The Reopening of the UAE Embassy Might Signal Syria’s Pivot to the GCC

It would be foolish to believe that the uber-wealthy UAE needs war-torn Syria more than the reverse, so the reported reopening of the Emirati Embassy more than likely signals a significant change in policy on Damascus’ behalf and not Abu Dhabi’s, the ramifications of which could be far-reaching for the entire region and especially Iran. …

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The Yemen War Death Toll Is Five Times Higher Than We Think

One reason Saudi Arabia and its allies are able to avoid a public outcry over their intervention in the war in Yemen, is that the number of people killed in the fighting has been vastly understated. The figure is regularly reported as 10,000 dead in three-and-a-half years, a mysteriously low figure given the ferocity of …

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The Arabian Game of Thrones Heats Up

The reported torture, murder, and dismemberment of Washington-based Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate-general in Istanbul reminded the world that an intense power play is now taking place within the monarchies of the Arabian Peninsula and between them. In November 2017, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MbS) ordered the arrest and detention …

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Neo-Ottomanism Surges in Middle East Politics

The fate of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman hangs in the balance. The common perception is that everything depends on which way President Donald Trump moves – go by his own preference to bury the scandal over Jamal Khashoggi’s disappearance or give in to the rising demand that Saudi-American relations can no longer be …

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MbS: Riding Roughshod or Playing a Risky Game of Bluff Poker?

A stalemate in efforts to determine what happened to Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi is threatening to escalate into a crisis that could usher in a new era in relations between the United States and some of its closest Arab allies as well as in the region’s energy politics. In response to US President Donald J. …

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Jamal Khashoggi Rejiggers the Middle East at Potentially Horribly Cost

The fate of missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, assuming that his disappearance was the work of Saudi security and military officials, threatens to upend the fundaments of fault lines in the Middle East. At stake is not only the fate of a widely respected journalist and the future of Turkish-Saudi relations. Mr. Khashoggi’s fate, whether …

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Journalist’s Disappearance Challenges Fragile Middle Eastern Pragmatism

Saudi Arabia and Turkey, despite being on opposite sides of Middle Eastern divides, are cooperating in Syria to enable youth and women to acquire skills that would either allow them to compete in the job market or turn them into entrepreneurs. The Saudi-funded, Turkish-executed projects potentially highlight a newly found degree of pragmatism and fluidity …

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Fragility of Middle East Alliances Becomes Ever More Apparent

Three recent developments lay bare the fragility of Middle Eastern alliances and a rebalancing of their priorities: the Russian-Turkish compromise on an assault on the rebel-held Syrian region of Idlib, the fate of troubled Abu Dhabi airline Ettihad, and battles over reconstruction of Syria. These developments highlight the fact that competition among Middle Eastern rivals …

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Ethiopia Might Power Saudi Arabia and Become the Next Member of the GCC+

The rising African Great Power of Ethiopia might prospectively export electricity to Saudi Arabia upon the completion of its Grand Renaissance Dam and thus become the next de-facto member of the GCC+. “Friendly Competition” The Gulf Cooperation Council Interconnection Agency’s (GCCIA) Ahmed Ali Al-Ebrahim told Climate News that the regional integration organization will undertake a …

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