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looking beyond borders

foreign policy and global economy

Archive for the category “Middle East”

Meet The UAE’s Most Important Ambassador

The first time he spoke in public, Omar Saif Ghobash spent months preparing. As the United Arab Emirates’ ambassador to Russia, he had needed special permission from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to deliver remarks at the University College London — unheard of at the time as Emirati diplomats rarely spoke to the media. Ghobash walked onto the stage in March 2013, certain, he says, someone would be listening for errors.

Read Here – Ozy

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Trump Declares Harder Line On Iran Without Exiting Nuclear Deal

U.S. President Donald Trump declared a hardened stance toward Iran, as he refused to certify that the Islamic Republic is in compliance with the multinational accord to curb its nuclear program, though he stopped short of repudiating the pact.

Read Here – Bloomberg

‘Arab Affairs Are Iran’s Business’

Iranians live in a troubled and unstable region. We cannot change geography, but our neighborhood was not always so stormy. Without delving too far back into history—although as an ancient peoples our memories are measured in millennia, not decades or even centuries—it’s safe to say that our region began to experience insecurity and instability when foreign, indeed completely alien powers, arrived and began interfering, argues Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif.

Read Here – The Atlantic

Iran’s Foreign Minister Has Some Things He Wants to Say To Donald Trump

Despite President Donald Trump’s threats to blow it up, the Iran nuclear deal still has a “better than 50” percent chance of surviving the next year, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif talks about how his country will—and won’t—respond to Trump’s extraordinary campaign against the agreement the American president calls “an embarrassment to the United States.”

Read Here – Politico

Saudi Arabia Must Prepare For The Post-Petroleum Order

What’s the larger picture of Mohammed bin Salman as a reformer? The prince is trying to prepare Saudi Arabia for a post-petroleum order, in theory by unlocking competitiveness and creativity. His plan is detailed in Vision 2030. It includes reducing the number of royal family members on the government payroll. It also increases domestic tourism—based on the premises that the under-thirty generation has fewer resources to travel abroad for entertainment and tourism, and a desire to keep Saudi money within the kingdom.

Read Here – The National Interest

100 Days And Counting Of Pointless Arab Self-Destruction

The most immediate example is the series of efforts by Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE to isolate, embargo, and boycott Qatar. Some 100 days have passed since they issued some 13 broad, categorical, and poorly defined demands that Qatar change its behaviour. These demands may or may not have been reduced to six equally badly phrased and vague statements, but this is unclear.

Read Here – RealClearWorld

All In The Family

The monarchies of the Arabian peninsula generally emerged between the 18th and early 20th centuries (though some have deeper historical roots). In a region with so much turmoil, these regimes seem to have remarkable staying power (only Yemen’s monarchy has disappeared from the map). But if the monarchies have endured, individual monarchs are not always so secure and their families can be fractious.

Read Here – Carnegie Middle East Center

Why China Is Building A New City Out In The Desert Of Oman

Nobody is going to confuse the dusty fishing village of Duqm for Dubai. But Oman intends to change this by building an entirely new, $10.7 billion transit-oriented industrial city on the desertified coast of the Arabian Sea, 550 kilometers south of Muscat. More accurately, China intends to change this by building an entirely new $10.7 billion transit-oriented industrial city …

Read Here – Forbes

Iran’s ‘City Of Mullahs’ Has A Surprising Side

Before the 1979 Islamic Revolution, this city was pious and sedate… Qom became the bedrock of Iran’s theocracy and remains one of the country’s holiest places — home to 200,000 religious scholars, a destination for Shiite Muslim pilgrims and a center of Islamic thought in a country whose political system is controlled by the clerical establishment. But the city of about 1 million is no longer single-mindedly religious, and its clerics are not immune to the anxieties bubbling beneath the surface of modern Iran.

Read Here – The Los Angeles Times

The Arab Autocracy Trap

It has been more than six years since the start of the Arab Spring, and life for most Arabs is worse than it was in 2011. Unemployment is rife in the Middle East and North Africa, where two thirds of the population is between the ages of 15 and 29. And throughout the region, regimes have closed off channels for political expression, and responded to popular protests with increasing brutality. The governments of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and, to some extent, Morocco, epitomise Arab regimes’ seeming inability to escape the autocracy trap – even as current circumstances suggest that another popular awakening is imminent.

Read Here – Project-Syndicate

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