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

Sami Hamdi Middle East/North Africa

In November 2019, Qatar’s foreign minister made a secret visit to Saudi Arabia to discuss the prospect of reconciliation. The visit followed a rumoured meeting of Saudi and Qatari officials on the fringes of the UN General Assembly which caused enough anxiety in Qatar’s ally Turkey that President Erdogan made a visit to Doha seeking an explanation. Saudi Arabia reciprocated …

Why did Saudi Arabia threaten Pakistan over Kuala Lumpur Summit?

Sami Hamdi Middle East/North Africa

Why did Saudi Arabia threaten Pakistan over Kuala Lumpur Summit? Imran Khan has announced that he will not be attending the summit of Muslim countries in Kuala Lumpur. Indonesia has also pulled out. The withdrawal of the two largest Muslim countries is a body blow to Mahathir Mohamed’s summit that was touted as the most significant challenge to the status …

For Turkey, Libya is as important as Syria

Sami Hamdi Libya

Turkey has sent special forces to Tripoli while dispatching Bayraktar drones to Northern Cyprus in what is a clear escalation and a sign of intent that it is prepared to risk war to save Fayez Serraj’s government. In recent months, Haftar has received significant reinforcements and advanced weaponry which has altered the dynamics of battle, and enabled Haftar to make …

Trump’s withdrawal does not mean victory for Russia

Sami Hamdi Middle East/North Africa

Following Trump’s commencing of US withdrawal of troops from Syria, there has been much talk about Russia ‘replacing’ the US in Syria. A viral video of a Russian filming an abandoned US base caused a stir and discussion over Russia’s growing importance in the region. However, given the circumstances on the ground, there is more to suggest that the ‘seismic’ …

Why Bin Salman cannot abandon his alliance with UAE

Sami Hamdi Middle East/North Africa

Given events in Yemen and the UAE’s clear undermining of Saudi Arabia’s fundamental ally (the internationally recognised government under Hadi), one would assume that Saudi Crown Prince Mohamed Bin Salman is having deep reconsiderations over his relationship with Abu Dhabi and Mohamed Bin Zayed. In August, the King himself Salman Bin AbdulAziz reportedly openly expressed irritation with the UAE in …

Why would the UAE back a coup in Yemen?

Sami Hamdi Middle East/North Africa

Yesterday, the deputy leader of the Southern Transitional Council Hani Bin Buraik in a video called on his soldiers and allies to march on the Presidential palace. The move comes amidst tension following the deaths of Abu al-Yamama al-Yafe and a number of soldiers from the ‘Security Belt’ after an explosion during a military parade last Thursday. Although the Houthis …