1 COPPER MINER'S $10B BET COMES TO LIFE IN PANAMA JUNGLE WWW.MINING.COM PUBLISHED:2019/02/15      2 TRADE UNIONS REQUEST PM TO FOCUS ON INTEREST RATE CUT WWW.ZGM.MN PUBLISHED:2019/02/15      3 MONGOLIA’S HOURLY WAGE TO REACH USD 1 WWW.NEWS.MN PUBLISHED:2019/02/15      4 US NARCOTICS BY POST TO MONGOLIA! THREE ARRESTED WWW.NEWS.MN PUBLISHED:2019/02/15      5 WRITER D.URIANKHAI NOMINATED FOR THE NOBEL PRIZE WWW.MONTSAME.MN PUBLISHED:2019/02/15      6 MONGOLIA-CHINA-RUSSIA ECONOMIC CORRIDOR BENEFITS ALL SIDES: OFFICIAL WWW.XINHUANET.COM PUBLISHED:2019/02/15      7 SOLAR EMPOWERMENT OF NOMADS IN RURAL MONGOLIA WWW.GREENOPTIMISTIC.COM PUBLISHED:2019/02/15      8 MONGOLIA, CUBA TO BOOST BILATERAL RELATIONS WWW.PLENGLISH.COM PUBLISHED:2019/02/15      9 GOOGLE OUTLINES $13BN US INVESTMENT WWW.BBC.COM PUBLISHED:2019/02/14      10 NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT AGENCY TO COOPERATE WITH JAPAN’S MIZUHO BANK WWW.MONTSAME.MN PUBLISHED:2019/02/14      “ОЮУ ТОЛГОЙ” КОМПАНИ 570 ТОННЫ ДААЦТАЙ CAT БРЭНДИЙН ГИДРАВЛИК ЭСКВАТОРООР ХҮЧЭЭ СЭЛБЭЛЭЭ WWW.GOGO.MN  НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/15     ӨРХИЙН САРЫН ДУНДАЖ ОРЛОГО 78,000 ТӨГРӨГӨӨР ӨССӨН Ч ЗАРЛАГА ДАВСАН ХЭВЭЭР БАЙНА WWW.IKON.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/15     АВСТРАЛИЙН ЭЛЧИН САЙД ДЭВИД МЭТЬЮ ВОСЭН ИТГЭМЖЛЭХ ЖУУХ БИЧГЭЭ ӨРГӨН БАРИВ WWW.MONTSAME.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/15     2018 ОНД МОНГОЛ УЛСЫН ЭДИЙН ЗАСАГ 6.9 ХУВИАР ӨСЛӨӨ WWW.BLOOMBERGTV.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/15     МХБ: II/15-НЫ БАЙДЛААР 8 КОМПАНИ ХЭХ-ЫН ТОВОО ГАРГААД БАЙНА WWW.BLOOMBERGTV.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/15     2017 ОНД 1.9 ТЭРБУМ ТӨГРӨГИЙН АЛДАГДАЛТАЙ АЖИЛЛАСАН “УЛААНБААТАР БҮК” 2018 ОНД 566 САЯ ТӨГРӨГИЙН АШИГТАЙ АЖИЛЛАВ WWW.BLOOMBERGTV.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/15     ОРХОН ТҮҮХИЙ НҮҮРСНЭЭС ТАТГАЛЗСАН АНХНЫ АЙМАГ БОЛНО WWW.UNUUDUR.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/15     АТГ-ААС НЭР БҮХИЙ 6 ШҮҮГЧИЙГ ШАЛГАЖ ЭХЭЛЖЭЭ WWW.EAGLE.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/15     МОНГОЛ УЛС ДЭЛХИЙН 77 ОРОНД БАРАА ЭКСПОРТОЛСНООС ХЯТАДАД 93%-ИЙГ НЬ НИЙЛҮҮЛЖЭЭ WWW.IKON.MN  НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/14     АВТО МАШИНЫ ИМПОРТ 2018 ОНД 30% ӨСӨЖ, 86,296-Д ХҮРЧЭЭ WWW.IKON.MN  НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/14    

Events

Name organizer Where
“Doing business with Mongolia”, “UK Investors show” бизнес хөтөлбөр March 27-April 02. 2019 ЛОНДОН ХОТ, ИХ БРИТАНИ Mongolian Business Database London UK
SYMPOSIUM ON GLOBAL MARKETS Nationalism and Protectionism: The United States in the International Arena June 17-18, 2019 The Center for American and International Law Plano, Texas, USA The Center for American and International Law (CAILAW) Plano Texas June 17-18 2019
"Open to Export" ICC WTO International business award ICC WTO London

NEWS

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Bitcoin smashes $2,900 barrier to hit record high www.rt.com

Bitcoin’s rocketing rise in value shows no sign of abating after breaking the $2,900 mark Tuesday.

