Saudi moderation may not be fully possible

Two recent reports documenting significant Saudi progress in countering ingrained religious anti-Jewish, anti-Christian and anti-Shiite supremacism as well as anti-Western and other xenophobic attitudes suggest the kingdom’s receptivity to external pressure as it endeavours to position itself as the leader of a vaguely defined ‘moderate’ form of Islam. So does the fact that several Saudi… Continue reading Saudi moderation may not be fully possible

Op-ed: Middle East futures: Decade(s) of defiance and dissent

Autocrats get some things right The second decade of the 21st century has been bookended by protest. The decade was ushered in by protest across the globe, from student rallies in Chile to Occupy Wall Street to fuel price demonstrations in Jakarta. The 2011 popular revolts that toppled four Arab autocrats grabbed the headlines and provided… Continue reading Op-ed: Middle East futures: Decade(s) of defiance and dissent

Increased sectarian violence in Pakistan, why is the Gulf silent?

Silent about rising sectarian violence in Pakistan, Gulf states vying for religious soft power risk exposing the limitations of their concepts of an undefined ‘moderate’ Islam that is tolerant and endorses pluralism. Countries like Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar have so far turned a blind eye to mounting sectarian sentiment in Karachi… Continue reading Increased sectarian violence in Pakistan, why is the Gulf silent?

Saudi Arabia to open airspace, borders ending 3 year blockade of Qatar

Saudi Arabia will reopen its borders and airspace to Qatar, US and Kuwaiti officials said Monday, a major step towards ending a diplomatic rift that has seen Riyadh lead an alliance isolating Doha. The bombshell announcement came on the eve of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) annual summit in the northwestern Saudi Arabian city… Continue reading Saudi Arabia to open airspace, borders ending 3 year blockade of Qatar

US aircraft carrier to stay in Gulf amid ‘recent threats’ : Pentagon

The US reversed a decision to bring an aircraft carrier home from the Gulf Sunday, with the Pentagon saying that due to “recent threats” by Iran the USS Nimitz would stay in position. The Nimitz has been patrolling Gulf waters since late November, but in a statement issued on December 31, acting US defense secretary… Continue reading US aircraft carrier to stay in Gulf amid ‘recent threats’ : Pentagon

Israel and Arab world: four accords and secret visit

Morocco on Thursday became the latest Arab state to recognise Israel, after three other agreements that were reached this year. Here is a recap of the developments in the Jewish state’s ongoing rapprochement with the Arab world. Huge breakthrough In a surprise announcement on August 13, US President Donald Trump says Israel and the United… Continue reading Israel and Arab world: four accords and secret visit

Saudi Arabia denies any visa change for Pakistanis

On Wednesday, Saudi Arabia denied any changes to the visa policy for Pakistani citizens traveling to the Kingdom. While addressing the media Saudi envoy, Nawaful Malki, said that citizens from around the world, who did not have lawful documents were being forced to leave Saudi Arabia. He clarified that Pakistani’s were not being targeted specifically.… Continue reading Saudi Arabia denies any visa change for Pakistanis

Biden & Yemen: Will He Do The Right Thing Even For The Wrong Reasons?

Pro-Yemeni activists hope that Biden will stay true to his prior promise to stop funding the GCC’s War on Yemen, but even if he does what’s arguably the morally right thing, he’ll probably be doing it for geopolitical reasons even if he tries to pass it off as a matter of principle for soft power… Continue reading Biden & Yemen: Will He Do The Right Thing Even For The Wrong Reasons?

UAE says supports Saudi efforts to resolve Gulf crisis

The UAE said Tuesday it supports Saudi efforts to end a three-year Gulf dispute, Abu Dhabi’s first reaction to recent statements suggesting the rift between four countries and Qatar could soon ease. Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan told AFP last week that the kingdom and its allies the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt… Continue reading UAE says supports Saudi efforts to resolve Gulf crisis

Dubai eyes $5 bn trade with Israel as Saudi prince highlights Palestinians woes

The Chairman of Dubai Ports (DP) World, the biggest port operator in the city, Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem has said that trade between the United Arab Emirates and Israel is expected to reach a figure of $5 billion in the initial period. He claimed that not only will it reach that ambitious total but will… Continue reading Dubai eyes $5 bn trade with Israel as Saudi prince highlights Palestinians woes