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

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 …

Trump’s withdrawal does not mean victory for Russia

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

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?

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 …

Astana Syria talks may have confirmed Assad’s fears

The recent Astana talks failed to deliver a clear agreement. Although a ceasefire was announced, forces on the ground questioned its validity, and there was more pessimism than optimism following the talks. Astana was hardly about finding a solution. Instead, it was a show of force. Russia wanted to show the world that the key decision makers on the Syria …