There are no breaking news at the moment

Articles by: Dr James M Dorsey

President Donald Trump meets with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the Oval Office of the White House, Tuesday, March 20, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Shifting Middle Eastern sands spotlight diverging US-Saudi interests

A series of Gulf and Middle East-related developments suggest that resolving some of the Middle East’s most debilitating and devastating crises while ensuring that efforts to pressure Iran do not perpetuate the mayhem may be easier said than done. They also suggest that the same is true for keeping US and Saudi interests aligned. Optimists garner hope from the fact[Read More…]

US Senate resolution potentially changes Middle East dynamics

US Senate resolution potentially changes Middle East dynamics

A draft US Senate resolution effectively portraying Saudi policy as detrimental to US interests and values and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman as “complicit” in the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, if adopted and implemented, potentially could change the dynamics of the region’s politics and create an initial exit from almost a decade of mayhem, conflict and bloodshed. The six-page draft also holds Prince[Read More…]

Saudi diplomatic offensive seeks to put Khashoggi behind it and thwart Qatar

Saudi diplomatic offensive seeks to put Khashoggi behind it and thwart Qatar

As Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman tours friendly Arab nations in advance of the Group of 20 (G-20) industrialized nations summit in Argentina, Saudi diplomacy aims to achieve two goals: put the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi behind it and thwart Qatari efforts to benefit from the kingdom’s predicament. The Saudi campaign is producing predictably mixed results. It is[Read More…]

Nuclear energy; Saudi Arabia’s coming Washington battle

Nuclear energy; Saudi Arabia’s coming Washington battle

When Saudi General Khalid bin Sultan bin Abdul Aziz went shopping in the late 1980s for Chinese medium-range missiles capable of carrying nuclear, chemical or biological warheads he made no bones about keeping the United States, one of the kingdom’s closest allies, in the dark. it was “my task to negotiate the deal, devise an appropriate deception plan, choose a[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled World
Chinese consulate attack puts Pakistan between a rock and a hard place

Chinese consulate attack puts Pakistan between a rock and a hard place

Two attacks in Pakistan, including a brazen assault on the Chinese consulate in Karachi, are likely to complicate prime minister Imran Khan’s efforts to renegotiate China’s massive, controversial Belt and Road investments as well as an International Monetary Fund (IMF) bailout and ensure that Pakistan is shielded from blacklisting by an international anti-money laundering and terrorism finance watchdog. The attack[Read More…]

(L-R) Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, Saudi King Salman, and Saudi Arabia's Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman stand together as Saudi Arabia's cabinet agrees to implement a broad reform plan known as Vision 2030 in Riyadh, April 25, 2016. To match Insight SAUDI-PLAN/PRINCE  Saudi Press Agency/Handout/File Photo via REUTERS.    ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVE.  - RTX2CU2M

The Khashoggi crisis: (Re)Shaping US politics as well as relations with Saudi Arabia

The killers of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi may have gotten more than they bargained for. The killing has sparked multiple battles that are likely in coming months to shape relationships ranging from that between the United States and Saudi Arabia to those between US President Donald J, Trump, his Republican party, the US Congress, and the country’s intelligence community. The[Read More…]

The Khashoggi crisis: Saudi Arabia braces for tougher post-election US attitude

The Khashoggi crisis: Saudi Arabia braces for tougher post-election US attitude

Saudi Arabia is bracing itself for a potentially more strained relationship with the United States in the wake of Democrats gaining control of the House of Representatives in this week’s mid-term elections and mounting Turkish efforts to corner the kingdom in the Khashoggi crisis. To counter possible US pressure, the kingdom is exploring opportunities to diversify its arms suppliers and[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled World
Strange bedfellows: Ideology trumps defense of ethnic, religious and minority rights

Strange bedfellows: Ideology trumps defense of ethnic, religious and minority rights

A global rise of nationalist and populist tendencies has not only given anti-migrant, Islamophobic, anti-Semitic and racist tendencies a new lease on life, but opened the door to alliances between groups that once would have had nothing to do with one another. Developments in Israel, Indonesia and Germany suggest renewed nationalism and populism is in some cases redefining how states[Read More…]

