Around Middle East & North Africa [11.24.14]

Secretary of State John Kerry with Foreign Ministers from P5 + 1

“The deadline for an Iran nuclear deal has been extended to the end of June after talks in Vienna failed to reach a comprehensive agreement.

UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said good progress had been made, but it was “not possible to get an agreement by the [original] deadline”.
Six world powers want Iran to curb its nuclear programme in return for the lifting of sanctions.
The six countries – the US, UK, Russia, China, France and Germany – have been in negotiations with Iran to finalize a preliminary deal reached last year in Geneva.
Speaking after the Vienna talks had ended, Mr Hammond said that negotiations would resume in December, and would be extended until 30 June 2015.
Iran would be allowed to continue accessing $700m (£450m) per month in frozen assets during that period.
Diplomats expect to reach a political agreement by 1 March, with the full technical details of the agreement confirmed by 1 July.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is to give a national address at 18:00 GMT, Iranian news agencies reported.”


United Arab Emirates

“For Dubai, geography is destiny.
It sits within easy reach of three regions —

      • the Gulf,
  • the Indian subcontinent and
  • Africa

— each with a $2 trillion-a-year economy

Dubai faces increased competition from a crop of imitators.

  • Last year, Oman opened a deep-water port at Duqm that will try to draw business away from Jebel Ali.
  • Istanbul is marketing itself as an alternative logistics and financial hub, with Turkish Airlines now flying to more worldwide destinations than any other carrier.
  • Qatar Airways Ltd. is also challenging Emirates for business travelers, while Doha is promoting itself as a financial center.

“It is not just about physical infrastructure,” he says.

Much of Dubai’s success, he says, is due to what he calls “software” — people and systems that, for example, ensure a ship at port can be turned around quickly or a legal dispute resolved fast and fairly. In this regard, Al Shaibani says, Dubai has a decades-long head start.

So far, Dubai’s “if you build it, they will come” strategy seems to be working. The city is packed with tourists. More people visit the Dubai Mall each year than Niagara Falls, the Eiffel Tower and Disney World combined.”

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