The digital payment reached a value of $2,967.48 at around 1.20pm UTC Tuesday, according to the Coindesk Bitcoin Price Index. The pricing is a record high for the cryptocurrency which has been hit with periods of volatility.

Bitcoin experienced an unprecedented surge in worth recently after trading for the first time above $1,500 back in May.

The spike has been linked to the legalisation of digital currencies in Asia in recent weeks. However, some financial observers suggest the hike is down to increasing confidence in the alternative currency.

“The biggest driver [of bitcoin] right now is you’re starting to see institutional investors take a keen interest in the entire sector,” financial commentator, Brian Kelly, said last month. “I don’t think this is hot money. This is real money that’s going to sit around and build the new internet.”

Bitcoin rival, ethereum, an open source platform providing ‘ether’ cryptocurrency, also received a boost this month.

The currency, which went live in 2015, reached an all-time high in value of $250.41 on Sunday.

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Mongolia proposes signing FTA with Eurasian Economic Union www.xinhuanet.com

ULAN BATOR, June 5 (Xinhua) -- Mongolia reportedly proposed signing a free trade agreement (FTA) with the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) in recent talks between Mongolian Prime Minister Jargaltulgyn Erdenebat and Chairman of the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC) Tigran Sargsyan.
The two sides commended the results of cooperation between the two sides over the past two years during the talks, which was held as part of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum between June 1-3, according to a press release of the EEC.
The Mongolian prime minister said that it has taken quite a long time to make significant progress in cooperation between the two sides, from signing a memorandum of trade and economic cooperation to reviewing specific initiatives set to intensify mutual trade and remove trade barriers.
The working group on the Mongolia-EEC cooperation held the second meeting in February. The two sides adopted a plan of action for 2017-2018 on trade policy, customs administration and fair competition among others.
"Jargaltulgyn Erdenebat came up with a proposal to sign a free trade agreement with the EAEU and to set up a joint group to review the viability of the deal," noted the press release.
The Mongolian prime minister invited the EAEU to talk over establishing a Eurasian transport and logistics network that would become a powerful driving force to promote cross-border cooperation in trade and economy.
The two sides also agreed to organize the first Eurasian business forum in Ulan Bator, capital of Mongolia, in autumn this year. "Our task is to make the forum successful and help it catch the eye of the EAEU business community. This could become an additional impetus to (the) Mongolia-EEC cooperation," said Sargsyan.
"We will consult all EAEU countries and then offer a jointly-agreed position to our Mongolian colleagues. The EEC is ready for all kinds of cooperation that help accelerate trade and foster relations among businessmen (in the region)," Sargsyan added.
The EAEU is an economic union of states located primarily in northern Eurasia. It groups Russia, Armenia, Belarus and Kazakhstan.

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Chinese transit flights through Mongolian airspace to increase gradually www.mongolia.gogo.mn

During the International Transport Forum’s 2017 Summit on Governance of Transport, which took place from May 31 to June 02 in Leipzig, Germany, Mongolian Minister of Road and Transport Development D.Ganbat met with delegates of the People' Republic of China led by Li Xiaopeng, Minister of Transport and exchanged views.

The sides exchanged views on numerous important issues, such as bilateral cooperation of Mongolia and China, future large-scale projects in the Mongolian road and transport sector and the issues that were discussed during the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, which took place on May 14-15 in Beijing.
 
At the beginning of the meeting, Minister D.Ganbat congratulated the Chinese side for successfully holding the Belt and Road Forum and noted its contribution for starting the new generation of regional and multilateral cooperation. Also, he expressed his intention in coordinating the Belt and Road initiative and the Eurasian Economic Commission with Mongolian 'Development Path' program and promptly starting the establishment of transport network of the Economic Corridor program that connects Mongolia-China-Russia and trade development projects.
 
Minister D.Ganbat also informed that the Mongolian Ministry of Road and Transport Development is about to start the building of the first part of East Corridor Khuut-Bichigt route railroad line and Ulaanbaatar-Darkhan auto road as the AH-3 route’s partial reconstruction.
Also, Minister D.Ganbat emphasized the agreement on the comprehensive strategic partnership, which was discussed during President of China Xi Jinping’s visit to Mongolia in 2014, for bringing the possibilities of signing some important documents in transport, especially in the railroad sector.
 