The Khashoggi crisis: Putting Humpty Dumpty back together

The Khashoggi crisis: Putting Humpty Dumpty back together

The killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and potential Western sanctions against Saudi Arabia has sparked renewed debate about the value of the longstanding alliance between the United States and the kingdom. The debate is not limited to the US or the kingdom, both of which are assessing the reliability of the other even if that is a debate that is[Read More…]

Saudi Arabia and Iran: When it comes to exiles, the pot calls the kettle black

Saudi Arabia and Iran: When it comes to exiles, the pot calls the kettle black

If Saudi Arabia is under pressure to give chapter and verse on the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in its consulate in Istanbul, Iran risks straining relations with Europe at a time that it needs European support the most by targeting ethnic rights activists. Mr. Khashoggi’s murder has focused attention on Saudi harassment and intimidation of dissidents as part of[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled World
Reforming the Faith: Indonesia’s battle for the soul of Islam

Reforming the Faith: Indonesia’s battle for the soul of Islam

Nahdlatul Ulama, with 94 million members the world’s largest Sunni Muslim movement, is bent on reforming Islam. The powerful Indonesian conservative and nationalist group that operates madrassahs or religious seminaries across the archipelago has taken on the ambitious task of reintroducing ijtihad or legal interpretation to Islam as it stands to enhance its political clout with its spiritual leader, Ma’ruf[Read More…]

The Khashoggi Crisis: A blessing in disguise for Pakistan’s Imran Khan

The Khashoggi Crisis: A blessing in disguise for Pakistan’s Imran Khan

The death of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi is proving to be a blessing in disguise for cash- strapped Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan. Mr. Khan’s blessing is also likely to offer Saudi Arabia geopolitical advantage. On the principle of all good things are three, Mr. Khan struck gold on his second visit to the kingdom since coming to office in[Read More…]

A gruesome murder bares world powers’ flawed policies

A gruesome murder bares world powers’ flawed policies

Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s gruesome murder raises fundamental questions that go far beyond Middle Eastern geopolitics. They go to the risks of support for autocratic regimes by democratic and authoritarian world powers, the rise of illiberal democracy in the West, increasing authoritarianism in Russia, and absolute power in China in which checks and balances are weakened or non-existent. Mr. Khashoggi’s[Read More…]

Turkey plays Khashoggi crisis to its geopolitical advantage

Turkey plays Khashoggi crisis to its geopolitical advantage

With Turkish investigators asserting that they have found further evidence that Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed when he visited the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul two weeks ago, Turkey appears to be leveraging the case to enhance its position as a leader of the Islamic World and reposition itself as a key US ally. To enhance its geopolitical position vis[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled Human Rights
President Donald Trump meets with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the Oval Office of the White House, Tuesday, March 20, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

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. Trump’s threat of “severe punishment”[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled World
Jamal Khashoggi rejiggers the Middle East at potentially horrible cost

Jamal Khashoggi rejiggers the Middle East at potentially horrible 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 he was kidnapped by Saudi[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled World
Remodelling the Belt and Road: Pakistan picks up the torch

Remodelling the Belt and Road: Pakistan picks up the torch

Pakistan, following in the footsteps of Malaysia and Myanmar, is the latest country to balk at the China and infrastructure focus of Beijing’s Belt and Road-related investments. Preparing for his first visit to China as Pakistan’s prime minister, Imran Khan is insisting that the focus of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a US$60 billion plus crown jewel of the[Read More…]

Pakistani poker: Playing Saudi Arabia against China

Pakistani poker: Playing Saudi Arabia against China

Desperate for funding to fend off a financial crisis fuelled in part by mounting debt to China, Pakistan is playing a complicated game of poker that could hand Saudi Arabia a strategic victory in its bitter feud with Iran at the People’s Republic’s expense. The Pakistani moves threaten a key leg of the USD60 billion plus Chinese investment in the[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled South Asia
Achieving religious harmony in a world of fear and populism

Achieving religious harmony in a world of fear and populism

Edited version of remarks made at the Inter-Religious Organization Singapore, 1 October 2018 This is a tough time for men and women of the cloth, at least those whose message is one of peace, tolerance, mutual respect, equality and inter-faith dialogue. Underlying the rise of populism, nationalism, protectionism, fear of the other, anti-migrant and anti-foreigner sentiment, and hate speech is[Read More…]

