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looking beyond borders

foreign policy and global economy

Archive for the category “Middle East”

Red Sea Rivalries

Gulf states with deep pockets and big appetites are asserting themselves in the Horn of Africa as never before. The flurry of new economic and military investments is reshaping geopolitical dynamics on both sides of the Red Sea, as two formerly distinct regions are fast becoming one.

Read Here – Foreign Affairs

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Moscow’s Little-Noticed Islamic-Outreach Effort

Russia’s growing presence in the Middle East is generally discussed in military and economic terms. Moscow’s 2015 intervention in Syria to prop up the regime of Bashar al-Assad increased its influence with Iran and enabled it to draw a wedge between Turkey and the United States… A little-noticed trend, however, is Moscow’s focus on promoting politically pacifist Islam, which has coincided with an aggressive push by certain Arab countries to combat Islamism.

Read Here – The Atlantic

Is Major Realignment Taking Place In The Middle East?

Having long criticised U.S. policy in the Middle East, President Donald Trump has outlined the contours of a fresh approach to the region…But these new plans don’t consider a critical challenge: the shifting alignments in the region, which have intensified following the killing of the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

Read Here – Foreign Affairs

Saudi Arabia’s Public Prosecutor Seeks Death Penalty For 5 Khashoggi Suspects

Saudi Arabia’s public prosecutor is seeking the death penalty for five out of 11 suspects charged in the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. He was killed in the country’s Istanbul consulate on Oct. 2 by a lethal injection after a struggle, and his body was dismembered and taken out of the building, Shalaan Al-Shalaan, deputy public prosecutor and spokesman, told reporters in Riyadh.

Read Here – Arab News

Also Read: How the Saudi narrative of Khashoggi’s killing changed

The US-Saudi Relationship: Much Less Than Meets The Eye

Among the most magical urban myths floating around the Trump administration is that Saudi Arabia is America’s strategic partner and the relationship is simply too big to fail. Sadly, that relationship is already failing. Indeed, under the leadership of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (also known as MBS), Saudi Arabia has willfully pursued policies that have undermined both American interests and values. Worse still, the Trump administration envisions a role for Saudi Arabia in its Middle East strategy that can only disappoint.

Read Here – CNN

Facing Sanctions, Iran Pioneers Framework For Cooperation With Russia, China And India

With Iran’s convening of its first “Regional Security Dialogue” summit in late September 2018 with deputy national security advisors from Russia, China, and India, Tehran has taken a significant step toward creating a multilateral framework for Eurasian security cooperation in the face of renewed U.S. sanctions.  Ostensibly devoted to combatting terrorism in Afghanistan, the summit’s concluding declaration indicates a wide-sweeping stabilisation agenda extending from Syria eastward to include all of Central Asia.

Read Here – Daily News

Khashoggi Murder Further Complicates ‘Arab NATO’ Plan

President Donald Trump’s strategy to contain Iranian power in the Middle East by forging Arab allies into a U.S.-backed security alliance was in trouble even before the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Now, three U.S. sources said, the plan faces fresh complications.

Read Here – Reuters

US Renews Iran Sanctions; India, China Get Oil Waivers

The United States snapped sanctions back in place to choke Iran’s oil and shipping industries, while temporarily allowing top customers such as India and China to keep buying crude from the Islamic Republic. Having abandoned a 2015 Iran nuclear deal, US President Donald Trump is trying to cripple Iran’s oil-dependent economy and force Tehran to quash not only its missile and nuclear programmes, but also diminish its influence in the Middle East.

Read Here – Mint

Regional Risks Of Rising U.S.-Iran Rivalry

The U.S. is pursuing a “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran that includes the re-imposition of key energy and banking sanctions. With Tehran refusing to capitulate over its nuclear program or regional policies, the U.S.-Iran rivalry could escalate across the region.

Read Here – International Crisis Group

What’s at Stake For Erdogan In The Khashoggi Affair?

In fact, the Khashoggi crisis has proved an unexpected opportunity for Turkey. At a time when its reputation has been tarnished by the jailing of journalists and the violation of other human rights, Erdogan has won praise for highlighting Khashoggi’s plight. And by leaking evidence of Saudi official complicity, including by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, he has dealt a major blow to Turkey’s historic rival and driven a wedge between Washington and Riyadh.

Read Here – Foreign Affairs

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