The Ministry of Road and Transport development, after organizing a series of meetings concerning the border checkpoints, has successfully reached an agreement with the Chinese side. Therefore, an amendment was made to the bilateral agreement on Border Checkpoints between Mongolia and China, opening opportunities to broaden transport relations and regulations.
 
Settling the issues concerning Chinese airlines to transit through Mongolian airspace was a new development within the framework of cooperation between the two countries. The Minister agreed on working to increase Chinese transit flights through Mongolian airspace.
 
Chinese Minister of Transport Li Xiaopen expressed his appreciation towards the Government of Mongolia and the Ministry of Road and Transport Development of Mongolia for their proactive work to broaden cooperation between the two countries and noted its significance in contributing to the friendly cooperation between Mongolia and China.
 
During the International Transport Forum’s 2017 Summit on Governance of Transport, which took place from May 31 to June 02 in Leipzig, Germany, Mongolian Minister of Road and Transport Development D.Ganbat met with delegates of the People' Republic of China led by Li Xiaopeng, Minister of Transport and exchanged views.
The sides exchanged views on numerous important issues, such as bilateral cooperation of Mongolia and China, future large-scale projects in the Mongolian road and transport sector and the issues that were discussed during the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, which took place on May 14-15 in Beijing.
 
At the beginning of the meeting, Minister D.Ganbat congratulated the Chinese side for successfully holding the Belt and Road Forum and noted its contribution for starting the new generation of regional and multilateral cooperation. Also, he expressed his intention in coordinating the Belt and Road initiative and the Eurasian Economic Commission with Mongolian 'Development Path' program and promptly starting the establishment of transport network of the Economic Corridor program that connects Mongolia-China-Russia and trade development projects.
 
Minister D.Ganbat also informed that the Mongolian Ministry of Road and Transport Development is about to start the building of the first part of East Corridor Khuut-Bichigt route railroad line and Ulaanbaatar-Darkhan auto road as the AH-3 route’s partial reconstruction.
Also, Minister D.Ganbat emphasized the agreement on the comprehensive strategic partnership, which was discussed during President of China Xi Jinping’s visit to Mongolia in 2014, for bringing the possibilities of signing some important documents in transport, especially in the railroad sector.
 
The Ministry of Road and Transport development, after organizing a series of meetings concerning the border checkpoints, has successfully reached an agreement with the Chinese side. Therefore, an amendment was made to the bilateral agreement on Border Checkpoints between Mongolia and China, opening opportunities to broaden transport relations and regulations.
 
Settling the issues concerning Chinese airlines to transit through Mongolian airspace was a new development within the framework of cooperation between the two countries. The Minister agreed on working to increase Chinese transit flights through Mongolian airspace.
 
Chinese Minister of Transport Li Xiaopen expressed his appreciation towards the Government of Mongolia and the Ministry of Road and Transport Development of Mongolia for their proactive work to broaden cooperation between the two countries and noted its significance in contributing to the friendly cooperation between Mongolia and China.
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Apple debuts HomePod speaker to bring Siri into the living room www.reuters.com

Apple Inc (AAPL.O) on Monday introduced the HomePod, a voice-controlled speaker that can make music suggestions and adjust home temperatures, taking aim at Amazon.com Inc's (AMZN.O) Alexa feature and Echo devices.
 
The move is the first into a completely new area by Apple for more than two years as the world's most valuable technology company looks to make up for a dip in iPhone sales and new ways to get customers to use more of its money-making apps and services.
 
Apple's Siri assistant will be integrated into the $349 speaker, and can make music recommendations that pair with the company's Apple Music service, send text messages, check news and sports scores and control compatible home gadgets like lightbulbs and thermostats.
 
HomePod users may initially be constrained by Siri's lack of capabilities as compared to Alexa, which also boasts the ability to order millions of Amazon products as well as food from restaurants like Domino's.
 
Apple is expected to announce plans this week to make its Siri voice assistant work with a larger variety of apps, but initial changes were expected to add just a small number of capabilities.
 
The HomePod speaker stands just under seven inches (18 cm) tall and is covered in fabric mesh that will come in white or gray. A computer processor will tune sound to the room and beam specific parts of music, like a singer's voice, toward the listener.
 
Apple will begin shipping the HomePod to the United States, Britain and Australia in December.
 