Fragility of Middle East alliances becomes ever more apparent

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 and ultimate power within the[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled World
Global watchdog takes Saudi Arabia to task for lax anti-terrorism finance measures

Global watchdog takes Saudi Arabia to task for lax anti-terrorism finance measures

A Financial Action Task Force (FATF) report criticizing Saudi Arabia’s anti-money laundering and terrorism finance measures puts the kingdom on the spot 17 years after the 9/11 attacks and casts a shadow over its diplomatic and economic boycott of Qatar on the grounds that the Gulf state supports militants. In a nod to the kingdom, the international watchdog described as[Read More…]

Battling it out at the UN: Potholes overshadow US-Iran confrontation

Battling it out at the UN: Potholes overshadow US-Iran confrontation

It’s easy to dismiss Iranian denunciations of the United States and its Middle Eastern allies as part of the Islamic republic’s long-standing rhetoric. The rhetoric makes it equally easy to understand American distrust. But as President J. Trump and Hassan Rouhani, his Iranian counterpart, gear up for two days of diplomatic sabre rattling at the United Nations in advance of[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled World
Attack in Iran raises spectre of a potentially far larger conflagration

Attack in Iran raises spectre of a potentially far larger conflagration

An attack on a military parade in the southern Iranian city of Ahwaz is likely to prompt Iranian retaliation against opposition groups at home and abroad. It also deepens Iranian fears that the United States. Saudi Arabia and others may seek to destabilize the country by instigating unrest among its ethnic minorities. With competing claims of responsibility by the Islamic[Read More…]

China struggles with Belt and Road pushback

China struggles with Belt and Road pushback

China, in an implicit recognition that at least some of its Belt and Road-related projects risk trapping target countries in debt or fail to meet their needs, has conceded that adjustments may be necessary. “It’s normal and understandable that development focus can change at different stages in different countries, especially with changes in government. So China can also make some[Read More…]

Criticism of Saudi leadership seeps through cracks as report questions kingdom’s utility for Britain

Criticism of Saudi leadership seeps through cracks as report questions kingdom’s utility for Britain

Signs of opposition to policies of Saudi King Salman and his son, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and potentially increased domestic polarization have in the past week spilled on to the streets of London while a just released report questioned the economic and political benefits of Britain’s relationship with the kingdom. The London incidents, involving a brother of King Salman[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled World
Regional players manoeuvre to reengineer the Israeli Palestinian landscape

Regional players manoeuvre to reengineer the Israeli Palestinian landscape

A possible ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, the Islamist group that controls the Gaza Strip, is proving to be much more than an effort to end escalating violence that threatens to spark yet another Middle Eastern war. United Arab Emirates-backed Egyptian and United Nations efforts to mediate an agreement, with the two countries’ nemesis, Qatar, in the background, are about[Read More…]

Credit: Daily Reckoning Australia

Turkey’s financial crisis raises questions about China’s debt-driven development model

Financial injections by Qatar and possibly China may resolve Turkey’s immediate economic crisis, aggravated by a politics-driven trade war with the United States, but are unlikely to resolve the country’s structural problems, fuelled by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s counterintuitive interest rate theories. The latest crisis in Turkey’s boom-bust economy raises questions about a development model in which countries like China[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled World
Pakistan at a crossroads as Imran Khan is sworn in

Pakistan at a crossroads as Imran Khan is sworn in

Criticism of Pakistan’s anti-money laundering and terrorism finance regime by the Asia Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG) is likely to complicate incoming Pakistani prime minister Imran Khan’s efforts to tackle his country’s financial crisis. Addressing the criticism of the 41-nation APG, which reports to the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an international anti-money laundering and anti-terrorism watchdog that earlier[Read More…]

Amid ethnic protests, Iran warns of foreign meddling

Amid ethnic protests, Iran warns of foreign meddling

Video link: https://av.voanews.com/Videoroot/Pangeavideo/2018/08/6/61/61c5c34a-8423-42b6-a9c5-de80b804fb7c.mp4 Iran has raised the spectre of a US-Saudi effort to destabilize the country by exploiting economic grievances against the backdrop of circumstantial evidence that Washington and Riyadh are playing with scenarios for stirring unrest among the Islamic republic’s ethnic minorities. Iran witnessed this weekend minority Azeri and Iranian Arab protests in soccer stadiums while the country’s Revolutionary[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled World
Yemen war challenges Saudi moral authority

