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Rich Gulf states desperately try to stop Iran-Israel war

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Gulf states are pushing to stop a full-blown regional war after Iran’s unprecedented retaliatory strikes on Israel.

Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in particular may be well placed to triangulate between Iran, Israel and the United States after diplomatic advances in recent years that benefited all those countries.

Allies of Washington, Gulf monarchies have sought to stabilise ties with Iran and Israel to resolve longstanding security concerns and allow them to focus on national projects.

The UAE and Bahrain signed a normalisation deal with Israel in 2020 and Saudi Arabia was considering a similar agreement also involving a U.S. defence pact until the Gaza war torpedoed diplomacy. Riyadh also buried the hatchet with Iran last year after years of feuding.

Bad diplomacy

However, the policy of detente now faces its greatest ever threat as the risk to wider regional peace raised by Israel’s conflict with Iran-backed Hamas in Gaza since Oct. 7 comes to a head.

A direct war between Israel and Iran could swiftly expand to Gulf states whose air space lies between the pair, and which host several military bases of the United States, which has vowed to defend its ally Israel.

Read more -Iran launches retaliatory attack on Israel with hundreds of drones

“Nobody wants an escalation. Everybody wants to contain the situation,” said a Gulf source close to government circles, adding that there was probably wide telephone diplomacy under way.

“The pressure is not on Iran alone. The pressure is now on Israel not to retaliate,” said the source, adding that the fallout of an Israeli attack on key Iranian sites “will affect all the region”.

Another Gulf source with knowledge of official thinking said Gulf states, Iraq and Jordan are pushing both Iran and Israel’s main backer the United States not to escalate. Washington was already pressing Israel to show restraint, both sources said.

Further escalation

At the same time, the United States was using Gulf countries to convey messages to Iran not to escalate any further, the source with knowledge of official thinking added.

“It is clear that America is using Gulf Arab allies to convey messages between Iran and the Americans. Saudi Arabia is maintaining contacts with Iran and there is an understanding to contain things,” the source said.

Reuters has requested comment from both Saudi Arabia and the UAE on how they are handling the crisis.

Still, both the sources as well as analysts in the Gulf believed the most dangerous moment may have passed.

“The Iranians took their shot,” said Abdulaziz al-Sager, head of the Gulf Research Centre close to government circles, indicating that for Tehran, the escalatory phase was over, and adding that Washington did not want an escalation from Israel.

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OpenAI terminates AI risk protection team

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Less than a year after its inception, OpenAI has made the decision to dissolve its team dedicated to researching long-term risks associated with AI.

The team, formed with the intention of studying and mitigating potential risks stemming from advanced AI systems, was a notable part of OpenAI’s broader mission to ensure that AI is developed and used responsibly.

Dr Karen Sutherland from University of the Sunshine Coast #featured

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What are the biggest takeaways from the Second global AI summit?

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Top executives from leading tech companies committed to prioritising safety in the development and deployment of artificial intelligence technologies at the Second Global AI Summit.

During the summit, representatives from major corporations such as Google, Microsoft, and IBM outlined specific measures they will take to ensure that AI systems are developed and deployed responsibly.

Tom Finnigan from Talkingbrands.ai joins to discuss. #featured #trending

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Microsoft reporting for duty with top tier title

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Major Gamepass addition are on the way, with Call of Duty: Black Ops title.

Reports suggest this as the largest addition to the service since its launch, indicating a strategic effort to boost subscription numbers in a challenging market. The decision, likely to be officially announced during the upcoming Xbox Games Showcase on June 9, reflects a shift in the gaming landscape and Microsoft’s commitment to Game Pass. Despite potential drawbacks such as upsetting existing subscribers and sacrificing direct sales revenue. #Featured #Trending

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