"We remain united in our fight to destroy [ISIL]," Obama was quoted as saying by AFP in Riyadh at the close of a Gulf Cooperation Council summit on April 21.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry urged Iran on April 7 to help end wars in Yemen and Syria, where Tehran and its Gulf Arab rivals are backing opposing sides.
On the first visit by a U.S. chief diplomat to Bahrain since 2010, Kerry also told authorities in Manama accused of discriminating against the country's Shiite majority that respect for human rights was "essential".
Weak oil prices pose a threat to Gulf Arab states' currency pegs against the dollar, but the energy-rich region is unlikely to abandon the policy yet, analysts say.
Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates all keep the values of their currencies fixed against the greenback, while Kuwait has a link to a basket of currencies including the dollar.