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India invites Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan to be 2017 Republic Day Chief Guest

This year, Modi visited Saudi Arabia where he was conferred with that Gulf nation's highest civilian honour, the King Abdulaziz Sash, and then Iran soon thereafter

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Crown Prince
Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Wikimedia

Oct 02, 2016: In what can be seen as a bid to strengthen ties with the Gulf region that is home to a large population of expatriates, India has invited Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan to be the chief guest at next year’s Republic Day celebrations.

“We hope 2 welcome a dear friend of India, HH Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, as Republic Day 2017 Chief Guest,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup tweeted on Sunday evening.

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After Act East, India has been following a policy of Think West encompassing the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries that are home to around seven million expatriate Indians, most of whom are blue-collar workers involved in the infrastructure sector.

This honour to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), of which Abu Dhabi is the biggest constituent, and is home to around two million expatriate Indians comes after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to it in August last year.

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The Prime Minister addressed a huge diaspora rally at the Dubai Cricket Stadium during the visit.

The GCC comprises Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

This year, Modi visited Saudi Arabia where he was conferred with that Gulf nation’s highest civilian honour, the King Abdulaziz Sash, and then Iran soon thereafter.

Prime MInister Narendra  Modi was conferred with the Gulf nation's Highest Civilian Honour , 'the King Abdulaziz Sash' on his visit to saudia arabia earlier this year.
Prime Minister Narendra  Modi was conferred with the Gulf nation’s highest Civilian Honour , ‘the King Abdulaziz Sash’ on his visit to Saudi Arabia earlier this year. Wikimedia

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The last time a leader from the Gulf region graced the Republic Day as chief guest was when then King of Saudi Arabia Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al-Saud visited India in 2006. (IANS)

 

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Spying Charges On 2 Ex-Twitter Employees for Saudi Arabia

2 former twitter employees were charged with spying for Saudi Arabia

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Spying for Saudi Arabia
Two former Twitter employees have been charged with spying for the Saudi Arabia government. Pixabay

Raising concerns that American technology firms might be exposed to foreign governments, two former Twitter employees have been charged with spying for the Saudi Arabia government and the Kingdom’s royal family, according to the US Justice Department.

The two former Twitter staffers, Ali Alzabarah, a Saudi national and Ahmad Abouammo, a US citizen, used their access at the micro-blogging giant to gather sensitive and non-public information on dissidents of the Saudi regime, the Justice Department said in a criminal complaint.

The case, unsealed in San Francisco federal court, underscores allegations the Saudi government tries to control anti-regime voices abroad. It also recalls a move reportedly directed by the country’s controversial leader to weaponise online platforms against critics, CNN Business reported on Thursday.

Spying
A US citizen, used their access at the micro-blogging giant to gather sensitive and non-public information on dissidents of the Saudi regime. Pixabay

One of the two people is reportedly an associate of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman — who the CIA has concluded likely ordered the assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul last year.

“The criminal complaint unsealed today alleges that Saudi agents mined Twitter’s internal systems for personal information about known Saudi critics and thousands of other Twitter users,” US Attorney David Anderson said in a statement.

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Another man, named Ahmed Almutairi, who is also from Saudi Arabia, allegedly acted as a go-between to the two Twitter staffers and the Saudi government, which according to the complaint rewarded the men with hundreds of thousands of dollars and, for one man, a luxury Hublot watch, the report added. (IANS)