UAE launches ‘Ministry of Possibilities’

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, the UAE’s premier and ruler of Dubai, said the “unconventional” ministry would function “without a minister." (Reuters/File Photo)
Updated 23 April 2019
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UAE launches ‘Ministry of Possibilities’

  • Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum said the “unconventional” ministry would function “without a minister”
  • In 2016, the UAE created ministries of happiness and tolerance

DUBAI: The UAE on Tuesday unveiled a new branch of government, a Ministry of Possibilities, three years after launching a department in charge of happiness.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, the UAE’s premier and ruler of Dubai, said the “unconventional” ministry would function “without a minister” but with input from the whole cabinet.
“We launched the world’s first virtual ‘Ministry of Possibilities’, a new government work system in the UAE,” he said on Twitter.
“The virtual ministry, administered by the cabinet, will address pressing national portfolios and build future government systems.”
It would also cut waiting times for government services, according to the Dubai government’s media office.
Sheikh Mohammed said: “Future challenges require the constant development of the government structure... and impossible is not in our dictionary.”
In 2016, the UAE created ministries of happiness and tolerance.


US demands Iran free seized ship, vows to protect Gulf oil lifeline

Updated 19 July 2019
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US demands Iran free seized ship, vows to protect Gulf oil lifeline

  • Washington blames Iran for a series of attacks on shipping since mid-May in the world’s most important oil artery

DUBAI: The US on Thursday demanded Iran immediately release a vessel it seized in the Gulf and a US military commander in the region said the US would work “aggressively” to ensure free passage of vessels through the vital waterway.

Responding to an announcement by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards that they had seized a foreign tanker smuggling fuel, the US State Department insisted Iran had to free the ship and its crew and stop harassing vessels in and around the Strait of Hormuz.

The US blames Iran for a series of attacks on shipping since mid-May in the world’s most important oil artery, accusations Tehran rejects but that have raised fears the long-time foes could stumble into war.

“The United States strongly condemns the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy’s continued harassment of vessels and interference with safe passage in and around the Strait of Hormuz,” a State Department spokesperson said in an email to Reuters.

“Iran must cease this illicit activity and release the reportedly seized crew and vessel immediately.”

Refinitiv data showed that the last signal received from the vessel was on Sunday when it was in the Strait of Hormuz off the Iranian island of Qeshm, heading toward Oman from Larak Island.

It was reported on Wednesday that shipping companies were hiring unarmed security guards for voyages through the Gulf as an extra safeguard.

US Central Command chief Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, meanwhile, said Washington was talking to several countries about ensuring freedom of navigation in the Gulf and would work “aggressively” to find a solution to enable free passage. He was speaking in Riyadh at a news conference.

Also on Thursday, Britain urged Iran to ease tensions in the Gulf on Thursday and Defense Secretary Penny Mordaunt told a defense conference Britain had “always, and we will continue, to protect shipping and the free flow of goods in that area.”