"He will implement the plans and strategies laid
out by his late father," they said.
Shaikh Khalifa, 56, has been at the forefront of Abu
Dhabi's and the UAE's development policies and activities since he was
21, and has vast experience in federal affairs as well as wide exposure
to regional and international affairs.
Sultan Ahmad Bin Sulayem, executive chairman of the
Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corp, said the development and
modernisation of the UAE will continue under the leadership of Shaikh
"Under his leadership, I am sure that the UAE
will continue to grow and develop. With the quick and timely election of
Shaikh Khalifa as the President of the UAE, the federation's leadership
has demonstrated its willingness and determination to continue the
development activities initiated by the late President Shaikh Zayed.
"During the last 33 years, we have achieved
progress and prosperity to a great degree. The country has developed its
human resources by investing in human capital and now all we need to do
is continue the activities that will help us to grow. Under the new
president, I am sure we will continue to grow," Bin Sulayem added.
Khalid Ali Al Bustani, assistant undersecretary for
revenue and budget in the Ministry of Finance and Industry, said: "Shaikh
Khalifa will follow the path that the late Shaikh Zayed took in creating
a well-diversified economy that grew at a robust pace from year to year.
OIL PRICES FALL TO FIVE-WEEK LOW
Oil prices continued their downturn last Friday,
falling back from recent highs to their lowest levels in five weeks.
US light crude fell 25 cents to $48.57 a barrel in
Asian trade, almost 13% down on the record $55.67 high set on 22
Increased production from Opec members has helped
rebuild US crude stockpiles, hit after Hurricane Ivan in September.
Analysts say the rising stocks were easing prices,
but other warn ongoing violence in Iraq could reverse falls.
In New York on Nov 4, a barrel of US light crude
ended down $2.03 to $48.85, the first time it has finished under $49 a
barrel since late September.
In London, Brent crude closed down $1.61 to $45.95.
Another possible future supply pressure is the
continuing threat of a strike in Nigeria, Africa's largest oil producer.
"(US) Oil inventories should rise over the next
six to nine months, and this should eventually ease the extreme
tightness in today's oil markets," said Adam Sieminski of Deutsche
Mr Sieminski said other factors that should help
prices to fall were weakening global oil demand, and rising supplies
both from the Opec oil producers group, and other oil exporting nations.
Opec has recently lifted production of oil above 30
million barrels per day to meet booming oil demand.
This supply surge has helped rebuild US crude stocks,
which have risen 10 million barrels in the last two weeks.
Yet other oil analysts, such as Venezuela's energy
minister Rafael Ramirez, take an opposing view, and warn that oil prices
have yet to peak.
INDIA AND IRAN IN GAS PARTNERSHIP
State-run Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) has teamed up
with Iran's Petropars to put forward a $3bn (£1.63bn) joint project to
develop a gas field in Iran.
The proposal from India's biggest refiner would also
see it set up a liquefaction plant in Iran.
It follows talks between officials from India, Asia's
third largest oil user, and Iran, the number two Opec producer.
IOC said a memorandum of understanding had been
signed with Petropars, a unit of the National Iranian Oil Co (NIOC).
The agreement came after discussions between India's
oil minister, Mani Shankar Aiyar, and his Iranian counterpart, Bijan
Zanganeh, in Vienna two months ago.
The agreement was signed "for development of a
joint proposal to be submitted to National Iranian Oil Co. for the
proposed integrated project of development of the gas field and setting
up of LNG liquefaction facilities".
A feasibility report into the proposed project will
be carried out to see how much of the $3bn scheme would be paid for by
SAUDI ARABIA HOLDS PRODUCTION HIGH TO MEET DEMAND
Top world oil exporter Saudi Arabia will keep
production turned up to 9.5 million barrels per day (bpd) in November as
it seeks to curb runaway crude prices and meet growing demand.
November will mark the fourth straight month with
Riyadh at the 9.5 million mark, but the high pumping rates have failed
so far to ease record prices of more than $50 a barrel.
"Saudi Arabia will produce no less than 9.5
million in November," a Gulf source told Reuters. "Production
in October was about 9.5."
The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries
meets on December 10 in Cairo to chart output strategy for early next
The source said it was too early to predict what
action the group would take on first quarter production policy.
Riyadh's current output of 9.5 million bpd leaves it
with 1.5 million bpd of spare capacity. The source said Saudi Arabia
could tap that excess volume "immediately".
US ATTACK ON IRAN 'INCONCEIVABLE'
UK Foreign Secretary Jack Straw has said it is
"inconceivable" that America would try to bomb Iran.
There has been speculation about whether the newly
re-elected George Bush will be more hawkish over Iran.
Pointing to talks with Tehran, Mr Straw said: "I
don't see any circumstances in which military action would be justified
against Iran, full stop."
After months of talks, Iranian president Mohammad
Khatami recently said Iran was ready to pledge not to pursue nuclear
weapons. But he wants recognition of Iran's right to peaceful nuclear
IRAN MPS SUPPORT URANIUM ENRICHMENT (BOX)
Iran's parliament passed a bill recently backing the
resumption of uranium enrichment, as the government left the door open
for further negotiations with Europe over the controversial practice.
The vote by the parliament was largely symbolic, but
the foreign ministry offered hope for negotiations this week in Paris
with European countries, calling for concrete commitments if the Islamic
Republic were to abandon uranium enrichment.