The speaker, while expected by some industry watchers, marked Apple's first new product announcement since the Apple Watch in September 2014. As a music-playing device, it will also be a challenger to Sonos, whose wifi-controlled speakers are used by many smartphone users for home entertainment.
 
The Cupertino, California-based company said Siri, which also competes with Alphabet Inc's (GOOGL.O) Google Assistant, will now work across devices.
 
A new Siri interface on the Apple Watch will also blend users' calendar information with other useful details, like airline tickets they may have booked, the company said.
 
Apple shares closed down 1 percent at $153.93, not far below the all-time high set last month.
 
Apple also used its annual developer meeting in San Jose, California - its largest ever with some 5,000 people attending - to offer hints about so-called augmented reality technology.
 
The technology, a feature of the wildly successfully smartphone game Pokemon Go, overlays digital information on real-world images and is seen as an area in which the keenly awaited 10th-anniversary iPhone can stand out from competitors.
 
New indoor maps of areas like malls and airports indicated that Apple might be laying groundwork to display information over images of those places in the future.
 
The company also rolled out tools for developers to create augmented reality applications for iPhones and iPads. To show the tools off, Apple invited Wingnut AR, the company formed by "Lord of the Rings" director Peter Jackson, on stage.
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FDI in Mongolia reaches USD 178.1 million www.montsame.mn

 
Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ Foreign direct investment (FDI) inflow in Mongolia averaged USD 178.1 million as of April 2017, which was down by 39 percent compared to the same period of last year.
 
As for the FDI outflow from Mongolia, it increased by 15 percent to USD 4.4 million. The net flow amounted to USD 173.8 million, which is 40 percent less than last year. Bank of Mongolia informed that the Balance of Payment showed USD 75.2 million surplus at the end of April. The Minister of Finance previously stated “By joining the International Monetary Fund’s Extended Fund Facility financial arrangement, basic economic and fiscal conditions, such as the growth of foreign investors’ confidence, increased future investments, improved credit rating and decreased interest expense are expected”. Therefore, the FDI is expected to grow in the future. Within the framework of the IMF Extended Fund Facility program, the Bank of Mongolia has received the first stage deposit of USD 38.6 million in May.
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Haranga sells Mongolian iron project www.asiaminer.com

 
HARANGA Resources has entered into an agreement for the sale of its Selenge Iron Ore Project in Mongolia. The company has executed a formal share sale agreement with Ambaatar Bilguun for the sale of its 100% interest in Mongolian subsidiary Haranga Iron LLC.
 
Haranga Iron holds an 80% interest in Haranga Khuder, which holds the Selenge project in the country’s north. The project comprises a mining licence and exploration licence.
 
The ASX has advised Haranga that it will require shareholder approval and the company is preparing the necessary notice of meeting, which it intends to hold in July.
 
On execution, the buyer will pay to Haranga a non-refundable deposit of US$100,000. After receiving shareholder and other regulatory approvals, the buyer will then pay US$1 million.
 
Twelve months from the first date that proceeds from the sale or other disposition of product from the Selenge project are received, the buyer will pay a further US$3.5 million.
 
In a release to the ASX, Haranga said the decision to divest the project was taken following a sustained period of investor disinterest in the project. It said, “The Board continues to actively pursue other opportunities to restore shareholder value.”
 
The company also advises that Peter Youd has been appointed to the Board of Directors while Brian McMaster has resigned as non-executive chairman. A chartered accountant, Peter Youd has extensive experience within the resources and oil and gas services industries. He has held a number of senior management positions and directorships for publicly listed and private companies in Australia and overseas.
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Khan Bank concludes its first financing project with JBIC under JBIC’s Export Credit Line to Mongolia www.khanbank.com

In June 2013, Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) has established the first Export Credit Line worth of JPY 8 billion (~USD70 million) to Mongolia with intention to provide funds to local Mongolian companies importing goods and machineries from Japan, through the Ministry of Finance (MOF) by on-lending structure.
 
Since 2015, Khan Bank has implemented a new self-service banking service by introducing brand new, multifunctional ATMs (Recycle ATMs) of Japanese Hitachi-Omron Terminal Solutions in order to provide the most convenient and reliable banking services to our customers all across Mongolia. In order to obtain a long-term competitive external funding for our ATM purchases made in 2016, Khan Bank has approached JBIC for financing 85% of total purchases in the amount of approximately ~USD 6 million and successfully completed the financing arrangement JBIC with support of Ministry of Finance. The financing is also to be co-financed by SMBC, a Japanese commercial bank, under NEXI insurance.
 