Yemen war challenges Saudi moral authority

Saudi conduct of its ill-fated war in Yemen coupled with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s alignment with the Trump administration and Israel, and his often coercive approach to diplomatic relations, has opened the door to challenges of the kingdom’s moral leadership of the Sunni Muslim world, a legitimizing pillar of the ruling Al Saud family’s grip on power. The cracks[Read More…]

Saudi Arabia and Iran woo incoming Pakistani prime minister

Saudi Arabia and Iran woo incoming Pakistani prime minister

An offer by a Saudi-backed bank to lend financially strapped Pakistan US$4 billion is likely intended to bolster Saudi influence when former international cricket player Imran Khan is sworn in in the coming week as the South Asian country’s next prime minister. The offer was most immediately related to a statement by Asad Umar, Pakistan’s new finance minister-in-waiting, that Pakistan[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled South Asia
Talking to Rouhani: Is Trump shooting from the hip or following a script?

Talking to Rouhani: Is Trump shooting from the hip or following a script?

Message to Abu Dhabi, Riyadh and Tel Aviv: Not to worry, US President Donald J. Trump has no intention of meeting his Iranian counterpart, Hassan Rouhani, unconditionally. On the contrary, Mr. Trump’s surprise announcement that he is willing to talk to Mr. Rouhani is likely part of a plan formulated almost a year before he returned to government service by[Read More…]

Despite concerns, China sees a potential ally in Pakistan’s Imran Khan

Despite concerns, China sees a potential ally in Pakistan’s Imran Khan

Pakistani prime minister-in waiting Imran Khan’s ability to chart his own course as well as his relationship with the country’s powerful military is likely to be tested the moment he walks into his new office. Pakistan’s most fundamental problems loom large and are likely to demand his immediate attention. He probably will have to turn to the International Monetary Fund[Read More…]

Lack of global leadership spurs instability in the Middle East

Lack of global leadership spurs instability in the Middle East

With multiple Middle Eastern disputes threatening to spill out of control, United Arab Emirates minister of state for foreign affairs Anwar Gargash acknowledged what many in the Middle East have long said privately: the UAE’s recently-found assertiveness and determination to punch above its weight stems from its inability to rely on traditional allies like the United States. What is true[Read More…]

China’s policies spur Central Asians to cautiously chart independent course

China’s policies spur Central Asians to cautiously chart independent course

China’s brutal crackdown in its north-western province of Xinjiang and growing questions about the dark side of some of its Belt and Road investments is fuelling anti-Chinese sentiment, prompting some countries to explore ways to chart an independent course, and feeding into the narratives of rising populist leaders. The incarceration of up to 2,500 Kazakhs in re-education camps in Xinjiang designed to[Read More…]

Securing Xinjiang: China adds security component to Belt and Road initiative

Securing Xinjiang: China adds security component to Belt and Road initiative

China appears to be shifting gears in its multi-billion dollar Belt and Road initiative. Long projected as driven by economics and the benefit of infrastructure linkages, China appears to be increasingly adding a security component to the initiative against the backdrop of President Xi Jinping positioning of his country as a superpower rather than a developing nation. The emergence of[Read More…]

Saudi-UK media tie-up: Targeting the non-Arabic-speaking Middle East

Saudi-UK media tie-up: Targeting the non-Arabic-speaking Middle East

  Long satisfied to attempt to dominate pan-Arab media and battle it out with Qatar’s state-owned Al Jazeera television network, Saudi Arabia has now set its hegemonic sights on influencing the media landscape of the non-Arabic speaking greater Middle East. In the wake of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s concentration last year of control of Saudi-owned pan-Arab media in an[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled World
A double-edged sword: China and Pakistan link up with fibreoptic cable

A double-edged sword: China and Pakistan link up with fibreoptic cable

This month’s inauguration of a fibreoptic cable linking Pakistan with China could prove to be a double-edged sword. Constructed by Chinese conglomerate Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd, the cable is likely to enhance both Pakistan’s information communication technology infrastructure as well as the influence of Chinese authoritarianism at a moment that basic freedoms in Pakistan are on the defensive. The $44[Read More…]