"We are expecting from them (Europe) a calendar
of cooperation and we will insist on that point," Foreign Ministry
Spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi told reporters.
"We expect that in the course of this (Paris)
meeting the Europeans will specify their precise commitments, concrete
and clear, and the Islamic Republic will take the best decision in line
with its own interests," he added.
MSF AID AGENCY ENDS WORK IN IRAQ
The aid agency Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) says it
is pulling out of Iraq because of "escalating violence".
MSF said it had become impossible "to guarantee
an acceptable level of security for our staff, be they foreign or
Several aid workers have been kidnapped in Iraq —
including Margaret Hassan of Care International, who is still being held
by her captors. Care has stopped its operations in Iraq and appealed for
Mrs Hassan's release. MSF has 90 Iraqi staff. Its foreign workers left
Iraq a month ago for Jordan.
ISRAEL'S GAZA COMMANDER RESIGNS
The most senior Israeli army commander in Gaza has
resigned his post.
Brig Gen Shmuel Zakai is believed to have told
reporters that Prime Minister Ariel Sharon ordered an operation in Gaza
that the army thought unnecessary.
One report says Gen Zakai failed a polygraph test
that was part of the investigation into the press leaks.
More than 100 Palestinians died in clashes after
Israeli forces went into the Jabaliya camp in northern Gaza in late
September for 17 days.
MIDEAST WAITS FOR NEWS OF ARAFAT
Leaders on both sides of the Middle East divide are
monitoring developments at the military hospital near Paris where Yasser
Arafat lies gravely ill.
According to medical sources inside the hospital, the
Palestinian leader is on a life-support machine. A Palestinian official
has said he is in a coma.
UAE TO GET FIRST WOMAN MINISTER
The United Arab Emirates has appointed its first
female government minister.
Sheikha Lubna al-Qasimi, a member of the Sharjah
royal family, is to take on the key job of economics and planning
The move comes as a part of a wider government
reshuffle and the merging of three ministries.
There are other women ministers in Gulf countries, in
Bahrain, Oman and Qatar, but Sheikha Lubna's role is the most senior to
CHINA TO DEVELOP IRAN OIL FIELD
China has signed an agreement to buy oil and gas from
Iran and to develop Iran's Yadavaran oil field, according to state media
from both countries.
The deal was signed in Beijing by Iranian oil
minister Bijan Zanganeh and Ma Kai, head of China's National Development
and Reform Commission.
China, which has longstanding ties with Iran, is
searching for new energy reserves to drive its booming economy. The
agreement will be carried out by Chinese oil company Sinopec.
STRONG ECONOMIC FOUNDATION WILL SUSTAIN GROWTH
Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan's economic vision,
built on a free economy, helped the UAE achieve one of the highest
growth rates in the world.
The strong foundations that have been built and the
ongoing privatisation programmes will ensure that the UAE's momentum
will be maintained, analysts said in their tributes to the former
"Shaikh Zayed's economic foresight and clear
policies created all-round growth in the economy and since the
foundations are solid, this growth will continue. Few countries have
achieved such impressive growth rates, especially when the world went
through a recession," he said.
The UAE's private sector has doubled over the past
ten years, offsetting volatile oil prices and ensuring jobs for a
fast-growing population. In 2003, the UAE private sector's contribution
to GDP was some Dh128.69 billion, about 44 per cent of the total GDP of
INDUSTRY EXPRESSES SOLID CONFIDENCE IN KHALIFA
Business leaders are unanimous that His Highness
Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan's accession as UAE President
guarantees continuity for the economic and business friendly policies
that have made the UAE a beacon in the Middle East.
They point to the steps the UAE has taken to
integrate itself more closely into the global economy, whether it be
through the dismantling of the telecom monopoly or the more recent
decision to allow more foreign insurance companies to operate here.
The transition is sure to build confidence that
business continuity will not be affected.
The creation of a first-rate educational system,
consolidated through the Higher Colleges of Technology, has led to a new
generation of skilled UAE nationals entering the professional
ASIAN CONSUMPTION MAY DOUBLE BY 2030
Asian nations, particularly China, have a greater
interest in a peaceful Middle East and Africa as their reliance on oil
imports surges over the next 25 years, the head of ExxonMobil Corp said.
Lee Raymond, Chairman and Chief Executive of the
world's biggest publicly traded oil company, said it would be
"quite challenging" for the region to meet its future energy
needs, with emerging Asia oil demand set to more than double by 2030.
"Asian countries, including China, will have an
ever-greater stake in the resolution of problems that have arisen in the
Middle East and Africa," Raymond said in a speech.
"There will be no way around greater reliance on
the Middle East and Africa."
Asia imports about two-thirds of its 23 million
barrels per day (bpd) crude oil requirement, most of that from the
Middle East, where the bulk of the world's oil reserves are.
RICH TRIBUTES PAID TO FATHER OF NATION
A state's future successes depend largely on how its
foundation has been laid.
Over a span of three decades, the UAE has transformed
itself from a collection of fishing settlements to one of the most
modern and vibrant economies in the Arab world. Much of this has been
possible due to the vision of one man, Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan.
Over the past 33 years, he offered the state an
important gift his leadership, and turned the country around through
rapid development, a record difficult to match in today's world.
Senior government officials and business leaders of
the UAE paid tribute to Shaikh Zayed's valuable contributions.