During the quarter of Western lockdown, the map of the Middle East was profoundly transformed. Yemen has been divided into two separate countries, Israel is paralysed by two Prime Ministers who hate each other, Iran openly supports NATO in Iraq and Libya, Turkey occupies northern Syria, Saudi Arabia is close to bankruptcy.
While Europeans and Arabs are being absorbed by the coronavirus, Anglo-Saxons are changing the world order. Under US command, the United Kingdom took control of the Red Sea entrance; the United Arab Emirates turned on Saudi Arabia and inflicted a bitter defeat on South Yemen, while the Houthis did the same in North Yemen.
The power-sharing agreement signed in Riyadh on November 5 between the Saudi-backed Yemeni government headed by Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi and UAE-backed southern separatist group known as the Southern Transitional Council (STC) gives reason to hope that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is veering round to the political track to […]
Saturday’s events have shown that the roof will come down on the world economy if any regional conflagration erupts leading to destruction of the petrodollar states. Brent Crude jumped 20% higher Sunday night. If the Saudi outage could last for months, as seems likely, expect the Brent onslaught to continue until the price hits $80, and keeps moving higher.
The attack on the world’s largest oil processing facility at Abqaiq in Saudi Arabia southwest of Aramco’s headquarters in Dhahran had a few predictable responses. Given that the facility has a daily output of some 5.7 million barrels, damaging it was bound to cause a spike in the price of […]
The political changes which have been transforming the Middle East for the last two months are not the result of the destruction of any of the protagonists, but the evolution of the Iranian, Turkish and Emirati points of view. Where the military might of the United States has failed, the subtlety of Russian diplomacy has succeeded.
Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4 The beginnings of the “Arab Spring” in Tunisia On 12 August 2010, President Barack Obama signed Presidential Security Directive n° 11 (PSD-11). He ordered all his embassies in the Greater Middle East to prepare for « régime changes ». He nominated the […]
Trump had rounded off his statement by putting American interests first. But this may turn out to be a big gambit. Trouble is brewing in the Congress where US-Saudi relations are in focus not only on account of the Khashoggi killing.
The clumsy, ham-handed meddling of President Trump in Saudi dynastic affairs propelled the bull in a china shop Crown Prince into power. The machinations of Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and his Israeli allies have ignited the current crisis. Trump & Co have very much to learn about the Mideast.
Russian-Saudi relations are currently at their best-ever level in history, while Russia also enjoys excellent ties with the UAE and Yemen, so it’s sensible to see it play a neutral mediating role within the forthcoming UN-brokered talks, especially considering that the country is also a member of the Security Council.
Altogether, the prime takeaway from the UAE’s hosting of the Ethiopian & Eritrean leaders and its awarding of the highest state honor to each of them is that Abu Dhabi is signaling to the world that it’s capable of punching well above its geopolitical weight and has indisputably become a transregional Great Power in spite of its tiny size.
The military stalemate that had hitherto set in over Yemen raised hopes that a so-called “political solution” was possible, but these might be forever dashed if the coalition capitalizes on the momentum from its potentially successful Hodeidah campaign to make a sprint for Sanaa.