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Insights


How China Hamstrung its own
Middle East policy


As a result of its insecurities, China has displayed hostility to Muslims of such degree that no Middle East state can realistically develop close ties with Beijing without risking domestic uproar. Calls for the boycotting of Chinese products are growing, and the presence of Chinese companies in the Middle East will be viewed with deep suspicion from the local population. China may well benefit from the weak negotiating position of these states in the short-term. However, as Russia grows in importance, and with the potential for the US to rally, China will likely fall further down the pecking order. Where once it was in prime position to begin a process of supplanting the US, Beijing hamstrung its own foreign policy as a result of a narrow understanding of ideas different from its own

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Why Bin Salman cannot abandon his alliance with UAE

Bin Salman’s alliance with the UAE is not solely built on personal friendship with Bin Zayed. It is also built on geopolitical realities. Aside from Abu Dhabi, Bin Salman has very few immediate alternatives.

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Why was the Kuala Lumpur Summit so significant?


A summit that brought together Turkey, Qatar, and Malaysia, a last-minute invitation for Iran, and a threat from Saudi Arabia and the UAE to Pakistan and Indonesia warning them not to attend.
Why was the Kuala Lumpur Summit significant enough to warrant such a series of diplomatic manoeuvres?

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For Turkey, Libya is as important as Syria

Turkey’s interest is not Libya itself. Unlike the UAE or Egypt, Turkey’s involvement in Libya is not ideological. Instead, it is rooted in geopolitical realities that have put Turkey in a difficult situation. A glance at an influence map of the Mediterranean points to a maritime chokehold forming on Turkey that has alarmed Ankara. A combination of Egyptian, Greek, Cypriot, and Israeli antagonism added to UAE maritime expansionism suggests a dire state (from Turkey’s perspective) with regards to influence in the Mediterranean.


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Will Sudan's army abide by civilian rule?

Although Sudan looks ostensibly to be a revolution, a fairer analysis points to a coup, a divided army that was taken advantage of by the UAE and Saudi, and an attempted plan to salvage power by Bashir that went awry.


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Who let Haftar attack Tripoli?

Haftar believes that in his advance on Tripoli, there are two possible outcomes. The first is that he seizes Tripoli itself and becomes the number one de facto power in Libya. He would then expect the international community to recognise him and the ‘stability’ that he would represent in a similar way to which the international community recognised Egypt’s Marshall Sisi after he overthrew the democratically-elected Mohamed Morsi.

The second is that even if he fails, his assault on Tripoli would set him as the most influential party in any subsequent talks. 


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Saudi Arabia is prepared to reconcile with Qatar. The UAE is not.


The UAE and Egypt appear to have been caught off-guard by King Salman’s warm reception to the initiative from Doha.


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Why Saudi Arabia and the UAE are amenable to the idea of reconciliation with Qatar


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