Pakistani elections spotlight the country’s contradictory policies

Pakistani elections spotlight the country’s contradictory policies

  A virulently anti-Shiite, Saudi-backed candidate for parliament in Pakistan’s July 25 election symbolizes the country’s effort to reconcile contradictory policy objectives in an all but impossible attempt to keep domestic forces and foreign allies happy. Ramzan Mengal’s candidacy highlights Pakistan’s convoluted relationship to Islamic militants at a time that the country risks being blacklisted by an international anti-money laundering[Read More…]

Xinjiang: Pan-Turkism fuels China’s hearts-and-minds campaign

Xinjiang: Pan-Turkism fuels China’s hearts-and-minds campaign

Chinese efforts to woo Saudi Arabia’s ethnic Chinese community highlight the People’s Republic’s effort to avert criticism from the Muslim world of its crackdown in the north-western province of Xinjiang and strengthen relations with the kingdom and Middle Eastern nations. The efforts to woo a community, a significant part of which is of Turkic origin, identifies itself as Turkestani, and[Read More…]

Xinjiang: China ignores lessons from the past

Xinjiang: China ignores lessons from the past

A Chinese campaign to forcibly assimilate ethnic Uyghurs in its north-western province of Xinjiang in a bid to erase nationalist sentiment, counter militancy, and create an ‘Uyghur Islam with Chinese characteristics’ ignores lessons learnt not only from recent Chinese history but also the experience of others. The campaign, reminiscent of failed attempts to undermine Uyghur culture during the Cultural Revolution,[Read More…]

Credit: Muslimpress

Whither Wahhabism?

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman could well dash expectations that he is gunning for a break with Sunni Muslim ultra-conservatism rather than a shaving off of the rough edges of Wahhabi ideology that has been woven into the kingdom’s fabric since its founding more than eighty years ago. Prince Mohammed has fuelled expectations by fostering Islamic scholars who advocate[Read More…]

Credit: Investors Lounge

Pakistan’s financial crisis puts Belt and Road on the spot

Increased Pakistani dependence on China to help it avert resorting to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to avoid a financial and economic crisis spotlights fears that the terms of Chinese investment in massive Belt and Road-related projects would not pass international muster. Concerns that China’s US$ 50 billion plus investment in Pakistani infrastructure and energy, the Belt and Road’s crown[Read More…]

Credit: AladdinsMiracleLamp

Saudi religious diplomacy targets Jerusalem

A United Arab Emirates-backed Saudi effort to wrest control from Jordan of Islam’s holy places in Jerusalem signals a sharper, more overt edge to Saudi religious diplomacy and the kingdom’s quest for regional hegemony that risks deepening divides in the Muslim world. The effort also serves to support Donald J. Trump’s plan for a resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled World
The Middle East: History threatens to repeat itself

The Middle East: History threatens to repeat itself

  If the notion that history repeats itself is accurate, it is nowhere truer than in the Middle East where the international community, caught by surprise by the 2011 popular Arab revolts, has reverted to opting for political stability as opposed to sustainability, ignoring the undercurrents of change wracking the Middle East. Major powers do so at their peril. The[Read More…]

Shooting oneself in ones’s own foot: Pakistan’s failed effort to evade terrorism finance listing

Shooting oneself in ones’s own foot: Pakistan’s failed effort to evade terrorism finance listing

The Pakistani government’s removal of a virulently anti-Shiite militant from its terrorism list at the very moment that an international money laundering and terrorism finance watchdog was deciding to put the country on a watchlist highlights Pakistan’s struggle to come to grips with militancy. The decision by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) that was reported by Pakistani media but[Read More…]

Malaysian-Saudi relations: A lesson in the pitfalls of authoritarianism and autocracy

Malaysian-Saudi relations: A lesson in the pitfalls of authoritarianism and autocracy

Embattled former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak was the main loser in last month’s election upset that returned Mahathir Mohamad to power as his country’s anti-corruption crusader. Yet, Mr. Razak is not the only one who may be paying the price for allegedly non-transparent and unaccountable governance. So is Saudi Arabia with a Saudi company having played a key role[Read More…]

