Saudi Arabia has confirmed its intention to assign one billion dollars for the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip. Prince Saud al Faisal stated at the international conference of the donor countries, which currently takes place at Egypt’s Sharm-el-Sheikh, that the funds would be wired through the Saudi Fund for Development.
US Secretary of State Hilalry Clinton announced the allocation of $900 million to Palestine at the conference. About $300 million of the amount will be meant for the Gaza Strip, whereas the remaining $600 million will be wired to the Palestinian authorities to boost the economic development of the country. The assistance of the donor countries to the Palestinian economy, including the recreation of Gaza, may exceed $3 billion.
The Gulf Cooperation Council, made up of Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates offered $1.6 billion of gratuitous grants for the recreation of Gaza’s infrastructure yesterday, Itar-Tass reports. Russia decided to support Palestine with 50 armored vehicles, two civil helicopters, as well as with food and medications. Russia’s Dmitry Medvedev sent a message to participants of the above-mentioned conference saying that the stability of the Palestinian state structure was a matter of special significance to Russia.
Russia promised to ship 25 armored vehicles (without large-caliber weapons) to Palestine with Israel’s sanction last year.
The Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf, also known as the Gulf Cooperation Council is a trade bloc involving the six Arab states of the Persian Gulf with many economic and social objectives.
This area has some of the fastest growing economies in the world, mostly due to a boom in oil and natural gas revenues coupled with a building and investment boom backed by decades of saved petroleum revenues. In an effort to build a tax base and economic foundation before the reserves run out, the UAE's investment arms, including Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, retain over $900 billion in assets. Other regional funds also have several hundred billion dollars.
The region is also an emerging hotspot for events, including the 2006 Asian Games in Doha, Qatar. Doha also submitted an application for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games, although this bid was unsuccessful having recently been dropped from the list of candidate cities.
In 2006, its GDP (nominal) was $717.8 billion (IMF April 2007), led by spectacular growth in United Arab Emirates and Qatar. In 2007, its GDP (nominal) was $1,022.62 billion (IMF April 2008). IMF predicts its GDP to reach $1,112.076 billion at end of 2008 and $1,210.112 billion at end of 2009. Qatar is expected to overtake top ranked Luxembourg in GDP (nominal) per capita next year for the world's top spot.
The Ilyushin 20 (Il-20) military electronic reconnaissance aircraft of the Russian Air Force with 14 servicemen on board that went off radar screens off the coast of Syria was shot down by Syrian air defense systems over the Mediterranean Sea