Imran Khan, Saad Hariri and Harrison Ford among big names attending Dubai’s World Government Summit

Imran Khan, Saad Hariri and Harrison Ford among big names attending Dubai’s World Government Summit
Imran Khan, Harrison Ford, and Saad Hariri are among the big names attending Dubai’s World Government Summit on Sunday. (File/AFP)
Updated 07 February 2019

Imran Khan, Saad Hariri and Harrison Ford among big names attending Dubai’s World Government Summit

Imran Khan, Saad Hariri and Harrison Ford among big names attending Dubai’s World Government Summit
  • The annual summit, which brings together heads of state, Nobel laureates, and thought leaders together to tackle a wide variety of global issues and topics that will span across more than 200 sessions
  • Apart from the politicians, the summit – in its seventh edition – is also bringing in more than 30 global organizations

DUBAI: Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan, Actor Harrison Ford and Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri are among the big names attending Dubai’s World Government Summit on Sunday – and there will also be a message broadcast to the conference by Pope Francis.

The annual summit brings together heads of state, Nobel laureates, and thought leaders to tackle a wide variety of global issues and topics that will span across more than 200 sessions.

Harrison Ford is expected to give a 20-minute talk on ocean conservation at the plenary session, while UAE’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan will also give a comment on the pope’s recent historic visit to the Gulf. Hariri will be giving a special session just over a week after Lebanon formed a government after nearly a year of political wrangling.

Khan will speak about his vision for the future of Pakistan and what the country's role in the region and the wider world.

The IMF Chief Christine Lagarde will also be attending. 

According to the UAE’s Minister of Cabinet Affairs and Future, Mohammed Al Gergawi, this year’s event will focus on seven main topics that include: the future of technology, the future of health and quality of life, the environment and climate change, education and the labor market, trade and international co-operation, societies and politics and information and communication between governments and society.

Apart from the politicians, the summit – in its seventh edition – is also bringing in more than 30 global organizations such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Other than Lebanon’s Hariri, country leaders attending the summit include Estonia’s PM Jüri Ratas and President of Rwanda Paul Kagame.

The summit will begin on Sunday, Feb. 10 and run until Tuesday, Feb. 12 in Dubai.


US designates Bahrain, UAE ‘major security partners’

US designates Bahrain, UAE ‘major security partners’
Updated 55 min 57 sec ago

US designates Bahrain, UAE ‘major security partners’

US designates Bahrain, UAE ‘major security partners’
  • Bahrain is home to the US Navy’s 5th Fleet and hostssome 5,000 American troops
  • UAE hosts 3,500 US troops and its Jebel Ali port is the busiest port of call for American warships outside of the US

DUBAI: The US called Bahrain and the UAE “major security partners” early on Saturday, a previously unheard of designation for the two countries home to major American military operations.
A White House statement tied the designation to Bahrain and the UAE normalizing ties to Israel, saying it “reflects their extraordinary courage, determination and leadership.” It also noted the two countries long have taken part in US military exercises.
It’s unclear what the designation means for Bahrain and the UAE.
Bahrain is home to the US Navy’s 5th Fleet, while the UAE’s Jebel Ali port is the busiest port of call for American warships outside of the US. Bahrain hosts some 5,000 American troops, while the UAE hosts 3,500, many at Al-Dhafra Air Base.
Already, the US uses the designation of “major non-NATO ally” to describe its relationship with Kuwait, which hosts the forward command of US Army Central. That designation grants a country special financial and military considerations for nations not part of NATO. Bahrain also is a non-NATO ally.
The US military’s Central Command and the Pentagon did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The 5th Fleet referred queries to the State Department, which did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The White House designation comes in the final days of President Donald Trump’s administration.
Trump forged close ties to Gulf Arab countries during his time in office in part over his hard-line stance on Iran.
That’s sparked a series of escalating incidents between the countries after Trump unilaterally withdrew from Iran’s nuclear deal with world powers.
It also comes after Bahrain and the UAE joined Egypt and Saudi Arabia in beginning to resolve a yearslong boycott of Qatar, that houses Al-Udeid Air Base.