Indonesian Muslim leader signals global shifts in meetings with Pence and Netanyahu

Indonesian Muslim leader signals global shifts in meetings with Pence and Netanyahu

Yahya Staquf, a diminutive, soft-spoken leader of Nahdlatul Ulama, the world’s largest Muslim movement, and Indonesian president Joko Widodo’s advisor on religious affairs, has held a series of meetings in recent weeks that reflect the Muslim world’s shifting attitudes towards Israel and the Palestinians and a re-alignment of socially conservative Muslim and Christian interests. Just this month, Mr. Staquf, a[Read More…]

King Mohammed prays in a mosque in Zanzibar

The Saudi-Moroccan spat: Competing for the mantle of moderate Islam

Lurking in the background of a Saudi-Moroccan spat over World Cup hosting rights and the Gulf crisis is a more fundamental competition for the mantle of spearheading promotion of a moderate interpretation of Islam. It’s a competition in which history and long-standing religious diplomacy gives Morocco a leg up compared to Saudi Arabia, long a citadel of Sunni Muslim intolerance[Read More…]

Morocco may have lost the World Cup but could lead the way in protest

Morocco may have lost the World Cup but could lead the way in protest

Mounting anger and discontent is simmering across the Arab world much like it did in the walk-up to the 2011 popular revolts that toppled four autocratic leaders. Yet, this time round the anger does not always explode in mass street protests as it recently did in Jordan. To be sure, fury at tax hikes in Jordan followed the classic pattern[Read More…]

Saudi Arabia drags geopolitical baggage on to the World Cup pitch

Saudi Arabia drags geopolitical baggage on to the World Cup pitch

Saudi Arabia has much at stake when its national soccer team enters the pitch for the opening match of the 2018 World Cup in Moscow. With politics a permanent fixture, Saudi Arabia is playing in the World Cup finals for the first time in more than a decade at a moment that the kingdom is vying for enhanced influence in[Read More…]

Israel scores painful own goal in run-up to the World Cup

Israel scores painful own goal in run-up to the World Cup

Argentina’s cancellation of a friendly against Israel because of Israeli attempts to exploit the match politically is likely to reverberate far beyond the world of soccer and spotlights the risks of Israeli efforts to persuade the international community to recognize Jerusalem as its capital. The Argentinian decision suggests that despite the fact several countries, including East European nations, are debating[Read More…]

Jordanian protests: Revisiting the Arab Spring and setting a benchmark

Jordanian protests: Revisiting the Arab Spring and setting a benchmark

  Protests that forced Jordan’s prime minister to resign and laid bare the country’s systemic economic and political crisis shed a new light on the root causes of popular protests in the Middle East that swept the region in 2011 and have since continuously erupted at local levels in a swath of land stretching from Morocco to Egypt. The protests,[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled World
Mahathir’s reforms could put Saudi Arabia and the UAE on the spot

Mahathir’s reforms could put Saudi Arabia and the UAE on the spot

Newly elected Malaysian Prime Minister Mohammed Mahathir is adopting policies that could reshape the Southeast nation’s relations with powerful Gulf states. A series of anti-corruption measures as well as statements by Mr. Mahathir and his defense minister, Mohamad (Mat) Sabu, since this month’s upset in elections that ousted Prime Minister Najib Razak from office, are sparking concern in both Saudi[Read More…]

Politicizing Education: Israel and Myanmar set worrisome precedent

Politicizing Education: Israel and Myanmar set worrisome precedent

 Israel and Myanmar, two countries with troubled human rights records and disputed histories of dealing with ethnic and national rights, have set a worrisome precedent by giving each other a veto over what students are taught about the other. A recently signed education agreement between Israel and Myanmar allows for editing each other’s textbooks as they relate to the portrayal[Read More…]

The Middle East’s Nuclear Technology Clock Starts Ticking

The Middle East’s Nuclear Technology Clock Starts Ticking

The Middle East’s nuclear technology clock is ticking as nations pursue peaceful capabilities that potentially leave the door open to future military options. Concern about a nuclear arms race is fuelled by uncertainty over the future of Iran’s 2015 nuclear agreement, a seeming US willingness to weaken its strict export safeguards in pursuit of economic advantage, and a willingness by[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled World