Analysis

  • UAE-Saudi dynamics: Thriving partnership or usurpation of status quo?
    anemptytextlline
    The alliance between the UAE and Saudi Arabia in the Middle East has become a mainstay of the regional dynamics in recent times. The two neighbours are cooperating on Egypt, Yemen, Donald Trump, and the Palestine-Israel conflict. Moreover, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohamed Bin Salman and UAE’s Crown Prince...
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  • The Problem With Liberalising Arabia
    anemptytextlline
    One of the main drivers behind support for Crown Prince Mohamed Bin Salman’s vision for Saudi Arabia has been his perceived willingness to liberalise Saudi society. Reforms including allowing women to drive have been welcomed, while the opening of cinemas and the hosting of the WWE Royal Rumble have...
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  • Iran’s Sadr problem
    anemptytextlline
    Sadr’s resurgence complicates the dynamics of Iraqi politics not just for Iran, but also for the Iraqi religious establishment. For Iran, Sadr has always been a useful kingmaker. In 2006, Maliki was short of the required MPs to form a government and could not convince Sadr to back him following...
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  • Palestine: What happens to the peace process now?
    anemptytextlline
    The irony of the celebratory mood at the opening ceremony of the US embassy in Jerusalem will not have been lost on most people as coinciding live images of protesters being massacred were broadcast on most television stations. If anything, such imagery served to demonstrate the grave imbalance that...
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  • Trump and the Iran Deal: Calculated Defiance or Seismic...
    anemptytextlline
    Trump surprised few with his decision to pull out of the Iran Deal. He derided the deal during his presidential campaign and promised to either change it or pull out. It is worth noting as well that Trump was not alone in his scepticism. Obama's insistence on signing off...
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  • US will bomb Syria...to achieve what?
    anemptytextlline
    Donald Trump is beating the war drums over Syria following reports of Assad using chemical weapons. Frustrated at Assad's resurgence, however limited, and Russia and Iran's unwavering support for the regime that has dented Washington's carefully constructed image as an uncontestable superpower, the US has been re-assessing its options...
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  • Ghouta: The tragic price of indecision
    anemptytextlline
    Haunted by Libya, Obama was reluctant to intervene directly. Wary of Islamism, Europe were keen to see the composition of the Syrian Opposition Council before committing any resources. Saudi Arabia and Qatar then engaged in an almighty feud over the Muslim Brotherhood that spilled over into the conflict while...
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  • What is Turkey doing in Serbia?
    anemptytextlline
    Erdogan’s visit to Serbia late in 2017 was received with much pomp. The Serbians were clearly happy to receive him and the Turks were just as pleased with the warm bilateral relations reflected in agreements that will see a significant increase in trade. So what brings about this rapprochement between...
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  • Yemen War: An Agonising Catch-22
    anemptytextlline
    The Yemen war shows no sign of ending despite witnessing a humanitarian crisis that could be described as one of the worst in modern times, as well as widespread destruction of basic infrastructure, compounded by the absence of an environment conducive to a genuine peace process. Moreover, instead of a...
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  • What does the UAE want in Tunisia?
    anemptytextlline
    UAE involvement in Tunisia has increasingly been making headlines across the Magreb. Already involved in Libya, the UAE has been accused of supporting Tunisian President Beji Caid al-Sibsi during his presidential campaign, and is now accused of supporting his rival Mohsen Marzoug, who fell out with the President over...
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  • What exactly is the problem between Jordan and Saudi...
    anemptytextlline
    The Jordanian King’s decision to retire his brothers Prince Ali bin Hussein and Prince Faisal bin Hussein, along with their cousin Prince Talal bin Mohammed from the army was so sudden and so immediate that many were left reeling at the prospect that one of the most stable governments...
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  • Why it is too early to call Saudi’s 'Hariri'...
    anemptytextlline
    When Saad al-Hariri was ‘recalled’ to Riyadh to subsequently announce his shock resignation, there was little doubt that the indignation felt by many Lebanese was warranted. If anyone needed a clearer example that Lebanon is flapping helplessly in a sea of opposing Saudi and Iranian currents, then Hariri all...
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Insights

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