Khan Bank sees that implementation of this project as a gateway to establish a long-term cooperation with JBIC, whose support has enabled us to diversify our funding sources in longer-term financing, and to promote medium to long-term, favorable financing solution to our corporate clients who are conducting cross-border trade with Japanese companies.
 
Khan Bank, with over 535 online branches reaching every community in Mongolia, is the largest commercial bank in the country, providing comprehensive banking and other financial services to its customers. Khan Bank’s continued investment in technology has significantly improved access to online banking at all branches; an extensive ATM network covering Ulaanbaatar, provincial capitals, and major soum centers; as well as nationwide access to internet, mobile, and SMS banking.
 
JBIC is a policy-based financial institution of Japan, and conducts lending, investment and guarantee operations while complementing the private sector financial institutions with the aim of contributing to the sound development of Japan and the international economy and society.
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Mongolian minister 'confident' on structural reform www.asia.nikkei.com

TOKYO -- Mongolia will be able to implement the structural reforms it has agreed to with the International Monetary Fund, Foreign Minister Tsend Munkh-Orgil told the Nikkei Asian Review in an interview on Monday in Tokyo.
 
Last month the IMF approved a three-year, $434 million loan for Mongolia as part of a wider $5.5 billion aid package that is also supported by Japan, South Korea, China, the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank.
 
The resource-rich country has benefited from a commodities boom over the last 15 years or so. But a subsequent commodity price slump, investment outflows and slowing demand in key export markets have hit the economy hard.
 
"I am confident that resources and the money that will be lent to the Mongolian government will be used effectively to overcome the temporary economic problems," Munkh-Orgil said on the sidelines of the International Conference on The Future of Asia.
 
The agreement was reached after IMF determined that Mongolia had met some of the lender's demands, including raising taxes and cutting spending. Some observers, however, question the ability of the government to carry through with the painful structural reforms needed to put the economy back on track.
 
But Munkh-Orgil said the reform was inevitable. "With or without IMF, we know that we must undertake these reforms. We have expanded fiscally -- a lot. We have stretched ourselves on [the] budget. We have reached unsustainable levels of government debt," he said.
 
The government is trying to respond through fiscal consolidation, Munkh-Orgil said, and by bringing the budget under control. Mongolia aims to reduce the budget deficit, currently equivalent to 17% of gross domestic product to 10.2% by the end of this year. By 2022, it aims to have a budget deficit equal to around 2% of GDP, he said.
 
"For the next several decades, the mining sector will continue to be the central linchpin of the Mongolian economy," Munkh-Orgil said. "But at the same time, mining is a very capricious animal. [The] fortunes and misfortunes of the mining sector can go up and down unexpectedly."
 
Mongolia is ready to diversify its economy, which currently relies on minerals for 90% of its export revenue, he said. "We need to bring in more products, [put] more industries in play. We need to engage the public and businesses in other areas that employ more people and bring more export revenues, like agriculture and tourism."
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Saudi Arabia's Feud With Qatar Has 22-Year History Rooted in Gas www.bloomberg.com

 
Saudi Arabia’s excommunication of Qatar has been brewing since 1995, and the dispute’s long past and likely lingering future are best explained by natural gas.
 
Not only was that the year when the father of the current emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, toppled his own pro-Saudi father, it was also when the tiny desert peninsula was about to make its first shipment of liquid natural gas from the world’s largest reservoir. The offshore North Field, which provides virtually all of Qatar’s gas, is shared with Iran, Saudi Arabia’s hated rival.
 
The wealth that followed turned Qatar into not just the world’s richest nation, with an annual per-capita income of $130,000, but also the world’s largest LNG exporter. The focus on gas set it apart from its oil producing neighbors in the Gulf Cooperation Council and allowed it to break from domination by Saudi Arabia, which in Monday’s statement of complaint described Qataris as an “extension of their brethren in the Kingdom” as it cut off diplomatic relations and closed the border.
 
Instead, Qatar built its own ties with other powers including Iran, the U.S. -- Qatar hosts U.S. Central Command -- and more recently, Russia. Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund agreed last year to invest $2.7 billion in Russia’s state-run Rosneft Oil Co. PJSC.
 
“Qatar used to be a kind of Saudi vassal state, but it used the autonomy that its gas wealth created to carve out an independent role for itself,” said Jim Krane, energy research fellow at Rice University’s Baker Institute, in Houston, Texas. “The rest of the region has been looking for an opportunity to clip Qatar’s wings.”
 
