UAE-Saudi dynamics: Thriving partnership or usurpation of status quo?

Sami Hamdi World Politics Leave a Comment

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 Mohamed Bin Zayed have seen their own personal relationship blossom. There …

Iran’s Sadr problem

Sami Hamdi Middle East/North Africa

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 a brutal war between them that engulfed Sadr City in …

Palestine: What happens to the peace process now?

Sami Hamdi Middle East/North Africa

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 has obstructed any genuine pursuit for peace; Israel is strong, Palestine …

US will bomb Syria…to achieve what?

Sami Hamdi Middle East/North Africa

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 in Syria for some time. Chronic indecision First, Obama wrestled with …

Ghouta: The tragic price of indecision

Sami Hamdi Middle East/North Africa

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 Erdogan wrangled over the breakdown of the peace talks brought about by the renewed vigour of the PKK and YPG in establishing a state brought about by the chaos in Syria.

Ghouta is but a symptom of a much deeper and complex disease that has plagued the Syria conflict from the outset.

What is Turkey doing in Serbia?

Sami Hamdi Balkans

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 two historic rivals? And what drives Erdogan to risk the …

Yemen War: An Agonising Catch-22

Sami Hamdi Middle East/North Africa, Yemen

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 traditional war of two sides, the already fractured social fabric …

What does the UAE want in Tunisia?

Sami Hamdi Middle East/North Africa

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 the latter’s attempts to bolster his son’s position as a possible …