Trump’s Visit
 
That opportunity came with U.S. President Donald Trump’s recent visit to Saudi Arabia, when he called on “all nations of conscience” to isolate Iran. When Qatar disagreed publicly, in a statement the government later said was a product of hacking, the Saudi-led retribution followed.
 
Critically, Qatar’s natural gas output has been free from entanglement in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, the oil cartel that Saudi Arabia dominates.
 
The new emir, having survived a counter-coup attempt in 1996, didn’t build pipelines that would have integrated Qatar into the markets of its Gulf neighbors. Two senior Qatari government officials alleged during the trial of the coup plotters in 2000 that Bahrain helped to organize the attempt with Saudi Arabia’s consent, according to a report by the BBC.
 
At the time, those much richer oil states saw natural gas as virtually worthless, useful mainly for injecting back into oil wells to improve extraction rates. They were willing to pay only a fraction of the world market price for LNG, according to a paper Krane co-authored with Qatar University’s Steven Wright.
 
The sole pipeline built, the Dolphin project connecting Qatar’s North Field to the United Arab Emirates and Oman, has operated at half to two thirds capacity. Contracts signed last year should fill the rest, yet the vast majority of Qatar’s exports will continue to go to markets in Asia and Europe.
 
Angering Neighbors
 
More recently, demand for LNG to produce electricity and power industry has been growing in the Gulf states. They’re having to resort to higher-cost LNG imports and exploring difficult domestic gas formations that are expensive to get out of the ground, according to the research. Qatar’s gas has the lowest extraction costs in the world.
 
Qatar gas wealth enabled it to develop foreign policies that came to irritate its neighbors. It backed the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, Hamas in the Gaza Strip and armed factions opposed by the UAE or Saudi Arabia in Libya and Syria. Gas also paid for a global television network, Al Jazeera, which at various times has embarrassed or angered most Middle Eastern governments.
 
Above all, gas prompted Qatar to promote a regional policy of engagement with Shiite Iran to secure the source of its wealth.
 
Gas isn’t the immediate cause of the current showdown, but “you can question why Qatar has been unwilling to supply its neighboring countries, making them gas poor,” said Wright, the academic, speaking by telephone from the Qatari capital Doha. “There probably was an expectation that Qatar would sell gas to them at a discount price.
 
What Next?
 
Adding to regional frustrations, in 2005, Qatar declared a moratorium on the further development of the North Field that could have provided more gas for local export.
 
Qatar said it needed to test how the field was responding to its exploitation, denying that it was bending to sensitivities in Iran, which had been much slower to draw gas from its side of the shared field. That two-year moratorium was lifted in April, a decade late, after Iran for the first time caught up with Qatar’s extraction rates.
 
“People here are scratching their heads as to exactly what the Saudis expect Qatar to do,” said Gerd Nonneman, professor of international relations and Gulf studies at Georgetown University’s Doha campus. “They seem to want Qatar to cave in completely, but it won’t call the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization, because it isn’t. And it isn’t going to excommunicate Iran, because that would jeopardize a relationship that is just too fundamental to Qatar’s economic development.”
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Discussion on draft amendment to constitution to begin nationwide www.montsame.mn

 
Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ Following Parliament's adoption of Resolution on ‘Ensuring sovereignty and participation of the people of Mongolia on Amendment of the Constitution’ on June 2, a press briefing was held by Parliamentary Standing committee on State Structure on June 5, Monday.
 
In accordance with the resolution, a public discussion on the draft amendment to the Constitution of Mongolia will take place nationwide from June 5 to September 10.
 
Present at the briefing were Member of Parliament D.Lundeejantsan who is leading the working group in charge of conducting public discussion on the draft amendment and Members of Parliament D.Erdenebat, G.Zandanshatar and J.Batzandan who are leading sub-working groups.
 
Citing the 1991 public discussion on the draft new Constitution of Mongolia, Member of Parliament D.Lundeejantsan said, “Since then, Mongolia has undergone inevitable changes, as the world did. The matter of amending the Constitution has been on agenda for a long time”.
 
Around 2 million Mongolians who are of age can partake in the public discussion that will proceed for 95 days. The discussion will take place in four main areas – stable and transparent civil service, system of accountability, distribution of legislative powers and a human rights-oriented society.
 
The discussion enables online participation through social networking sites which also allows Mongolians living abroad register their opinions.
 
The draft amendment is expected to be submitted to Parliament by October 1.
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